Archive for June, 2009

DEP compromises scientific integrity and public health

June 2nd, 2009 7 comments

DEP issues a “gag order” on internal review and restrictions on public release of scientific studies
[Update – 6/5/09 – Star Ledger editorial shares my concern: New Jersey keeping environmental records under wraps
Today’s Star Ledger reports:

Environmentalists rip DEP proposal as a ‘gag order’
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Star-Ledger Staff
The state Department of Environmental Protection proposed restrictions yesterday on the public release of its scientific studies and reports, which environmental groups lambasted as a sweeping “gag order” spurred by a controversy over chromium pollution in Hudson County.
The commotion surrounds written guidelines from Jeanne Herb, the DEP’s director of policy, planning and science, against employees disclosing technical and scientific reports — even if they are the subject of an Open Public Records Act request — until they are approved by upper management and the press office. The directive follows the April release of a report by DEP scientists concluding a new, stricter soil cleanup standard is needed for hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6, because the cancer-causing substance is riskier than previously believed.
(more on the flip)

Read more…


June 1st, 2009 3 comments

What is going on in this picture?
Prize for the first correct answer.
Or click on link and view the slide show – second picture provides the answer:
(or for the long answer, read the book: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared M. Diamond
[June 2, 2009 Update: The pictures below are unrelated to the above picture. They are posted in response to 14yrbumpkin’s comments. Thought I should post some NJ structures! Bumpkin’s answer was a good one though (i.e. collapse caused by sinkholes) especially in light of recent DEP proposals to create a sinkhole loophole in the stormwater management regulations (I’ll find a link to that). That loophole will encourage new construction on top of unstable karst geology prone to sinkholes. The result will be similar to the collapse depicted above, but with modern buildings sinking into the ground.

Titusville, NJ
Riegelsville, NJ