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Assembly Environment Chair Dismayed by Republicans’ Refusal to Support Measures to Protect Barnegat Bay, State’s Water ReDests

Assembly Environment Chairman John F. McKeon on Monday expressed disbelief and disappointment that Assembly Republicans refused to support a simple procedural vote that would have allowed for a full Assembly vote on legislation to protect Barnegat Bay.

“Our environment, especially jewels like New Jersey’s Barnegat Bay, should not be a victim to corrosive partisan politics, but that’s sadly what we saw today” said McKeon (D-Essex). “The Republicans would rather play politics than protect Barnegat Bay, and that’s something we as a state cannot afford. We’ve heard a lot of talk about protecting the environment from my colleagues across the aisle, but it appears to be just that – talk.”

Assembly Republicans refused to support a procedural vote that would have allowed for consideration of two measures aimed at reducing pollution of the state’s water reDests – (A-2290) which would establish new standards for the application and content of fertilizer in New Jersey, including requiring all lawn fertilizers to contain at least 20 percent nitrogen in slow-release form and (A-2501) which would establish standard for the restoration of soil health after land disturbance activities. The multi-bill package is aimed at restoring the health of Barnegat Bay by reducing the elevated levels of nutrient contamination that threaten the collapse of this valuable estuary.

“The New Jersey shore is not drawn on party lines,” McKeon (D-Essex) said. “Then again, neither is the environment, even if our governor cannot decide whether climate change is a man-made problem. Today was a sad example of politics taking precedence over public policy.”