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Pinkin Bill to Help Municipalities to Include Climate Change Element in Land Use Master Plan Clears Assembly

Encouraging municipalities to assess the effects of climate change on their towns in their master plan, legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin (D-Middlesex) was advanced by the full Assembly Thursday 50-28.

The bill (A-2785) would require that the land use plan element of a municipal master plan include a climate change-related hazard vulnerability assessment.   It would apply to any land use plan element adopted after the date the bill is enacted into law.

“By adding another sub-element to the land use plan that focuses on the municipality’s climate change vulnerability, we can better prepare for future storms and other extreme weather occurrences in our communities,” said Pinkin.  “The powerful storms we’ve seen over the last ten years are more than enough reason to take the effects of global warming and climate change more seriously. Encouraging the planning to be included in a municipality’s master plan will help to build our resiliency in our most vulnerable communities.”

The legislation would also require the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), upon request by a planning board, to provide technical assistance, as practicable, to a municipality preparing a climate change-related hazard vulnerability assessment required by the bill. It would take effect immediately.

The bill will be sent to the Senate for further consideration.