NJ Legislature To Conduct “By Invitation Only” Oversight Of NJ Climate Policy

April 17th, 2019 No comments

Testimony Limited to The Usual Suspects – Critics Need Not Apply

Forestry Group Advocates Questionable Logging Policies

[Update #2 – 4/22/19 – NJ Spotlight reports significant delay by BPU in releasing a draft Energy Master Plan (EMP). Climate emergency, fossil moratorium & phase out, and delay in EMP must be a critical focus of this hearing.

Green groups must focus on the fact that Gov. Murphy does not need to rely on the BPU EMP to impose a moratorium on new fossil infrastructure. Gov. Florio imposed a Moratorium on new garbage incinerators via Executive Order #8. That Order established an Emergency Task Force and gave them 120 days to issue recommendations to transform policy and regulations to make incineration an option of last resort and maximize source reduction, composting and recycling. Murphy can do the same on energy infrastructure and policy.~~~ end update]

Update 1: 4/18/19 – Here is NJ Senate Democrats cursory reply denying my request to open the hearing:

Hi Bill:

 Yes, we are sticking with the list of invited witnesses.  I suspect there will be more climate change hearings that will have a more open format. ~~~ end update]

The Senate and Assembly Environment committees will hold a rare joint oversight hearing on April 25 – no doubt as part of an Earth Week PR celebration – with the following objectives (according the the Committee hearing announcement):

The committees will meet jointly to receive testimony from invited guests concerning climate change mitigation, with testimony focusing on what steps the State is currently taking, and recommendations for future actions, to address greenhouse gas emissions.

The “invited guests” are as follows:

·         Board of Public Utilities – President, Joseph Fiordaliso

·         Department of Environmental Protection – Deputy Commissioner, Deborah Mans

·         Rutgers University – Dr. Tony Broccoli, Department of Environmental Science  & Dr. Robert Kopp, Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences

·         New Jersey Climate Change Alliance Jeanne Herb, Alliance Co-Facilitator & Executive Director Environmental Analysis & Communications Group, at the Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and Marjorie Kaplan, Alliance Co-Facilitator & Associate Director, Rutgers Climate Institute

·         NYU, Institute for Policy Integrity – Peter Howard, Economic Director & Denise Garb, Western Regional Director

·         America’s Forests – Jad Daley, President & CEO

I am deeply troubled, obviously, by the “by invitation only” format, especially at a time when the public debate is exploding over major movements and policy initiatives like The Green New Deal, Climate Strike, and Extinction Rebellion, where  a whole new generation engages the climate catastrophe and seriously questions a lack of real action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid catastrophic and irreversible climate tipping points.

Now is absolutely the worst time to limit public testimony to the usual suspects, whose failures have brought us to the brink of catastrophe.

Given the timing of the Murphy Administration’s impending release of the Energy Master Plan, it is also not an appropriate time to give the BPU President a platform, with no opportunity for rebuttal by scientists or public advocates of a moratorium on fossil infrastructure (and phase out of fossil).

I’ve written critically many times about NJ climate policy, including what I view as the Murphy administration’s weak appointment of Debbie Mans as DEP Deputy Commissioner and the timidity, self censorship and failures at Rutgers on climate science (see this most recent post), so I’ll say no more about all that in this post.

Previously, I’ve also criticized toothless pending legislation that is purported to address climate change. The upcoming hearing is a continuation of that sham.

But, after reading the invitation list, I also was very troubled by the inclusion of American Forests, a group I was not familiar with and that seems to have limited NJ experience and on the ground presence in NJ communities and forests, at a time when “forest stewardship” is extremely controversial.

So, I did a quick Google and was troubled by what I found, particularly about their recommended forestry practices, which led to the following letter to Senate Chairman Bob Smith:

Dear Chairman Smith –

While I applaud your efforts to conduct legislative oversight of current failed policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to solicit testimony on new ideas to accelerate deep emissions reductions, I am writing for 2 reasons:

1) to object to the “by invitation only” format for the hearing and request that you open testimony up to all publics;

2) to raise concerns about the implications of the forestry policies advocated by American Forests, an invited guest with very limited NJ experience and to question the lack of balance on forestry policies.

Based exclusively on a review of American Forest’s website, they seem to be heavily corporate friendly, excessively pro-market, vague regarding regulatory frameworks, and advocate troubling forestry management practices.

https://www.americanforests.org/our-work/climate/

While the policy toolkit includes “state land use” and “regulatory” policies, those policies are not identified with any specificity and are dwarfed by the market tools and troubling forestry practices promoted.

Below are some troubling excerpts from their “policy toolkit” regarding forestry practices that they claim sequester carbon –

I left out all the market oriented stuff about carbon pricing, cap and trade, RGGI, grants, landowner and logging incentives, subsidies, and carbon offsets etcetera which are even worse and suggest a bias and unbalanced approach, see:

http://forestclimateworkinggroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/AF-FCWG-Toolkit-Digital.pdf

WOOD PRODUCTS

Wood is an extremely effective material for storing carbon. Long-lived wood products provide long-term carbon storage for nearly 100 MMt/CO2e every year—more than 10 percent of the U.S. forest carbon sink—while the working forests from which they were derived continue the growth and sequestration process.11 The increased use of wood in buildings has the potential to sequester and store over 32 million tons of carbon each year in the United States.12 Harvested forest products offer an additional climate mitigation benefit in the form of avoided emissions that occur when wood products displace the use of fossil- fuel intensive building materials, like steel and concrete. Thisadditional emissions reduction benefit from wood products is not reflected in U.S. EPA’s national GHG inventory for the land sector.

PATHWAYS FOR FOREST CARBON MITIGATION

Maintaining a strong base of healthy and resilient forests is the key to a reliable forest carbon sink. Several pathways are available to state and local policymakers to advance forest carbon mitigation while leveraging other forest ecosystem services such as forest products, air pollution abatement, drinking water supply protection, habitat preservation, and outdoor recreation. In the aggregate, the pathways below will keep forests as forests, expand forest cover, and promote forest health and resilience.

MANAGING FORESTS FOR INCREASED SEQUESTRATION

There are many ways in which forests can be managed to increase carbon sequestration, including carbon storage in wood products. Several forest management techniques increase the survival and enhance the growth of healthy trees that sequester the most carbon.19 Examples of forestry practices that strengthen forests and enable them to sequester and store more carbon include fertilizing soils; extending forest rotations to let carbon accumulate; accelerating restocking; managing competition to enhance overall growth; removing diseased trees in favor of species that grow faster and less impeded; and protecting climate-adapted tree seedlings that are most likely to thrive.

MANAGING FORESTS FOR RESILIENCE
A range of forest management practices can increase forest resilience to forest stresses that are worsening with climate change, thereby reducing potential carbon emissions and loss of future sequestration capacity. These resilience-oriented practices include but are not limited to forest treatments designed to reduce the vulnerability of forests to wildfire, and practices designed to protect forests from disease, insects, and drought. In fire-prone systems, these practices include prescribed burning and thinning to reduce wildfire severity and irreparable damage. In other systems, the primary opportunities to promote resilience include forest treatments and restoration practices that manage vegetation density and overall health. This will in turn reduce vulnerability to stresses like drought and pests that trigger increased mortality. In some cases, the forest practices that enhance sequestration (above) and increase resilience are overlapping. In many cases, forest owners and managers will want to plan these actions in tandem for the maximum carbon benefit.

FOREST PRODUCTS

Wood products from well-managed forests store forest carbon andoffer lifecycle emissions benefits compared to alternative products thatare more fossil-fuel intensive, such as aluminum and steel. It is important that carbon accounting for forest practices described above fully credits the carbon storage accomplished through wood products. This can be enhanced by helping landowners and managers better understand the storage potential in different wood products, and how they might optimize the carbon storage potential within the forest products carbon pool as part of an overall management strategy. Further, promoting forest product utilization can provide a market-based incentive to stimulate forest practices where they are needed to achieve forest health and resilience, such as thinning overstocked forests to reduce fire risk. This includes actions such as adjusting building codes to increase wood utilization, providing tax or other financial incentives for wood utilization in construction, and marketing promotions that highlight the climate change benefits of wood.

The above policies and forest management practices advocated by American Forests are deeply troubling and would result in expanded logging of NJ forests under the guise of carbon sequestration and RGGI funding.

I strongly urge you to include alternative perspectives on forest preservation and climate change to balance these views.

Respectfully,

Bill Wolfe

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NJ Attorney General Grewal Says News Reports Spurred Dupont Lawsuit, Not NJ DEP Referral

April 14th, 2019 No comments

Appears that DEP failed to refer Dupont to AG’s Office

At the end of a recent Bergen Record story about a controversial proposed municipal zoning change that would dramatically weaken applicable DEP cleanup standards and save the Chemours corporation millions of dollars in cleanup costs -as if all that were not bad enough – we were shocked by this astonishing admission by NJ Attorney General Grewal:

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said the NorthJersey.com and USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey investigative series “Toxic Secrets” spurred the Pompton Lakes lawsuit. The series showed how DuPont masked health risks caused by extensive contamination in the borough by refusing to test homes for toxic fumes.

How is it possible that news reports spurred the Dupont Natural Resource Damage (NRD) lawsuit and not recommendations by the NJ DEP’s NRD program?

That is a huge failure by NJ DEP Commissioner McCabe.

And it also suggests that politics and media played a larger role in the AG’s litigation decision than science and natural resource protection.

The NJ DEP has an Office of Natural Resource Restoration (ONRR) to assure that injuries to natural resources are restored and the polluters are held accountable.

The DEP ONRR mission is:

The Office of Natural Resource Restoration has the primary responsibility within the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for responding to discharges and other sources of pollution that trigger the DEP’s obligations as the trustee for all of New Jersey’s natural resources for the benefit of all of its citizens, now and in the future.  This effort includes working with the persons responsible for conducting the remediation to return such natural resources to their pre-discharge quality, quantity, function, and value, and to implement restoration projects to compensate New Jersey citizens for the lost interim value or for the permanent loss of their natural resources.

The scientific and technical information to pursue an NRD lawsuit is generated by the NJ DEP ONRR.

Based on this scientific information, the policy recommendation to file an NRD lawsuit should originate in NJ DEP Commissioner’s office, via a formal referral to the Attorney General’s Office.

The DEP is the “client” in NRD litigation – the AG  is supposed to support NJ DEP’s enforcement policy.

There were plenty of grounds to re-open the prior corrupt DEP – Dupont NRD deal.

The fact that AG Grewal was “spurred” to file an NRD lawsuit against Dupont based on news reports is a stunning admission of a total breakdown between the NJ DEP and the Attorney General’s Office.

We sensed this weakness of DEP and a breakdown on NRD at the outset of the Murphy administration, and criticized NJ DEP Commissioner McCabe in this March 13, 2018 post:

Murphy’s Acting DEP Commissioner McCabe is an attorney and former US Justice Department natural resource lawyer, so surely she understands the legal and policy weaknesses of the Christie NRD legal policy and DEP program.

So why on earth did Murphy AG Grewal (and DEP McCabe) rubber stamp the Christie draft settlements BEFORE conducting a policy review and public process of reform, including promulgating DEP NRD regulations that the courts have found necessary?

Our subsequent filing of an OPRA public record request confirmed our suspicions, which I documented and expanded upon in this followup post:

In a stunning admission, the Murphy DEP’s response to my MTBE Natural Resource Damage OPRA request claims that DEP has no documents that provided a basis to negotiate the recent $200 million settlement with Big Oil for contaminating groundwater and drinking water supplies across the state at thousands of sites with the fuel additive MTBE.

The settlement documents (i.e. the terms of the settlements) and the DEP websites suggested by DEP to provide background do not provide any technical information regarding the magnitude, location, degree, and extent of groundwater contamination; the number of facilities that released MTBE to groundwater; the DEP’s definition of “natural resource injury”, or the DEP’s economic methodology for quantifying natural resource injuries for the purposes of legally required compensation and/or restoration.

This is incredible.

How did the Attorney General negotiate and arrive at $200 million as an appropriate settlement to compensate the public, if there are no technical documents that factually define the extent of injury and quantify the economic value of the natural resource injury and/or natural resource restoration?

Did the AG just make up that number out of thin air? Pull it out of a hat?

How did the AG arrive at $200 million as acceptable public compensation if he did not know the extent of the damage? Or the cost of restoration?

Surely Chemour’s lawyers read the paper too – and these kind of comments by the AG will be used against him in a court of law, for sure.

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Media And Corporate Democrats Replicate Russian Paranoia To Attack Assange and Ignore Manning

April 13th, 2019 No comments

US National Security State Retaliates For Disclosure of War Crimes

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“The freedom of the press is not safe. It’s over. And I think our republic is in its last days, because unauthorized disclosures of this kind are the lifeblood of a republic.” Daniel Ellsberg (from CounterPunch)

“… the Trump Administration’s prosecution of Assange represents a greater threat to the free press than all of the president’s nasty tweets combined. If the prosecution of Julian Assange succeeds, investigative reporting based on classified information will be given a near death blow.” ~~~ James Goodale, First Amendment lawyer and former general counsel of the New York Times (Harpers, 4/13/19)

[Update below]

The dominant Russia-gate narrative that “Trump is Putin’s puppet” has had huge negative and disastrous consequences, including:

1. allowing Democrats to avoid self critical examination; to cover up the DNC sabotage of the Sanders campaign, and to fail to analyze the reasons for their failure in the 2016 loss to Trump;

2. avoiding a public debate about economic inequality and serious structural policy alternatives that Sanders advocated, like single payer, increasing taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and responding to climate catastrophe (in what now has emerged as the Green New Deal);

3. overshadowing the real damage that Trump is doing to government, democratic institutions, and public policy; and

4. reinforcing the institutional power of the National Security State and reviving the Cold War narrative.

Now exactly the same misguided, Cold War, Russia paranoia narrative is being used to attack Julian Assange – who has been branded a Russian puppet – thereby masking a grave threat to freedom of the press, a harsh attack on journalism, and moving the Doomsday Clock even closer to midnight.

It is critical to understand this basic fact that is being distorted by media coverage: (The Intercept)

The other key fact being widely misreported is that the indictment accuses Assange of trying to help Manning obtain access to document databases to which she had no valid access: i.e., hacking rather than journalism. But the indictment alleges no such thing. Rather, it simply accuses Assange of trying to help Manning log into the Defense Department’s computers using a different username so that she could maintain her anonymity while downloading documents in the public interest and then furnish them to WikiLeaks to publish.

In other words, the indictment seeks to criminalize what journalists are not only permitted but ethically required to do: take steps to help their sources maintain their anonymity. As longtime Assange lawyer Barry Pollack put it: “The factual allegations … boil down to encouraging a source to provide him information and taking efforts to protect the identity of that source. Journalists around the world should be deeply troubled by these unprecedented criminal charges.”

The same dynamics drove betrayal of Chelsea Manning, who is a national hero.

Bitter Hillary Clinton Democrats, their media allies, and other partisan useful idiots are more concerned about revenge on Assange – who they mistakenly think sunk the Clinton campaign and swung the election to Trump – than on the truth and defending core First Amendment free press principles.

Journalists are even worse than partisan Clinton Democrats: (Harpers)

Given the threat the Justice Department’s actions against Assange pose to the First Amendment, why haven’t more journalists, press organizations, and editorial boards jumped in to support him? Principally it is because journalists dislike what he is doing; they don’t believe he is a “real” journalist and therefore do not see him as entitled to the same protections they enjoy.

Writing in U.S. News and World Report, for example, Susan Milligan says, “[Journalism] requires research, balance and most of all judgment. . . . Dumping documents—some of them classified—onto a website does not make anyone a journalist.” Add to this my own experience of when I was attacked several years ago by a howling mob of A-list journalists led by the late Morley Safer at a party (for my own book) where I said Assange, as a reporter, was entitled to First Amendment rights. “He is just a data dumper,” I was told—and most everyone there agreed.

It is disgusting.

They are effectively covering up US War Crimes, feeding the proto-Fascist forces behind the rise of Trump, and undermining efforts to fundamentally transform US politics and governance (e.g. Green New Deal).

Here’s what this is all about:

This was never about Sweden or bail violations, or even about the discredited Russiagate narrative, as anyone who was paying the vaguest attention should have been able to work out. It was about the US Deep State doing everything in its power to crush Wikileaks and make an example of its founder.

It was about making sure there would never again be a leak like that of Collateral Murder, the military video released by Wikileaks in 2007 that showed US soldiers celebrating as they murdered Iraqi civilians. It was about making sure there would never again be a dump of US diplomatic cables, like those released in 2010 that revealed the secret machinations of the US empire to dominate the planet whatever the cost in human rights violations.

Shame on the Democrats and most of the media, who used the fruits of Assange and Manning’s courage and integrity for partisan advantage and corporate profits, but now throw them under the bus for petty revenge and 30 pieces of silver.

[Update – 4/15/19 – I just read an excerpt and link to this classified US DoD Report – ironically leaked to Wikileaks! – at Chris Hedges’ Truthdig column today. It proves that for years, there has been a conspiracy in some US government circles to undermine “trust” and”destroy the center of gravity of Wikileaks. Here’s the smoking gun text:

Web sites such as Wikileaks.org use trust as a center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers. The identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions from using the Wikileaks.org Web site.

It is now obvious that Assange’s arrest is the result of this kind of thinking. So why aren’t news reports focused on this? Which is a real conspiracy in plain sight.

As a whistleblower who suffered retaliation, bogus threats of criminal prosecution, and personal smears by NJ State government officials, I can assure you that “termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against …leakers” was designed by State officials to “deter others considering similar actions “.

There is no doubt in my mind about that.

One of the sham legal threats I faced was a claim that I engaged in unauthorized computer use and “stole” the information that I leaked.

In future, I will post in detail, including sworn testimony of my DEP hearing transcripts, that refutes these claims.

But for now, I will note that Assange is facing “conspiracy” charges for exactly these same “crimes”.

I will also note that Bob Garfield from NPR’s “On the Media” show jumped on the Assange attack bandwagon, and virtually repeated almost verbatim these exact claims from that US DoD Report (@page 19-20)

Questions and concerns have been raised by media consultants, ethics experts, and other journalists regarding the status of Wikileaks.org as a news organization and of its staff writers as journalists. The contention by some is that Wikileaks.org does not qualify as a news organization and thus its staff writers are not journalists. Wikileaks.org‘s desire to expose allegedwrongdoing by revealing sensitive or classified government or business information, in effect, encourages the theft of sensitive or classified proprietary information or intellectual property. In doing so, some argue, Wikileaks.org is knowingly encouraging criminal activities such as the theft of data, documents, proprietary information, and intellectual property, possible violation of national security laws regarding sedition and espionage, and possible violation of civil laws.Within the United States and foreign countries the alleged ―whistleblowers‖ are, in effect, wittingly violating laws and conditions of employment and thus may not qualify as―whistleblowers‖ protected from disciplinary action or retaliation for reporting wrongdoing in countries that have such laws. Also, the encouragement and receipt of stolen information or data is not considered to be an ethical journalistic practice. In addition, the sources of Wikileaks.org staff writers are not verified, nor are its news articles fact-checked or confirmed by additional sources, as customary in news organizations. Moreover, there is no editorial review of the articles prior to publication. Finally, some critics contend that the staff writers are biased and have made unsupportable claims to support political agendas to effect change in government or business policy.[40]

Remarkable that “US journalists” echo the US national security state and fail to recognize a grave threat to journalism and a free press. Journalist don’t have stories without sources and credible information.

Criminalization of journalism and prosecution of sources is anathema to a free press and inquiry in search of truth. 

~~~ end update]

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Murphy DEP Ignores Opposition Of The Highlands Council On Critical Water Pollution Permit

April 10th, 2019 No comments
Not Rockaway Creek, but nearby Stonybrook

Not Rockaway Creek, but nearby Stonybrook

[Update: 4/18/19 – DEP just denied a request for a public hearing but reluctantly agreed to extend the public comment period until May 14, 2019, based on “the level of interest in the permit action“. I don’t know who requested a public hearing, but have asked DEP to provide the distribution list of those who commented. We asked for an extension, but not a public hearing.

But DEP permit staff have refused to provide the documents requested below, upon which the permit is based. They are forcing document requests through OPRA, which I’ve objected to. ~~~ end update]

NJ Spotlight ran a good story last week about a proposed new sewage treatment plant in the Highlands, that would discharge downstream of a Category One stretch of the environmentally sensitive North Branch of Rockaway Creek, see:

The state is moving ahead with a much-litigated permit that would let developers discharge treated sewage into Rockaway Creek, a project the New Jersey Highlands Council says is incompatible with its regional master plan. The council oversees development in the region.

The Highlands Council not only “oversees development in the region” – under the Highlands Act, they also protect, among other things, the water resources of the region. (and where is the Wm. Penn Foundation now?)

The Murphy DEP’s decision to issue the draft permit and over-ride the concerns of the Highlands Council violates the Highlands Act and DEP’s own regulations, and would set a terrible precedent on land use, water quality and the relationship between DEP and the Highlands Council, particularly for water quality and land use issues in the Planning Area where the Highlands Regional Master Plan is not mandatory.

The DEP got the relationships between DEP and the Council and between water pollution permitting and Highlands regional planning exactly backwards. (This permit is actually worse than the Christie DEP’s Crosswicks Creek NJPDES permit)

Because the applicable DEP Highlands regulations require that DEP “give great consideration and weight to the RMP.” see: N.J.A.C. 7:38-1.1(g)., frankly, I found it hard to believe that the DEP over-rode the objections of the Highlands Council. So I did a little digging and got a copy of and read the draft NJDPES permit.

I was stunned to find that the DEP not only over-rode the objections of the Highlands Council, they actually failed to engage them at all and simply ignored them by concluding that the Council’s concerns were “outside the scope of the NJPDES permit decision.

DEP basically said that they could issue water pollution control permits – which would degrade water quality and increase development, in conflict with the Highlands Act – without even engaging the substance of the Highlands Council’s concerns!

The draft permit is blatantly illegal and an attempt to unilaterally control water quality issues in the Highlands.

So I submitted the below comments on it and requested an extension of the public comment period. I hope the legal eagles that represent NJ environmental groups pick up on these challenges and that if DEP issues it, that the permit is litigated:

Susan – thank you for providing the draft NJPDES permit.

Please consider this email a followup public comment on the draft permit, a request for additional documents and a request to extend the public comment period.

The draft permit violates the Highlands Act (and implementing DEP regulations), the Water Quality Planning Act and the NJPDES regulations.

The Highlands Act and DEP Highlands regulations mandate that the Department consult with the Highlands Council and “give great consideration and weight to the RMP. see: N.J.A.C. 7:38-1.1(g).

Yet the draft permit is is based on the following DEP conclusions:

“(1) the appropriate mechanism to address the concerns raised by the Council is through the established Water Quality Management planning process, and

(2) it is inappropriate to evaluate the NJPDES permit for consistency with the particular RMP goals, policies and objectives identified in the Council’s letter because those goals relate to approvals outside the scope of the NJPDES permit decision.

First of all, by definition and based on the language cited above, the Department: a) did not give “great weight to the RMP” and b) did not do so during the NJPDES permit process because:

a) the Department failed to substantively respond to but instead re-directed the Council’s concerns through the WQMP planning process, and NOT the DEP’s Highlands regulations and NJPDES regulations as required under both DEP’s Highlands and NJPDES rules; and

b) because the Department determined that the Council’s concerns were “outside the scope of the NJPDES permit decision.

But, to the contrary, under applicable law and regulations, the Councils concerns clearly are not “outside the scope of the NJPDES permit decision”.

Under the WQMA and NJPDES regulations, the Department may not issue any permit – including a NJPDES permit – that is inconsistent with other DEP regulations (such as the Highlands regulations) or the applicable WQMP.

Because the DEP concluded that the Highlands Council’s concerns were “outside the scope of the NJPDES permit decision” – the DEP therefore did not substantively engage and respond to them and make final determinations with respect to them. Accordingly, the Department failed to comply with applicable law and regulations.

The Administrative record on the permit is deficient because it lacks any factual, scientific, planning or legal findings in this regard in response to the Council’s concerns. Therefore, under longstanding basic principles of administrative law and applicable court decisions, the draft permit lacks an adequate basis and is “arbitrary and capricious” and “an abuse of discretion”.

Finally, it is difficult to understand and meaningfully comment on the draft permit without the following documents, which I hereby request:

1. the Highlands Council’s consistency analysis documents referenced in the draft permit

2. The Department’s full consultation response to Highland Council referenced in the draft permit

3. the Court opinions referenced in the draft permit

4. the anti degradation analysis and DEP review comments as referenced in the draft permit

5. the DEP’s “reasonable potential” determination required under NJPDES rules

6. A clear statement of whether a mixing zone or water quality based end of pipe effluent limits were established in the draft permit.

In conclusion, please extend the public comment period for at least 60 days so that the public can meaningfully comment on these complex issues in light of an available, full, and accurate administrative record of the draft permit.

I appreciate your continued assistance and timely reply.

Wolfe

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Red Rock Country – Skoolie Views

April 9th, 2019 No comments

Just A Climate Migrant

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Greetings from Red Rock Country – somewhere outside Sedona, from a US Forest Service Road just past Dead Man’s Pass. (I’ve since learned I’m in Diamondback Gulch and the views are of Bear Mt. and Doe Mt.)

The colors are real, and they change constantly, based on time of day (sunlight) and cloud cover. Incredibly beautiful and the stillness provides a feeling of solidity. Surprised by lack of wildlife – haven’t seen even rabbits.

Nights are cool and silent, but significant nearby ORV use during the day on weekends kept Bouy barking.

Coyotes yip and whine just after sunrise, which sets him off too.

Yesterday it was hot – over 80 I suspect – which made it uncomfortable outside in the sun. Surprisingly, the bus didn’t get that hot inside and it cooled down quickly after sunset.

We’ve been here a week – enjoying finally getting around to read “These Truths” – but are out of beer and water, so we head into town and, because it seems to be getting hot, we move on north towards Flagstaff and Coconino NF and the higher elevation and cooler lovely ponderosa pine forest.

[Update – I hear Flagstaff will get snow and cold for the next week, so we’re staying put here in Sedona.]

Consider me just a climate migrant – yes, “We’re All Okies Now”

Enjoy the views:

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