NJ Spotlight reporter Tom Johnson says the environmental justice bill passed by the Senate June 29 could give communities a “powerful new tool” to block pollution-generating development, but NJBIA’s Ray Cantor says there’s a better way.

The bill, S-232, would allow the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to consider the cumulative impacts in a qualified community when a new permit is sought for a polluting project. Previously, DEP could only consider impacts from the project seeking a permit.

Cantor said NJBIA is sympathetic and understanding of the issues in communities that suffer environmental impacts, but that as drafted, the bill would essentially redline any new manufacturing facility or expansion in large parts of New Jersey.

“There’s a better way to address this problem,’’ Cantor said.

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