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Behind the News: Have you heard of the New Jersey Green Amendment?

The Green Amendment adds to the state constitution the right to pure water, clean air, a stable climate, and a healthy environment for everyone. So far Montana, New York and Pennsylvania have approved such amendments, and other states are considering it.

Why is it needed?

Advocates say that constitutionally mandating that NJ residents have a right to a healthy environment fills the gaps in current environmental law and provides a legal basis for ensuring access to clean air, water and other aspects of a healthy environment. The Green Amendment would strength-en environmental justice and codify that all communities (regardless of race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status) have the same rights to a healthy environment, empowering communities to address unconstitutional infringements on those rights.

What is the amendment’s status in Trenton?

The amendment was first introduced in the state Legislature in 2017, re-introduced in 2020 and again this year with bi-partisan support. On March 7 the Senate Environment and Energy Committee held a hearing on the proposed amendment with universally positive testimony. No vote was taken, and advocates wait to see if the bill will move out of committee.

What’s been the reaction statewide?

Advocates and residents have been calling for a Green Amendment since it was introduced in 2017. The Medical Society of NJ, Sierra Club of NJ, League of Women Voters, Delaware Water Keepers, Water Spirits, and NJ Students for Sustainability Coalition are some of the organizations passing resolutions in support of the bill. Both the Essex and Burlington County Commissions have passed resolutions to support the amendment.

The LCOS Justice & Peace Committee will be watching closely and will keep you informed.

Justice & Peace Committee

Big Blue Bottles and God’s Creation

As stewards of God’s creation, we are asked to sustain and protect our environment and the resources God has entrusted to our use and care.

The Justice and Peace Committee has been looking at ways to decrease the reliance on disposable plastic water bottles brought into LCOS. As you are aware, disposable plastic water bottles not only are an environmental issue, but drinking water from disposable plastic water bottles may be passing hundreds of thousands of potentially harmful tiny plastic particles into our bodies.

We have investigated converting the current water fountains into water stations like the ones in gyms; but the cost was prohibitive and space set-up awkward. Thus, we are piloting the Big Blue Water Bottle Cooler.

The cooler is located in Parish Hall for your convenience and the convenience of all the groups that utilize our facility. If you are here for a meeting or activity, please bring a non-plastic thermos and the cooler will supply the water.