New Jersey DEP Issues Draft Global Warming Response Act Recommendations Report and Announces Series of Stakeholder Meetings

December 16, 2008
by TODD KANTORCZYK
MGKF Special Alert

In a move that will affect virtually every business in the state, on Monday, December 15, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released its long-awaited draft Global Warming Response Act Recommendation Report and announced a series of public meetings in January 2009 designed to solicit input from six key stakeholder groups. The Global Warming Response Act (the Act), enacted in 2007, calls for greenhouse gas emissions in New Jersey to be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020 and to 80 percent below 2006 levels by 2050. As part of the effort to achieve these reductions, the Act required DEP to issue recommendations for actions needed to achieve the 2020 GHG limit by June of this year and recommendations for actions needed to achieve the 2050 GHG limit by June 2010. The draft report DEP issued yesterday:

  • Highlights three programs already in place - the Energy Master Plan (EMP), the State's Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) program, and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) - that DEP believes will allow New Jersey to achieve the 2020 limit;
  • Includes a list of additional statutory, regulatory and policy efforts that DEP believes should occur over the next 18 months to ensure that the 2020 limit is met, while also setting the groundwork for meeting the 2050 limit; and
  • Outlines a sweeping "framework" that DEP believes should be moved forward as soon as possible in order to meet the 2050 limit.

The final DEP report has the potential to set in motion climate change policy and associated regulatory initiatives in New Jersey both in the short term and for decades to come. Some of these changes could be put in place over the next 18 months. The upcoming stakeholder process is an opportunity to provide input on the wide-ranging, and in some cases specific recommendations listed in the draft report, and thus entities that are potentially affected by the recommended actions set forth in the draft report should seriously consider following and possibly participating in the stakeholder process beginning next month. To see a brief summary of the highlights of the draft report that will undoubtedly be the subject of much discussion over the next few months, click here. For a schedule of the upcoming stakeholder meetings, click here.

If you have any questions about the draft report, the Global Warming Response Act, or other climate change issues, please contact Todd Kantorczyk (tkantorczyk@mgkflaw.com or 484-430-2359) or Bruce Katcher (bkatcher@mgkflaw.com or 484-430-2320).