Home > Uncategorized > Today DEP Appoints New Science Board Stacked with NJ’s Largest Polluting Industry Representatives

Today DEP Appoints New Science Board Stacked with NJ’s Largest Polluting Industry Representatives

According to leaked documents obtained by NJ PEER, in his last official act, today outgoing NJ Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Mark Mauriello will announce appointments to the controversial Science Advisory Board (SAB) (appointments listed below).

Former DEP Commissioner and current EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson created the SAB in response to Jackson’s controversial industry dominated Permit Efficiency Task Force.

But when Jackson unveiled the SAB, in an October 24, 2008 memo, she promised that the Board would be unbiased, not include “regulated entities“, and serve in the public interest. Jackson wrote:

:The SAB will provide a mechanism to receive unbiased technical and peer review and other advice from non-regulated entities within the state”

Mauriello himself sought to protect the public interest and exclude self interested regulated entities in his May 28, 2009 Administrative Order 2009-05, which included broad but vague conflict of interest (personal and financial) and anti-bias standards.

Longstanding attempts to politicize science at DEP have become acute (see “Dupont: Doubt (and intimidation) are their Product”).

In June 2009, we warned:

NEW JERSEY SLAPS GAG ORDER ON ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTISTS – Embarrassing Chromium Study Prompts Management Review of Scientific Findings

Washington, DC – The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection today imposed new restrictions on the release of technical and scientific information to the public, according to a memo posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The new directive allows DEP managers to hold completed scientific work in un-releasable draft form for an indefinite period.

In September 2009, we warned:

INDUSTRY MOVES TO TAKE OVER JERSEY ECO-SCIENCE BOARD – DEP Sued to Force Release of Lobbying Messages for Industry-Backed Scientists

Trenton – Industry wants to pack a new state environmental Science Advisory Board with its own scientists, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) which today filed a lawsuit to obtain public records regarding the industry lobbying effort. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Mark Mauriello is reportedly making final picks for the 12-member board this week after meeting with the Chemistry Industry Council this Thursday.

(see also: “New Front in War on Science – Lawsuit Filed to Obtain Smoking Guns” and “Hostile Takeover of DEP Science – Industry Seeks to Stack Board with Cronies”

Confirming our fears, making a mockery of the conflict of interest standards of his own Administrative Order, and in direct contradiction to Jackson’s 10/24/08 promise, the SAB to be announced today includes REGULATED entities:

Here is the leaked DEP document (boldface are biased and/or conflicted reps):

NJDEP Science Advisory Board

Nominee Affiliation Field


Andrews, Clinton, Ph.D., P.E. Rutgers University Urban Plan
Ferrara, Raymond, Ph.D. Omni Environmental LLC Env. Eng.
Gannon, John, Ph.D. DuPont Microbiology
Lioy, Paul, Ph.D. EOHSI Env science
Weis, Judith Rutgers University Biology
Laumbach, Robert, MPH, MD UMDNJ Medical doctor
Gallo, Michael, Ph.D. UMDNJ-RWJMS Tox/exper path
Rothman, Nancy, Ph.D. New Environmental Horizons, Inc. Physical Organic Chemistry
Lederman, Peter, Ph.D., P.E. Peter Lederman & Assoc. (former NJIT) Chem. eng & P.E.
Lippencott, Robert J., Ph.D. TRC Environmental Env science
Husch, Jonathan, Ph.D. Rider University Geology
Dyksen, John, M.S., P.E. United Water Env eng

Candidates Recommended for the Ecological Processes Standing Committee

Ehrenfeld, Joan Rutgers University Biology
Weinstein, Michael Montclair State University Marine Biology
Morin, Peter, Ph.D. Rutgers University Zoology
Kennen, Jonathan United States Geological Survey Fisheries
Hoke, Robert Dupont Biology
Qiu, Zeyuan New Jersey Institute of Technology Landscape, Agric. Economics
Bologna, Paul Montclair State University Marine Biology
Bovitz, Paul Weston Solutions Ecology
DeVito, Emile Numerous – including New Jersey Conservation Ecology
Luke, Nai-chia Camp Dresser & McKee Environmental Science
Powell, Eric Haskin Shellfish Research Lab., Rutgers Univ Fisheries
Bentivegna, Carolyn Seton Hall University Biology

Candidates Recommended for the Climate & Atmospheric Sciences Standing Committee

Broccoli, Anthony (H) Rutgers University Environmental
Robinson, David (H) Rutgers University Geology
Hopke, Philip (H) Clarkson University Chemistry
Held, Joann (H) NESCAUM Air Pollution Control
Cohen, Maurie (H) New Jersey Institute of Tech Regional Science
Robock, Alan  (H) Rutgers University Meteorology
Chopping, Mark (M) Montclair State U., Earth & Envir. Sci. Remote Sensing
McMillin, William (M) CH2M HILL Envl. Engineering
Croft, Paul J. (M) Kean University Horticulture
Pope, Gregory  (M) Montclair State University Geography
Spatola, Joseph (M) Clean Air Council of New Jersey Chem Eng. Degree
Leichenko, Robin Rutgers University Geography

Candidates Recommended for the Water Quality & Quantity Standing Committee

Navoy, Anthony (H) United States Geological Survey Geology
Uchrin, Christopher (H) Rutgers University Envir & Water Resource Eng
Barrett, Kirk (H) Passaic River Institute, MSU Engineering
Schneider, Orren (H) American Water Engineering
Buckley, Brian (H) Rutgers University EOHSI Chemistry
Cooper, Keith (H) Rutgers University, Dept. Biology
Vaccari, David (H) Stevens Institute of Technology Environmental Science
Meng, Xiaoguang (M) Stevens Institute of Technology Environmental Engineering
Amidon, Thomas (M) Omni Environmental LLC, Engineering
Cromartie, William (M) Richard Stockton College Biology
Kohut, Josh (M) Rutgers, The State University Physical Oceanography
Michalski, Andrew (M) Michalski & Associates, Geological Engineering

Candidates Recommended for the Public Health Standing Committee

Kipen, Howard (H) UMDNJ Medicine
Klotz, Judith (H) UMNDN-SPH and Drexel Public Health
Maddaloni, Mark (H) USEPA Public Health
Weisel, Clifford (H) EOHSI-UMDNJ/RWJMS Chemists
Zelikoff, Judith (H) NYU Inst. Env. Med. Other
Greenberg, Michael (H) E.J. Bloustein School  & UMDNJ Other
Robson, Mark (H) Rutgers University Public Health
Kennedy, Gerald (H) DuPont Biochemistry
Marcus, Steven (M) NJ Medical School, Medicine
Mitala, Joseph (M) Retired Reproductive Toxicologist Pharmacology
Johnson, Clyde (M) Ramapo College of New Jersey Other<

 

 

 

 

Dupont has current high profile science disputes with DEP over the health risk assessment and cleanup standards for the chemical PFOA manufactured at their Deepwater plant and vapor intrusion into homes caused by their facility in Pompton Lakes. (see: “Dupont and DEP Hammered by Angry Residents for Failure to Cleanup Toxic Nightmare Linked to Cancer Cluster”.

How can Dupont credibly serve on the Board and the Public Health Committee!

Private water companies have billions of dollars at stake in DEP science related to drinking water standards and the amount of available water they can sell and make a profit on.

The appointed consulting firms (TRI and Omni) advocate on behalf of NJ’s largest developers and water polluters, so they have a clear conflict between science and the interests of their paying clients.

So, just as we feared all along, it now seems clear that the SAB will provide a vehicle for regulated industry to inject influence and otherwise delay, weaken, or derail DEP regulatory science, particularly risk assessments that are used to set strict health standards and costly industry regulations.

PEER filed Open Public Record Request in order to shine light on behind the scenes pressure by powerful industrial polluters such as DuPont and the NJ Chemistry Council to assure industry friendly SAB appointments. We filed a lawsuit for force disclosure of these documents.

In response to that lawsuit, DEP engaged in bad faith – they basically ran out the clock to frustrate OPRA compliance and disclosure of exactly what today’s appointments reveal.

Now, with today’s SAB appointments, we see why.

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  1. January 17th, 2010 at 13:36 | #1

    Be careful in paintint private sector scientists as conflicted. Dr. Andrew Michalski is one of the finest scientists I have ever met. In fact, I sent him the information regarding the SAB and encouraged him to apply, it being an inevitable situation. He is well-published and considered an expert on NJ geology and hydrogeology. His work is often referenced by DEP geologists and I believe he has provided consulting services to the state as well as industry. His firm is small and he may even be the only full-time employee but I would trust no one more than him to determine where contamination in the bedrock aquifer is migrating. His expertise is a welcome addition to this board.

  2. Bill Wolfe
    January 17th, 2010 at 14:06 | #2

    Thanks DEP employee. My main focus of this post – and several prior posts – is on Dupont. I’ve also written previously about egregious unethical conduct of NJ consultants and DEP managers. But, aside from focus, I don’t believe I painted Dr. Michalski (or Ledreman, another scientists about whom I received favorable information) as conflicted. The problem lies with DEP’s failure to disclose the information I requested under OPRA. I’m sure that includes ethics and disclosure information filed by candidates applications, as well as DEP scientists’ evaluation of it. Absent that information (for which I’ve filed a lawsuit to obtain), I must make simplifying assumptions and treat individuals not as individuals but as categories. I don’t know who Michalski’s client’s are. Maybe he might choose to disclose that information here.

  1. February 7th, 2010 at 14:06 | #1
  2. February 14th, 2010 at 14:36 | #2
  3. May 12th, 2010 at 10:44 | #3
  4. June 24th, 2010 at 11:38 | #4
  5. September 9th, 2010 at 12:20 | #5
  6. December 22nd, 2010 at 10:39 | #6
  7. June 22nd, 2011 at 13:16 | #7
  8. June 20th, 2014 at 20:19 | #8
  9. July 2nd, 2014 at 22:29 | #9
  10. July 9th, 2014 at 23:41 | #10
  11. August 2nd, 2014 at 06:15 | #11
  12. September 24th, 2014 at 01:47 | #12
  13. October 4th, 2014 at 01:57 | #13
  14. February 24th, 2018 at 16:51 | #14
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