150 Pack Workshop on New DEP Greenhouse Gas Grant Program
Local Governments Eager for Grants to Plan Walkable Communities
Peter Kasabach (609) 393-0008, ext. 104
Chris Sturm (609) 213-4673
Local planners and officials packed the Edward J. Bloustein School’s auditorium today to learn more about DEP’s new Local Government Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grant Program. In fact, event organizer New Jersey Future had to turn away scores of potential attendees. New Jersey Future executive director Peter Kasabach made the following comment:
“Today’s event demonstrated that local governments are hungry for resources to plan and zone for the kind of compact walkable communities that give their residents convenient transportation options and offer sustainable lifestyles.”
Speakers at the event described DEP’s new grant program, which offers $2.5 million to local governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Included among the eligible activities are land use and transportation plans such as zoning and design standards that encourage walking, biking, carpooling and transit use. Applicants must demonstrate that their project will lead to a measureable reduction in greenhouse gases. Due to popular support, the preliminary application deadline was extended to September 4th, with final applications due on November 20th.
The workshop was cosponsored by smart growth advocate New Jersey Future, the League of Municipalities’ Mayor’s Committee for a Green Future, and Rutgers’ Sustainable State Institute.
Bill Dressel, New Jersey State League of Municipalities executive director noted, “We are delighted that the state of New Jersey is providing these new grant resources to help communities plan for the future in a way that addresses climate change, especially in this time of tightening resources.”