New Jersey Bills Called Threat to Planning and Environmental Protection

Environmental groups in New Jersey have warned that state legislators are planning to bring forth a series of bills that could negatively affect local planning powers and state environmental controls.

The groups claim that legislators are planning to push bills that would undermine regional planning efforts, local zoning rules and environmental protections.

"During a press conference in Trenton, members of the New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club, Environment New Jersey and the New Jersey Environmental Federation said one of the bills will allow the State Planning Commission to name a 'planning czar' who would be able to stop or change any protection rules established by the Department of Environmental Protection or other agencies."

Lawmakers say the bills, which haven't yet been formally introduced, are intended to attract business to the state. The environmental groups worry the new powers the bill create could be abused.

Full Story: Environmentalists fear N.J. bills will cripple their efforts

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