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Sierra Club Head: Legislation Flushes Clean Water Down the Toilet

The bill delays water quality rules passed by the Department of Environmental Protection in 2008.

Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club. (Patch File Photo)
Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club. (Patch File Photo)
Gov. Chris Christie signed a law that delays implementation of water quality rules in a move Sierra Club of New Jersey Director Jeff Tittel compares to “flushing clean water down the toilet,” nj.com reports.

The water quality rules delayed by the governor this week are five years overdue, according to the report.

Bill A4531 provides extended validity to wastewater service area and sewer service area designations, while revising certain aspects of wastewater management practices. Tittel says the legislation is the "broadest attack on clean water in decades," according to the report.

In 2008, the Department of Environmental Protection approved rules to limit sewer lines and septic systems across the state. The measure was designed to stifle development and protect drinking water, according to the report.

Environmentalists claim the bill signed into law this week expands developers’ abilities to build in rural areas, threatening the drinking water in the state, according to the report. They also complain it rolls back clean water protections.

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency opposed the bill signed by the governor this week, according to the report. It was passed by a vote of 68-7 with three abstensions in the Assembly and  30-5 in the State Senate.


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