(TRENTON) – Assembly Environment Chairwoman L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex) released the following statement Thursday on the legislation (A-1338) to extend the expiration date of the Permit Extension Act of 2008:
“Today I expressed concerns to the bill sponsors about this proposed legislation and its potential impact on the pristine water Dests in some of our state’s most environmentally sensitive areas.
“Environmental protection and clean water are top priorities to me as the Assembly environmental chairwoman, and the impact of this bill is something that must be reviewed in-depth.
“Amid these concerns, I asked that the bill be held and am pleased that the sponsors agreed. I thank them for their willingness to hear my concerns.
“I am cognizant of the concerns surrounding economic development, but I believe this bill needs additional analysis and study to see what impact it would have on the Highlands. The Highlands is too important to clean drinking water for millions of New Jerseyans, including those I represent in Newark, to put at risk without in-depth examination.
“We need to take the time to weigh the impact of this bill while doing all we can to protect and preserve the Highlands while continuing our efforts to reinvigorate our economy and create opportunities for employment.
“My hope is that everyone – including both houses – will be able to work together in the coming weeks to soon move a bill that balances environmental protection and clean water with economic development.”