Cartoon Made Martin Do It!
[Update: May 2, 2010 –Bergen Record editorial:
… Martin’s new opinion came about after he was embarrassed publicly. The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility released e-mails sent to Martin from the EPA that made clear that even if the agency imposed a limit, 6 1/2 years could elapse before the rule was in place, Staff Writer James O’Neill reported. Martin would have been playing Russian roulette with the public’s health.
Perchlorate is linked to thyroid dysfunction. In fetuses and infants (through formula or breast milk), high levels of perchlorate can cause developmental delays and learning disabilities. No parent would ever choose to give perchlorate-laced juice to a baby, and no pregnant woman would ever drink a caffeine-free beverage if she knew it included a rocket-fuel additive.
The previous commissioner had proposed a sensible perchlorate limit of 5 parts per billion, far below a possible federal limit. The state limit would leave it in a good position if later scientists find that even 15 parts per billion is too high.
Martin has not said what the perchlorate limit will be. We know what it should be: 5 parts per billion.
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(Cartoon taken down – posted without permission. I just found out that artists freelance and need to get paid (in addition to their day job salary)-Â guess I’m one of those naive anti-property rights folks who see art as part of the human conversation and political landscape – but I can’t afford to pay for Margulies for his cartoon, so go see it here:)
Today’s Bergen Record reports that DEP Commissioner Bob Martin – just weeks after killing DEP’s proposed drinking water standard for the chemical perchlorate – will propose a standard “as quickly as possible”.
(see: Perchlorate limits to be set for water another killer story by Jim O’Neill)
We’d like to thank Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex) for aggressively opposing Martin’s action to kill the DEP proposal and demanding that he act to protect NJ residents.Â Martin’s U-turn shows that legislative oversight can work (see Buono’s website post here).
And Martin and Lt. Governor “Red Tape” “Regulatory Czar” Guadagno need to get their cover stories straight. First the pretext for killing the proposal was to wait for EPA to propose a standard “this summer”. Then it shifted to the need for cost benefit analysis. And then it was blamed on the allegedly “shoddy” DEP science and “no data” to show health risks.
But, at the end of the day, it wasnâ€™t the Bergen Record’s harsh press coverage, Senator Buono, the PEER criticism, the science, the EPA, or the non-existent costâ€“benefit analysis – we all really know that the cartoon made Martin do it!