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Honoring Robert C. Shinn, Jr.

Rep. H. James Saxton

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to my good friend, Robert C. Shinn, Jr., who served as the 11th Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) longer than any other commissioner in the DEP's 31-year history.

Bob Shinn also served as an elected official at the local, county and state levels for 26 years, where much of his effort was devoted to open space, Pinelands and farmland preservation, water supply and solid waste management issues.

Among his legislative accomplishments was authorship of New Jersey's Water Supply Critical Area Law, which gives the state the necessary authority to effectively manage threatened surface and ground water resources. He guided the passage of several key laws, including our state's Mandatory Recycling Act and the revision of the A-901 solid waste hauler screening program, and also authored the law regulating the handling and disposal of medical waste in New Jersey.

On the local level, Bob served as Township Committeeman and Mayor of Hainesport from 1968 to 1977. He served as Burlington County Freeholder from 1977 to 1985, and as Freeholder Director for two years. He was responsible for the formation of the Burlington County Pinelands Conservation Easement Advisory committee, and was instrumental in securing the first conservation easement in the Pinelands. To that end, he was elected vice-chairman of the New Jersey Pinelands Commission from 1979 to 1985.

Mr. Shinn was instrumental in developing Burlington County's Solid Waste Management Plan and its Environmental Complex, which serves as the county's multi-functional resource recovery facility as well as an environmental research and demonstration facility.

Bob Shinn has been a shining star in the annals of New Jersey's history, locally, on the county level, and state-wide through his work with the DEP. His commitment and dedication to our state and its people will be sorely missed.