In 1969, Cleveland Ohio's Cuyahoga River caught fire. This event was a wake up call that help raise awareness of environmental issues. We have come a long way since then and the environmental movement has helped clean up and protect many of earth's treasures.
With increasing pressure from a slow economy, a growing population, and increasing energy needs, it is more important now than ever to make sure that the health of the planet is not compromised for the sake of our short term needs and wants. If the health of our environment is important to you and you want to leave a clean planet for future generations, now it the time to let your voice be heard.
This page is your gateway to making things happen. Our state and national leaders need to know that our environment is not for sale and that it's health should be a top priority.
Oppose Birchwood Overdevelopment
Update: March 18, 2013
CRANFORD – Several residents voiced their dismay at the Cranford Township Committee’s meeting on
Tuesday night regarding possible conflicts of interest. Among them were residents Liz Sweeney and Rita
LaBrutto, who had previously addressed concerns at the committee’s February 25 workshop meeting.
Update: November 10, 2012
Special Hearing Officer Wolfson has made his recommendations to Judge Chrystal re: Birchwood Site Plan.
This about sums it up:
“The Hearing Officer therefore unreservedly recommends to the Court that it authorize the elevation of Birchwood Avenue to be performed by CDA, at its sole cost and expense, as an integral component of the Builder’s Remedy.” (SEE PG 40)
Even if Judge Chrystal accepts Special Hearing Officer Wolfson's recommendations and orders the elevation of Birchwood Ave, the developer still needs to go through the NJDEP to obtain permits for this project. That is where our attorney, Bob Podvey, will begin to fight against this overdevelopment! Read the complete document here.
Please check our website for updates! Expect things to start moving quickly!
June 19, 2012 Update: Birchwood Site Plan calls for 295 Trees to be felled!
In a recent letter from the Cranford Development Associates' attorney to the special hearing officer, the plan to build 360 dwelling units includes the removal of 295 trees and does not include plans to replace them as required by Cranford's Tree Ordinance.
The letter includes the following language:
The application does not involve any requests for variances. In two respects it does not conform literally to the ordinance design standards.
• It does not provide for bicycle racks for 394 bicycles, as would appear to be mandated by Cranford Ordinances §136-23(G)(5). Instead, it provides for a lesser number of bicycles racks at appropriate locations on the site.
• It does not provide for 295 replacement trees, as would appear to be mandated by Cranford Ordinances §136-23 (L)(1)-(3). Instead, it provides for a lessor number of trees consistent with the landscaping requirements set for the in the Court Order and Ordinance No. 2012-11.
The tree replacement standards appear to be superseded by the more specific landscaping requirements of the Court Order and Ordinance No. 2012-11.
To the extent that either of these features is deemed to require a design waiver, CDA hereby requests that waiver.
Read the Letter
See the Site Plan
In a recent Superior Court of New Jersey decision in a builder’s remedy lawsuit, the court granted permission to the builder (Cranford Development Associates, LLC on behalf of The S. Hekemian Group) to construct 360 apartments and a parking garage on highly environmentally sensitive property on Birchwood Avenue, Cranford, New Jersey. This property had been zoned commercial, as low density office since the early 1960s. It floods frequently, contains wetlands, and serves as a natural catch basin for the flood- prone Northeast quadrant of Cranford. During the recent Hurricane Irene, the entire property was covered with deep water. The drainage flow from this area empties into and commonly overwhelms the Casino Brook, a tributary of the Rahway River, resulting in substantial flooding along downstream streets. At the location where the Casino Brook joins the Rahway River, the combined volume of water accounts for the town’s most serious drainage issue. Bottlenecks in the river channel below this point slow water evacuation flow during significant rainfall events.
The level of flooding damages from Irene throughout the Township of Cranford resulted in it being designated a Federal disaster area by FEMA. The proposed development would increase impervious surface and exacerbate extreme flooding conditions in surrounding neighborhoods.
On December 21st, the Cranford Environmental Commission sent a letter to the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Land Use Regulation expressing opposition to this project. Let your voice be heard by signing the petition.
See links below for more information on this issue:
Block Governor Christie's reckless rollback on New Jersey's participation in RGGI.
New Jersey took an important step in 2007 and joined 10 states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to form the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). This innovative program is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and in turn reduce global warming and other air pollution, cut energy costs for consumers and businesses, and create good-paying local jobs that cannot be shipped overseas. Launched by former Governor George Pataki (R-NY), the program brought together a wide array of business, consumer, and environmental stakeholders, as well as state officials.
In a blow to clean energy advocates throughout the Northeast, Gov. Chris Christie has pulled New Jersey out of RGGI effective this year. RGGI represents an effort by northeastern states to tackle the problem by using a "cap and trade" system, charging companies for polluting emissions but allowing them to buy credits from cleaner firms, thus providing economic incentives to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
Learn more about this issue and help deliver the message to our leaders that New Jersey needs to be a part of this important program.
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) web site: http://www.rggi.org/
Read about Gov. Christie's announcement on NJ.COM
Analysis Group RGGI New Jersey Financial Impact Report
Open Letter to Governor Christie
Write a Letter to our legislators
Sigh the petition
Tell Gov. Christie: Protect the Highlands
Developers want Gov. Chris Christie to dismantle protections for the Highlands, the beautiful forests up north that provide clean drinking water to more than 5 million New Jerseyans. We're calling on the governor to enforce the laws protecting the Highlands — not roll them back.
fracking in new jersey
Hydraulic fracturing—a.k.a. fracking—involves blasting water, chemicals and sand deep into underground rock formations to unlock the natural gas they contain. The risks to our water and our health are greater than industry admits.
Recently, 91 NJ legislators voted yes on a bill (S2576) to ban the practice in New Jersey. However, Governor Christie vetoed the bill despite the fact that it has considerable support within his own party. Take Action! Urge your legislator to protect our drinking water by voting YES to override Christie's veto of S2576.
Visit Save the Delaware River Basin for more information.
Your state leaders are:
Senator THOMAS H. KEAN, JR. - Republican
Assemblyman JON M. BRAMNICK - Republican
Office: 251 North Ave. West, 2nd Floor, Westfield, NJ 07090 (908) 232-2073
Assemblywoman NANCY F. MUNOZ - Republican
Your Congressman and Senators are:
Congressman Leonard Lance - Republican
Office: 425 North Avenue East Westfield, NJ 07090 (908) 518-7733
Senator Frank Lautenberg - Democrat
One Gateway Center 23rd Floor Newark, NJ 07102 (973) 639-8700
Senator Robert Menendez - Democrat
One Gateway Center, Suite 1100 Newark, NJ 07102 (973) 645-3030
Keep Informed / Take Action
Environment New Jersey is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization. Our professional staff combines independent research, practical ideas and tough-minded advocacy to overcome the opposition of powerful special interests and win real results for New Jersey's environment. Environment New Jersey draws on over 30 years of success in tackling our state's top environmental problems.
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) is a national non-profit organization that works to turn environmental values into national priorities. To secure the environmental future of our planet, LCV advocates for sound environmental policies, elects pro-environment candidates who will adopt and implement such policies, and provides the state LCVs with the resources and tools to accomplish and sustain their mission.
New Jersey League of Conservation Voters - www.njlcv.org
The New Jersey League of Conservation Voters (NJLCV) is a non-partisan, non-profit, public education, policy making and political action organization that works to make environmental protection a top priority with elected officials, decision-makers and the voters. All New Jerseyans have a right to clean water, clean air and abundant open spaces that provide our food, outdoor recreation, connection to the natural world, economic prosperity and health. NJLCV will evaluate the environmental performance of elected officials; seek adoption and implementation of key policies, regulations and legislation; and endorse and elect environmental leaders to office in the Garden State.
NRDC is the nation's most effective environmental action group, combining the grassroots power of 1.3 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of more than 350 lawyers, scientists and other professionals.
ANJEC, a non-profit organization, helps New Jersey environmental commissions, individuals, local and state agencies preserve natural resources and promote sustainable communities.