Home > Uncategorized > DEP Budget Up In Senate Tomorrow – Will Dems Give Gov. Christie And DEP Commissioner Martin A Pass?

DEP Budget Up In Senate Tomorrow – Will Dems Give Gov. Christie And DEP Commissioner Martin A Pass?

Despite promise, 3 Years Later, DEP Still Has No Drinking Water Standard For Toxic Chemical Perchlorate

Will DEP Commissioner Martin Be Held Accountable For Unprecedented & False Attack on Senator Buono?

“Best case is that if the EPA decides later this year to regulate perchlorate, it will be another two years before they come out with the rule,” said Bill Wolfe, New Jersey director of the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. “In the meantime New Jersey homeowners could be drinking contaminated water and not know it. Three years is the key development life of a child.” ~~~ Bergen Record – April 25, 2010

Gov. Christie’s proposed FY’14 DEP budget is up before the Senate Budget Committee tomorrow (Monday 4/15/13) at 1 pm.

As we’ve documented for over 3 years now, the Christie environmental record is rich with low hanging targets for critical legislative oversight – which we will not go into here.

Rather, I thought it might be a good opportunity to re-post a huge controversy the emerged during the Senate’s April 27, 2010 hearing on the first Christie DEP budget – see:

Senate Dems Blast Christie Global Warming Cuts and DEP’s Abandonment of Perchlorate Drinking Water Standard

A major dispute erupted over the Christie DEP’s withdrawal of a Corzine DEP proposed drinking water standard for the chemical perchlorate.

Here was the set up news coverage prior to the hearing: (Bergen Record, 4/25/10)

The Christie administration has backed off plans to require testing and treatment of drinking water for a chemical ingredient of fertilizer and rocket fuel that has been found in some private and public wells in North Jersey and which poses health risks for pregnant women and infants even with short-term exposure.

Senator Barbara Buono (4/27/10)

Two days later, during the April 27, 2010 Senate hearing, DEP Commissioner Martin had a sharp exchange with then Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono regarding DEP’s failure to adopt a proposed drinking water standard for the chemical perchlorate.

In extraordinary testimony, Martin mislead legislators –  at times he flat out lied – and even attacked  the work of DEP’s scientists – and all on false grounds.

Martin attacked DEP scientists by claiming that when he  reviewed the scientific basis for the proposed standard, he found that DEP science was “shoddy, poor, not organized, and anecdotal” and that “there was little data and science to back it up”. (those are verbatim quotes. Martin has no scientific  training).

Three days later, Martin did a U-turn and said he would enact a perchlorate standard.  On April 30, the Bergen Record wrote: Perchlorate limits to be set for water:

Just weeks after refusing to sign a proposed rule to regulate perchlorate levels in drinking water, state environmental commissioner Bob Martin indicated Thursday that he will implement restrictions for the chemical, which is harmful to pregnant women and fetuses.

“The commissioner does plan to institute a perchlorate regulation as quickly as possible,” Larry Ragonese, a spokesman for Martin, said Thursday.

The Buono dispute and Martin U-Turn led to a critical May 2, 2010 Bergen Record editorial “Cleaner Water“, that validated our views and chastised and humiliated Martin personally:

Martin’s new opinion came about after he was embarrassed publicly. The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility released e-mails sent to Martin from the EPA that made clear that even if the agency imposed a limit, 6 1/2 years could elapse before the rule was in place, Staff Writer James O’Neill reported. Martin would have been playing Russian roulette with the public’s health.

Then AFTER the embarrassing May 2 Record editorial, remarkably, in an unprecedented move, on May 7, Martin issue a press release that did another U-Turn and personally named and attacked Buono, then the Senate Majority Leader:


(10/P35) TRENTON – Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin today refuted a statement by Senator Barbara Buono, who contended he has done an “about face’’ on setting drinking water standards for the chemical perchlorate in New Jersey.

I don’t ever recall a Cabinet Official issuing a press release attacking a legislator, never mind the Senate Majority Leader

So here we are, 3 years later. Will Dems forget all that?

The facts have shown Martin to have made misleading and false statements.

Martin failed to act to propose the drinking water standard for perchlorate and his EPA excuse was false, see:

RATIONALE FOR NEW JERSEY WATER QUALITY DELAY IS BOGUS – Commissioner Claim of Imminent EPA Perchlorate Action Contradicted by E-Mails

So, aside from the numerous issues in need of oversight, will the Dems let this lie and give Martin a pass?

Not only was Martin’s attack on his own scientists and Senator President Buono false and unprecedented, Buono is now running for Governor.

I for sure would shove Martin’s words down his throat, and very publicly.


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