NJ’s next governor should champion environmental justice

new jersey factory

ANA ISABEL BAPTISTA / NJ SPOTLIGHT – While New Jersey prepares for a new governor, important questions about the state’s environment, health, and equity remain unanswered.

New Jersey was once a leader in environmental protection, passing innovative policies like pollution prevention and stringent air-quality standards. Today it ranks fifth among states with the largest “pollution gaps,” that is, states having “racial inequities that exist when it comes to exposure to pollution from car exhaust and power plants,” according to Sydney Brownstone, “The 10 Most Polluted States for People of Color,” (Co.EXIST, April 16, 2014).

In 2012, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) stated, “Improving air pollution in these affected areas is one of the NJDEP’s greatest challenges.” While some areas of New Jersey have experienced improvements in overall environmental quality …

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