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Highlights from DEP Commissioner McCabe on NJ Environmental Policy

Connell Foley was proud to host CIANJ's  program featuring newly minted  New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Catherine McCabe. Commissioner McCabe provided the regulated community with insight into what to expect under Governor Murphy -- a focus on greenhouse gases and climate change initiatives.

Commissioner McCabe touted New Jersey's clean energy as top in the country. As part of its clean energy initiatives and push to zero percent carbon footprint, New Jersey passed nuclear legislation allocating $300 million a year to subsidize three nuclear reactors  and is seeking to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) with twenty percent of RGGI funds to be directed to the Department’s clean energy programs.

Central to the clean energy priority is the push for offshore wind energy development, with a target of 3,500 MW by 2030. The Department and BPU are partnering to set credits for wind energy market and develop a strategic plan that will allow New Jersey to be a leader for wind energy and to attract a new industry for construction. Commissioner McCabe explained that permits have been issued for state waters but the Department and BPU are looking to modify the permits and regulations to reflect recent technological developments such as larger turbines.

The transportation sector is also a target of the Department’s clean energy efforts, since transportation is responsible for over 40% of the state's carbon dioxide emissions. The Department and Governor Murphy are supporting the deployment of zero emission vehicles, with an eye towards having 320,000 zero-emission vehicles by 2025 and a multi-state compact. This effort will require the proper charging station infrastructure and incentives for purchasing electric vehicles.

On a federal level, the Department and Governor Murphy oppose EPA's plan to relax vehicle emissions standards, and New Jersey will join California and other states in opposing the change in federal regulations.

Commissioner McCabe also highlighted revamping brownfield redevelopment efforts and a focus on emerging contaminants, particularly PFAs, and their impact on disadvantaged communities. Commissioner McCabe also expressed support for biomass clean energy.

As for the Department itself, Commissioner McCabe did not anticipate large personnel changes within the agency but indicated that there may be some restructuring of the departments to provide more efficiency and effectiveness.

For additional information on CIANJ's presentation of Commissioner McCabe, please check out NJTV's coverage of the presentation and related Connell Foley Environmental Blog posts:

If you have any questions on how Commissioner McCabe or the clean energy directives will impact your business, please reach out to Connell Foley's Environmental Law Group.

  • Associate

    Sara Cutuli is an associate in the firm’s Environmental Law Group. Prior to joining Connell Foley, Sara clerked for the Hon. Walter F. Timpone, A.J.S.C. of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

    A graduate of Rutgers Law School, magna cum ...

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