March 17, 2021
Dear Friends,
As we enter spring, feelings of hope and a fresh start are in the air this year more than ever. 

And speaking of a fresh start, we have three job openings at New Jersey Future right now. Come join our amazing team of mission-driven doers! See job descriptions and a newly released RFP below.

The New Jersey Future team has been hard at work in recent weeks launching Jersey WaterCheck, the nation’s first database to help consumers learn about their water systems and support the goal of solving New Jersey’s water infrastructure challenges. You can learn more about this groundbreaking tool by attending an informational webinar on Thursday. 

We submitted recommendations along with Jersey Water Works and the Sewage-Free Streets and Rivers campaigns last month to NJDEP on the combined sewage overflow long-term control plans, working to ensure these plans are equitable, affordable, and resilient. With regard to resilience, we are thrilled that NJDEP’s newly amended Stormwater Management Rule requires the use of green infrastructure for new private and public developments as a stormwater management technique. 

Our research team has been exploring the very Jersey issue of warehouse sprawl as well as whether there could be some permanent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions once we return to post-covid life. 

In this month’s “Smart Growth for Everyone” spotlight we highlight two different pieces that explain the history and vestiges of segregation and “redlining” and how these legacies will need to be proactively addressed in order to develop a geography of equity and inclusion in our state.

And last, but not least, during Women’s History Month, New Jersey Future would like to recognize the countless contributions of women who have worked and are working to make our communities healthy, strong, and resilient for everyone every day.

Peter Kasabach
Executive Director
The movement and storage of stuff is big business in New Jersey, thanks mainly to the presence of the Port of New York and New Jersey, which is now the second-busiest port in the country. All of this stuff coming into New Jersey from other countries has to be distributed to its final customers all over the eastern half of the country and beyond, and that means lots of warehouse space in which to store it and sort it after it is taken off the ship.

A global pandemic is no one’s idea of a good way to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Emissions decreased because the entire economy slowed down, causing financial hardship to untold numbers of households and businesses. Stay-at-home orders and restrictions on indoor gatherings meant that many people in public-facing businesses couldn’t work, and many others curtailed shopping and leisure trips that ordinarily inject money into the economy—and that are ordinarily enjoyable activities for people. But what if some of the reduction in emissions doesn’t have to be temporary?

New Jersey Future submitted comments on the Selection and Implementation of Alternatives Reports (SIARs), the final report for the combined sewer overflow (CSO) Long Term Control PLans (LTCPs). These plans will drive billions of dollars of infrastructure investments over the next few decades. Our comments focus on five plans covering the areas where we have been most active: the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (PVSC), the cities of Bayonne, Paterson, and Perth Amboy, and the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority (JCMUA). Together, these four municipal reports represent 42% of CSO outfalls and 33% of the population living in combined sewer service areas across New Jersey.

Stormwater runoff is a serious problem, made increasingly worse by climate change. Stormwater causes flooding and pollutes the streams, rivers, and lakes that provide drinking water and places for recreation. By most estimates, over 90% of New Jersey’s waterways are polluted, much of which is due to stormwater runoff. To better address stormwater runoff issues, new public and private sector developments in New Jersey must now include the use of green infrastructure as a stormwater management technique starting March 2, 2021 as a result of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) newly amended Stormwater Management Rules.

Don’t miss this 2021 event June 10-11 from wherever you are! New Jersey Future is proud to partner with the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association to present this two-day virtual conference featuring a multitude of timely session offerings as we restart, recover, and reimagine land use in a rapidly changing and post-pandemic environment. 

The NJ Planning and Redevelopment Conference will feature over 30 sessions, a virtual exhibit area, and ways to connect with fellow attendees as it brings together bold ideas, innovative solutions, proven concepts, and best practices for creating better, more inclusive, and equitable places where people live, work, and play. 

Announcements regarding the preliminary program and registration will occur in late March.

Sponsorship this year provides creative new forms of visibility for your organization’s products and services while supporting the mission and work of New Jersey Future and APA-NJ. Click here to see the available sponsorship opportunities. To reserve your sponsorship or for additional information contact Michele Glassburg.
Water and wastewater infrastructure are essential to the health and wellbeing of our communities. Jersey WaterCheck, an initiative of Jersey Water Works, brings together information on water and wastewater systems from multiple sources in one easy to use website. In this webinar, speakers will highlight how this online resource can connect you to New Jersey water systems and help you understand your water’s story. Join us March 18 at 11:00 am to learn how Jersey WaterCheck can help communities become better informed about their water and wastewater systems by using data that can help transform New Jersey’s aging water infrastructure. Register here.
Legislative Updates
  • New Jersey Future Senior Policy Manager Gary Brune testified in favor of the following bills related to the replacement of lead service lines, all of which passed out of their respective committees:
  • S3459—Removes restrictions on special assessments and bond issuances for replacement of residential lead service lines; revises budgetary requirements for operators of certain water systems.
  • A5343—Requires public water systems to inventory and replace lead service lines within 20 years and provides for recoupment of costs by investor-owned public water systems.
  • A5407—Removes restrictions on special assessments and bond issuances for replacement of residential lead service lines; revises budgetary, maintenance, and reporting requirements for operators of certain water systems.
  • New Jersey Future released a statement in response to Governor Murphy’s FY22 budget address.
Coming Up
Come Work with Us
  • Organizational Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (JEDI) Consultant—New Jersey Future is accepting proposals from qualified individuals or firms to build upon and help facilitate NJF’s commitment to integrating justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) in all facets of the organization, both internal and external. The deadline for proposals is April 9, 2021.
  • Communications Director—New Jersey Future seeks an experienced communications director and strategic thinker to guide the organization’s communications strategy and oversee its expanding communications and marketing activities.
  • Communications Specialist—New Jersey Future seeks an experienced communications professional who is a proficient, organized, and inspired writer and editor to support the organization’s expanding communications and marketing activities for this new position.
  • Development Associate—New Jersey Future seeks a skilled, organized, and motivated individual to provide support for activities in development (fundraising/marketing), administration, and communications for this new position.
Smart Growth for Everyone
Smart Growth is equitable growth. It is also restorative; meaning smart growth and redevelopment can help break the cycle and correct historic and systemic racial and economic segregation and disparities. As New Jersey Future drives land use decision-making toward more equitable outcomes, we will be sharing resources and lessons in this monthly spotlight that we have found useful. Please give us your feedback and share with us any particularly good articles, talks, events, or videos that you come across.

  • This film is based on the book the Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein, and explains the federal, state, and local policies of the 20th century that shaped the patterns of residential segregation, which still has an enduring impact on African Americans.  
  • How does the legacy of redlining adversely impact African Americans today? This video unpacks the history of redlining and its impacts on education, funding, and criminal justice.
Featured Resources

New Jersey Future has created the Creating Places To Age: A Community Guide to Implementing Aging-Friendly Land Use Decisions to provide communities with a step-by-step process to make it easier to design for the needs of older residents.

The New Jersey Stormwater Utilities Resource Center is a one-stop shop, housing technical legal and financial information, case studies, and helpful guidance on stormwater solutions, community process, and public engagement.

The Developers Green Infrastructure Guide 2.0 breaks down New Jersey’s Stormwater Rule amendments and helps developers and decision-makers understand more clearly green infrastructure options and advantages, compare alternatives, and evaluate costs and benefits.

This report from the Jersey Water Works Lead in Drinking Water Task Force outlines actions New Jersey can take to virtually eliminate lead in drinking water in 10 years. New Jersey Future is a member of the Jersey Water Works collaborative.
Social Media Highlight
New Jersey Future in the News
Founded in 1987, New Jersey Future is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes sensible growth, redevelopment, and infrastructure investments to foster vibrant cities and towns, protect natural lands and waterways, enhance transportation choices, provide access to safe, affordable, and aging-friendly neighborhoods, and fuel a strong economy. New Jersey Future does this through original research, innovative policy development, coalition-building, advocacy, and hands-on strategic assistance. Embracing differences and advancing fairness is central to New Jersey Future’s mission and operations. New Jersey Future is firmly committed to pursuing greater justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion through its programs, internal operations, and external communications.