New Jersey's 25th Legislative District

Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco: Murphy Must Provide Clarity on Executive Order Requiring NJDEP to Impose “Climate Change Considerations” in Permitting

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Wants Governor to Explain How Order Will Be Applied Without Hurting Homeowners, Economic Growth, or Property Rights

Senator Anthony M. Bucco called for Governor Phil Murphy to provide clarity on Executive Order 100 which gives broad new powers to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to deny virtually any type of development due to undefined “climate change considerations.”

Sen. Anthony M. Bucco called for Gov. Murphy to provide clarity on Executive Order 100 which gives broad new powers to the NJDEP to deny virtually any type of development due to undefined ‘climate change considerations.’ (©iStock)

“We need a balanced approach to development that doesn’t add additional cost and complexity to projects when New Jersey is already over-regulated and too expensive for families and businesses,” said Bucco (R-25). “Governor Murphy should explain to New Jerseyans how the vague language of his executive order will be applied by the NJDEP without negatively impacting homeowners, economic growth, or property rights.”

On January 27th, Governor Murphy signed the executive order which directs the NJDEP to “integrate climate change considerations, such as sea level rise, into its regulatory and permitting programs, including but not limited to, land use permitting, water supply, stormwater and wastewater permitting and planning, air quality, and solid waste and site remediation permitting.”

According to NJ Spotlight, business leaders have expressed concern regarding the “vague language that said DEP shall change its air, land-use and other regulations to take into account climate change.”

The NJDEP’s chief of staff responded by saying, “We don’t believe in that false dichotomy that you can have a clean environment or economic development — those two things go hand in hand.”

Bucco warned that the rhetoric being offered by the administration is reminiscent of what was said when the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act was adopted in 2004 over the objections of Highlands residents.

“The Murphy Administration is telling New Jerseyans that giving the NJDEP virtually unchecked power over our land and how it’s used will be good for us,” added Bucco. “People in the Highlands heard similar promises when the Highlands Act was enacted 15 years ago. They now face nearly impossible permitting hoops to jump through to use the land they own, and the economic growth that was promised has failed to materialize under such strict regulation. We should try to be environmentally conscious without extending the pain already felt in the Highlands to the rest of New Jersey.”

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