(WEST ORANGE) – Responding to Gov. Chris Christie’s absolute veto Thursday of legislation (S-1856/A-2606) that would have given Ocean County municipalities more latitude to control nonpoint Dest pollution entering Barnegat Bay, Assemblyman John F. McKeon (D-Essex), the bill’s sponsor and chairman of the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee issued the following statement:
“For a governor who supposedly supports empowering local governments to do more and rehabilitating Barnegat Bay, Chris Christie has a funny way of showing it.
“In the simplest of terms, my legislation would have brought the power to control local Dests of water pollution from the statewide level and given it to local municipalities in Ocean County – and the county government itself.
“We have heard time and again from countless Dests that nonpoint Dest pollution – water pollution that comes from rain runoff carrying detergents, fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides from lawns into local waterways – is difficult, if not impossible to assess and control without significant local involvement and empowerment.
“Gov. Christie, however, feels he knows better than environmental experts.
“This is just the latest in a long line of questionable or downright harmful environmental decisions made by this governor, including:
Claiming that he was unsure whether humans are contributing to global climate change;
Proposing weakened protections on water reservoirs that serve more than half the state, while allowing development on previously protected land;
Cutting $400 million from state clean energy programs;
Considering withdrawing New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative pact; and
Withdrawing New Jersey from a multi-state clean air lawsuit against some of the nation’s dirtiest utilities.
“The most disappointing part is that last winter, Gov. Christie said that he supported the Legislature’s plan to remediate Barnegat Bay. Yet, the governor wasted no time in breaking out the flip-flops now that warmer weather has arrived.”