216 Stelton Road
Piscataway NJ 08854
A BETTER NJ
As chairman of the environment committee, I strive every day to make New Jersey a better, healthier, and safer state. The following sections highlight the environmental issues that are important to our State. These issues are so important because they take a holistic approach to improving our environment. Through ecological connections, land preservation in one part of the State can improve water quality in another. By working on many different issues, we have put New Jersey in the forefront of environmental policy in the US. Please take the time to read about some of the things we have done and are working to accomplish:
The use of solar energy has not only provided clean, locally-produced energy, but has also brought jobs into New Jersey. On July 23, 2012 Senate Bill 1925 was signed into Public Law 2012, Chapter 24. As sponsor of this legislation, Senator Smith worked diligently with the legislature and the stakeholders to craft legislation that would bring stability to the solar market, increase our use of a clean, domestically produced energy source and ensure the continuation of manufacturing and installation jobs for many New Jersey residents, while keeping costs down for electric ratepayers... to read more click here
As the world continues to face an unpredictable availability of fossil fuels, mounting environmental health concerns and an economic crisis, we must identify solutions that address these issues. New Jersey has the nation's third highest commuter times as we spend a lot of time in our cars. As a result of air pollution from our vehicles our health is in peril and due to the high cost of gas our wallets have shrunk. It is my strong belief that the legislature must find ways to encourage a switch to alternative fuel vehicles. to read more click here
Fine particulate matter, or PM, is an air pollutant commonly emitted during combustion. Diesel internal combustion engines contribute to this public health problem when left unregulated. We have all felt the tightening of the chest when standing beside an idling diesel truck... read more about what Senator Smith has done to make our air cleaner and our lives healthier.
Lead acts as a potent neurotoxin when absorbed by the human body. Humans have long known about the dangers of exposure to high levels of lead, as documented by the Romans. In the last century it has been discovered that low level chronic exposure to lead can result in many different maladies... read more about the dangers of lead poisoning and the steps the Legislature has taken to protect its citizens.
New Jersey has beautiful rivers, marshes, and coast line. Water is the most important resource to sustain human life. Senator Smith has done much over the years to ensure that the citizens of New Jersey have access to clean, potable water for generations to come... read more about how New Jersey is cleaning up it's waterways.
The Highlands hold the treasures of the Garden State. As development accelerates it is vital that we protect the source of our drinking water, save our open spaces and preserve our State's ecological heritage... read more to learn about how the other benefits from preserving our Highlands.
New Jersey is the most densely populated State in the Union. We are also among the most rapidly developing states. As the Garden State, it is important that we maintain our open spaces. Ecosystems only function when they are contiguous. Rapid development threatens to fragment our ecosystem, an din the process take away the services nature provides... read more about what Senator Smith has done to preserve farmland and open spaces in our State.
Forests are more than a collection of trees. They are a complex ecosystem home to many different plant and animal species. Forests filter our water and anchor the soil. Timber is an economic resource we should work hard to protect... read more about how forest stewardship balances economic interests with the health of the forest ecosystem.
As a coastal state, global climate change could have profound effects on New Jersey. If ocean levels rise, not only will there be inland flooding, there will also be salt water intrusion into our drinking water. A change in only a few degrees in average temperature could significantly impact farming and the State's forests. While it is true that there is scientific uncertainty about what the actual effects of increased carbon in the atmosphere will be, there is no doubt that it will have an impact on our world... read more to learn about the science of climate change and what you can do to reduce our State's carbon footprint.
Green buildings follow strict guide lines to ensure that the building is environmentally friendly. These guide lines include measures to reduce energy costs once the building is in operation, requirements to use local materials, and other techniques to reduce the building's footprint. To make sure that there are uniform codes the United States Green Buildings Council has established a certification system for green buildings... read more to learn about green buildings in New Jersey, and how we are using them to reduce our green house gas emissions.
Recycling and E-Waste
"Reduce, Reuse, Recycle". We all know the slogan, but the message of the importance of recycling can get lost in the sea of environmental problems facing the world today. There is only a finite amount of resources on the planet, and once they are used up, we cannot get more. While recycling can take in more energy than it saves, the process is better for the land than increased mining would be. Electronic, or e-waste, is quickly becoming a large source of hazardous waste. With electronic products becoming obsolete at such a fast pace, we need to deal with this issue now, before it becomes a problem... read more to learn about what Senator Smith is doing to tackle e-waste and improve recycling efforts in the State.
Parks are an important park of American culture. Early on in our Country's history the values of land preservation and conservation became apparent. While a firmly capitalist society, we understand that nature can give us value far beyond its economic use. The majesty of the Grand Canyon, the calm and beauty of the Appalachian trail, are important to us. New Jersey has many beautiful landscapes that are intertwined in our State's history as well. These parks and recreation areas remind us of why our ancestors settled here in the first place... read more about New Jersey parks, and what Senator Smith has done to protect our park land.
Oil Spill Prevention
We all know the devastating effects oil spills can have on the environment. While the Coast Guard and EPA have excellent measures in place to clean up after an oil spill, it is always better to prevent them in the first place... read more about oil spills and what we have done to prevent them.
During the last century a lot of information about hazardous wastes has come to light. In the past it was legal to dump toxic wastes into pits with minimal precautions against leakage. This has left the Country with many sites now contaminated with different hazardous materials. The National Priority List is maintained by the EPA and ranks these sites according to the amount of contamination and the likelihood of human contact with the contamination. Unfortunately, New Jersey has many of these sites, a legacy of the past... read more about hazardous waste, and what Senator Smith has done to protect the citizens of New Jersey.
Brownfields are abandoned industrial sites, typically in the middle of cities. These sites often have unknown contaminates, which make them more difficult to work with... read more to learn about brownfields, and how we can clean up these sites.
Worker and Community Right to Know
What environmental contaminants are in your community? What chemicals are you exposed to in the work place? Not everyone lives or works in and around hazardous materials, but we all have the inalienable right to a clean, healthy environment. While it is inevitable that workers will come into contact with certain types of hazardous materials, it is imperative that they make that choice with full understanding of the risks involved... read more about the Worker and Community Right to Know Act.