Friday, May 22, 2015

Governor Christie vetoes bill that would hand over more funds for river cleanup
On Monday May 11, Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill which would have revised this year's state budget to provide more of the money from settlements with polluters to go toward cleanup of the Passaic River, which is laced with cancer-causing dioxin, mercury and PCBs.
The bill introduced March 9, if signed by Christie, would have amended the Fiscal Year 2015 annual appropriation act to ensure that one-half of all natural resource recoveries and associated damages recovered by the state, in excess of $50 million, be deposited into the Hazardous Discharge Site Cleanup Fund and be appropriated for direct and indirect costs of remediation, restoration, and cleanup. Without the enactment of the bill, all amounts of natural resource recoveries and associated damages recovered by the state in excess of $50 million during 2015 will now be deposited in the State General Fund as general state revenue.
"The protection and preservation of the ecological wonders of which New Jersey is so proud have always been critical considerations when weighing where New Jersey's limited budget dollars should be delivered, but there are always challenging decisions that must be made when balancing a complex state budget," said Christie. "The allocation determined as part of the collaborative state budget process strikes an appropriate balance between the environmental and fiscal needs of the citizens of New Jersey, and goes as far as possible to continue the restoration of the natural spaces and waterways our citizens enjoy."
The Christie Administration allocated $50 million received from recoveries for the restoration and remediation of natural resources throughout New Jersey in 2015, as well as fund $334 million to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

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