Home > Uncategorized > APP Rebuke to DEP’s Martin: “Stop Restricting Public Discusssion”

APP Rebuke to DEP’s Martin: “Stop Restricting Public Discusssion”

Supports Development Moratorium 

This is what PR looks like - DEP Commisioner Martin spins

This is what PR looks like – DEP Commisioner Martin spins (photo credit: NJDEP)

While I strongly disagree with their characterization of the Christie plan as “ambitious”, today a superb Asbury Park Press editorial – as we recommended  – calls out DEP Commissioner Bob Martin for spin and frustrating public participationStop restricting public discussion –

it would be nice if state environmental commissioner Bob Martin’s public presentations had more public participation and less spin.

As per the typical pattern, I was not even aware of, never mind invited to Martin’s “briefing” session.

I wrote Tuesday’s piece based exclusively on the DEP press release and Kirk Moore’s story.

Who got invited to the DEP briefing? Was it public noticed? What ENGO issued an alert? 

Why would they participate in and thereby legitimize such a BS forum? I thought the inside Pringle game was over.

On the substance, APP slams DEP sewer plans and, surprisingly, calls for DEP to declare a moratorium:

In fact, the DEP should declare a moratorium now on development around Barnegat Bay until such time as all the in progress scientific studies and surveys have been completed and analyzed.

I take issue with the legal and political feasibility or even need for a moratorium, and instead urge DEP and EPA to enforce current laws.

Now, while they’re on a roll, the APP needs to call out NOAA for their policy that requires scientists to “avoid advocacy at all costs” or risk termination of NOAA funding.

Some might find mere engagement in the public debate to be “advocacy”.

NJ scientists and academic institutions need to step up and publicly denounce that NOAA policy as an egregious affront to academic freedom.

The opportunity to write that story comes today, at a NOAA listening session at Monmouth University.

[Update: 7/2/11 – Jeff Tittel Op-Ed lays out the solutions we have been urging for years now: Stand up for the bay, not special interests.

Tittel points to a big problem that has gotten little attention: loss of freshwater flows in coastal streams and into the Bay (the Bay has lost over 30% of freshwater input, which alters salt, temperature, and ecological conditions). The water deficits in the Metedeconk and Toms River explain the lenghty DEP delays in update to the Water Supply Master Plan, which is years later now, as we noted last August. At that time, DEP claimd the draft plan would be released in May, 2011.  But, the only reporter to cover the issue, Ed Rodgers of NJN is no longer broadcasting, which is just what Christie wanted. – end]

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