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Another Corporate Shark Appointed DEP Assistant Commissioner

Corporate Interests Dominate Christie DEP – From the Inside

[Update: 7/12/11: Kozinski’s bio at the Saul Ewing website has been scrubbed – as were other websites with pdf’s of her bio. What do they have to hide? That’s why I printed the full text below. On Friday, we filed an OPRA request for all DEP ethics review documents and Kozinski disclosures and recusals. In reecord response time, surprised to learn today that none have been filed and are not expected until August 1, which I was told by DEP OPRA Office is her start date at DEP. At a minimum, this means Kozinski was hired without any ethics review. We look forward to seeing DEP ethics review documents and all the recusals from all DEP business relating to prior clients – in detail, to include such restrictions as leaving DEP management team or permit or enforcement meetings when those issues are discussed, and having no role in chain of command decisions relating to those interests. Given the list of business interests and clients she represented in her Saul Ewing capacity, Kozinski should be spending lots of time doing absolutely nothing under strict recusal – end update.]

DEP Commissioner Bob Martin, a former corporate consultant, announced the appointment of a new Assistant Commissioner for Environmental Management.

This is a key management position in DEP, because it oversees critical air quality, solid and hazardous waste, and environmental health and safety programs.

Martin appointed a fellow private sector corporate advocate, Jane Kozinski, as Assistant Commissioner for Environmental Management.

Kozinski was a corporate lawyer for Saul Ewing, “a full service firm that serves businesses throughout the United States and internationally, including recognizable names in corporate America: – here is her bio:

Jane Kozinski is a Senior Climate Change Policy Advisor for the British Embassy and a member ofaul Ewing’s Project and Resource Development Department. In her work for the British Embassy, she works with United States businesses and state governments to develop their support for federal climate change and energy legislation and US participation in international actions to address climate change.

In her legal practice, Ms. Kozinski brings to clients a thorough understanding of federal environmental laws and regulations, including CERCLA, the Clean Air Act, RCRA, the Clean Water Act, and comparable state laws, including New Jersey’s ISRA and Solid Waste Management Act. She counsels clients in regulatory compliance and environmental issues arising from business and real estate transactions, and also represents clients in commercial litigation. Her clients range from large Fortune 500 companies to small- to medium-sized businesses in a variety of industries, including solid waste, electric and gas, natural gas transmission, pharmaceutical, mining, commercial real estate development, metal fabrication, fragrance and flavors, retail fuel, and more.

Ms. Kozinski’s experience in environmental litigation includes the defense and prosecution of numerous private party cost recovery actions under CERCLA and comparable state law in New Jersey and New York, as well as defense of government CERCLA cost recovery actions. Most recently, she represented clients in the defense of CERCLA actions that involve unique theories of corporate successor liability and derivative parent liability. She also has experience in the defense of class actions and environmental citizen suits.

In recent years, Ms. Kozinski led the Firm’s climate change practice. She has counseled clients on carbon off-sets, disclosure of climate change risk, and the advantages/disadvantages of proposed federal climate change legislation. She is frequently asked to write and speak on global climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and related environmental issues.

Prior to joining Saul Ewing, Ms. Kozinski was an Associate at Bingham Dana & Gould in Boston. Before pursuing her career in law, Ms. Kozinski was a hydrologist at the United States Geological Survey.

Kozinski, who will oversee DEP issuance of solid and hazardous waste permits, previously represented NJ garbage industry giant Waste Management, Inc. Waste Management Inc. is regulated by NJ DEP.

Kozinski is another abuse of the revolving door, as it swings open at DEP and puts former advocates for polluters in charge of regulation of those same polluters.

So we assume that the Waste Management Inc. conflict and all other conflicts of interest resulting from her former clients have forced Kozinski to file ethics disclosure statements and multiple recusals.

Kozinski has represented private corporate interests in class action and citizen suits. This is a bad sign in terms of an ability to fairly represent and defend the public interest at DEP and promote citizen involvement in DEP decisions.

Kozinski also has written about the numerous loopholes in state and federal law that allow “sham recycling” to flourish. Sham recycling loopholes have been created as a result of lobbying by corporate lawyers like Kozinski.

EPA data shows that sham recycling operations have caused major environmental problems, including the creation of 120 Superfund sites, 22 RCRA “imminent and substantial threat” sites, and serious pollution of soils, surface and ground water, and natural resource damages at 800 other sites nationally.

Kozinski’s former corporate clients – like Waste Management, Inc. – and her advocacy of regulatory loopholes raise serious red flags and troubling question for a DEP manager that will oversee air, waste, and environmental health and safety regulatory oversight.

This appointment is particularly troubling in light of the Christie adminsitration’s deregulation and privatization policies, and Commisssioner Martin’s edict that DEP should promote economic development.

Kozinski joins Commissioner Martin and other DEP managers who are private sector sharks – the proverbial foxes in the henhouse.

Kozinski will be closely monitored.

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  1. July 23rd, 2012 at 15:53 | #1

    Hi Bill

    Did you ever get an answer from DEP regarding the OPRA request you filed regarding the ethics issues?
    Brian Lefke
    (609) 272-6902

  2. July 24th, 2012 at 13:58 | #2

    @Brian Lefke

    Yes – it was basically useless as specific prior clients and all potential conflicts of interests were not disclosed.

  3. July 24th, 2012 at 14:01 | #3

    @Brian Lefke

    Also, DEP Management private meetings and negotiations with regulated companies are not transparent.

    So. it is virtually impossible for the public to monitor compliance with ethics restrictions.

  1. August 8th, 2011 at 12:03 | #1
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