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TRENTON – One week after Gov. Phil Murphy and Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe announced a comprehensive effort to modernize New Jersey’s environmental regulations to protect our communities and economy against the threats of climate change, the Department of Environmental Protection is moving forward with a collaborative rulemaking process, holding several stakeholder events throughout February and March, to make the New Jersey Protecting Against Climate Threats (NJ PACT) reforms a reality.

According to a release, the DEP has scheduled a series of stakeholder sessions to gather input from residents, businesses, and advocates on the development of new greenhouse gas reduction and environmental land use regulations aimed at reducing the impact of climate change and adapting to the realities of certain impacts, like sea-level rise.

“New Jersey is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, from the sea-level rise that threatens our coastline to air pollution that harms our most vulnerable communities,” stated Murphy. “We are moving swiftly to enact the regulations outlined in NJ PACT to reduce fossil fuel emissions and ensure investments in our innovation economy and communities. These policies, which will make New Jersey a global leader in the clean energy transition and fight against climate change, will help propel New Jersey to 100 percent clean energy by 2050.”

“In New Jersey, we take seriously the science of climate change. We are heeding the warnings about risks like sea-level rise and acting with the urgency that these threats demand,” stated McCabe. “As we work to modernize our environmental regulations to reflect the best available science, DEP is committed to a thoughtful and collaborative approach that engages stakeholders from across all sectors of our economy, non-governmental organizations, academia, and local government. We are all in this together.”

On Jan. 27, Murphy signed Executive Order 100, directing the DEP to make targeted regulatory reforms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change through the NJ PACT initiative. 

New Jersey is the first state to embark on a such an ambitious framework of measures targeted to both reduce emissions of climate pollutants and reform environmental land use policy to adapt to climate realities and ensure long-term resilience.

With Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey has been implementing a number of initiatives to both mitigate against future climate change and adapt to its certain effects, including releasing a clean-energy focused Energy Master Plan and ordering the development of a , making New Jersey a national leader in the fight against climate change.

NJ PACT is the next evolution of these efforts, modernizing air quality regulations that will limit emissions of climate pollutants that exacerbate global warming, as well as environmental land use regulations that equip DEP, local governments, residents and businesses with tools to effectively respond to current climate threats. 

They are also forward looking, seeking to reduce future climate damages through rules for green infrastructure and resilient building that will help New Jersey fight risks like sea-level rise and extreme weather.

Soliciting feedback from the public and stakeholders for proposed environmental regulations is the first step in the rulemaking process that will conclude by January 2022. In advance of that date, DEP will consider all input it receives during its public stakeholder process as it formulates rule proposals. 

Once proposals are finalized, they will be published in the New Jersey Register for public comment and, after careful consideration of any comments received, finalized for adoption.

The DEP will hold initial stakeholder sessions on the following potential rules.

  • Feb. 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., focusing on periodic monitoring and reporting of statewide greenhouse gas emissions, hosted by the DEP Air Quality, Energy and Sustainability program.
  • Feb. 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., focusing on ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, hosted by the DEP Air Quality, Energy and Sustainability program.
  • March 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., to discuss rules to better plan for sea-level rise, extreme weather events and flooding, hosted by the Land Use Management program.

All sessions for both programs are open to public comment. They will be held at the DEP’s First Floor Public Hearing Room, 401 East State Street, Trenton 08625.

Due to space limitations, the DEP is requesting attendees to RSVP. 

For information, including session details, RSVP deadlines and contacts, visit https://www.nj.gov/dep/njpact/

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