EARTH DAY MESSAGE
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
COMMISSIONER BOB MARTIN
(14/P28) TRENTON – As we celebrate Earth Day, the Christie Administration’s DEP is recommitting itself to the core principles that have guided the agency since its inception on the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. We are committed to protecting our natural resources – our air, our water, our natural lands and historic resources.
We continue to prioritize programs and staffing to meet all of our goals and our commitment to protecting New Jersey’s environment, public health and safety – all while continuing to meet the needs of Superstorm Sandy recovery and rebuilding.
Admittedly, we still have a lot on our plate with Sandy recovery – rebuilding our coastal areas to be more resilient than ever, working to harden billions of dollars in water and wastewater infrastructure against future disasters, moving homeowners out of areas vulnerable to flooding through Blue Acres acquisitions, and helping thousands of others to elevate their homes to protect them against flooding.
The DEP continues to work very hard to ensure that those efforts have not impeded our core missions.
We remain aggressive on other key fronts, including working through the successful Licensed Site Remediation Professional Program to clean up and restore contaminated sites, meeting Governor Christie’s commitment to restoring Barnegat Bay through a science-based comprehensive plan, moving forward in partnership with the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to restore the Passaic River, working to reduce diesel emissions from truck and buses to improve air quality, especially in our urban areas, and guiding counties as they protect hundreds of thousands of acres of ecologically sensitive areas through improved wastewater management planning.
Clean air is important to everyone. On this front, we continue to take a tough stand on pollution from out-of-state power plants while making sure our in-state facilities meet the toughest emissions controls, while moving our power supply to cleaner burning natural gas and supporting a strong solar program that is a national leader. For the first time, all of New Jersey meets the EPA’s health-based standard for fine particles, a type of air pollutant that can cause serious health problems, especially in vulnerable populations.
Lastly, we continue with needed capital improvements and program enhancements at our vast network of State Parks and Forests. We have kept all of them open during tough times so that our residents and visitors could keep enjoying these unique treasures, such as the beautiful and restored Ringwood Manor historic site in Passaic County that celebrated its grand reopening this month, and the new Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitors’ Center in Manalapan.
As we celebrate Earth Day, we ask all residents of New Jersey to partner with us in caring for our environment, and to participate in special environmental events that are taking place in all 21 counties today and across the state for the rest of Earth Week.