Year In Review – Cliff Notes Version: Two Numbers Provide Perfect Illustration of The Christie DEP’s Priorities
Two Number Speak Volumes – 2 and 171
I’ll do a more thorough year in review post, but I thought I’d take a moment on a cold Sunday morning after a brisk walk to post these two numbers that popped into my head. DEP Commissioner Martin loves metrics, so here are 2 metrics he can chew on.
Nothing new here – this is no secret.
But I think these two numbers provide a perfect illustration of the Christie DEP’s priorities and MO, particularly when contrasted with each other:
Not only is that number pathetically low compared to DEP’s regulatory adoption record over the last decade, but the measly two new policy rules adopted are rollbacks: the waiver rule and the public access rule.
Over the last decade, DEP has adopted from 6 – 12 new policy regulations per year, and all of them were strongly supported by environmental groups.
In putting these numbers together, I eliminated rule adoptions that exclusively or primarily merely readopted an existing rule scheduled to expire, with no significant policy change. I counted only those adoptions that made new policy (rules mandated by new legislation were rejected as well, as they do not necessarily reflect the policy of the Governor or DEP Commissioner. For 2012, that eliminated new legislatively mandated rules for electronic waste management and Licensed Site Professionals Program).
[Note: And I did not include Commissioner Martin’s Order that deregulated rebuilding of public infrastructure destroyed by Sandy; of Martin’s Guidance that waived solid waste permit requirements for debris removal, transport and disposal; or DEP Division of Land Use permit exemptions - each of which rolled back environmental protections.]
The 2012 horrible regulatory record builds on bad years in 2010, when DEP adopted 2 new rules (1 bad) and 2011, when DEP adopted 3 new policy rules (2 bad, and the only good rule a product of the Corzine DEP).
At a rate of almost 1 per day, that’s another DEP record – both for volume and for spin. It contributes to and breaks a prior record set last year
The Christie DEP record is unparalleled, both in low numbers and the rollback directionality.
So there it is – record regulatory rollbacks that generate lawsuits by environmental groups, accompanied by record levels of Press Office spin.
Satisfied with your Orwellian Christie DEP?
[Endnote: Having written several of both documents while at DEP, I can assure you that it is a LOT harder to write a rule than a press release.]