ENVIRONMENT

Feds Find Fault With NJ Bill That Would Ease Restrictions on Wetlands

By Tom Johnson for NJ Spotlight

The federal government says a bill moving through the Legislature conflicts with clean-water laws and fails to meet standards under New Jersey’s state-administrated freshwater wetlands program.

The bill (S-1848) released by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee in a narrow 3-2 vote on Monday, would allow agricultural activity in state wetlands under certain conditions, which could make it possible to expand cranberry operations in New Jersey.

The change, if approved by the Legislature, is of serious concern to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to a letter from Chris Sebastian, of the public affairs division of the organization’s Region 2 office, which focuses on New Jersey, New York, and other areas.

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