Bill may reduce public’s access to waterfront

November 7, 2008 at 9:36 pm Leave a comment

A bill working its way through the state Legislature would limit the number of businesses that have to provide new public access to the waterfront, drawing the ire of environmentalists who say it goes too far.

Owners of facilities like chemical factories, commercial ports and power plants would be able to bypass state environmental regulations that call for them to build walkways and public spaces if they are redeveloping their property.

The bill, S-1921, focuses on facilities that could be targeted by terrorists. But the legislation has less to do with security and more to do with alleviating an additional cost for businesses, sponsors of the bill said Thursday.

“The last issue to promulgate is assessing a fee unique to N.J. businesses,” said Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, vice chairman of the Senate Environment Committee. “We cannot further distress businesses in this state. Another fee is ill-timed and dangerous.”

The bill, which has bipartisan support, was passed overwhelmingly by the Assembly in late September and is now before the Senate Environment Committee.

Environmental advocacy groups said they support having tight security at facilities. But they believe the legislation simply (NorthNJ)

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Entry filed under: Dive In, Public Waterfront, Region. Tags: , .

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