Vegetation Management Response Act
For the sake of the dissemination of public knowledge, the following information is being presented to our readers:
There are two identical bills S2505 (was due for a Senate vote) and A2558 (came out of Telecommunications & Utilities Committee) and was referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. It would be prudent to become familiar with these bills as there are changes to the way shade tree commissions and the Community Forestry Council operate. In short, the bills allow any public utility to remove trees they deem as dangerous to any electric facility without requiring permission from any commission or agency. The utilities will also be exempt from any penalty or fine.
Senate Sponsors S2505: Steven V. Oroho (District 24) and Paul A. Sarlo (District 36), Co-Sponsored by Teresa Ruiz.
Assembly Sponsors of A2558: Wayne P. DeAngelo, Harold J. Wirths, Parker Space, Co-Sponsored by BettyLou DeCroce.
On December 17, 2018, the Assembly Bill A2558 passed.
Please read this important message from the NJSTF President regarding the Vegetation Management Response Act.
PLEASE ACT NOW!!!
Murphy Administration Proposes Rules for State's Re-Entry Into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
from NJUCF News
Today, Governor Murphy announced the publication of the State's two RGGI rule proposals in the New Jersey Register. Both rules may impact forestry related actions in the State.
One of the proposed rules establishes the framework for how the state will spend proceeds from RGGI carbon-dioxide allowance auctions, with an emphasis on projects that will benefit disproportionately burdened communities. Forestry projects may be the beneficiary of some of these RGGI proceeds.
The other proposed rule establishes the mechanisms for rejoining RGGI and sets the initial carbon-dioxide cap for the state's electricity generation sector. It also establishes the types of projects outside of the power sector that may qualify to generate offset allowances. Forestry related projects, such as reforestation, improved forest management, and avoided conversion, are currently proposed for inclusion.
To review the proposals and related materials, or register for the public hearings on January 25th, please visit NJDEP's RGGI website at: https://www.state.nj.us/dep/aqes/rggi.html.
Written comments on these rule proposals must be submitted by close of business on Feb. 15, 2019.
Governor Murphy's press release on RGGI is available at: https://nj.gov/governor/news/news/562018/approved/20181217b.shtml.
If you have any questions, email us at NJRGGI@dep.nj.gov.
Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Issued
The NJ Department of Agriculture has issued a quarantine for Mercer, Warren and Hunterdon counties to prevent the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly. Under the quarantine, households and businesses that transport certain outdoor articles must obtain and fill out a checklist before moving any of the listed items. In addition to the checklist, businesses that routinely travel in and out of the quarantined counties have training requirements with which they must comply. Some of the items on the list are:
- cardboard boxes
- building materials (brick, block)
- trees, shrubs, plants
- tractors, trailers
A copy of the full press release, including contact information at the NJ Department of Agriculture for questions, is available at: here.
The William J. Porter Arboriculture Scholarship
Attention — students, professionals, and volunteers in the industry
To encourage studies and careers in Arboriculture and Urban Forestry, the New Jersey Shade Tree Federation is pleased to announce the offer of a scholarship to two recipients who meet the specified criteria. Download the details here.