Expertise and Discretion- New Jersey's Approach to Natural Resource Damages

50 ELR 10030

12 Pages Posted:

Date Written: January 2020


With a Department of Environmental Protection
that predates the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, New Jersey has always been at the
forefront of combating pollution, which is to be expected
of a state with a strong industrial history. It became only
the third state to consolidate all environmental protection
and conservation into one cohesive agency on April 22,
1970, the country’s inaugural Earth Day. Unlike many
other states, New Jersey saw itself as ground zero in the war
against irresponsible environmental pollution. It intended
to launch and administer “aggressive environmental protection
and conservation efforts.”
Six years later, New Jersey paved the way for environmental
protection nationwide when it passed the New Jersey
Spill Compensation and Control Act (Spill Act), once
again predating the federal government’s efforts and the
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation,
and Liability Act (CERCLA). Given its pioneering history,
New Jersey’s natural resource damage law, including
the Spill Act and the public trust doctrine, remains more
robust than its federal counterparts and offers an incomparable
example of the success of state-based environmental
protection and conservation.

Suggested Citation

Kanner, Allan, Expertise and Discretion- New Jersey's Approach to Natural Resource Damages (January 2020). 50 ELR 10030. Available at SSRN:

Allan Kanner (Contact Author)

Kanner & Whiteley, LLC ( email )

701 Camp Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
United States
504-524-5777 (Phone)
504-524-5763 (Fax)

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