Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday announced millions of dollars in new transportation investments meant to bring a cleaner environment and years of good-paying jobs to portions of the Garden State.
(TNS) — In a community where low-income residents were subjected to years of air and water pollution, Gov.
Murphy's announcement — $100 million toward electrifying
"We set a clear message that economically disadvantaged areas of our state will no longer be dumping grounds, that the rights of our residents to clean air and water will no longer be overlooked, and that our government has a responsibility and indeed a moral duty to ensure those rights are upheld," the governor said during a press conference inside the Newark Public Works garage.
Murphy said the money would be invested in various environmental transportation projects, including $9 million for electric garbage and delivery trucks, $13 million for electric school buses and shuttle buses in low- and moderate-income communities, and $15 million toward NJ TRANSIT bus electrification.
The money stems from a settlement between
"We are at an inflection point – the future strength of our state depends on how aggressively we act to reduce the emission of climate pollutants today, and how well we use the great opportunities now before us to promote overdue environmental and economic justice," state
The electrification of the state's transportation sector "can't happen fast enough," said Gaddy. "Gradual, incremental steps just won't do. The price we pay every day... is increased asthma attacks, cancers, heart attacks and death, which is unacceptable."
Air pollution diminishes human lung function, increases hospital visits for asthma, and leads to thousands of premature deaths in the United State each year, according to the
Environment: Who will pay to fix Jersey Shore eroded beaches?
More than 8 million people across the world died in 2018 from fossil fuel-related air pollution, according to a recent study by the universities of Harvard,
Gaddy said about 22,000 truck trips to and from the ports of
"We must ensure that clean, renewable energy powers electrification and not fossil fuels," she said. "We must also ensure local residents are prioritized for these jobs, and communities most impacted by the pollution see the reductions first."
In the Public Works garage, Murphy signed an executive order establishing the
Cohen said the new jobs created through
Changing environment: Why are the threatened shorebirds' numbers declining at the Shore?
The new executive order aims to drive sustainable economic growth and development, accelerate jobs in green industries, promote workforce development and support displaced workers.
"This council will help us chart a course to a green economy with equity and justice at the front of the conversation," Murphy said.
Building this "green" economy is a "once-in-a-generation opportunity for
"Trucks and buses are major sources of harmful air pollutants, including greenhouse gases," Barber said in a statement. "Electrifying this sector offers the biggest benefit to our communities and children who deserve to breathe cleaner, healthier air."
(c)2021 the Asbury Park Press (Neptune, N.J.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Never miss a story with the daily Govtech Today Newsletter.