Governor Murphy took action on the bills sent to him at the end of the 219th Legislative Term. On January 18, 2022, the Governor signed 123 bills and vetoed 16. Below is a summary of bills that have an impact on environmental concerns and farmland.
SCS for S-1016/ACS for A-2070 restricts the sale or use of neonicotinoid pesticides, beginning October 31, 2023. These pesticides have been linked to negative impacts on bees and other pollinators. The law provides exceptions to the restrictions for certain uses, including environmental emergencies, under rules to be promulgated by the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Agriculture.
P.L. 2021, c. 386 took effect January 18, 2022.
SCS for S-2515/ACS for A-4676 requires that all plastic and glass containers, paper and plastic carryout bags, and plastic trash bags contain a certain amount of postconsumer recycled content, the percentage of which is phased in over the course of the next 10 years. The law also bans the sale of polystyrene loose fill packaging, more colloquially known as packing peanuts.
The law also prohibits county and municipal governments from adopting any rule, regulation, code or ordinance regulating the postconsumer content of rigid plastic containers, plastic beverage containers, glass containers, paper carryout bags, plastic carryout bags, or plastic trash bags. It also supersedes and preempts any current ordinances or regulations concerning the same.
P.L. 2021, c. 391 took effect on January 18, 2022.
A-5160/S-3324 requires that appliances and equipment used in homes and in business settings comply with minimum energy and water efficiency standards. The products impacted include air purifiers; cold temperature fluorescent lamps; commercial dishwashers, fryers, hot-food holding cabinets, ovens, steam cookers; computers and computer monitors; electrical vehicle service equipment; high color rendering index fluorescent lamps; impact-resistant fluorescent lamps; faucets, showerheads, toilets and urinals; portable electric spas; residential ventilating fans; and water coolers.
Of specific municipal concern is the requirement in the law that beginning January 18, 2022, the appropriate subcode official performing final inspection under the Uniform Construction Code, must ensure that any product affected by this law contains a marking, label, or tag denoting that the product meets the efficiency standards required by law.
P.L. 2021, c. 464 took effect on January 18, 2022.
S-3539/A-5409 directs the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), in consultation with the Department Agricultural, to establish a grant program for local government units to support the development and maintenance of pollinator-friendly community gardens in the State, in order to provide readily available sources of fresh, healthy foods to communities that may lack easy access to affordable fruits and vegetables and support the State's population of pollinating animals.
Under the grant program, the local government would be required to partner with a nonprofit organization to develop and maintain the community garden. Funding for the grant program will be subject to annual budget appropriations.
P.L. 2021, c. 404 took effect on January 18, 2022.
A-4232/S-4231 creates a grant program within the Department of Agriculture to provide matching grants to the owner or operator of (1) unpreserved farmland; (2) a farm for which Pinelands development credits have been sold or otherwise conveyed pursuant to the “Pinelands Development Credit Bank Act,”; or (3) a farm that is located in a sending zone pursuant to section 13 of the “Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act.”
Contingent on available funding, the department would award grants of up to $200 per acre, not to exceed a total of $20,000 per applicant for up to 50% of eligible project costs, which would include the cost to purchase deer fencing, the maintenance costs of existing deer fencing, or any other costs established as eligible project costs as defined by the department. To be eligible for the program, an applicant would be required to have a minimum of $10,000 in gross sales in the preceding calendar year from agricultural or horticultural products grown or derived from the applicant’s farm operation.
A grant recipient would be required to retain the land in agricultural or horticultural production for eight years following receipt of the grant. If a grant recipient does not retain the land in agricultural or horticultural production or sells the land within eight years of receiving the grant, the recipient would be required to repay the grant on a pro-rata basis.
P.L. 2021, c. 451 took effect on January 18, 2022.
A6209/S4154 appropriates $18 million from constitutionally dedicated corporate business tax (CBT) revenues to State Agriculture Development Committee for county planning incentive grants for farmland preservation purposes.
Funding from P.L. 2021, c. 489, which took effect January 18, 2022, includes funding for certain municipal projects in Burlington, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Salem, and Warren counties.
A6210/S4150 appropriates $4.5 million from constitutionally dedicated corporate business tax (CBT) revenues to State Agriculture Development Committee for municipal planning incentive grants for farmland preservation purposes.
P.L. 2021, c. 490, which took effect January 18, 2022, includes funding for certain municipal counties planning incentive grant programs in Gloucester, Monmouth, and Salem.
A6213/S4155 appropriates $49.932 million from constitutionally dedicated corporate business tax (CBT) revenues to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for State acquisition of lands for recreation and conservation purposes, including Blue Acres projects, and Green Acres Program administrative costs.
P.L. 2021, c. 493, which took effect January 18, 2022, includes funding for the following projects: Cape May Peninsula, Crossroads of the American Revolution, Delaware and Raritan Canal Greenway, Delaware Bay Watershed Greenway, Delaware River Watershed Greenway, Highlands Greenway, Historic Resources, Pinelands, Ridge and Valley Greenway, and Urban Parks.
- Lori Buckelew, Deputy Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481, x112.
- Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, email@example.com, 609-695-3481, x137.
- Paul Penna, Senior Legislative Analyst, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609 695-3481, x110.
- Andrew LaFevre, Legislative Analyst, email@example.com, 609-695-3481, x116.