Home > Uncategorized > What Ever Became of EPA Funded Newark Air Toxics Study?

What Ever Became of EPA Funded Newark Air Toxics Study?

 Where is the EPA  fundedEnvironmental Justice & Equity with Community-based Teamwork (EJECT) Study?

How Does Newark’s Air Quality and Community Health Compare to Paterson?

Paterson, NJ - Galaxie Chemical

Paterson, NJ – Galaxie Chemical

The Bergen Record recently reported on a controversial $740,0000 EPA funded study of toxic air pollutants in Paterson NJ (see Paterson air study raises questions and City’s air may raise cancer risk).

Paterson residents were alarmed to learn that according to NJ DEP, Paterson has “toxic hot spots“, where industrial hazardous air pollutant emission sources are located near homes and schools.

DEP found that Paterson had characteristics of a disproportionately burdened environmental justice community based on race and income data and high rates of children’s respiratory health problems linked to pollution.

According to DEPchemicals in the air in Paterson exceed DEP cancer risk levels by over 700 times:

Paterson has more than three times the state average for hospitalization rates due to asthma (Wallace, 2003). A study in Paterson (Freeman et al, 2002) found that 21% of third graders had been diagnosed with asthma or a related health problem. Paterson has the fifth highest hospitalization rate for asthma in NJ (NJDHSS, 2003). Twenty eight air toxics (Leikauf, 2002) have been associated with exacerbations of asthma and the 1996 [EPA] National Air Toxics Assessment identified fourteen air toxics which are causing elevated cancer and non-cancer risks (NJDEP, 2003) in Passaic Countys

Paterson Mayor Torres and community activists expressed concerns:

Paterson Mayor Joey Torres said he was “disturbed at the findings, …

“We’re willing to believe the results of this study are not controversial, but the DEP certainly has acted like they have something to hide,” said the Rev. David B. Wolf, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Paterson and a leader of the community advocacy group Paterson Area Congregations Together. He said there very well might be a conflict of scientific opinion about the validity of combined cancer risk assessments, but why don’t they say that in the report? It feels like there’s a little bit of spin going on.”

But is anyone aware of the fact that EPA funded a similar urban community air toxics monitoring project in Newark? Other than an extremely obscure EPA website, I could find no information about this study, other than a summary (see below).

Whatever became of this study?

None of the links on the EPA Community-Based Air Toxics Project website were able to lead me to a copy of the study itself. According to EPA, the organization that performed the Study, Environmental Justice & Equity with Community-based Teamwork (EJECT), is active in Newark’s East Ward and are located in Atlantic Highlands. I could not find a phone number to contact them.

Maybe Mayor Booker and Congressman Payne can reach out to EPA and have EPA brief the Newark community and the press on the study’s Final Report. That would be quicker than forcing me to file OPRA and FOIA requests from DEP and EPA, respectively.

Here is the EPA website summary of the project – none of the EPA website links are working:

Newark [Toxic Air] Pollution Prevention Improvement Plan

This project will work towards voluntarily reducing industrial emissions in the East Ward of Newark, New Jersey. The organization Environmental Justice & Equity with Community-based Teamwork (EJECT) chooses to work in Newark because the affected community has large minority and low-income populations who are experiencing the highest cumulative pollution burdens and environmental respiratory health risks in New Jersey. EJECT plans to collect data about the top hazardous air toxins that are being released by facilities in the Newark area, as well as the cumulative pollution burdens experienced by the community. EJECT will partner with Environmental Occupational Safety & Services (EOSS)* who will utilize specialized environmental software, Lakes Environmental, to analyze data. Cumulative point source air releases/exposure data will be presented to facility representatives and community members in an easy-to-understand format at two environmental forums. Forum participants will then be asked to contribute to the development of a toxic air pollution prevention improvement plan for the East Ward. *During the project, EOSS was replaced by SVMC Consulting, Harper’s Center, and LJ Communication Design developed and created environmental education materials.This project seeks to enhance partnerships between government, facility and community members in Newark, and to develop innovative approaches to reducing pollution.
None provided

General Information
Show details for Assessment and Analysis MethodsAssessment and Analysis Methods
Show details for Risk Assessment Project DesignRisk Assessment Project Design
Show details for FindingsFindings
Show details for Outcomes and Reduction ActivitiesOutcomes and Reduction Activities
Show details for Public InvolvementPublic Involvement
Show details for Completed ReportsCompleted Reports
Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
You must be logged in to post a comment.