INITIATIVES UNDERWAY IN NEW JERSEY; CORPORATE & ENVIRONMENTAL
LEADERS SUPPORT STATE'S PLAN
Supported by several leading business executives,
State Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Shinn today
detailed a plan to curtail greenhouse gas emissions that
will help address the problem of rising sea levels and improve
air quality as well.
At a news conference today in Trenton, attended
by supporters from both the business and environmental communities,
Shinn said his agency is committed to reducing greenhouse
gas emissions by 3.5 percent below the 1990 levels by the
year 2005, and detailed five strategies to meet this goal.
"With many New Jerseyans concerned about
a recurrence of the severe flooding we experienced last
fall, I want to commend those who are committed to taking
steps to assure the sustainability of our coastal and flood-prone
areas, and make this state a better place to live, work
and raise a family," said Governor Christie Whitman,
who has earmarked $320,000 in the proposed FY01 budget to
implement the DEP greenhouse gas action plan. The reduction
of greenhouse gases is a goal of Governor Whitman's Sustainable
"Given the actions that have been taken
to date, clearly we have an achievable goal. I commend each
of the businesses and agencies represented here today for
their initiatives which prove that emissions reduction is
good for our economy as well as our environment," said
Greenhouse gases, predominantly from the burning
of oil, coal and other fuels for heating, cooling and motor
vehicles, warm the Earth's atmosphere, causing ice fields
to melt which increases sea levels. Over time, this increases
coastal flooding, threatening the state's tourism industry,
ecosystems, residential communities, and natural resources.
Warmer temperatures also increase evaporation and the frequency
and intensity of rainstorms.
"If sea levels continue to rise and intense
flooding occurs as predicted, our environment and our economy
will suffer. In addition, higher heat means more summertime
smog and pollution, endangering the health of young children,
those who work or exercise outdoors, the elderly, and especially
persons with asthma or other respiratory problems,"
Unhealthy levels of smog or ozone were recorded
on 46 days last summer in New Jersey. In other words, even
healthy individuals could suffer the effects of smog nearly
twice each week that summer.
New Jersey produces about 2 percent of the
nation's greenhouse gases, approximately 130 million tons
a year. While many other states have developed action plans
to reduce their emissions, New Jersey is among the first
to move toward implementation and is the first to commit
to reducing these emissions 3.5 percent below the 1990 levels
by the year 2005. In addition, it is the first to sign an
agreement with a foreign nation û the Netherlands û to work
jointly on climate change issues to reduce sea-level rise.
The Action Plan
New Jersey's action plan calls for reducing greenhouse gas
emissions by about 20 million tons (from the projected 151
million tons in 2005 to the goal of 131 million tons by
that date) through initiatives in five areas: energy conservation,
pollution prevention, innovative technologies, recycling
and solid waste management and natural resource protection.
If nothing is done, emissions are projected to rise 6 percent
Specifically, the plan would achieve a 6.2
million ton reduction through energy conservation initiatives
in residential, commercial and industrial buildings, another
6.3 million ton reduction through innovative technologies
in residential, commercial and industrial buildings, a 2.2
million ton reduction through energy conservation and innovative
technologies in the transportation sector, a 4.5 million
ton reduction through waste management improvements, and
a half million ton reduction through natural resource conservation.
Examples include: proper car maintenance to
improve fuel efficiency, greater use of mass transit and
alternate fueled vehicles, use of more energy efficient
appliances in the home, use of more efficient commercial
and residential heating and cooling systems, lighting system
upgrades in commercial establishments, use of fuel cells
in industrial and commercial settings, greater recycling
to reduce waste generation, tree planting to reduce carbon
dioxide levels, and reducing or using energy lost through
inefficient industrial processes. One study showed that
in New Jersey, 21 percent of energy designated for use in
industrial activities is wasted due to inefficient processes.
"New Jersey's action today illustrates the type
of state and private sector leadership that is critical
to addressing global warming and related sea level rise.
The Center for Clean Air Policy commends New Jersey for
being the first state in the nation to step up to the plate
and commit to greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets
and we urge others to follow in their footsteps,"said
Ned Helme, executive director of the Center for Clean Air
"Without question, this action plan will
help make the Garden State greener," said Michael Catania,
executive director of The Nature Conservancy of New Jersey.
"The vast majority of all greenhouse gases in New Jersey
are carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil
fuel. This plan recognizes the natural ability of trees
to filter out carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen. The
Nature Conservancy is proud to support the open space preservation
objectives of this plan."
"I applaud New Jersey's plan and am pleased
that EPA could assist in its development, both through more
than $400,000 in grants and technical assistance. The plan
will help New Jersey meet, and perhaps even exceed, its
goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 3.5% by 2005,"
said U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator
Jeanne M. Fox. "New Jersey businesses from across the
state are here to prove that addressing the challenge of
global warming is not about ratcheting down our economy.
It's about economic growth. By using available technologies,
the typical manufacturing plant can cut its pollution and
energy use by 10 to 20 percent û and recoup its investment
in two years."
Dale Bryk of the Natural Resources Defense
Council and Jim Tripp of the Environmental Defense Fund
also were on hand to express support for the state's plan.
Other supporters include:
- Cosmair, Inc., maker L'Oreal hair care products, with
facilities in Clark, NJ, was represented at the news conference
today by Ken Kraly, director of engineering. Cosmair already
has reduced greenhouse gases significantly through pollution
prevention initiatives and other strategies.
- Lucent Technologies Inc. of Morristown, NJ, represented
by Barbara L. Ennis, director of global external affairs.
Lucent has made substantial progress in reducing greenhouse
gases, especially through infrastructure improvements
and waste management initiatives.
- Philips Lighting Co. of Somerset, NJ, represented by
Paul Walitsky, manager of environmental affairs. Through
its energy-conserving light bulbs and lighting systems
that reduce electrical demand and therefore reduce greenhouse
gas production, Philips has significantly furthered the
goals of the state's action plan.
- Johnson & Johnson of New Brunswick, represented
by Energy Services Director Harry Kauffman. J&J has
reduced energy use by more than 20 percent in less than
10 years, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than
700 million pounds.
- The Naval Air Engineering Station of Lakehurst, represented
by Commanding Officer Stephen J. Himes, whose organization
has converted more than half of its fleet vehicles to
natural gas, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from each
vehicle by as much as 90 percent. The station's emissions
management plan is the prototype for the U.S. Navy. The
station is in the process of converting 33 buildings to
gas heat, which will reduce emissions by up to 50 percent
and will pay for itself in less than two and a half years.
- DuPont Chambers Works of Deepwater, represented by
Manufacturing Services Unit Manager Ann Mersman. Since
1993, DuPont Chambers Works' energy conservation initiatives
have reduced CO2 emissions 33 percent while production
has remained unchanged.
- GPU Energy of Morristown, represented by Residential
Energy Efficiency Programs Supervisor Frank Migneco. Over
the past seven years, GPU Energy's energy efficiency programs
have saved in excess of 410 million kilowatt hours of
energy û enough to serve more than 50,000 average residential
customers for a year. In the covenant with DEP, GPU Energy
has committed to support the action plan through implementation
of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs pursuant
to Section 12 of the Electric Discount & Energy Competition
Act of 1999.
- PSE&G of Newark, represented by Frederick Lynk,
manager of Demand Side Marketing. PES&G is facilitating
emissions reductions through energy efficiency initiatives,
especially in the residential sector. It has avoided more
than 2.2 million tons of CO2 since its conservation program
- Schering-Plough Corporation of Union, represented by
Joseph Nusser, senior director of Environmental Compliance
and Projects, whose firm has cut greenhouse gas emissions
50 percent from 1993 levels through the use of cleaner
burning fuels and the installation of low NOx burners.
- The Nature Conservancy, which is helping to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions through open space preservation,
represented today by Communications Assistant Amy Berridge.
- NJ Dept. of Transportation Commissioner Jim Weinstein,
whose agency is furthering the development and use of
alternate-fueled vehicles and fuel cell technology.
- NJ Dept. of Community Affairs Commissioner and Hackensack
Meadowlands Development Commission Chairwoman Jane Kenny.
DCA's energy efficiency housing initiative and HMDC's
landfill capping program both reduce greenhouse gases.
Each was recognized for their achievements
that serve as models for other businesses and agencies.
The state Department of Community Affairs
has issued its first awards under New Jersey's pioneering
Sustainable Development/Affordable Housing Pilot Program.
The $17 million program, a partnership with PSE&G, provides
low- and moderate-income housing that meets strict energy
and environmental standards. The U.S. departments of Housing
and Urban Development and Energy describe the initiative
as a "national model that should be replicated elsewhere."
"The goal of the program is to produce
housing that is both low cost to people and low cost to
the environment," said DCA Commissioner Jane M. Kenny.
As chair of the Hackensack Meadowlands Development
Commission, Kenny is furthering methane gas emission reductions
through a landfill gas extraction program in the Meadowlands.
"Working toward a sustainable environment
is in everyone's interest and should be everyone's duty.
We in state government must set the example for local governments
and residents alike. I am proud that NJDOT is taking an
active role to reduce greenhouse gases by helping to develop
the use of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles
here in New Jersey," State Transportation Commissioner
James Weinstein said. "Along with other technology-based
projects like electronic toll collection and enhanced automobile
emissions testing, as well as our efforts to manage traffic
congestion and promote light rail, we are truly living up
to our pledge to deliver an environmentally responsible
Cause & Effect
The primary greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane,
nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons and
perfluorocarabons. The most significant sources of these
emissions are the transportation sector, electric power
plants, industrial and commercial operations, heating and
cooling of residential buildings, and methane from landfills.
During the last 100 years, the sea level along
the Atlantic coast has risen 12 inches. The level is projected
to rise at an even more rapid pace in the next century.
As sea level rises, storms become more damaging. By the
year 2050, higher sea levels could make a storm that might
presently occur every five years as damaging as storms that
now occur only every 20 years.
In addition, a recent analysis of precipitation
data from more than 5,000 sampling sites worldwide from
1800 to the late 1980s revealed that episodes of heavy rain
and snow, as well as periods of drought, are becoming more
Incentives & Innovations
During the news conference, Shinn announced that the
DEP has launched a new program that gives permit applicants
incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, achieve higher
levels of pollution prevention, and achieve other agreed
upon environmental goals. The Silver
and Gold Track Programs for Environmental Excellence
is DEP's first broad step toward offering regulatory flexibility
to companies with superior track records in exchange for
a covenant committing to specified environmental gains.
Five applicants have already signed up for the program since
it was first offered in late 1999.
Shinn also announced DEP will co-host an international
exposition June 5-7 at the new Atlantic City Convention
Center for the promotion of innovative technologies, including
those designed to reduce greenhouse gases. For more information
on the conference, call 609-292-0952. DEP is also co-sponsoring
this year's American
Tour de Sol, which promotes solar powered cars and other
forms of sustainable energy. The unique road rally will
run from New York City to Washington D. C. May 12 û19, with
stops in New Jersey May 15.
More information on the state's greenhouse
gas action plan will be available through the DEP website