DEP Commissioner Martin Uses State Police To Eject Environmentalist From Polluter’s Advisory Group Meeting
Ironically, the DEP PowerPoint briefing title was “New World Order”
DEP held an important meeting today to brief consultants and environmental groups about implementation plans for the new privatized controversial toxic site cleanup Licensed Site Professionals (LSP) program. Here is the DEP’s April 5 email public announcement and agenda:
A Site Remediation Advisory Group meeting has been scheduled for April 13, 2010 at 1:30 in the Public Hearing Room at the Department of Environmental Protection Headquarters. The agenda will be as follows:
1.Update from each of the Site Remedation Reform Act teams
a. Measures of Success
b. Near-term Priorities
c. Technical Regulations
d. Guidance Documents
2. Presentation of the draft Remedial Priority System
3. Open forum
I was forwarded this email by an environmental colleague (See below for email and those on the email, primarily folks like Dupont, the Chemistry Council and Petroleum Council lobbyists, and consultants). I have gone to SRAG meetings in the past, which have been open to the public and included a public comment opportunity. Given the importance of the agenda items, particularly the DEP’s new draft Remedial Priority System, I decided to attend and report to the public about these issues via this blog.
I arrived at the DEP building, signed in, and entered the meeting in DEP’s public meeting room. There were well over 50 people in attendance, mostly consultants and LSPs.
While I was having an informal conversation with a Deputy Attorney General, DEP Security advised me that Commissioner MartinÂ directed me to leave the meeting. I asked him on what basis this Order was issued and was told the meeting was by invitation only. I replied that if this were the case, then Martin should try to enforce that restriction, as I was under the impression the meeting was open, and not by invitation, having attended open SRAG meetings before. Other NJ environmentalist were invited, so this was not a private confidential industry only meeting.
Shortly thereafter, 3 state police officers showed up, directed me out of the public hearing room, told me that Martin has asked them to eject me, and took my personal identification information for their police action report.
Today’s over the top use of State Police is part of a troubling an unacceptable pattern by Martin to shut down public involvement in DEP decisions.
New World Order indeed!
Dear Commissioner Martin:
I am writing to condemn your decision to ask the State Police to eject me from the Site Remediation Advisory Group (SRAG) briefing by DEP staff, which was held today at DEP’s public hearing room.
Such heavy handed tactics are un-American, and have no place in state government.
I have attended SRAG meetings in the past.
I testified throughout the legislative debate on the Licensed Site Professional bill, the subject of today’s briefing.
I testified in the legislature specifically on the topic of the risk based priority system, which also was on today’s briefing agenda.
I received the DEP’s email invitation last week, which was forwarded to me by an environmental colleague. So the meeting was open to other environmental and public interest advocates.
There were dozens of people in the room. No DEP staffer requested identification at the door to assure that all in attendance were on an invitation list. So it is obvious that I was targeted for removal.
It is also obvious why I was targeted, because I am an intense, vocal, and visible advocate of the public interest and transparent government.
In light of this episode, I ask for your support towards reforms to make all DEP advisory group deliberations are open and accessible to the public, transparent, accountable, objective, and subject to ethical standards, as provided by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).
Bill Wolfe, Director
NJ PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility)
—– Forwarded Message —–
From: “Maria Cardona” <Maria.Cardona@dep.state.nj.us>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, “Stephen posten” <Stephen.email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, AMorresi@aol.com, AnneLB@aol.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, “Simpson anjec” <Simpson.firstname.lastname@example.org>, Maxwellj@api.org, “David Stout” <David.Stout@arcadis-us.com>, “brian diepeveen” <email@example.com>, “Joseph McKeon” <Joseph.McKeon@basf.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Dbackman@birdsall.com, Mbaba@birdsall.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, “gregory miller2″ <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, TRusso@chemistrycouncilnj.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, “bruce amos” <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, “sandra stiles” <email@example.com>, SBarnett@connellfoley.com, “warrenw ” <warrenw.@dbr.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, “George Schlosser” <George.Schlosser@dol.lps.state.nj.us>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Dmoskowitz@ecoIsciences.com, Sward@ensr.aecom.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mpotts@environcorp.com, email@example.com, “Rick Konkowski” <Rick.Konkowski@ERM.com>, “brent b archibald” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “john hannig” <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, “Lisa Hamilton” <Lisa.Hamilton@ge.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, DZailik@gesonline.com, Arobins@ghclaw.com, “benjamin alter” <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Sthadigiri@haleyaldrich.com, “christine togno” <email@example.com>, SFreeman@hess.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, “gail conenello” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “john spinello” <email@example.com>, cbarnes@Langan.com, nderose@Langan.com, nrivers@Langan.com, gcoscia@Langn.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, “megan keeper” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, eichliNL@obg.com, JMaund@ocdus.jnj.com, email@example.com, Jclaypoole@pirnie.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, wberk@ps&s.com, “Bruce Preston” <Bruce.Preston@pseg.com>, “Michael Hornsby” <Michael.Hornsby@pseg.com>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, “leroy bealer” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, JDavies@sovcon.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, “Andrew Thomas” <Andrew.Thomas@stantec.com>, “Chris McCardell” <Chris.McCardell@stantec.com>, “Denise Waite” <Denise.Waite@stantec.com>, “John Bolakas” <John.Bolakas@stantec.com>, “Michael Gonglik” <Michael.Gonglik@stantec.com>, “Mike Malone” <Mike.Malone@stantec.com>, FCLivingston@sunocoinc.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, “gary shelby” <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, “edward j lutz” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “Jenny Liu” <Jenny.Liu@usa.dupont.com>, “Sheryl a telford” <Sheryl.email@example.com>, “saile eng” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Monday, April 5, 2010 2:27:09 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Site Remediation Advisory Group Meeting
A Site Remediation Advisory Group meeting has been scheduled for April 13, 2010 at 1:30 in the Public Hearing Room at the Department of Environmental Protection Headquarters. Â The agenda will be as follows:
1.Update from each of the Site Remedation Reform Act teams
a. Â Measures of Success
b. Â Near-term Priorities
c. Â Technical Regulations
d. Â Guidance Documents
2. Â Presentation of the draft Remedial Priority System
3. Â Open forum