Report | Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center

An Electric Vehicle Toolkit for Local Governments

Local governments have an important role to play in making clean transportation a reality. Every day, local governments make decisions about municipal purchasing, the use of public streets and parking garages, planning and zoning, and other issues that can either make it easier or more difficult for their residents to own an EV. By using a set of key tools to encourage EV adoption, local governments can help clean up the air in their communities and take meaningful action against global warming. 

Report | Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center

Charge Local

Charge Local: A Guide to Installing EV Charging Stations for Municipalities provides in depth information for municipalities looking to install charging stations. It offers details on which types of charging stations to consider, state grants to offset the cost of the charging stations, how to reform your town’s zoning, codes, and permitting, updating signage to properly mark EV parking spaces, and more. This guide then ends with case studies from three towns in Morris County that have already installed numerous charging stations and the tips and lessons learned from those who’ve already gone through the process.

Report

Renewables on the Rise 2021

Clean energy is sweeping across America and is poised for more dramatic growth in the coming years. Wind turbines and solar panels made up a tiny fraction of our energy infrastructure 10 years ago. Today, they are everyday parts of America’s energy landscape. The number of homes heated with clean, efficient electric heat pumps increased by 28% in a decade from 2005 to 2015. Just a few years ago, electric vehicles seemed a far-off solution to decarbonize our transportation system. Now, they have broken through to the mass market.
Virtually every day, there are new developments that increase our ability to produce renewable energy, apply it to a wider range of energy needs, and reduce our overall energy use. These developments enable us to envision an economy powered entirely by clean, renewable energy.

Report

Renewables on the Rise 2021

Clean energy is sweeping across America and is poised for more dramatic growth in the coming years. Wind turbines and solar panels made up a tiny fraction of our energy infrastructure 10 years ago. Today, they are everyday parts of America’s energy landscape. The number of homes heated with clean, efficient electric heat pumps increased by 28% in a decade from 2005 to 2015. Just a few years ago, electric vehicles seemed a far-off solution to decarbonize our transportation system. Now, they have broken through to the mass market.
Virtually every day, there are new developments that increase our ability to produce renewable energy, apply it to a wider range of energy needs, and reduce our overall energy use. These developments enable us to envision an economy powered entirely by clean, renewable energy.

Report | Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center

Safe for Swimming?

The Clean Water Act, adopted in 1972, set the goal of making all of our waterways safe for swimming. Nearly a half-century later, Americans visiting their favorite beach are still met all too often by advisories warning that the water is unsafe for swimming. And each year, millions of Americans are sickened by swimming in contaminated water.

An analysis of fecal indicator bacteria sampling data from beaches in 29 coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico reveals that 328 beaches – more than one of every 10 beaches surveyed – were potentially unsafe on at least 25% of the days that sampling took place in 2020.[i] More than half of all the 3,166 beaches reviewed were potentially unsafe for swimming on at least one day. Beaches were considered potentially unsafe if fecal indicator bacteria levels exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Beach Action Value” associated with an estimated illness rate of 32 out of every 1,000 swimmers.[ii]

To protect our health at the beach, policymakers should undertake efforts to prevent fecal pollution, including deploying natural and green infrastructure to absorb stormwater.

Fecal contamination makes beaches unsafe for swimming. Human contact with contaminated water can result in gastrointestinal illness as well as respiratory disease, ear and eye infection and skin rash.[iii] Each year in the U.S., swimmers in oceans, lakes, rivers and ponds suffer from an estimated 57 million cases of recreational waterborne illness.[iv]

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