New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe New Jersey Department ofEnvironmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe

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TRENTON—After the Murphy administration announced a major climate change initiative late lastmonth, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection hasbegun the process of strengthening its regulations to protect itscommunities and economy against the threats of climate change.

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The DEP has scheduled a series of stakeholder sessions to gatherinput from residents, businesses and advocates on the developmentof new greenhouse gas reduction and environmental land useregulations aimed at reducing the impact of climate change andadapting to the realities of certain impacts, like sea-level rise,DEP officials state.

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Governor Phil Murphy said, "We are moving swiftly to enact theregulations outlined in NJ PACT to reduce fossil fuel emissions andensure investments in our innovation economy and communities. Thesepolicies, which will make New Jersey a global leader in the cleanenergy transition and fight against climate change, will helppropel New Jersey to 100% clean energy by 2050."

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On Jan. 27, Gov. Murphy signed Executive Order 100, directingthe DEP to make targeted regulatory reforms to reduce greenhousegas emissions and adapt to climate change through the NJ PACTinitiative.

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NJ PACT calls for modernizing air quality regulations that willlimit emissions of climate pollutants that exacerbate globalwarming, as well as the implementation of environmental land useregulations that equip DEP, local governments, residents andbusinesses with tools to effectively respond to current climatethreats. The initiative also looks to reduce future climate damagethrough rules for green infrastructure and resilient building thatwill help New Jersey fight risks like sea-level rise and extremeweather.

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"In New Jersey, we take seriously the science of climate change.We are heeding the warnings about risks like sea-level rise andacting with the urgency that these threats demand," said DEPCommissioner Catherine McCabe. "As we work to modernize ourenvironmental regulations to reflect the best available science,DEP is committed to a thoughtful and collaborative approach thatengages stakeholders from across all sectors of our economy,non-governmental organizations, academia, and local government. Weare all in this together."

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The DEP will hold initial stakeholder sessions on potential rulechanges beginning on Friday, Feb. 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.,focusing on periodic monitoring and reporting of statewidegreenhouse gas emissions, hosted by the DEP Air Quality, Energy andSustainability program.

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Other scheduled sessions will be on Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 8:30a.m. to 3:30 p.m., focusing on ways to reduce carbon dioxideemissions, hosted by the DEP Air Quality, Energy and Sustainabilityprogram and on Monday, March 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., to discussrules to better plan for sea-level rise, extreme weather events andflooding, hosted by the Land Use Management program.

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All sessions are open to public comment and will be held at theDEP's First Floor Public Hearing Room, 401 East State St. inTrenton.

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John Jordan

John Jordan is a veteran journalist with 36 years of print and digital media experience.