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Speaker Coughlin Creates Assembly Special Committee on Infrastructure and Natural Resources

Convening a special panel to assess the state’s current standing and future needs for our water infrastructure and the protection of other natural resources, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin announces the creation of the Assembly Special Committee on Infrastructure and Natural Resources.

The panel will hold a set of hearings throughout the state on various issues concerning water such as, beach erosion, water integrity and security, dams and reservoirs, algae blooms, lead contamination, waste water infrastructure, stormwater challenges, and the effects of climate change.

“This session, I believe it is imperative for us to focus our energies on addressing the concerns that have been raised over the state’s aging water infrastructure and integrity,” said Coughlin (D-Middlesex). “Working to ensure greater protection and preservation of our natural resources now will help stabilize New Jersey’s future. I am confident the work of the Special Committee on Infrastructure and Natural Resources will allow us to be more innovative in our planning surrounding these environmental issues.”

Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak and Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro will serve as chair and vice-chair, respectively, of the special committee.

“This is an important charge bestowed upon the members of this committee,” said Karabinchak (D-Middlesex). “The recent concerns raised in two of our largest municipalities and in other cities regarding lead contamination and water infrastructure deserves more discussion on the legislative level. I look forward to leading the committee in the direction of discovering the needs of our communities and other ways we can protect our natural resources.”

“Our goal, through this committee, is to secure New Jersey’s water future through discussion and legislative action,” said Chaparro (D-Hudson). “This is an opportunity to work on critical issues affecting our communities and the entire state as a whole. I thank the Speaker for this assignment and look forward to working with all of the members of the panel.”

Assembly members Carol A. Murphy (D-Burlington), Anthony S. Verrelli (D-Mercer, Hunterdon), Robert D. Clifton (R-Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean) and Edward Thomson (R-Monmouth and Ocean), have also been appointed to the committee.

The special committee will soon begin a series of public hearings throughout the state to take testimony from experts, elected officials, planners, and members of the general public.