New Jersey Environmental Justice and Climate Summit 2018
NJEJA and the Center for American Progress (CAP) co-hosted the first-ever statewide New Jersey Environmental Justice and Climate Summit on April 4th at the Mercer County Community College in Trenton. The summit goal was to bring together state officials, members of Congress, and members of the environmental justice community to discuss
solutions to pollution and climate change impacts in New Jersey’s communities of color, low-income neighborhoods, and Indigenous communities. The summit was held on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. to create an opportunity to reflect on King’s environmental legacy; encourage Gov. Phil Murphy to reduce carbon pollution and associated co-pollutants; prepare for climate change effects; expand access to clean energy; and address cumulative pollution impacts in EJ communities.
Natural Resources Damages
NJEJA partnered with the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund to create a soon to be released report on Natural Resources Damages and EJ community engagement. Laureen and NJEJA Board Member, Priscilla Hayes, examined practices that determine: which ‘injuries’ are selected for legal action; how the impacts of the ‘injuries’ are valued when settlements are reached; what remediating projects are selected and how they are implemented.” New Jersey LCVEF led the effort to get the issue on the ballot in November 2017. Voters indicated a preference for implementation of restoration projects as close as possible to the site of the original injury; nexus to injury is crucial for EJ Communities, disproportionately impacted by environmental pollution.
New Jersey Energy Master Plan
NJEJA lent an environmental justice perspective to the proposed New Jersey Energy Master Plan by testifying at the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) hearings and submitting formal comments. At the Camden hearing, NJEJA Executive Director, Laureen Boles, emphasized development and implementation of the Energy Master Plan could be the first test of Governor Murphy’s Environmental Justice Executive Order, which mandates environmental justice as a goal of state policies.