TRENTON, NJ -- Senator Linda Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex) wants municipalities to take the environment into account by adding climate vulnerability factors into their master plans, according to legislation that she helped usher through the New Jersey State Senate Thursday.

“Much of New Jersey is susceptible to the effects of climate change, from the flood plains in Central Jersey to the low-lying Shore towns and the wild-fire prone forests of North and South Jersey,” said Greenstein, who serves as vice-chair of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. “These scenarios should give us more than enough reason to start planning immediately, so we can mitigate the effects of climate change now before it is too late.”

The bill (S-2607) would require that the land-use plan section of a municipal master plan would have to include a climate change-related hazard vulnerability assessment. The assessment would consider the environmental effects associated with climate change on all aspects of a municipality. Examples of environmental effects would be temperature rise, drought, flooding and sea level rise. The plan also would need to contain ways to mitigate natural disasters.

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Current law, requires municipal master plans to include ways to implement smart growth such as electric vehicle charging stations, storm resiliency for energy facilities and flood-prone areas, and environmental sustainability. 

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