Sustainable Jersey Community Certification Report

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This is the Sustainable Jersey Certification Report of Chatham Twp (Morris), a Sustainable Jersey bronze certified applicant.

Chatham Twp (Morris) was certified on October 12, 2015 with 180 points. Listed below is information regarding Chatham Twp (Morris)’s Sustainable Jersey efforts and materials associated with the applicant’s certified actions.

Contact Information

The designated Sustainable Jersey contact for Chatham Twp (Morris) is:

Name:Stephen Carroll
Title/Position:Chatham Township Green Team Chair / Chatham Township Green Team
Address:394 Fairmount Avenue
Chatham, NJ 07928
Phone:973 635-9394

Sustainability Actions Implemented

Each approved action and supporting documentation for which Chatham Twp (Morris) was approved for in 2015 appears below. Note: Standards for the actions below may have changed and the documentation listed may no longer satisfy requirements for that action. Additionally, points associated with actions prior to 2013 certifications may not be accurate.

  • Animals in the Community

    Pledge Supporting NJ Wildlife Action Plan

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    On September 13, 2012 the Chatham Township Committee passed a resolution identical to the model resolution provided by Sustainable Jersey supporting the New Jersey Wildlife Action Plan (See File 1). The Township has always been sensitive to conserving wildlife, in part because a third of the town lies within the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. All the goals and strategies of the Plan are commonsense items that can easily be incorporated into local work plans. In fact, most of the items are already routine in the Township. Lying in or close to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge conservation goals are a way of life and are always considered by the Planning Board and Environmental Commission when reviewing applications and undertaking projects. The Department of Public Works is always responsive whenever an environmentally positive direction to help wildlife is suggested. The Green Team and other volunteers mentioned to the Township Committee that endorsing the Wildlife Action Plan would lend extra credibility to on-going and new conservation activities. The Committee agreed, and at a following meeting with little discussion passed the resolution. There was no comment from members of the public. Comments from the public later in the meeting on a current environmental issue seemed to indicate that people would have been in favor of stronger language than that in the Pledge. A memo has been circulated to Township staff, Boards (Planning and Zoning) and committees (Open Space Committee and Environmental Commission) and other volunteers (the Township has no Transportation Committee or Economic Development Committee) concerning incorporating the items in the resolution into their actions. The memo and a list of those receiving the memo are included in File 2.

  • Community Partnership & Outreach

    Create Green Team

    10 Points Bronze Mandatory

    Program Summary:

    Since its creation the Green Team has been very active. During the period from June 2014 to May 2015 it has met formally nine times. Early in that period the Green Team determined that it did not have enough resources to attempt to obtain silver level certification and determined to seek bronze level certification in 2015. Throughout the year it has been working on actions to complete that goal, (See File 2 for more details) In 2009 the Chatham Township Green Team was designated by resolution of the Township Committee to be comprised of the members of the Chatham Township Environmental Commission. In a March 2015 resolution the Chatham Township Committee affirmed the continuing validity of the 2009 resolution. Both resolutions are copied in File 1. Current Green Team members are listed in File 2.

  • Green Fairs

    Hold a Green Fair

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Green Fair of the Chatham is a partnership between the Environmental Commissions of Chatham Borough (CBEC)and Chatham Township (CTEC). Held on Saturday, September 20, 2014, from 9 am to 2 pm, the Green Fair was a "greener" green fair. The theme/goal was: "Sustainability Begins at Home". Since the Green Fair took place on Borough property and funding was provided by sponsors and vendors, Chatham Township government did not have a large role. Chatham Township did agree to sponsor one entertainment vendor,"Vinny Voltage." Township media was used to publicize the Green Fair (see page 2 from Chatham Township Newsletter copied in File 1). The Township provided the “sandwich board” sign at the Farmer’s Market reminding people of the Green Fair. Township Committee members were supportive and were present at the fair. Substantial volunteer effort for the fair was provided by Chatham Township Green Team members. File 1 also includes the Participant Packet mailed to prospective Green Fair exhibitors. Reusable lawn signs were posted around Chatham Borough and Chatham Township advertising the event. Activities included the Rizzo Reptiles Discovery Show, magic by Vinny Voltage, yoga by Powerflow Yoga and music by "Big Jeff". The Library of the Chathams and the Public Arts Council provided creative "green" activities for children. Pictures of many of the exhibitors may be found in File 2. The Qualitative assessment is attached as File 3. Green Fair sponsors included Investors Savings Bank, the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers, Shop-Rite of the Chathams and a local resident.

  • Food Production

    Community Gardens

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Chatham Community Garden was formed in the summer of 2013 as a joint project of Chatham Borough and Chatham Township. During 2014, its first growing season, its title was the Joint Community Garden of the Chathams. As the 2015 season begins it is known as the Chatham Community Garden. Both municipal governments have actively supported the garden. In August 2013 the Chatham Township Committee approved a resolution to allow the joint garden installation at Woodland Park, which is primarily owned by Chatham Township (see copy of Resolution in File 2). Plots were offered to residents of both communities. Applications for the 2014 season were due by December 31, 2013 (a copy of the application and rules of the garden are in File 2). The Qualitative Assessment delineating the success of the garden during the 2014 season plus the active contribution of the municipality of Chatham Township can be found in File 1.

  • Innovation & Demonstration Projects

    Raingardens

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    Chatham Township Rain Garden/Habitat Action Summary 2005-2009 In Spring 2005, Girl and Boy Scout Troops planted native species in the forebay of the mowed turf retention basin at the K-3 Southern Boulevard School in Chatham Township in order to retrofit it into a native wildlife habitat and bio-filtration basin/rain garden. (See photo, “Scouts Plant Native Species.” in File 1). The retrofit had the dual purpose of providing native wildlife habitat and storm water filtration that protects local drinking water. The basin empties through a storm sewer into a tributary of Black Brook, one of the feeder streams of the Great Swamp, which is headwaters to the Passaic River, which provides drinking water for Chatham Township through the NJ American Water Company. The rain garden/habitat is used as an outdoor environmental learning classroom for students of the School District of the Chathams and was started by the Parent Teacher Organization and the Chatham Township Environmental Commission. Funding of $1,169 for plant material came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP). (See WHIP Approval document in File 2). Guidance on planting came from WHIP, Morris County Park Service, a specialist in bioretention at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum, and a local landscaper. Ideas about retrofitting a mowed turf retention basin into a bioretention basin came from the Association of NJ Environmental Commissions (ANJEC). The forebay and backbay of the basin is about the size of a football field and was built in 2001 to meet strict Chatham Township storm water requirements during the expansion of the school’s parking lot. The native wildlife habitat/bioretention area is the forebay where water from the parking lot storm drains enter through a single pipe. (See “Storm Water Basin Fills in Big Storm.” in File 1). The forebay is .1 acre and is a wetland on the bottom and has very dry, rocky soil on the slopes. An Eagle Scout built 2 benches and 3 educational signs in 2005. The content of the educational signs is changeable. (See photo of “Educational Sign” in File 1). Currently the wetland species, such as swamp milkweed, hibiscus, cat tails, summersweet and sedges are thriving, while the upland plants are browsed and sometimes destroyed by deer. In all but the driest months there is a small pond at the storm water entrance pipe of the forebay that is habitat for Green Frogs. In this parking lot runoff water swim invertebrates called Seed Shrimp and other water insects. Around the rain garden live a diversity of insects and small animals, most notably, monarch butterflies, rabbits, turkeys, hummingbirds. Educational Highlights in Rain Garden/Habitat: Information on the habitat/rain garden and instructions on how to make a rain garden are on the Chatham Township Website and the SBS Website Annual Earth Day Habitat/Rain Garden Walk and Scavenger Hunt, 2005-2009. (See “Habitat Script for Parents” attached as File 3) Annually, Scout troops learn about the rain garden/habitat and weed invasive species and mulch trails in Fall and Spring each year. (See “Scouts Go Wild” photo. in File 1) Sporadically, teachers take students to sit on benches and write or do art. Second Grade teachers raise butterflies and release them at the Rain Garden/Habitat. Pond Life Study, parent-led enrichment group (June 5, 2005) Girl Scout wildlife study and photography session Aug 6, 2007 Workshop for Girl Scouts about invasive vs. native plants May 3, 2008. Signage in Habitat/Rain Garden: 3 Educational signs on function of the rain garden basin and habitat. 1 Sign outside that says Natural Wildlife Habitat visible from parking lot. 1 Sign on gate that says Certified Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat by National Wildlife Federation. New Activities Planned for 2009/10 in addition to Ongoing Annual Events: School District Repaired gaps in fence in June 2009 and already there is less deer damage. Scouts make more stepping stones. Master Gardeners help Kindergarten start a daffodil bowl in Back Bay of mowed retention basin.

  • Land Use & Transportation

    Sustainable Land Use Pledge

    10 Points Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary:

    Chatham Township's Sustainable Land Use Pledge resolution was adopted at the Township Committee meeting on July 9, 2009 (File 1 includes a copy of that resolution). The resolution was formally distributed to the Planning Board, Zoning Board and Environmental Commission on July 10, 2009 (File 2 includes a copy of that memo). On June 28, 2012 the Township Committee passed a resolution affirming continuing support of Chatham Township's Sustainable Land Use Pledge (Copy included in File 1). That resolution was also distributed to the Planning Board, Zoning Board and Environmental Commission (Copy included in File 2). The process for approving a Sustainable Land Use Pledge ("SLUP")began at the start of June 2009, when Township Green Team recommended to the Chatham Township Committee that a resolution based on the model pledge be adopted. The Township Committee began discussion of the amended model land use pledge at its meeting on June 11th. To obtain maximum input it was determined that the pledge should be presented to the Planning Board for its comments and that the resolution should be processed in the same manner as an ordinance (i.e. introduced at one meeting with a public hearing and adopted at a subsequent meeting). Copies of the proposed pledge resolution were made available at the municipal building, the Library of the Chathams and on the Chatham Township website. In addition the local press was informed and several articles followed. The sustainable land use pledge resolution was introduced and a public hearing was opened at the June 25th Township Committee meeting. After review by the Township Attorney the resolution was adopted on July 9 2012. File 3 contains documents related to the 2009 process of approving the sustainable land use pledge resolution.

  • Natural Resources

    Environmental Commission

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    Chatham Township has had an environmental commission since the early 1970s. A copy of the ordinance as amended is being submitted as File 1. File 2 contains a copy of our most recent annual report (2014), which lists our activities for that year, and is submitted to demonstrate that we are an active environmental commission.

    Environmental Commission Site Plan Review

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    Since the Chatham Township Environmental Commission was established by Township ordinance in 1968 the Commission has made its primary task the review of development applications as well as permit applications to the NJDEP. The EC has prepared and regularly updated a Natural Resource Inventory so all application documents are made available to the Commission. Each application is reviewed by the Development Subcommittee and comment memos are prepared for those with significant environmental features. Planning Board and Board of Adjustment site visits are always attended by EC members and EC Associates who take photos and record their observations. EC members and Associates also attend Board and town Council meetings and comment in person as necessary. The Commission follows the ANJEC guidelines found in "Site Plan/Subdivision Review Environmental Analysis" (http://www.anjec.org/pdfs/SitePlanReview10.pdf) for the preparation of memos. Among the items mentioned in a Findings of Fact and Recommendations report are: Commission's sources of information including the commission site inspection report, plans and materials reviewed, and the engineer's reports; Mention of any conservation easement on the property; Description of application or proposed action; Current site description; Historical uses including possible underground storage tanks and pesticide residue from farming operations; Current surrounding local conditions (distances to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, the Loantaka County park, C1 streams); Current regional conditions; Conditions on and off site during construction, especially where steep slopes are involved; Conditions following occupancy, noting violation of any conservation easement and disturbance of slopes and wetlands; Applicable Township ordinances and NJDEP permit requirements; Permits required from other agencies such as the Morris County Soil Conservation District. The report is sent to the relevant Board, to the NJDEP in the case of wetlands or habitat issues, and to the County when legal violations are uncovered. Oversite of development applications has prevented many problems and is well worth the effort.

    Natural Resource Inventory

    20 Points Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary:

    The Chatham Township 2013 NRI was carried out by volunteer members of the Environmental Commission in consultation with the Township engineer, John Ruschke of Hatch, Mott, MacDonald,and the Township planner, Frank Banisch of Banisch Associates. The 2013 NRI is an update of the 1999-2005 NRI with new and revised content and maps. The 1999 NRI, prepared by volunteers, was based on the first Township NRI, done in 1974 also by volunteers. The NRIs of 1974, 1999 and 2013 are available on the Chatham Township Environmental Commission web page (http://www.chathamtownship-nj.gov/CTEC/index.html). The 2013 NRI is intended to be viewed on line. However for SJ review purposes a pdf copy of the 2013 NRI is being submitted in three sections as files 2, 3 and 4 [Note that the chapter links in File 2 work only in the on line version]. File 1 summarizes what has been updated in the 2013 NRI. File 5 documents the incorporation of the 2013 NRI into the Master Plan. The NRI update policy is found in File 6. The two main environmental changes in Chatham Township between 1999 and 2013, and described in the 2013 NRI, were - the redevelopment and infill of parcels and small subdivisions, with many modest houses being demolished and replaced with bigger homes ("McMansions"), and - the preservation of large tracts of open space. Other significant environmental events in the period included the adoption of strict storm water control regulations and the requirement by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection that its conservation easements on wetlands and wetland transition areas be recorded in the office of the Morris County Clerk. The 2013 Natural Resources Inventory incorporates information on all these items. References within the chapters show that the 2013 NRI was updated within the past ten years.

    Open Space Plans

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Chatham Township Open Space Plan was updated by the Open Space Committee in 2010 and approved by the Planning Board at its meetings on December 6, 2010 and January 11, 2011 (Minutes of those meetings are attached File 3). The original plan was written in 1998. The updated plan reflects recent acquisitions and includes the Sustainable Jersey requirements. Updates were made to reflect the changes in land acquisitions made by public entities. The public entities include Chatham Township, Morris County, and the US Department of Interior/US Fish and Wildlife. Hatch Mott McDonald provided the Open Space Committee with a new Open Space map and also provided the total acreage in ownership by the various public entities. Some of the previous section titles were changed to more closely tie them with Sustainable Jersey’s listing of sections. The updated Open Space Plan is attached as File 3. No entry is made to File 2 since a Master Plan re-examination report does not apply.

    Water Conservation Education Program

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    Chatham Township Sustainable Jersey Water Conservation Education Programs Feb 11, 2010 Water Symposium: The Drink’s on Us --140 hours: Led by Chatham Twp Environmental Commission, cosponsored by Chatham Borough. Addressed drinking water’s source, pollution removal, quantity and conservation. 35 people in attendance. 7 Panelists on local tap water. Chatham High School students conducted a tap vs. bottled water taste test. April 16, 2010 Rain Barrels and Composters event--200 hours Chatham Twp led pre-ordered rain barrels and composters distribution event. Co-sponsors were Chatham Twp, Madison, Chatham Borough, Summit, and Berkeley Heights May 27, 2010 NJ American Water Company $5,000 Grant Awarded for Educational Programs--200 hours Demonstration rain barrels for several public locations A vertical hydroponics garden and aquatic ecosystem tanks at Chatham High School CTEC’s Reduce Use Program: regarding plastic disposable beverage containers and Back To Tap campaigns. Aug 2, 2010 EPA We’re for Water National Contest--60 hours. Two Chatham families competed to use the least water for a week, and faced off in televised water-saving games. September 5, 2010 Green Fair Water Conservation Display-- 40 hours Chatham Twp Environmental Commission’s WaterSense Devices display, and Chatham Twp Girl Scouts Display of Rain Barrels, with raffle April 14, 2011 A Chemical Reaction 8 hours, Film on pesticide health hazards for water and air. (cosponsored with Chatham Borough) May, 2011 Turning the Tide 3 hours Film about the ecological value of the Hackensack Meadowlands (cosponsored with Chatham Borough) Feb 2, 2012: Water Conservation Workshop--90 hours Sponsored by the Chatham Twp Environmental Commission and Chatham Borough Green Initiatives Committee. The Watershed Ambassador gave presention on conserving water at home. Then, a panel discussion on building rain gardens. Saturday, March 10, 2012 Rain Garden Workshop--3 hours Co-sponsored the event led by Great Swamp Watershed Association from 10:00 a.m. to noon, at GSWA in Morristown, NJ.

  • Caring for Conservation Easements

    Easement Inventory and Outreach

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    In year 2000 the Chatham Township Environmental Commission began a project to inventory and monitor all the conservation easements in the Township, either held by the Township, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection or others. Using funds from several grants and relying heavily on volunteers an initial inventory was produced, a map and brochure were prepared and an on-the-ground assessment of all the easements was performed. Documentation on each easement including deeds, maps, Planning Board and Board of Adjustment resolutions, Township resolutions accepting conservation easements, copies of NJDEP documents, and monitoring reports are filed together in the Township municipal building. The inventory and map are updated on a continuing basis as new easements are acquired. Informal monitoring occurs when issues come to light, in which case memos are sent to the appropriate organization. When a property with a conservation easement changes hands the Commission sends a notification letter to the new owner. The Municipal Conservation Easement Stewardship Program Plan Worksheet for Chatham Township is attached as File 1. File 2 contains the CT easement brochure. The CT Municipal Easement Inventory database is submitted as File 3 and the easement map is included as File 4.

  • Natural Resource Protection Ordinances

    Tree Protection Ordinance

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Township of Chatham has a tree protection ordinance (#), which was passed in 2008. The ordinance establishes a tree density requirement for each property in the community. A copy of the ordinance is attached as File 1. Attached as File 2 is copy of the Chatham Township Tree Removal Permit Application, which demonstrates how the ordinance is implemented.

  • Sustainability & Climate Planning

    Community Carbon Footprint

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    Chatham Township compiled a Community Carbon Footprint (CCF) using 2011 data. We had previously compiled a Municipal Carbon Footprint (MCF) using 2008 data. For our 2012 Sustainable Jersey submission, the Chatham Township Green Team recalculated the MCF using 2011 data (See File 3). We then inserted MCF data into the appropriate places in the CCF calculator. We obtained electricity data from JCP&L, organized by commercial, industrial and residential sector usage, and inserted that data into the CCF calculator. This was followed by obtaining natural gas data from PSE&G, organized into the same sectors, and entering that data into the CCF calculator. Using the approach outlined in the Heating Oil Estimate portion of the spreadsheet, we then calculated the amount of energy to heat those homes using fuel oil. This estimate required obtaining information from the US Census Bureau regarding the number of homes in Chatham Township using natural gas versus fuel oil, subtracting the non-heating portion, and estimating the heating portion, assuming the same level of energy used as an average home heated with natural gas. See File 1 for supporting documents for PSE&G, JCP&L and US Census data. The 2011 total emissions shown in the Chatham Township CCF is 67,187.91 (See File 2). The CCF will help Chatham Township to inform our community of the need to reduce energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions.

    Municipal Carbon Footprint

    10 Points Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary:

    Chatham Township established 2011 as the Baseline year for this Municipal Carbon Footprint action. Previous emissions inventories have been completed for baseline years 2006 and 2008 but a 2011 municipal carbon footprint has been calculated and is being submitted in order to complement the 2011 Community Carbon Footprint. Stationary combustion of fuels by Chatham Township was limited to natural gas combustion. Therm usage for each month for each meter at all municipal locations was obtained by the Green Team from PSE&G bills and entered on the Municipal Carbon Footprint tool (MCFT) provided by Sustainable Jersey. Annual usage was calculated, divided into four categories of municipal operations (Building & Facilities; Street Lights & Traffic Signals; Water & Wastewater Treatment Facilities; and Other) and entered on the MCFT. Chatham Township\\\'s monthly kilowatt-hours of electricity consumption for each municipal meter or billing account number was obtained by the Green Team from JCP&L bills and entered on the MCFT. Annual usage was calculated and divided into four categories of municipal operations (Building & Facilities; Street Lights & Traffic Signals; Water & Wastewater Treatment Facilities; and Other) and entered on the MCFT. Chatham Township maintains computerized records of the fuel usage of each vehicle in its fleet. Annual fuel consumption of the fleet during 2011 in gallons was obtained from those records and entered on the MCFT. Annual mileage of each vehicle was recorded, summed by type and entered on the MCFT. Emissions were calculated by the MCFT. The completed MCFT is attached as File 1 and submitted as the Municipal Carbon Footprint of Chatham Township for Baseline year 2011.

  • Waste Management

    Prescription Drug Safety and Disposal

    10 Points Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary:

    The Chatham Township Drug Take-back Program was organized and implemented by the Chatham Township Police Department in September 2014. A medication drop box was installed in the lobby of the Police Department. The Medicine drop Box is an initiative of Morris County Prevention is Key (MCPIK). The Police Department collaborated with the Morris County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO), the Morris County Sheriff's Department(MCSD)and Community Coalition for a Safe & Healthy Morris Morris to develop this project. After submitting a Standard Operating Procedure to the MCPO, the Police Department ordered the Medicine Drop Box, which was permanently secured to the Police Department lobby floor. To secure dual control separate locks were placed on the box by officers of the MCSD and the Police Department. The box is under constant camera surveillance. The Drop Box is available 24/7 365, although residents are encouraged to use the service when the lobby is open. The MCSD collects the Drop Box contents periodically and arranges for safe incineration. The availability and importance of the Drug Take-back Program was publicized widely through press releases, direct email to residents, posters, municipal websites, electronic newsletter and community bulletin board (See File 1). File 1 also contains a sample of the Community Coalition for a Safe & Healthy Morris county wide app that can search and locate the CT Drop Box location. Collection estimates are also discussed at the end of File 1. File 2 illustrates the national information link provided to residents. Photos of the Drop Off area may be found in File 3.

  • Recycling

    Recycling Depot

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    Chatham Township has established a Recycling Depot. The Chatham Township Recycling Depot is located at the foot of Tanglewood Lane and provides a place for residents to drop off a variety of items listed in File 1. The depot also has used clothing bins provided by a charity. The number of accepted items increased significantly with the start of Single-Stream Recycling in August 2011. The Recycling Depot underwent a major modification to accommodate this new method. Pictures of the Recycling Depot taken during 2014/15 (including photo of the location sign) are attached as File 3. File 2 contains the 2015 recycle brochure mailed to all residents;the brochure provides information about curbside recycling as well as the location and hours of the Chatham Township Recycling Depot. The same information is provided on the Recycling page of the Chatham Township website. There are signs on the streets pointing residents to the Depot. Hours of operation at the Recycling Depot are: Tuesdays from 8:30 am - 11:30 am and Saturdays from 8:00 am - 12 noon.