Happy holidays from your friends at EELC!

Dear Friends,

EELC’s Board and staff wish you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season. As always, we are deeply grateful for your support. Your generosity makes it possible for us to offer legal services to environmental organizations and community groups that promote a world with open space, clean air, clean water, renewable energy, and advocate for justice for communities that have been overburdened with pollutants.

We are excited to report that we completed fundraising to support an attorney focused on environmental justice (EJ) and recently hired a new colleague. We welcome Maggie Broughton, a recent graduate of Vermont Law School, who served as the Managing Editor of the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law and earned accolades for her legal writing. As an intern with the Southern Environmental Law Center, Maggie worked with communities to improve conditions that would be unthinkable to many Americans: exposure to cyanide-laced water and pollutants from concentrated animal feeding operations.

Maggie is coming on board at a crucial time as New Jersey implements groundbreaking environmental justice legislation. In this context, her work with stakeholders on federal and state EJ initiatives and legislation is invaluable, particularly with the new relationships EELC has formed this year. We established a partnership with the NJ NAACP to work on behalf of EJ communities statewide and have been retained to assist Workforce and Economic Revitalization for Communities, a community development group based in Camden that is faced with an illegal waste dump in a residential neighborhood. We thank The Fund for New Jersey, Mertz Gilmore Foundation and Victoria Foundation for partnering with EELC to establish this new position and enabling us to increase our capacity to serve.

Much of EELC’s work is focused on realizing the promise of NJ’s Clean Energy Act and opposing the further development of fossil fuels. We have helped our clients advocate for investment in energy efficiency, electric charging infrastructure, electric storage and electric buses and trucks at the Board of Public Utilities. We’re also working on behalf of clients to oppose fossil fuel infrastructure in the Highlands and the Pinelands and advocating for federal regulators to consider greenhouse gas emissions when issuing certificates for pipeline construction.

Our ED Chris Miller (middle), with Marcus Sibley (right) of the NJ NAACP, our new partner, and Patty Cronheim,
a long-time ally from the NJ League of Conservation Voters who organized the successful fight against the NESE pipeline.

Among our clients participating in this important work are Green Faith, Isles, Environment New Jersey, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, NRDC, Work Council of NJ, Food and Water Watch, NJ League of Conservation Voters and the NJ Highlands Coalition.

Improving air and water quality has been an important focus of EELC’s work for many years. EELC is currently supporting NJDEP’s historic upgrades to surface water quality standards, which have come under challenge. EELC is representing Raritan Headwaters, the Watershed Institute and the Highlands Coalition to defend these higher standards and well-established citizen science that performs crucially needed community water monitoring. In a sign of our times, the overdevelopment of warehouses has become a pressing issue. In one case, EELC is helping clients oppose a million square-foot warehouse proposed for regularly flooded open farmland in Franklin. EELC is also challenging massive new developments near the Musconetcong River and within the Barnegat Bay watershed and the Pinelands National Reserve.

We count on your generous support to engage on issues where powerful players dominate and legal remedies are often the only way to level the playing field. Please consider donating generously. Visit www.easternenvironmental.org to learn more about our work and to donate online.

Best wishes for a happy holiday season and a Happy New Year,

Edward Lloyd, Esq., Co-Chair, Board of Trustees

Alexi Assmus, PhD, Co-Chair, Board of Trustees

Chris Miller, Esq. Executive Director