The Barnegat Bay, the Raritan River, the Delaware River, the Shark River, the Pohatcong River, the Ramapo River, our aquifers…
Their fates are all at stake on Monday, January 9, 2012, when the New Jersey legislature intends to vote the bill into law. If that occurs, some 300,000 acres of protected land will be opened to development in New Jersey. I support good development but I find difficult accepting what this bill allows as an example of it. The lame-duck legislature may give a coup de grace to water quality in its last day of session, Monday 9.
A4335 is catering to developers who happen to be contributors but is also a desperate attempt to revive a dismal economy without reforming what is causing the malaise. The political establishment in New Jersey wants to eat the cake and have it too. They have worked for decades to convince everyone that they are entitled to hold power without challenge and that myth is crumbling now with the failing economy.
There are several aspects that we must look at when development in what I would call virgin areas is considered:
1. Sewage treatment capacity; sewage treatment quality – plants which discharge at the primary stage are not adequate and should be upgraded before any development takes place. Even secondary systems, which yield a somewhat cleaner discharge (called the final effluent FE), are considered inadequate by today’s standards. A tertiary system is one which removes nutrients such as N and P. There are very few of those, if any, in New Jersey.
2. The waterways where the extra FE will be discharged: Do they have the capacity to absorb the additional volume? This is also related to the first point. The better the quality of the FE the greater the volume that a waterway can accept without further environmental degradation. But regardless of the quality of the FE, it will have to be discharged therefore the actual increases in volume matter.
3. Add to all this more pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers for more lanws, more vehicular traffic with longer commuting times in most cases. The areas targeted are rural. Only tertiary systems remove nutrients associated with fertilizers.
The bill is a bad bill which puts the interests of a few ahead of the interests of the majority. We may call it the 1% versus the 99% although I do not intend to make of this a class issue. Rather, it is truly a responsibility issue.
I have included a link below for all those of you who would like to help everyone, including yourself.