Greetings from Eastern Environmental Law Center! We hope this newsletter finds you safe, healthy, and enjoying spring!  Here’s an update on our recent work:  

Environmental Justice

a factory chimney spewing smoke into a blue sky

EELC is partnering with the New Jersey Progressive Equitable Energy Coalition (NJPEEC) in court to help defend New Jersey’s landmark Environmental Justice regulations against legal challenges filed by industry and labor groups seeking to rollback the regulations’ critical environmental and health protections for communities living on the frontlines of industrial pollution.  New Jersey’s historic EJ Law empowered the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to “just say no” to new or expanding sources of pollution in New Jersey communities facing a disproportionate share of environmental and public health stressors.  EELC lawyers are now preparing to file a brief calling for the court to uphold the regulations and ensure the Law remains as strong and protective of New Jersey’s overburdened communities as possible.

Clean Energy

As part of our efforts to support a just and equitable transition to a clean energy economy, EELC is representing NJPEEC, NRDC and Sierra Club in multibillion-dollar proceedings before the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU’s) on building decarbonization and energy efficiency.  The utility petitions in these proceedings  (known as “Triennium II”) propose energy efficiency and demand reduction programs across New Jersey’s commercial, industrial and residential buildings – including for low- and moderate-income (LMI) households – and a building decarbonization pilot program incentivizing appliances such as electric heat pumps.  EELC successfully intervened in these filings, enabling our client group to formally advocate for the BPU to approve final programs that maximize building electrification, ensure affordability, and increase participation for LMI households.

Open Space & Sustainable Development

a group of people in boats on a river

EELC and our client, the Musconetcong Watershed Association, solidified a legal victory against a proposed development that would have encroached on the site of a tributary of the wild and scenic Musconetcong River.  In our successful appeal, the Court took DEP to task for failing to recognize the tributary, and on reconsideration, DEP was compelled to require the developer to go back to square one and submit a formal application for flood hazard area verification.  

As New Jersey’s only nonprofit, public-interest environmental law firm, we rely on your support to help fight for environmental justice, advance clean energy solutions and defend New Jersey’s treasured open space and natural resources – please consider donating here at whatever level is right for you.  

From all of us at EELC, thank you and best wishes for a happy and healthy spring!

Christopher Miller
Executive Director