In Harm’s Way
Would you send your child to this school?
*** Apologies – NJ.Com took down the photos, which were originally published on my “NJ Voices” column at NJ.Com. I was able to save the text, but not the photos. What assholes.
[Update: 11/30/12: Toxic Chemicals Released In South Jersey Train Accident Force Evacuation – end update]
I stole my headline from the Houston Chronicle’s award winning investigative series “In Harm’s Way” – here’s a taste of what that was all about:
“The results of the Chronicle’s investigation show that the region’s refining and petrochemical industries are in some places contributing to what leading experts on toxic air pollution would consider a risky load of “air toxics,” substances that can cause cancer, kidney and liver damage, or other serious health effects in places where people live and work, and where children play.”.
The NJ DEP does not require chemical plants that emit tons of cancer causing hazardous air pollutants to monitor actual ambient concentrations at the fence line of the plant.
This data is required to understand the health impacts of those emissions on surrounding homes, schools and people. DEP does not require health risk assessment before granting air pollution permits that allow industries to release these toxic chemicals to our air.
Current DEP air permit rules make risk assessment and air modeling voluntary – of course no chemical company has volunteered to study the health impacts of its pollution on the surrounding neighborhood kids. Impacted communities are kept in the dark and DEP is flying blind – no data, no health effects monitoring, and no science.
THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS- where is NJ’s Houston Chronicle?
We sure have Texas sized pollution problems here. NJ is the most densely populated place on earth where schools and residential neighborhoods are virtually right on top of chemical plants and refineries.
Would you want your kids to play hockey right next to chemical plants?
How would you like to live here? Would you sleep at night?
Would you like to drop off your child at this day care center in the morning?
This location injects new meaning to parental fear of their children’s “exposure (my kids went to day care and this risk sure transcends pink eye, strep throat, and flu I worried about as a parent).
Most homes near chemical plants are occupied by poor, black, or working class residents. Would you like a plant in your neighborhood? Shouldn’t the plants do more to eliminate or reduce toxic chemical emissions and monitor to assure protection of health and the environment?
Dupont is one of the largest polluters and one of the most profitable corporations in the world. Shouldn’t they be required to prove that their operations are safe BEFORE they are allowed to pollute?