Harmful revisions threaten water supply

July 19, 2016

To the editor:

The NJ Department of Environmental Protection has proposed harmful revisions to state regulations that would threaten our water supply.

The League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area urges the NJ Senate to post SCR66 for a vote as soon as possible. If passed, it would prohibit the NJ Department of Environmental Protection from adopting its harmful revisions to the Flood Hazard, Coastal Zone, and Stormwater Management Rules. The Assembly has done its part and passed ACR160. We now need the Senate to post and vote on SCR66 at its next session on August 1.

Several months ago, the Legislature voted once to rescind the DEP’s unacceptable proposal, sending it back to the DEP for revision. Unfortunately the DEP has done nothing substantial to reduce the proposed damage to our water. These revisions cause irreparable harm by rolling back protections against flooding and allowing the clearing of more stream buffer vegetation; buffers are crucial to protecting our water supply.

The interests of developers should not come before the public’s need for clean water. Cutting red tape should not mean placing people in harm’s way and risking the quality of our water supply, but that is precisely what the DEP’s proposed self-certification and loosely defined mitigation rules will do.

The League of Women Voters implores readers to contact their State Senators and ask them to urge Senate President Sweeney to post SCR66 On August 1, and vote YES. A list of Senators can be found at www.njleg.state.nj.us, or by calling the League of Women Voters at 800-792-8683 (VOTE).

Sandra Shapiro

Member, Leadership Committee, League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area