Forward, Not Back: Save Our Sensible Safeguards

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Stop Governor Christie from Waiving Our Safeguards!

On March 21, 2013, the NJ State Appellate Court ruled to allow the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to issue waivers of important environmental and worker protections. THEY GOT IT WRONG!

But, our Legislators can still override the rule to ensure safeguards that will protect our environment and workplaces.

The DEP's waiver rule sets up a process to let wealthy corporations and individuals simply ignore the law. That’s why twenty-eight labor and environmental organizations, including WEC, filed a lawsuit to block the DEP waiver rule.

Governor Christie's Executive Order #2 mandated every state agency to create waivers that would essentially allow them to deregulate themselves. The first agency to enact a waiver rule was the Department of Environmental Protection.

We need our Legislators to uphold safeguards that protect workers, communities, and the environment. Tell your Legislators to override the DEP waiver rule and all future waiver rules.


  1. Sign our petition to stop Governor Christie from waiving our safeguards!
  2. Volunteer with NJ WEC to get more people to sign the petition or start your own petition drive by downloading the petition and flyer.


Forward, Not Back (incorporating Save Our Sensible Safeguards) is a campaign to defeat bipartisan attacks on decades of New Jersey's landmark protection.

Our Campaign Platform

  1. To protect and strengthen sensible public safeguards for our health and safety in our communities.

  2. To support enactment of Jobs 21! action plan developed by the BlueGreen Alliance. The plan would create millions of jobs and save billions of dollars by modernizing our schools to make them energy efficient; increasing energy efficiency in homes and other buildings; supporting American manufacturing; investing in transportation and communications systems; and producing cleaner energy through seed money and incentives for wind and solar power and other renewables.

    For more information about Jobs 21!, visit the BlueGreen Alliance website.



August 1, 2012
WAIVERS FOR SALE! DEP's Auction Starts Today
Coalition asks Legislature to stop Governor Christie's Pay-to-Play Policies

August 6, 2012
State begins taking applications to waive environmental rules, angering activists
by Megan DeMarco

March 21, 2011 - Philadelphia Inquirer
Environmental Regulatory Shift in N.J. Draws Praise and Concern by Maya Rao
March 8, 2012 -

Environmental and Labor Groups Blast Gov. Christie for Waiver Rule

Press Release from labor and environmental organizations

Responding to issuance of a final rule by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) encouraging DEP to grant waivers to corporations seeking to avoid health and environmental safeguards, environmental and labor organizations issued a joint statement.

June 10, 2010 - NJ Spotlight
Spotlight: Oil Worker and Activist: John Pajak (WEC President) by Tom Johnson

June 9, 2010 - The Star Ledger
N.J. Coalition Petitions Lawmakers to Kill Bill Against Tougher Safety, Conservation, Health Rules by Brian Murray

June 9, 2010
Press Release from Save Our Sensible Safeguards

June 7, 011
Press Release from Majority Leader Buono

Opinion Pieces

May 23, 2012 - The Times of Trenton
Opinion: Dow Chemical Fire in PA Exposes Risks of Undermining Safeguards by Cecelia Leto, Program Coordinator for NJ Work Environment Council

April 6, 2012 - Asbury Park Press
Opinion: Let's Stop Waiver Rule Benefiting Favored Few by Joyce Sagi, member of the Executive Board of the Union of Rutgers Administrators (AFT Local 1766) and the Board of Directors of the NJ Work Environment Council

March 31, 2012 - Courier Post (of Camden)
DEP Waiver Rule is a Threat by Debra Coyle McFadden, Assistant Director, WEC

March 7, 2012 - The Record
Opinion: Human Climate in NJ Sacrificed for Better Business Climate by Moriah Kinberg, Campaign Organizer, WEC

February 26, 2012 - The Star Ledger
Opinion: Governor Chris Christie's Corporate Waivers Jeopardize New Jersey by John Pajak, Vice President, Teamsters Local 877 & WEC President

January 13, 2012 - The Star Ledger
Opinion: Stronger Safeguards Needed in N.J. Hospitals, Nursing Homes by Ann Twomey, President, Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE) and Chrystal Disant, Health and Safety Chair, HPAE Local 5004 and a member of the WEC Board of Directors

November 15, 2011 - The Star Ledger
Opinion: Gov. Chris Christie Halted Projects to Improve School Safety by Eileen Senn, WEC Industrial Hygiene Consultant

October 23, 2011 - The Record of Bergen County
Opinion: Why We are Better Off with Right-to-Know Laws by Rick Engler, WEC Director

September 21, 2011 - The Star Ledger
Opinion: Corporate Efforts to Remove Workplace Safeguards Threaten Health, Safety, Quality of Life Opinion Piece by John Shinn, Director, District 4, United Steelworkers and a member of the WEC Board of Directors

August 16, 2011 - The Record of Bergen County
Opinion: Job Killing Regulations' Do Nothing of the Sort by John Pajak, Vice President, Teamsters Local 877 and WEC President

June 16, 2011 - Star Ledger
A Conversation with Rick Engler on the Environment
Christie talks a good game, but hasn't delivered much yet.

June 10, 2010 - NJ Spotlight
Opinion: The High Price of Lower Environmental Standards by Michael Catania