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Smith: Highlands Progress Promising

Environment Committee Chair Says Goal of Preserving Water Source “Within Reach”

TRENTON – Senator Bob Smith, the Chair of the Senate Environment Committee and the architect of legislation designed to preserve the Highlands region in order to protect the clean drinking water supply for half of the state, issued the following statement today regarding a hearing of the Environment Committee on the progress of the Highlands law.

“The Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act, in the one year since its inception, is already showing signs of success. We are on our way towards realizing a pristine source of potable water that will be protected from groundwater pollution for years to come.

“However, if the Highlands Protection Act is truly going to accomplish its goal, we need to keep a close watch on the progress of the Highlands Protection Council, and provide whatever legislative support we can to help them in their mission. Through due diligence, we can help them stay the course in preserving a water source that provides 400 million gallons of water a day to the residents of New Jersey.

“Future generations of New Jerseyans will weigh our environmental accomplishments on the successes we achieve today. The State of New Jersey has already committed itself to protecting the Highlands region from the effects of overdevelopment, industrial pollution and suburban sprawl, because we realize that the impact of pollution on our water supply is too great to bear. By working with the Highlands Council, we can ensure that the spirit of the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act is carried out long after we’re gone, and that clean drinking water will be a reality for the future of the Garden State.”

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