We have become accustomed to our New Jersey Governor moving and playing with what are supposed to be dedicated funds for years. Everything from Lead abatement to green energy funds have been raided and moved to plug budget gaps. It is a shame really, but not unexpected.
The latest move essentially shows that this administration has raided so much money from so many sources, it is no wonder that we have had our credit downgraded.
This latest move is almost comical. The management of the NJDEP, including the parks section, is funded by fees and fines paid to the Department. This has been the case for many years. Indeed, the entire Department is funded by the fees paid by all of us that use the Department’s services.
Why isn’t there enough money to fund management? Simply put, this administration has already raided those monies…
All of this reminds me of a great line from the movie “Dave” where an outside accountant is brought in by the “President” to help find money for a worthy program in the budget. The accountant says that if he kept his books like this, he would be in jail…
The sad thing is that these continued raids simply hurt peoples’ confidence in our institutions as well as hurting the programs for which the money was intended.
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Gov. Christie’s shifting of $20M in open space funds called unconstitutional
On January 5, 2015 the NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has proposed the adoption of a rule proposal to update the New Jersey building codes from the current version (ICC 2009 version) to the ICC’s latest 2015 version with recommended changes. There is a 60 day comment period so comments must be submitted by March 6th, 2015.
This rule would change the building codes in this state which would result in new construction being at least 16% more energy efficient than they are today. IT is not a full adoption of the IGCC, International Green Construction Code, but it is a start.
Take a look at the proposal and if you get a minute, I urge you to send a note of support as outlined in the rule proposal. Anything that we do to increase the energy efficiency of our buildings reduces our need for new energy sources and reduces sources of pollution.
UPDATE 03/13/2015: The state has issued final permits to deal with the ongoing pollution problems from hundreds of sewer systems that filter raw sewage into the Hudson, Passaic, and Delaware rivers, as well as other waterways, during times of heavy rain. Read about it here.
CSO’s have been a problem for nearly a century. The recent order to start dealing with this issue in our older urban areas is a better late than never story. When I was a commissioner on the Interstate Environmental Commission, we made very small improvements in combating this problem.
The excuse was always that it would cost too much. What that really means is that no one wanted to make the users of the system pay the real cost of the system because it was politically painful.
Finally, we are moving forward…albeit slowly.
The most interesting thing is that some of the tenants of LEED and general green building ideas are now being touted as low cost methods of reducing storm water runoff. What an idea….don’t create the run off in the first place and it is easier to deal with.
A good start.
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Forum aims to help towns tackle cost of N.J.’s new rules on sewage dumping