Many of the rules and regulations that protect your drinking water are being weakened or completely eliminated for the purposes of political expediency and a relentless pursuit of ill-conceived development and short term profit.
The Highlands Council has begun the Regional Master Plan update process and we’ve been watching to see that protections for the Highlands remain strong. Meanwhile, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is very busy creating loopholes in the State’s water protection regulations that determine how much waste is allowed to mix into our drinking water supply in order to attract more development. These changes will also cause increased downstream flooding to be permitted, particularly by eliminating upstream buffers on all headwaters.
If existing State regulations are weakened, water quantity and quality will be degraded. We have undertaken a vigorous campaign to challenge NJDEP and these rule changes in the media, through supporters like you, and by reaching out to legislators, sharing facts and challenging misleading information.
But weakened NJDEP regulations aren’t the only threat to our water supply! Aptly named “zombie” projects, that were long ago thought dead and buried, have been coming back to life all over the Highlands. Because of your support, we have enjoyed success in places like Oakland, (stalling a 204-unit development on High Mountain first proposed in 1991), and in West Milford (helping a local community group, ‘Water for Our Future,’ stop a 2003 proposal from being built on 78 acres with no water supply).