Welcome to Clean Water on the Move, your monthly update from Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund in New Jersey. Take a look at what our amazing staff has been up to and what is coming in the month ahead. Thanks for your ongoing support for our work towards a healthy environment for all.
Long Awaited Environmental Justice Rule
On April 17, 2023, after fifteen years, the New Jersey Environmental Justice law and corresponding rule went into effect. Communities and residents living near polluting facilities such as power plants and incinerators have long been forced to breathe in toxic air emissions coming from these facilities.
The NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is now forced to actively engage and consider the views of affected communities in their decision making about future DEP to operate major polluting facilities, produce and evaluate environmental justice impacts on nearby residents. This new rule will consider not just the impacts of the individual polluting facility seeking a permit, but also the existing and cumulative impacts (or “stressors”) of multiple sources of pollution, adverse social, educational and health outcomes, water quality issues, etc.
Together, we can make sure the new EJ law is implemented. Sign up to become an Environmental Justice Ambassador here.
World Asthma Day
Asthma is one of the most common health conditions for people in overburdened communities with polluted air. Newark’s childhood asthma rate is double (25%, 1 in 4 kids) the national and state average.
Learn more about the new EJ rule, how you can be notified about permit applications in your area by watching Clean Water Action’s World Asthma Day (May 2nd) webinar featuring Kim Gaddy, Clean Water Action’s National & NJ Environmental Justice Director, Dr. Nicky Sheats, NJ Environmental Justice Alliance, and JV Valladolid, Ironbound Community Corporation.
Environmental Justice and Newark Port Tour
On April 24th, Clean Water Action along with other grassroots environmental justice organizations hosted a tour of the Newark port and surrounding areas to see the burden this pollution places on a community. The port of Newark is one of the biggest in the country, with Newark Airport right next door and all the pollution that comes with air travel. Aside from these obvious polluters, there are so many warehouses and facilities within close proximity, piles of scrap metal, and trucks galore.
We saw fumes being released into the air, hazardous facilities at almost every turn and just steps away from residential homes. Our Zero Emissions Organizer, Tolani Taylor, arranged the tour along with the Ironbound Community Corporation, South Ward Environmental Alliance and others. Read her blog about the experience here.
TAKE ACTION! EPA is now accepting comments on its Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles Rule until June 16, 2023. Tell EPA to go further than currently proposed in setting new emission limits as well as promoting a faster transition to zero emission heavy duty vehicles.
Save the Date for Upcoming Events!
Statewide Warehouse Convening - June 24, 2023
On June 24th, 2023, Clean Water Action will be hosting a Warehouse Convening at Princeton Senior Resource Center from 10am-2pm. Our Zero Emissions & Warehouse Organizer, Tolani Taylor, will be coordinating this event. If you would like to be part of the convening and our state-wide warehouse campaign, contact Tolani directly at email@example.com.
Join Us for 14th Annual Autumn Toast to a Healthy Environment!
On October 14th, 2023, Clean Water Action is hosting our 14th annual Autumn Toast to a Healthy Environment at Feldman Middleton Jr. Community Center in Weequahic Park, Newark! There will be tasty food, wine and beer, music, chance and silent auctions, and more. To find more information please visit www.cleanwater.org/autumntoast.
Reducing Disposables and Celebrating One Year of the Bag Ban
On May 4th, Marta Young, our Zero Waste Specialist, made a visit to Franciscan Diocese of Newark to confirm their commitment to converting 100% from single-use food containers to reusable service ware starting September 2023 when they occupy their new building. The Franciscan Diocese currently serves 200-400 clients 5 days a week. They have already successfully worked with their clients to bring their reusable bags for food and meal pickups.
This news came just days before the one-year anniversary of the effective date of New Jersey’s plastic bag/polystyrene ban, also known as the “Get Past Plastic” law. “Within the first 5 months, approximately 3 billion single-use plastic bags and 68 million single-use paper bags in New Jersey were avoided, did not trash our neighborhoods, or end up in landfills or incinerators. Instead of bringing New Jersey to a halt, the law that banned bags and polystyrene foam (aka Styrofoam) has been a smashing success,” said Amy Goldsmith, NJ State Director for Clean Water Action. “In order to achieve more sustainable solutions and create a cleaner, healthier future for all New Jerseyans, regardless of their zip code or color of their skin, New Jersey must now pass a robust packaging reduction bill.”
We are working collaboratively with other organizations and legislators on an “extended producer responsibility” bill – to make industries reduce plastics in packaging. Want to become a “No More Plastics!” activist? Contact Marta Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TAKE ACTION: Stop the plastic pollution problem in NJ, write to your state legislator here.
IN THE NEWS: CLEAN WATER QUOTES
NJ Activists Hope For 'Turning Point' With Environmental Justice Law
Projects that expose communities of color in N.J. to more pollution must be axed under new rules
New ‘environmental justice’ rules now in place to protect pollution-choked communities