Water, Possibly Higher Gas Bills – Tuesday’s Roundup

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It’s been more than seven years since a state-appointed panel of scientists and academics told New Jersey’s Department for Environmental Protection to set limits on various toxic contaminants in its drinking water, but the DEP has failed to act in spite of recent publicity over lead-tainted drinking water in NJ schools and hospitals. Legislators on Monday rapped the DEP on the wrists for its snail-like response, but stopped short of passing a bill that would have required the department to set the standards within 60 days. NJ Spotlight has the full story.

Possibly Higher Gas Bills
South Jersey Gas customers (about 70 percent of Atlantic County homes, apparently) could see their bill rise by $20 a month, according to the company’s latest rate-hike request filed with New Jersey’s regulator. South Jersey Gas says it needs the money to pay it back for improvement work its done to local infrastructure, as well as to meet growing demand (story here via The Press of Atlantic City). We’d love to see more details from South Jersey Gas about the cited growing demand. The company serves Atlantic, Cumberland, Cape May and Salem counties (as well as some parts of Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties), a swathe of South Jersey that has broadly been losing population in the last few years, according to Census data. On the other hand, the company has seen more customers switching to gas – but there has to be a limit to that growth, right? This growth argument is also key to the pipeline-through-the-pinebarrens project that South Jersey Gas’ parent, South Jersey Industries, has been pushing in spite of opposition from local environmental groups.

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The rest of the local headlines from the last 24 hours include stories on the casino-formerly-known as Revel maybe opening by Presidents’ Day weekend, some award-winning Atlantic City gardeners, an update on new NJ opioid bills and the struggle local seasonal workers face trying to feed their families. All that and more below:

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