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Environmental Justice Grows in the Garden State During Earth Week

May 8, 2023

Source: ACT News

April 2023 was a banner month for clean transportation, with federal and state agencies celebrating landmark legislation and regulations to curb emissions and champion environmental justice. Ahead of Earth Week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan proposed landmark emissions standards. EPA’s draft regulations would rapidly accelerate the transition to zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, with an eye toward equity and environmental justice.

Like the EPA Administrator, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey also had historic news to share, approving the Environmental Justice Rules, or “EJ Rules,” for the Garden State’s Environmental Justice Law, which the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) deems to be the nation’s toughest. New Jersey enacted these rules on April 17, empowering the DEP to take bold action in service of the state’s overburdened communities (OBCs).

The EJ Rules cover the following eight types of facilities:

  • Major sources of air pollution (i.e., gas fired power plants and cogeneration facilities)
  • Resource recovery facilities or incinerators; sludge processing facilities
  • Sewage treatment plants with a capacity of more than 50 million gallons per day
  • Transfer stations or solid waste facilities
  • Recycling facilities that receive at least 100 tons of recyclable material per day
  • Scrap metal facilities
  • Landfills
  • Medical waste incinerators, except those attendant to hospitals and universities

Permit applicants for the eight (8) covered facility types will have to consider and avoid “environmental and public health stressors, including pollution from numerous industrial, commercial, and governmental facilities” in OBCs. The new regulatory climate will undoubtedly raise questions for the transportation sector, including:

Continue reading on ACT News.