Lesniak Honored For Environmental Accomplishments

Lesniak Honored For Environmental Accomplishments

Clean Water Action Gives Lawmaker Highest Senate Rating For Current Term, Recognizes Career-Long Environmental Record   

Trenton – Senator Raymond Lesniak was recognized as an “environmental hero” by Clean Water Action today for his accomplishments during the current, two-year legislative session and honored by the organization for his career-long leadership on key environmental issues, including a variety of laws and programs that put New Jersey in the forefront of national actions to safeguard natural resources and protect public health.

Senator Lesniak, who is stepping down as a legislator after 40 years as a member of the Senate or the Assembly, noted that he started his legislative career by creating the Spill Act, which served as the model for the federal Superfund law. The Spill Act requires the cleanup of toxic waste sites and maintained his commitment to environmental initiatives ever since.

“I started my legislative career fighting for the environment and I have maintained that commitment for close to 40 years,” said Senator Lesniak. “But, I am not finished as a legislator nor am I finished as a private citizen. I will continue to fight back against the assault on the environment by Governor Christie and President Trump.”     

Senator Lesniak said he will work during the lame duck session after the November elections to reverse Governor Christie’s regulations opening up development alongside streams and tributaries that flow into rivers, which will cause more flooding throughout the state, regulations that increase septic density in the Highlands watershed lands which provide drinking water for half of New Jersey residents, and a vote to override the governor’s veto of oil train safety legislation.

“Our fight with Christie is not over,” said Senator Lesniak. “We have the power to overcome Governor Christie’s assault on the health and safety of our residents and re-establish New Jersey as a national leader protecting the environment.”

Senator Lesniak said that he will also continue his fight to reverse the Christie administration settlement with ExxonMobil that will allow the oil giant to “pay cents on the dollar” for the years of contamination with a legal settlement that he called “an environmental sellout.” Senator Lesniak’s lawsuit blocking the agreement is in the courts.  

Recognizing Senator Lesniak’s record, Clean Water Action also referred to the first-in-the-nation Superfund law to clean up abandoned toxic sites, another law requiring contaminated property be cleaned before it can be sold, and a separate law having the Water Quality Institute update testing for toxic contaminants in the state’s drinking water.  

Senator Lesniak said that future environmental goals include having New Jersey be fossil fuel free by 2050, stopping the construction of the Pinelands Pipeline, the Penn East Pipeline and the Pilgrim Pipeline. Senator Lesniak also wants to pursue efforts to ban “dirty trucks” which are causing severe health problems in Newark’s Ironbound section and in pockets of congestion throughout the state. 

“Current and future generations are relying on what we do now and in the immediate future,” said Senator Lesniak. “I will continue to work with others to pursue an environmental agenda that serves our future.”

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