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New Paradigm: Overburdened Bullshit

Christie DEP Stands Environmental Justice Policy on Its Head

Christie Policy and Performance Demand Legislative Oversight

Great Depression - could be Shiloh, NJ today (see below)

We recently wrote about one of NJ’s “sacrifice zones”, Paulsboro NJ, a community in the belly of the toxic spewing petro-chemical beast.

But, as we noted, Paulsboro is NOT alone – there are scores of “sacrifice zones” all across NJ, and they are expanding.

Gov. Christie Whitman - a big smile on her face - frisks black man in Camden, NJ

They are expanding as disasters like Superstorm Sandy, lack of investment, home foreclosures, abandonment, austerity social safety net policies, crumbling infrastructure, decrepit and segregated schools, and unemployment devastate low income communities.

The DEP – historically – at least recognized their responsibility for addressing the environmental and public health aspects of these problems and struggled to provide relief. Those efforts fell far short and were often more PR spin than substantive reform, but, at least the problems were openly acknowledged and discussed, leadership cared, and DEP resources were committed.

In December 2009, it seemed that DEP had finally turned the corner and could no longer deny the magnitude of the cumulative impact, disproportionate burden, public health, and environmental justice problems. DEP researchers released a report that documented the problem – see: DEP Discovers Discrimination – Dumps Environmental Justice Issue in Christie’s Lap.

So, what did the Christie DEP do with that challenge the Corzine DEP belatedly dumped in their lap?

They ran for the hills and spun a lot of bullshit –like this

The Next Generation of Environmental Management
“Working with Communities to Address their Greatest Environmental Concerns” 

  1. Goal 3 – Restoration and Enhanced Protection in Environmentally Overburdened Communities
  • Develop a new paradigm for the protection of communities overburdened by environmental stresses through a multimedia approach focusing on human health and the environmental impacts; ensure that we work in concert to address issues related to air, water, preservation, acquisition, and affordable access to parks.
  • Continued development and utilization of the Cumulative Impact Method.
  • Ensure cross program coordination to achieve the greatest net-environmental gain or the least possible negative effect impacting the public’s quality of life.
  • Expand the number of DEP staff dedicated to working in and with communities to ensure a thorough understanding of issues and potential solutions.

Paulsboro, and Pompton Lakes, and Camden, and Passaic City, and Garfield and Kearny and Trenton and Gloucester City and Salem and Carney’s Point and Neptune and Clifton and West Orange and  Linden, and Paterson, and Carteret and Middlesex and Elizabeth and Newark  and Doremus Ave. – the list goes on – they all make a mockery of DEP’s “overburdened” community rhetoric (see DEP’s Office of Environmental Justice).

The people of Paulsboro are literally a laboratory for an “over-burdened community” and a case study in what is known as “cumulative impacts”.

But DEP has virtually abandoned the science and the development of regulatory standards to address cumulative impacts and cumulative risks – they default to US EPA. The DEP’s website cites EPA studies that are more than 10 years old!

Towards Cumulative Risk Assessment

EPA Cumulative Assessment Information
This website offers presentations made during the EPA “Mid-Atlantic Cumulative Risk Workshop” held on May 28-29, 2003. The workshop’s theme was “How Can Cumulative Risk Assessment be Used to Achieve Environmental Justice?” Attendees included Public Health Experts, Scientists, Environmental Justice Advocates, and Government Officials. Discussion focused on: defining cumulative Risk and the intersections between cumulative risk and public health.

Risk World
A listing of databases regarding risk assessment, analysis, and management

A List of Risk Assessment Values References (Scorecard)

As we’ve written, DEP Commissioner Martin has established a de facto moratorium on development of new regulatory standards.

DEP science has been outsourced, suppressed, ignored, spun, or defunded.

Let’s hope that these issues get some legislative oversight in DEP’s upcoming budget hearing before the Senate on April 15.

down and out in Shiloh, NJ (3/23/13)

 

Shiloh, NJ (3/23/13) This Property Is Condemned, but where is Natalie Wood?

Delaware Bayshore, Cumberland County, NJ (3/23/13)

Bivalve, NJ (3/23/13)

great Depression - I couldn't find anyone on porches in Shiloh or Cumberland County

 

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