New Jersey

(information last updated Fall 2017)

Ongoing Projects:

Federal Project Operating in the State:

In 2009, EPA awarded the Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC), a non-profit in Newark, a $100,000 CARE Level I grant to conduct monitoring of pollution coming from 34 waste facilities in the area.  See ICC Envtl. Monitoring, Fed. Crowdsourcing and Citizen Sci. Catalog, (last visited Apr. 10, 2017).  In 2015, EPA lent ICC four air quality sensors to assist their monitoring efforts. See id.  EPA considers this a “proof of concept program,” which it will use to help determine whether it is effective to lend equipment to citizen science groups in other communities.  See id.

State Project:

DEP runs a volunteer water monitoring program: The New Jersey Watershed Watch Network.  See New Jersey Watershed Watch Network, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, (last visited Apr. 10, 2017).  We have been unable to find statutory authority for this program, which the DEP appears to have created on its own initiative.

Trespass Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No.  Notice against trespass must be given by “[a]ctual communication,” “[p]osting,” or “[f]encing.”  N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:18-3(b).

Other Provisions:

Trespass against “any research facility, structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof, of [against a] utility company property, or in the sterile area or operational area of an airport” carries a heightened penalty.  N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:18-3.

Stalking Laws:

Criminal Law:

“A person is guilty of stalking, a crime of the fourth degree, if he purposefully or knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his safety or the safety of a third person or suffer other emotional distress.”  N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:12-10.

Use of Information:

Although our research is incomplete, these provisions could be construed to allow the use of information collected by citizens.

Explicitly Allows:

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) shall “[i]nvestigate and provide responses to al citizen complaints [regarding wetlands protection] submitted under Department procedures[.]”  N.J. Admin. Code § 7:7A-16.19.

Evidentiary Standards:

Pleading a Claim:

Requires a listing of “the facts on which the claim is based.”  N.J. Ct. R. 4:5-2.

Authentication or Chain of Custody:

“The requirement of authentication or identification as a condition precedent to admissibility is satisfied by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the matter is what its proponent claims.”  N.J. R. Evid. 901.

Expert Testimony:

Frye standard.  See State v. Harvey, 699 A.2d 596, 621 (N.J. 1997).


Please note that this discussion is not moderated by the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic.