Tag Archives: NJ

NJ enacts broad sweeping Environmental Justice Bill – S232 – ESG Focused

On September 18, Governor Murphy signed into law S232 / A2212 (Singleton / Weinberg / Ruiz / McKeon / Vainieri Huttle / Timberlake), which requires the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to consider the cumulative impacts of locating new power plants or major manufacturing facilities in certain lower-income areas.

Per the press release announcing the Bill signing, S2322 is intended to tackle the complex issue of assuring a healthy environment in certain urban communities.

The Bill requires the NJDEP to evaluate the environmental and public health impacts of certain facilities on overburdened communities when reviewing certain permit applications. New Jersey is the first state in the nation to require mandatory permit denials if an environmental justice analysis determines a new facility will have a disproportionately negative impact on overburdened communities.
 
The bill defines an overburdened community as any community where 35% of the households qualify as low-income according to the U.S. Census, 40% of households are minority, or 40%of households have limited English proficiency. There are approximately 310 municipalities with populations totaling approximately 4,489,000 that have overburdened communities within their municipalities.
 
The Bill requires the DEP to evaluate the environmental and public health impacts of the following facilities on overburdened communities when reviewing the following permit applications:
  1. Major sources of air pollution (i.e., gas fired power plants and cogeneration facilities);
  2. Resource recovery facilities or incinerators; sludge processing facilities;
  3. Sewage treatment plants with a capacity of more than 50 Million gallons per day;
  4. Transfer stations or solid waste facilities;
  5. Recycling facilities that receive at least 100 tons of recyclable material per day;
  6. Scrap metal facilities;
  7. Landfills; and
  8. Medical waste incinerators, except those attendant to hospitals and universities.
“For decades, residents living in overburdened communities have had their lives routinely and inconveniently interrupted by the toxic facilities located in their neighborhoods,”  said Senator Troy Singleton. “Their daily routines have been intertwined with the unpleasant smells of industry, unsightly smoke from pollution, and untimely visits to the emergency room for asthma and other respiratory ailments. Now, after years of having no say, these communities will finally have a voice in the siting of these industries. After years of waiting for action, this long overdue law will bring them the environmental justice that they deserve.” 
 
“As a statewide and regional hub of industry, commerce, innovation and energy, the impact of the legacy of environmental contamination is real and present in New Jersey. This historic legislation is a model to show the rest of the Country how to ensure that communities are protected and how by utilizing both activism and leadership simultaneously, you can truly change the status quo,” said Mayor Ras J. Baraka, City of Newark. “I applaud the leadership of our State policymakers for making this law come to fruition, and we give our thanks to Governor Murphy for making environmental justice central to his administration.”
 
To read the text of the Governor’s press release – click here  https://t.e2ma.net/message/z8iqpd/rq338ni
 

Duane Morris has an Environmental Team to help organizations and individuals plan, respond to and address their environmental contracting, due diligence, compliance and permitting issues. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Lori Mills, Seth Cooley, Lindsay Ann Brown or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe.

COVID-19: NJ announces reopening of Gyms and Indoor Amusement Facilities – 9-1-20

As of today, August 26, 2020, Governor Murphy announced the reopening of gyms and indoor amusement facilities effective as of September 1, 2020. Reopening will include a 25% of capacity limitation and typical safety protocols including masks, social distancing, one way traffic, etc.

Per a press release from Planet Fitness as reported in NJ Patch, “Fitness centers are critical to the mental, physical and financial health for New Jerseyans, and we are grateful that Governor Murphy has announced that we can reopen with safety protocols in place,” said Craig Benson, who operates 18 Planet Fitness locations in the state. “Throughout the reopening process, we will continue to collaborate with local, county and state health officials to ensure that our members can work out again in a safe, clean, and welcoming environment, and our staff can get back to work.”

With respect to gyms:

  • group fitness classes are to be limited to 1 person per 200 SF of space;
  • logs are to be maintained for members and staff;
  • 6′ of distance between pieces of equipment;
  • required sanitization of equipment; and
  • showers are NOT permitted to be open

Many gyms and eating establishments will look to include some or all of the following in their safety protocols:

◦Limited capacity to comply with social distancing;

◦Advanced air filtration systems with high-grade filters;

◦Masks required at all times;

◦Well-stocked cleaning stations with hand sanitizer;

◦Posters explaining best-health practices displayed throughout the facility or gym; 

◦High-tech electrostatic disinfecting sprayers for the tables and gyms as well as equipment;

◦One-way flow for foot traffic;

◦Temperature checks for staff members at the start of each shift in addition to health questionnaire;

◦Touchless check-in;

◦Cleaning of tables and/or machines before and after each use; and

◦ Having an ample supply of PPE equipment for staff and members including masks and gloves.

Indoor dining and movie theatres are expected to be reopened on or before September 14th.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Paul Josephson, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe.

COVID-19: NJ announces Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program

On August 11, Governor Murphy announced the first phase of the NJ Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program (the “PPE Program”). The goal of the PPE Program is to provide small businesses and non-profits with access to the fairly priced personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary to facilitate safe working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the PPE Program’s first phase, the State will launch a new website that provides micro and small businesses with the information needed to make easier and better PPE sourcing decision. The website will also offer a vetted list of online retailers that have agreed to verify the quality of the PPE they are selling and offer at least a 10% discount to businesses who enter through the State’s website.

Online retailers will be vetted on a first-come, first serve basis by the NJEDA, and must agree to certain performance standards for their site (e.g., transparent pricing, high-quality products, etc.). Vetted online retailers will also be eligible to access an NJDEA grant pool of up to $3.5M to support the purchase of PPE that is manufactured in New Jersey or sourced from a small wholesaler based in a historically underserved community.

Applications to become one of the NJ PPE Access Program Designated Vendors are expected to open in the near future.

Guidelines for practically all sectors require businesses to provide PPE to their employees. This new NJEDA program is geared toward smaller-sized businesses that have few funds to spare for the new costs.

This first phase of $4 million in funding is meant to encourage wholesalers’ purchase of PPE made or assembled in New Jersey. They would be eligible for subsidies of up to 20 percent of what they spent to get the equipment if it’s sourced in New Jersey, or from wholesalers in “historically underserved communities.”

A second funding, of approximately $11 million, is meant to cover the costs for smaller-sized and microbusinesses to purchase the equipment. The NJEDA expects 50,000 separate New Jersey businesses to spend a combined $45 million on PPE, with support from the new state subsidy.

Interested parties can also reach out to NJEDA staff at:  www.SmallBusinessPPE@njeda.com.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: NJ Governor Murphy Announces Small Tenant Relief Program – $6M available on 8-10-20

Earlier today, on 7-23-20, Governor Murphy announced a new relief program for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Small Business Lease – Emergency Assistance Grant Program (SBL-EAGP) will allow businesses in 64 eligible municipalities to apply for grants of up to $10,000 for lease costs. The program will assist small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which also assists landlords, many of whom are also small businesses.

“We are committed to helping small businesses across our state survive this unprecedented crisis,” said Governor Murphy. “A stronger and fairer New Jersey starts from the bottom up. The Small Business Lease – Emergency Assistance Grant Program will infuse much needed funding into local economies by assisting both small businesses and the landlords that they rent from.”

“The Small Business Lease Emergency Grant Assistance Program is directly geared toward keeping the mom-and-pop shops on main streets and business centers afloat in this time of need, specifically in our most vulnerable communities in New Jersey,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs and Board Chair of the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority. “Governor Murphy and I remain as committed as ever to supporting New Jersey’s small businesses and this new lease program will work hand-in-hand with other state assistance programs to help them emerge from this crisis stronger.”

The SBL-EAGP, managed by the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority (NJRA), is the first component of a broader Main Street Commercial Corridors Relief Package to be paid for with federal CARES Act funding. Through the SBL-EAGP, small businesses located in NJRA’s 64 eligible municipalities that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 will be able to apply for up to $10,000 to assist with lease payments. It will provide grants to:

-Tenants leasing commercial space in mixed-use buildings;
-Tenants leasing space in commercial buildings; and
-Tenants leasing space to operate a storefront business.

The program will be targeted to businesses with 5,000 square feet of leased space or less, and is requiring standard debarment and legal qualifications from applying businesses.

Attached is a list of the 64 municipalities that qualify for the program http://www.njra.com/maps

Applications will open August 10, 2020, online, and funds will be distributed on a first come first served basis. $6 million in federal CARES Act funding will be allocated for this program.

The application Portal opens August 10, 2020 at 9am.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: NJ Continues Moves to Re-Open, increasing Permitted Gathering Numbers

On June 9th, NJ Gov. Phil Murphy lifted New Jersey’s stay-at-home order and will allow for bigger social gatherings.

– Indoor Gatherings – the limit on indoor gatherings was raised to 25% of capacity or 50 people total; people are required to wear face coverings for these indoor gatherings

– Outdoor Gatherings – the limit on outdoor gatherings was raised from 25 to 100; furthermore, the limit on outdoor gatherings will rise to 250 on June 22nd and 500 on July 3rd

The increase to 500 on July 3rd is intended to permit outdoor graduations to resume in July, as long as fewer than 500 people are gathered together outside.

Exceptions will be granted for outdoor religious services and First Amendment activities, such as protests.

All outdoor recreational and entertainment may resume except for amusement parks, water parks and arcades.

Governor Murphy also announced on the 8th that pools will be permitted to reopen per announced schedules.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Paul Josephson, Elizabeth Mincer, Jimmy Greenberg or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

 

COVID-19: NJ continues Reopening Program permitting additional Outdoor Activities and Businesses to Open on Friday 5-22-20 – Executive Order 147

Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 147 (“EO”), allowing certain outdoor activities at recreational businesses, including archery ranges, batting cages, golf driving ranges, horseback riding, shooting ranges, and tennis clubs as well as community gardens to open with required social distancing measures in place. The EO takes effect on Friday, May 22 at 6:00 a.m.

Outdoor Recreational Businesses: To limit physical interactions, the EO requires outdoor recreational businesses that reopen to limit capacity to 10 people at one time and implement reasonable restrictions that include:

• Using electronic or telephone reservation and payment systems;
• Prohibiting impermissible gatherings;
• Installing physical barriers between employees and customers;
• Limiting the use of equipment to one person;
• Implementing social distancing measures in commonly used areas, including demarcation and signage;
• Infection control and hygiene practices;
• Providing sanitization materials to employees;
• Frequent sanitization of high-touch areas; and
• Limiting occupancy of restrooms.

Community Gardens: Governor Murphy’s EO permits community gardens to reopen so long as they comply with the same restrictions implemented at parks under Executive Order No. 133.

All-Terrain Vehicle and Dirt Bike Rental Businesses: The Order allows all-terrain vehicle and dirt bike rental businesses to reopen to the public for “curb-side” pickup. Such businesses must comply with the same restrictions required for non-essential retail businesses.

Golf Courses: The EO relaxes four of the restrictions on golf courses, allowing them to expand tee-times to four players, allow the use of forecaddies, offer club and equipment rentals, and reopen restrooms with disinfecting and hygiene protocols in place.

The EO also recommends, but does not order, that people wear a face covering while in public settings at outdoor recreational businesses and community gardens when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

The EO further clarifies that amusements parks and arcades, and other places of public amusement located at these businesses remain closed, including places of public amusement that are located at a place otherwise authorized to be open by any executive order issued after March 21, 2020, such as a boardwalk.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Paul Josephson, Jimmy Greenberg and Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: NJ Gov signs 4 New Bills into law – continuing to open more businesses throughout the state – Mixed Drinks; Water Craft; Hospital Visitations; Local Government Meetings

Governor Murphy announced that he’s signed 4 new bills into law that allow more New Jersey businesses to reopen.

Fishing – fishing charters and watercraft rentals are permitted to reopen at 6 a.m on Sunday, May 17th.

Under the bill, charter boats and watercraft rentals are permitted to resume operations as long as social distancing is observed, sanitation is maintained, online payments systems are set up and passenger and customer logs are preserved for the purposes of contact tracing.

Alcohol – authorized the sale and delivery of mixed drinks.

Bill A3966 which was signed into law permits hotels, motels, bars and restaurants to sell and deliver alcoholic beverages and mixed cocktails in original containers or in closed and sealed containers. The bill also allows craft distillery licensees to sell for consumption.

Governor Murphy also signed these bills into law:

A-3942/S-2394 (Mukherji, Vainieri Huttle, Pintor Marin/Greenstein, Stack) – Requires hospital to permit individual to accompany woman during childbirth.

A-3969/S-2392 (Danielsen, Mukherji, Verrelli/Sarlo) – Allows extension of certain local government timeframes; allows local governments to accept certain payments; allows local governments to conduct certain meetings remotely; adjusts certain property tax distribution and notice requirements.

S-2344/A-3970 (Pou, Singer, Vitale/Reynolds-Jackson, Quijano, Zwicker) – Requires Medicaid and health insurance coverage for certain refills of prescription drugs during state of emergency.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Paul Josephson, Jimmy Greenberg. Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: NJ announces plan for the Restart of Non-Essential Construction and the Curbside Reopening of Non-Essential Retail Stores – Monday, May 18th

On May 13, Governor Murphy announced the permissible reopening of nonessential retail stores for curbside pick up, and drive thru attractions, as well as the authorization for nonessential construction to resume. For the full text of the Executive Order please see https://nj.gov/infobank/eo/056murphy/pdf/EO-142.pdf

The actions include:

• Allowing the restart of Non-Essential Construction, subject to social distancing and mitigation protocols, effective on 6:00 a.m. on Monday, May 18th and includes all types of construction previously shut down under Executive Order 122.

• Allowing Non-Essential Retail to start curbside pick-up starting at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, May 18 for all non-essential retail establishments previously closed under Executive Order 107 and is available by both vehicle and on foot.

• Vehicle gatherings are permitted effective immediately, subject to certain social distancing requirements. This includes drive-in or drive-through events such as movie theaters, church services, and farms.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Paul Josephson, Jimmy Greenberg and Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: NJ extends Public Health Emergency another 30 days to June 5, 2020

NJ Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 138 (“EO 138”), which extends the Public Health Emergency declared on March 9, 2020 under Executive Order 103 for another 30 days until June 5, 2020. Under the Emergency Health Powers Act, a declared public health emergency expires after 30 days unless renewed. According to this newly issued EO 138, all previously entered Executive Orders remain “in full force and effect”.

The conclusions stated in EO 138 indicate that although New Jersey’s social distancing measures have helped to slow the increase of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the state, the total number of cases and deaths in New Jersey has continued to rise and would rise at an even more precipitous rate absent these important measures.

Governor Murphy emphasized the continued importance of social distancing as the best available tool given the lack of an available vaccine or another effective therapy.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Paul Josephson, Jimmy Greenberg or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: NJ Executive Order 128 allows for the use of Security Deposits to pay for Rental Obligations

Late last week (April 24, 2020), NJ Gov. Murphy signed Executive Order No. 128 (“EO”). The EO takes effect immediately and will remain in effect until the end of the public health emergency established by Executive Order No. 103 (2020). The EO applies in the context of residential leases (not commercial leases, given the ambit of the Security Deposit Act).

The EO allows residential tenants to use their security deposit for the payment of rent (per N.J.S.A. 46:8-19 et seq., a security deposit and any accumulated interest and earnings of such deposit remain the property of the tenant).

Upon a tenant’s written request, which may be an electronic communication, a security deposit that is governed by the provisions of N.J.S.A. 46:8-19 et seq. and the tenant’s portion of any interest or earnings that have accumulated may be applied or credited toward rent payments due during the public health emergency or up to 60 days after the public health emergency terminates. The use of a security deposit for the payment of rent will NOT be considered a violation of N.J.S.A. 46:8-19 et seq.

After a tenant has applied or credited the security deposit, interest or earnings to pay rent for the duration of the tenant’s current lease, the landlord can still charge the tenant any money the landlord expends that would have been reimbursable by the security deposit.

Per the EO, the tenant is NOT obligated to make any further security deposit relating to the current term of the contract, lease or license agreement.

If the tenant and landlord extend or renew their contract, lease or license agreement, the tenant will then be required to replenish the security deposit in full if it was previously used for the payment of rent, on the LATER of (A) the date that is 6 months following the end of the public health emergency and (B) on the date on which the current contract, lease or license agreement is extended or renewed.

Note: Pursuant to an earlier Executive Order, EO 106, residential evictions and foreclosures have been halted (i.e., “stayed”) for the time being until the public health emergency has been lifted by the Governor.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Paul Josephson, Elizabeth Mincer, Jimmy Greenberg or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!