TRENTON, NJ - Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman to double the period of public comment on DEP contamination settlements was signed into law by Governor Christie. The law (S-2919) gives New Jersey residents, activists, and legislators, sufficient time to deliver comments on DEP settlements pursuant to the Spill Compensation and Control Act.

“I strongly believe that as elected officials, it is our duty to represent the concerns and interests of the people we serve,” Senator Bateman said. “New Jersey residents have the right to comment on decisions that could gravely affect the health and welfare of their families, as well as the land and space they call home. My bill to permanently extend the period of public comment on DEP settlements to 60 days gives the courts the information they need to make informed decisions when ruling on cases such as the recent Exxon settlement.”

Senator Bateman noted that in the case of court rulings on the recent Exxon settlement, the public was given a full 60 days to comment, emphasizing the need for Sen. Bateman’s S-2919, which will afford the same opportunity to those who may choose to comment on future DEP settlement rulings.

“From fighting to block the PennEast Pipeline from destroying area wetlands, to protecting our drinking water from pollution, I have spent much of my legislative career shielding New Jersey’s open spaces and natural resources from damage and destruction,” Senator Bateman added. “We know that the vast majority of New Jerseyans support these efforts. I thank my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly for backing this vital legislation to ensure their voices are heard.”