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Christie “Red Tape Review Group” Holds Final Public Hearing Tomorrow

Lt. Governor Guadagno Chairs the "Red Tape Review Group"

Lt. Governor Guadagno Chairs the "Red Tape Review Group"

Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 3 pm at Montclair State, Governor Christie’s “Red Tape Review Group”  holds its third and final public hearing (there have been numerous private meetings with various business and industry groups). The focus is on “regulations that should be eliminated or modified based upon the “Common Sense Principles” for Rulemaking”.

I have written extensively about serious flaws in the “Red Tape” premises, policy, and processes established under Christie’s Executive Orders #1-3 (see below).

It is important that people who support strong environmental protections show up to counteract the influence of special interests.

The “Red Tape Review Group” already has generated two very bad bills targeted on DEP that are moving  quickly – see: A2464 (guts technical guidance documents needed to enforce many regulations, on the Assembly floor today) and A2486 (restricts rules more stringent than federal minimums and would put the Legislature in charge of future environmental standards and rules, released from Committee last week).

I am working on my testimony now, but will emphasize the following talking points:

1) Twelve (12) important DEP rules were targeted in EO #1 – all of them should have been exempt under EO #1 criteria regarding public health, safety, and welfare;

2) The criteria, standards, procedures and “common sense principles” in Executive Order 1 and 2 are seriously flawed when applied to environmental policy:

a) Use of Cost Benefit Analysis as a decision tool contradicts enabling statutory decision rules and promotes economic concerns above public health and environmental protections;

b) the Regulatory Czar powers are a radical departure and violate basic principles of  transparency and due process, which are the foundation of administrative law and practice

c) implementation would violate federal environmental laws, jeopardize federal funding, and prompt EPA direct assumption of State programs

3) There is no credible evidence to support the premise that environmental regulatory “red tape” has an adverse impact on the economy. In fact, much evidence suggests the opposite;

4) “Horror stories” and anecdotal information provided by self interested parties and the regulated community are a poor basis for public policy;

5) The “Red Tape Review Group” is based on a false diagnosis of the economic problem – the economic recession was caused by lack of effective regulation and corruption, greed and market failures on Wall Street. Given these causes, so called cures to rollback DEP and/or environmental protections are completely ill advised from an economic perspective. They not only will not solve the economic problem, they would make the environment far worse;

6) There are virtually no taxpayer or fiscal savings to be accomplished by cutting the DEP budget because 75% (or more) of DEP budget is federal funds, permit fees, and  enforcement fines and penalties; and

7) There is virtually no public support for rolling back public health and environmental protections. Monmouth University Poll found 79% opposed to that, on a bi-partisan basis. In fact, the public supports stronger protections.

The “Red Tape Review” process is part of  Governor Christie’s environmental rollback agenda (for some examples, see this and this and this and for more details on the Christie EO’s, the “Red Tape Review Process”, and what it all means, see:

Water Pollution Enforcement Put Under the Gun of Christie Moratorium

Safe Drinking Water Jeopardized by Christie Moratorium

Oil Industry Seeks Clean Air Rollback Under Christie Moratorium

Clean Water Held Hostage by Christie Moratorium

Democrats in Legislature Join Christie “Red Tape” Environmental Rollback Juggernaut

Christie Rule Freeze Kills Drinking Water Standard for Chemical Found in Rocket Fuel & Military Explosives

DEP Creates Sham Process To Cover Defects in Christie Orders

Christie Regulatory Moratorium Blocks Major Environmental Protections

Christie Environmental Rollbacks Echo Whitman’s Failed Policy

Christie Regulatory Czar Given The Power and Tools To Rollback Environmental and Public Health Protections

Christie off on the “Right” Foot – Executive Orders Attack Environmental Protections

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