Top 10 Environmental Issues In New Jersey
As an environmental remediation company in New Jersey, we are well-aware of the variety of environmental issues in the Garden State. For decades, this great state has been working towards remedying environmental issues through legislation, activism, and education; however, some efforts have been more successful than others. As a very heavily populated state with many commuters, some environmental issues are stubbornly persistent. Some environmental problems continue to evade environmentalists, generally due to high costs. In this blog, we will go over some recurring environmental issues that New Jersey faces.
Sewer System Overflows
A persistent and difficult-to-address issue that continues to face New Jersey is preventing water pollution of Jersey Shore beaches and waterways. When it precipitates a lot, the sewer systems (some of which are a century old), cannot handle the wastewater, which causes untreated sewage to spill into New Jersey’s bays and rivers. This hasn’t been resolved because it is a costly repair; replacing and fixing the sewer systems could cost up to nine billion dollars.
Poor Air Quality
The poor air quality in New Jersey remains a major issues for the Garden State. New Jersey has never met the health-quality standards set out by the federal government for smog (or ground-level ozone), which settles over many parts of the state during the summer. Smog is detrimental to the respiratory system, particularly for the elderly, children, and people with lung or heart conditions. While policymakers have worked aggressively to address this issue, air pollution continues to be a major concern for New Jerseyans.
Open Space And Farmland Protection
For years, conservationists have been lobbying for an amendment to the New Jersey constitution to protect open space and farmlands. Voters approved this amendment, and 80 million dollars was dedicated to this endeavor. However, under Chris Christie, 25 percent of this budget was diverted, taking money away from maintaining and operating state parks overseen by the Department of Environmental Protection, including funding for salaries. This is a problem because in the past, 200 million dollars has been dedicated to buying and developing these lands.
The federal Clean Water Act mandates that the waterways, rivers, and bays of a state should be swimmable and fishable; however, most of New Jersey’s waterways fail to meet this expectation. There are a variety of water pollution issues in New Jersey, from fish contaminated by dioxin in the Newark estuary to contaminated Jersey Shore shellfish beds. However, there have been important steps made to clean up wastewater-treatment plants discharges in waterways.
Toxic Waste Dumps
There was a time when there were over 20,000 polluted sites in New Jersey; fortunately, due to a program that allows private consultants to be hired to offer remedies, thousands of these sites have been cleaned up. However, more effective cleanups are still desperately needed throughout the state.
In most states, the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases are power plants; in New Jersey, it’s our transportation system. This problem is not near a solution, as there are few advocates for developing alternatively fueled vehicles, except for some clean-energy advocates who wish to push for electric vehicles.
Cleaner Energy Sources
As New Jersey has long been known for its smog problem, developing and adopting cleaner energy sources is a priority. However, while solar power has been very successful, efforts for wind farms have fallen short in terms of expectations.
After Hurricane Sandy, a greater emphasis has been placed on creating more storm-resilient housing, particularly under the Christie administration in tandem with the federal government. This has caused some controversy with businesses and homeowners, however, due to high costs.
Barnegat Bay is an invaluable resource to New Jersey, but it faces major environmental issues. Overdevelopment has caused major problems for this bay, which attracts many fishermen, boaters, and vacationers. While policymakers have put measures in place to address these environmental issues, their effectiveness has not yet been measured.
Soil pollution remains a major issue in New Jersey. As we outlined in a previous blog, soil pollution can have a detrimental effect on human health, plant growth, and the fertility of the soil; therefore, it is imperative to prioritize improving soil health. If the soil on your property is polluted, it is your responsibility to contact an environmental contractor to clean it up for you. The longer you wait to address this problem, the more severe it can be for the environment, and the more costly it is for you personally.
Is the soil on your property polluted? If you have an underground oil tank, there is a good chance that it is. It is imperative that to you address this issue immediately, for the safety of your family, your neighbors, and the environment. A.L.L. Environmental provides environmental remediation in the event of soil pollution. Contact us today for a trustworthy provider of environmental services of all kinds.