The past few weeks have been incredibly busy, as we started a new year at midnight on January 1st, finished up the legislative year very late on January 8th, and swore in a new governor at noon on January 16th. As we look forward to 2018, here are updates on some important issues.
We won an historic victory for clean water on January 8, when the New Jersey Legislature invalidated a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) rule that would have allowed significantly more development on critically sensitive lands in the Highlands. RHA’s science-based advocacy played a key role in this campaign to protect clean water. Read about it here.
In late July 2017, Eastern Concrete Materials, Inc. discharged sludge from their quarry in Glen Gardner into the Spruce Run, destroying critical habitat and threatening the drinking water supply for 1.5 million people. The sludge impacted about 1.7 miles of the creek and traveled as far as the Spruce Run Reservoir. After several months, the clean-up effort (paid for by Eastern Concrete) wrapped-up in December. DEP is reportedly close to finalizing a settlement with Eastern Concrete which will include a fine for polluting Spruce Run, a supplemental environmental project to improve conditions in the creek, and a natural resources damages assessment. Read about it here.
Large ice floes on the South Branch of the Raritan River breached part of the Cole’s Mill Dam in Califon two weeks ago. RHA has reached out to the dam owner and is coordinating with DEP to address the possibility of removing the dam as part of a larger effort to restore the South Branch. Read about it here.
In late July, Eastern Concrete Materials, Inc. discharged sludge from their quarry in Glen Gardner into the Spruce Run. The sludge impacted about 1.7 miles of the creek and traveled as far as the Spruce Run Reservoir. The clean-up effort is continuing. Spruce Run is a Category-1 Trout Production stream, which means water quality in the stream is supposed to be protected because the stream is critically important habitat.
Raritan Headwaters responded to the spill. Our staff is visiting Spruce Run regularly to monitor the clean-up, support local residents, and address our concerns with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Ignoring the will of the voters, Governor Christie vetoed the Preserve New Jersey Act (S969) late yesterday. In 2014, the voters of New Jersey approved a constitutional dedication of money to preserve open space, farmland, and historic sites in the Garden State. This bill would have allocated those funds.
Effectively, the constitutional dedication put money in the bank for preservation. The bill the Governor conditionally vetoed would have allowed that money to be spent for specific preservation purposes.
The residents of the Raritan Headwaters voted overwhelmingly to provide permanent, sustainable funding to preserve open space in New Jersey. Read More »
Vote Yes on Question 2 on Election Day to Protect Clean Water, Open Spaces, Farms and Historic Sites for Future Generations
A program created by the National Ground Water Association (NGWA), Protect Your Groundwater Day encourages citizens to utilize the day to begin doing their part for protecting one of our most important natural resources — groundwater. NGWA believes in the principle — Acknowledge, Consider, Take action or ACT! For more information, visit their website – www.ngwa.org.
On November 4, 2014 New Jersey citizens will have an opportunity to vote to approve the dedication of state funds for open space, farmland and historic preservation as well as other important environmental programs. Raritan Headwaters Association has worked hard as a member of the Keep It Green (KIG) coalition to create long–term, dedicating funding for open space preservation in the Garden State. Please Vote “Yes!” on this critical ballot measure!
Raritan Headwaters’ annual stream clean-up was recognized with a Clean Water Award at the New Jersey Clean Communities Conference at the Lambertville Inn on May 22nd.
Raritan Headwater’s 24th annual stream clean-up set a record with over 1000 volunteers working together to clean their local streams this year.