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Water

Does ‘Rain Tax’ Have a Chance of Staunching State’s Stormwater Runoff?

Tom Johnson | June 19, 2018 | Energy & Environment

Bill voted out of key Senate committee would let towns and counties assess fees on sources of runoff to cover cost of managing stormwater

Getting Lead Out of NJ’s Water Means First Finding How It’s Getting In

Tom Johnson | June 15, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Package of bills would require public water systems to compile list of lead service lines, public schools to maintain online database of lead-testing results
Is a Natural-Gas Power Plant in the Works for the Musconetcong River?
Tom Johnson | June 14, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Preliminary discussions between project developer and state and local officials explore building the plant on the state’s top trout stream
A Change of Name, Not Mission, for ‘Bank’ That Funds Clean Water Across NJ
Tom Johnson | June 13, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Under its new name, the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank will still loan money to stem pollution from sewage treatment, upgrade drinking-water systems
NJ Panel Urges Tighter Chemical Rule as EPA Mulls National Standard
Jon Hurdle | May 29, 2018 | Energy & Environment
If DEP adopts nation’s strictest proposal regarding PFOS, regulators could require public water systems and private well owners to limit amount of chemical in drinking water to 13 ppt
NJ Asks Appeals Court to Review FERC’s Approval of PennEast Pipeline
Jon Hurdle | May 22, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Attorney General Grewal says agency wrong to give project certificate that has allowed it to file eminent domain suits against New Jersey landowners
Pallone Accuses White House of Trying to Suppress Report on PFCs in Drinking Water
Jon Hurdle | May 17, 2018 | Energy & Environment
New Jersey has some of strictest standards in country for regulating the contaminants, but environmentalist says DEP's regulation process has slowed
Acting DEP Commissioner McCabe Sails Through Confirmation Hearing
Tom Johnson | May 15, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Many committee questions reflect disputes with prior administration headed by former Gov. Chris Christie
State Still Struggling with Stormwater Runoff, Can New Bill Help?
Tom Johnson | May 11, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Pollution from stormwater runoff is a $15 billion problem that won’t go away. Stormwater utilities could help Garden State get a handle on the solution
Proposed Pipeline Extension Raises Ire, Environmental Concerns
NJTV News Online | May 1, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Residents want to know why New Jersey takes the risk but New York gets the gas
Newark Faces Court Test over Lead Levels in Water
Tom Johnson | April 25, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Two organizations argue city supplies show nearly twice the federal-action level for the contaminant
DEP Denies Lakewood’s Bid for Designation as Regional Center
Tom Johnson | April 24, 2018 | Energy & Environment
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection blocks huge development project for second time, citing failure to address water-supply needs
FERC Reviews Its Policies for Approving Natural-Gas Pipelines
Tom Johnson | April 20, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Critics say federal agency rubber-stamps projects, without evaluating if a pipeline is truly needed and gauging its environmental impact
Will Murphy Let Company Dump Treated Wastewater into Delaware River?
Tom Johnson | April 18, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Opponents worry that loophole in bill on governor’s desk will allow fracking waste to be discharged into river
ACUA’s Battery-Storage System, First Financed by NJ's Clean Energy Fund
Tom Johnson | April 17, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Atlantic County Utilities Authority will back up wastewater treatment plant — powered in part by solar and wind — if grid goes down
NJ Landowners in Federal Court to Fight Pipeline Company on Eminent Domain
Jon Hurdle | April 6, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Dozens of New Jersey landowners were in court yesterday to challenge PennEast’s efforts to take possession of parts of their properties
New Funds for NJ Groups to Combat Threats to Delaware River Basin’s Water Quality
Jon Hurdle | April 5, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Millions of dollars more for grassroots efforts in New Jersey and adjoining states to tackle dangers to vital source of drinking water
NJ Files in Federal Court to Stop PennEast from Condemning Protected Land
Tom Johnson | March 23, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Roughly half of the properties pipeline company wants to seize under eminent domain are preserved as open space and farmland
New Jersey Looks to $50M Bond Issue to Fund Stormwater Management
Tom Johnson | March 22, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Stormwater pollution has long been recognized as a huge problem in the Garden State, but an even bigger problem has been finding funds to deal with it
Feds Convening Summit on Water Contamination in NJ, Other States
Tom Johnson | March 21, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Gathering will address risks posed by manmade chemicals widely used in nonstick cookware and other household products
Murphy Administration Settles MTBE Pollution Cases for $200 Million
Tom Johnson | March 13, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Natural-resources damage suit involves three oil companies who contaminated groundwater with potentially carcinogenic gasoline additive
New Jersey, Delaware Ease Advisories on Certain Fish
Tom Johnson | February 21, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Action indicates drop in contamination, but some shellfish and other fish should be avoided, especially by women of childbearing age
Opinion: How Much Water Do We Waste — And Who Are 'We'?
Daniel J. Van Abs | February 21, 2018 | Opinion
New Jersey wastes more water than we should but perhaps less than we feared
AG's Motion Anticipates Possible Legal Challenge over PennEast Pipeline
Jon Hurdle | February 20, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Attorney general argues FERC certificate flawed because it allows PennEast to seek eminent domain without knowing environmental impact over much of route
Pipeline Conflict Heats Up: Landowners Vow to Fight PennEast on Eminent Domain
Jon Hurdle | February 15, 2018 | Energy & Environment
After almost 130 New Jersey landowners refuse offers of compensation for right of way on their properties, company files for eminent domain, unleashing a new storm of protest
Can Stormwater Utilities Help NJ Reduce Runoff Pollution?
Tom Johnson | February 14, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Lawmakers revive bill looking at new ways of dealing with old problem, stormwater runoff fouling waterways and causing major flooding
Appeals Court Upholds Outstanding $225M Fine Against ExxonMobil
Tom Johnson | February 13, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Plaintiffs argue amount too small but are relieved constitutional amendment ensures environmental fines go to restoring natural resources
Calls for State Probe into Radium in Drinking Water
Jon Hurdle | February 7, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Environmentalists say looser EPA limit may not protect public health after report finds hundreds of NJ water systems contain radioactive element at levels above that recommended by California
AG Rejects PennEast Offers for Easements on Protected Lands
Jon Hurdle | February 6, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Pipeline company says it will begin eminent domain actions if landowners hold out after deadline
Murphy Joins Neighboring Governors in United Front against Fracking
Tom Johnson | February 2, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Goal is to prohibit hydraulic fracturing in Delaware River Basin, water supply to more than 15 million people in four states
Opinion: NJ's Water Needs Could Decrease, Despite 10.4M Residents by 2040
Daniel J. Van Abs | February 1, 2018 | Opinion
Taking a broad array of variables into account, and working with the best-case scenario, the state's population could increase while demand for water could lessen
FERC OK of PennEast Doesn't Make Pipeline a Sure Thing
Tom Johnson | January 22, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Federal approval means pipeline company can gather environmental data needed for permits, but opponents vow they will continue to fight
DEP Won’t Rescind Highlands Septic-Tank Rule, Despite Legislative Action
Tom Johnson | January 16, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Agency argues lawmakers overstepped authority when they moved to abolish controversial rule increasing number of septic tanks in region
Lawmakers Rap DEP, Roll Back Rule on Septic Tanks in Highlands
Tom Johnson | January 9, 2018 | Energy & Environment
Maneuver made possible with rarely used legislative tool allowing rules to be rescinded if found inconsistent with law
Panel Recommends $400M Bond Issue to Shore Up NJ’s Water Infrastructure
Tom Johnson | January 4, 2018 | Energy & Environment
It may only be a drop in the bucket toward solving $40B problem, but could help ease breaks and leaks plaguing outdated water system
Using Recycled Asphalt in Quarry Reclamation Worries ‘Greens’
Tom Johnson | December 14, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Environmentalists argue oils and heavy metals in the material could seep into groundwater if employed for quarry reclamation
Water Advocates Seek Public Backing for Massive Infrastructure Upgrade
Jon Hurdle | December 4, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Jersey Water Works, a collaborative with some 350 members, wants to make water systems and their problems highly visible, even though they’re typically underground
Will New Jersey Make a Healthy Environment an Inalienable Right?
Tom Johnson | December 1, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Garden State could follow Pennsylvania and Montana and pass constitutional amendment to safeguard clean air, water
Opinion: A Year One Clean-Water Agenda for New Jersey
Chris Sturm | November 30, 2017 | Opinion
It’s time for New Jersey to become a leader once again in protecting our residents and our economy through smart, innovative investments in the water systems
Pesticide Ban Stalls When Critics Claim Feds Should Make Call
Tom Johnson | November 27, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Obama administration recommendation to stop using chlorpyrifos reversed by Scott Pruitt, new head of EPA
New Jersey Scientists Urge State to Curb Another Chemical in Drinking Water
Jon Hurdle | November 27, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Maximum Contaminant Limit for PFOS would help protect human health over a lifetime of exposure to the chemical, which has been linked to cancer, immune-system problems
Lawmakers Ready to Say ‘No’ to More Development in Highlands
Tom Johnson | November 21, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Legislators move to roll back rule, issue rare rebuke to executive branch that originally passed regulation
Legislature, DEP at Loggerheads Again Over Septic Tanks in Highlands
Tom Johnson | November 13, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Lawmakers moving to block agency proposal, could use rarely employed tool to rescind rules judged inconsistent with legislative intent
DEP Sets Nation’s Strictest Limit on Chemical in Drinking Water
Jon Hurdle | November 2, 2017 | Energy & Environment
PFOA has been linked to cancer, high cholesterol, and developmental problems in young children
Op-Ed: Open Space as Important as Ever
Kelly Mooij | November 1, 2017 | Opinion
Preservation must remain a priority for incoming administration
Shad Surge in Delaware River Thanks to Pollution Controls, Dam Removal
Jon Hurdle | October 31, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Number of juvenile shad monitored in summer count highest in 38 years, according to state DEP
New Jersey Inks 10-Year Pact on Taking Water from Delaware River
Tom Johnson | October 27, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Agreement — also signed by three other states and New York City — ends dispute over release of water from city reservoirs
Feds to Fund Massive Flood-Control Project for Hoboken, Nearby Towns
Tom Johnson | October 26, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Project includes green infrastructure to protect three communities from storm surges that left them inundated after Hurricane Sandy
Opinion: Real Implications of Affordability — It’s Not Just Political Rhetoric
Joel C. Cantor | October 24, 2017 | Opinion
When money is tight or health fails, stress is a major factor in people’s lives
High Arsenic Levels in Some Private Wells in New Jersey
Tom Johnson | October 20, 2017 | Energy & Environment
New study maps where people get drinking water, correlates private sources with presence of arsenic
State Appellate Court Blocks Mining Operation in Pinelands
Tom Johnson | October 12, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Court finds Pinelands Commission’s rejection of project was justified because it did not conform to region’s Comprehensive Management Plan
Ballot Question Closer to Stop Raiding of Natural-Resources Damages
Tom Johnson | October 6, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Lawmakers and environmentalists see constitutional amendment as only way to keep natural-resources settlements from being siphoned off
‘Greens’ Say Highlands Council Trying to Stifle Public Comment
Jon Hurdle | October 4, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Council says rules ensure that discussions on updated regional plan take place in public
The Delaware River Watershed: Protecting Today and Tomorrow
NJ Spotlight Staff | October 3, 2017 | Energy & Environment, Roundtables
NJ Spotlight/State Impact PA event takes a closer look at resource that provides drinking water to millions
Climate Change in New Jersey? It’s Here
Tom Johnson | September 28, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Hotter summers, more extreme storms, increased flooding — a statewide dialogue hopes to hammer out a climate-change policy for the Garden State
State Drafts Settlements in Three Longstanding Pollution Lawsuits
Tom Johnson | September 21, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Critics contend state is pushing to settle decade-old cases now, before possible constitutional amendment blocks funds from being diverted
Delaware River Watershed: It's Healthy, but Significant Threats Are Looming
Tom Johnson | September 18, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Vital resource for millions of people needs more aggressive protections, advocates contend
Second Pinelands Pipeline OK’d at Tempestuous Agency Meeting
Tom Johnson | September 15, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Also on the Pinelands Commission agenda: restricting use of off-road vehicles in nature preserve
DRBC Acts to Ban Fracking in Delaware River Basin
Tom Johnson | September 12, 2017 | Energy & Environment
But environmentalists unhappy with move to regulate fracking wastewater
Opinion: The Time is Now for Drinking Water Utilities to Improve Their Systems
Daniel J. Van Abs | September 7, 2017 | Opinion
The Water Quality Accountability Act is a major first step toward a statewide system of effective asset management for our drinking water utilities
Unsafe Lead Levels Found in Drinking Water at 400 NJ Schools
Tom Johnson | September 6, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Results confirm lead leaching from old fixtures and pipes is extensive problem facing state’s district and charter schools
Trump’s EPA Cuts Could Wreak Havoc with Delaware River Watershed
Tom Johnson | September 5, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Water-related programs at federal agency could be trimmed by almost 35 percent, affecting host of efforts in place to protect water quality
Feds Award NJ $70M to Upgrade Wastewater, Drinking-Water Systems
Tom Johnson | August 18, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Allocation will help finance $500 million in upgrades to sewage-treatment plants through the New Jersey Drinking Water State Revolving Fund
Renewed Threat of Oil and Gas Drilling off New Jersey Shoreline
Tom Johnson | August 15, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Administration seeks to develop program to open all the nation’s coasts to exploration along outer continental shelf
PennEast Wants Fast-Track Approval from FERC for $1B Pipeline
Tom Johnson | August 14, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Company argues project is ‘critically important’ to bring new and necessary natural-gas supplies to Northeast, increase reliability of today’s pipeline grid
DEP Denies Permits for 1,800-Unit Housing Development in Lakewood
Tom Johnson | August 9, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Chosen site, a former golf course, would wind up with 70 percent impervious cover once project was complete — markedly increasing stormwater runoff
NJ Leads Nation with Plan to Curb Two Toxic Chemicals in Drinking Water
Jon Hurdle | August 9, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Department of Environmental Protection announces new proposed maximum contaminant limits for two likely carcinogens, PFNA and TCP
With FERC at Quorum, PennEast Pipeline Likely to Move Ahead
Tom Johnson | August 8, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Two commissioners have been approved at agency, opening way for project to use eminent domain to gather environmental data along its route
Law on Drinking Water Infrastructure Requires Upgrades of Leaking Systems
Jon Hurdle | August 8, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Measure mostly targets smaller, publicly owned utilities that may have to scramble to find the money to implement asset-management plans, cybersecurity
Appeals Court Approves Housing Development in Highlands
Tom Johnson | August 7, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Court defers to DEP’s expertise regarding wetlands, endangered species, and impact of proposed sewer connection on water quality
Reasons Justifying Pinelands Pipeline Called into Question
Tom Johnson | August 3, 2017 | Energy & Environment
‘A high-priced solution for a problem that does not really exist’ is how consultant to Pinelands Preservation Alliance describes Southern Reliability Link
Fed Rollback of Clean Water Rule Could Threaten Half of NJ’s Streams
Tom Johnson | July 27, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Repeal could ‘devastate’ Delaware River Basin, according to critics, source of drinking water for 6 million people
‘We Can’t Drink Gas’ — Critic of Controversial Pinelands Pipeline
NewsWorks.org | July 27, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Protesters let Pinelands Commission know how strongly they feel about contentious natural gas project in South Jersey
Fed Flood Program Has Spent $660M Repeatedly Rebuilding Same NJ Properties
Tom Johnson | July 26, 2017 | Energy & Environment
A much-needed reform to nation’s flood insurance would give homeowners the option to be bought out rather than rebuild
‘Greens’ Intensify Efforts to Permanently Ban Fracking in Delaware River Basin
Tom Johnson | July 25, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Coalition delivers 64K signatures to five-member commission tasked with protecting source of drinking water for 16 million people
Menendez, Pallone Hit the Beach to Help Protect NJ’s Water
NJTV News Online | July 24, 2017 | Energy & Environment
In face of potential cuts from Trump administration, senator and congressman drum up support for a stronger BEACH Act, which pays for water testing nationwide
A Big-Picture View of How Climate Change Is Affecting the Garden State
Tom Johnson | July 20, 2017 | Energy & Environment
The Fund for New Jersey outlines the steps that need to be taken to prevent climate change from being disastrous for the state
NJ’s Water Infrastructure Needs Hearts, Minds, and Massive Investment
Jon Hurdle | July 19, 2017 | Energy & Environment
New Jersey’s network of water pipes is aging and in need of a major overhaul but advocates believe the public knows little and cares less about the problem
Lead in Water Remains Pervasive Problem in New Jersey Schools
Tom Johnson | July 18, 2017 | Energy & Environment
More than half the school districts in Bergen County have lead — a dangerous neurotoxin — in faucets and other fixtures
NJ Spotlight Fields Your Questions About the Garden State’s Water
Tom Johnson | July 17, 2017 | Energy & Environment
We asked our readers to tell us what they wanted to know about the state’s water. Here’s where we deliver the answers
Is This New Jersey’s Future? Chronic Flooding from Sea-Level Rise
Tom Johnson | July 13, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Under a worst-case scenario, some 130 communities in the Garden State could be inundated every other week
Draft Water Plan Leaves Critics Dissatisfied on Several Key Fronts
Tom Johnson | July 12, 2017 | Energy & Environment
The plan, they contend, doesn’t do enough to anticipate crises, head off likely deficits, and address water-quality issues, like lead in drinking supplies
State Starts to Think Seriously About Deploying Microgrids
Tom Johnson | July 6, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Trenton’s downtown thermal-energy district funded to determine if microgrids can deliver power and other vital services when power grid goes down
DEP Tables PennEast Application, Another Delay for Troubled Pipeline
Tom Johnson | June 29, 2017 | Energy & Environment
State agency seeks detailed information about stream and wetlands crossings, but pipeline company can’t comply
Trump Administration Rolling Back Protections for Small Streams, Wetlands
Tom Johnson | June 28, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Federal repeal likely to affect New Jersey by eroding protections for headwaters that feed the drinking-water supply
'Greens' See Red Over Budget Plan, Raids on Pollution Settlements
Tom Johnson | June 23, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Environmentalists warn current spending plan lets administration divert money meant to restore damages to natural resources to general fund
$500 Million Slotted for Sewage-Treatment, Drinking-Water Systems
Tom Johnson | June 16, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Funds to be distributed by Environmental Infrastructure Trust, well-regarded financier for clean-water projects for several decades
Murphy Calls for Permanent Ban on Fracking in Delaware River Basin
Tom Johnson | June 15, 2017 | Energy & Environment
If Democratic candidate for governor wins election, it could help swing Delaware River Basin Commission to follow his call on fracking
DEP, Lawmakers Clash Over Development in the Highlands
Tom Johnson | June 9, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Assembly votes to stop state agency from boosting number of septic tanks in pristine preserve, source of drinking water for millions in NJ
State’s Proposed Wetlands Rule Would Speed, Simplify Developer Permitting
Tom Johnson | June 7, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Critics particularly concerned about new rule that would allow developers to certify they’ve met all regulations without any DEP oversight
Opinion: NJ Needs a Better Approach to Water Supply Planning
Daniel J. Van Abs | June 1, 2017 | Opinion
The key is finding a balance between specific requirements to guide future administrations, without getting so prescriptive as to constrain evolution
NJ, NY at Odds Over Delaware River Water Allocations
NJTV News Online | June 1, 2017 | Energy & Environment
New Jersey wants millions more gallons of water a day. The challenge is to convince New York, which controls the spigot
Op-Ed: Underneath NJ — an Unhealthy, Costly, Disgusting Problem
Robert Briant Jr. | May 15, 2017 | Opinion
What we need right now is a comprehensive strategy for improving our water and sewer infrastructure
As FERC Moves Closer to Quorum, ‘Greens’ Hope State DEP Will Block PennEast
Tom Johnson | May 11, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Thus far, FERC lacks power of eminent domain needed to complete DEP’s permitting process
Court Overrules DEP Permit to Discharge Wastewater in Highlands
Tom Johnson | May 8, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Appellate remands paperwork to DEP, arguing it did not properly follow regulations when issuing original permit
Interactive Map: NJ Water Systems Out of Compliance with Federal Standards
Colleen O'Dea | May 5, 2017 | Maps, Map of the Week
A new report from the NRDC reveals that nearly 4.5 million residents are served by systems with at least one violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act
Long-Awaited Plan for Management of Water Resources in New Jersey
Jon Hurdle | May 3, 2017 | Energy & Environment
More than two decades in the making, the state’s Water Supply blueprint finally has been updated to the surprise of many who thought Christie administration would run out the clock on it
Legislature, Administration Bump Heads on Highlands Development
Tom Johnson | May 2, 2017 | Energy & Environment
DEP rule would boost number of septic systems; lawmakers argue that is against original intent of law protecting 800,000-acre preserve
DEP Kicks Back PennEast Permit Application, Citing Missing Data
Tom Johnson | April 27, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Opponents of project hope setback will delay pipeline into 2018, when NJ will have a new governor
DEP Could Go Toe to Toe with Legislature over Septic Tanks in Highlands
Tom Johnson | April 26, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Department wants to open preserve to greater development, claiming water quality would not be adversely affected
Residents Want to Keep Natural Gas Compressor Out of Somerset County
NJTV News Online | April 26, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Spokesman for operator says people will hardly notice it’s there, but locals fear noise and pollution at the very least
PennEast Runs into More Permit Snags with Another Federal Agency
Tom Johnson | April 25, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Army Corps of Engineers says PennEast application is incomplete because it didn’t secure permission to conduct detailed environmental surveys
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