Home > Uncategorized > Gov. Christie Now Knows The Tapes Exist – Will He Watch the Dupont Pompton Lakes Video Tapes?

Gov. Christie Now Knows The Tapes Exist – Will He Watch the Dupont Pompton Lakes Video Tapes?

A Town Hall Exchange with a Real Activist

Gov. Is Now Personally Aware of Toxic Nightmare In Pompton Lakes – Will He Act?

Cheryl Rubino gets in Gov. Christie’s face on Dupont Pompton Lakes toxic nightmare (source: Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger)


Thank you Governor so much….my name is Cheryl Rubino from Middlesex Boro, I grew up in Pompton Lakes. There is a petition out there with over 11,000 signature requesting your endorsement to put the Dupont PL Works site on the Superfund list and we need your support and request it be listed. The cleanup has been going for over 30 years and we need just ONE agency to overlook and run this clean up once and for all. That agency should be the EPA. In fact due to us not being a Superfund we have a Lake remediation that has stalled.

I’ve been involved and writing about the toxic nightmare created by Dupont in Pompton Lakes NJ for several years now.

Today, there’s been a major new development, thanks to Cheryl Rubino, a superb activist with Citizens for a Clean Pompton Lakes (CCPL), the group fighting to get the Dupont site cleaned up and designated by EPA a national priority under the Superfund program. That’s Cheryl above, asking Gov. Christie to support Superfund designation.

Although not legally mandatory, EPA Superfund listing policy prefers the concurrence of State government and Regional Administrator Enck has said that if Gov. Christie supports the designation, she will have the site listed under Superfund. We have urged EPA to list the site based on an extraordinarily high HRS score of 70, which greatly exceeds the eligibility threshold score of 28.5, even without consideration of vapor intrusion risks into 450 homes.

Our research has revealed that at least 27 additional NJ sites qualify for Superfund listing, with HRS score in excess of 28.5.

So, let me tell the story today within the narrative structure of the still unfolding Rutgers scandal, because that has gotten much play and people clearly understand the implications for management accountability.

When a public official is made fully aware of a problem under their control, he/she becomes morally, legally, and politically responsible and accountable for responding to that problem.

That’s why Rutgers President Barchi refused to watch the abuse tapes of Basketball coach Rice when he was told about them.

He simply did not want to know what was on those tapes so he could have a degree of separation and plausible deniability for how the problem was addressed.

That’s why he delegated and dumped this hot steaming turd in the lap of Athletic Director Pernetti and washed his hands of it.

Barchi knew that if things subsequently blew up – which they ultimately did – then he could always say he didn’t know and thereby dodge accountability for how the problem was addressed – AKA “plausible deniability”.

Well, Governor Christie now is in that same situation right now with respect to the problems at the Dupont Pompton Lakes site.

Just like when Athletic Director Pernetti first told President Barchi about the tapes, Gov. Christie has been told that a serious problem exists – see above photo for proof of that.

Christie now owns that problem and must respond.

Residents of Pompton Lakes have been writing the Governor for months and receiving lame constituent reply form letters, or no response at all.

In my experience, letters and phone calls from residents are referred to the Governor’s Office of constituent relations, and typically are responded to at a very low level. In the event of a large volume of calls/letters, or when an issue get media play, the issue might get bumped up to a management or policy level where someone in the Gov.s Office calls or emails a liaison in DEP,  who might even contact the DEP Commissioner for a response.

Very rarely does the Governor get personally involved in the details of a citizen’s concerns.

A Town Hall exchange can change all that – and in this case, it did. Gov. Christie personally promised a response to Ms. Rubino. [Source: Personal communication w/Ms. Rubino]

So, the Governor has two basic options at this point:

1) Like Barchi, he can call DEP Commissioner Martin, rely on his judgement, and delegate; or

2) Like Barchi should have done, the Gov. can do the equivalent of looking at the video tapes.

What’s it gonna be Gov.?

We hope he chooses option #2

The Gov. needs to know that DEP Commissioner Martin has already opposed designating the Dupont site as an EPA lead Superfund site.

That would further embarrass DEP for the mismanagement of the site for 25 years and is opposed by Martin’s friend, the chemical giant Dupont.

If the Gov. chooses option #2, here are some “video tapes” he can delve into:

standing room only at Pompton Lakes High School auditorium to hear about cancer cluster Report (12/15/09)

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  1. April 12th, 2013 at 10:52 | #1

    HUGE Thanks to Cheryl Rubino !!! This could prove to be a historic moment in my life , the life of my hometown which I still reside ! This Gov has played enough games & it is HIGH time to apply the pressure RIGHT NOW !!! Pompton Lakes NEEDS Superfund Status ASAP !!!!

  2. Ruth Paez
    April 12th, 2013 at 23:30 | #2

    Thank you very much Cheryl!!! You have been very courageous in taking this great opportunity to speak with Mr. Christie and told her the problems we are going through. I hope he will really take care of the situation after he has been force in front of the public to take action. I hope his promise will come true and helps us out.
    Thanks again Cheryl for take this opportunity in your hands.

  3. Ed Meakem
    April 13th, 2013 at 10:41 | #3

    The Gov must do something now…No more hide and seek Mr Christie. This is just a fraction of iceberg and One Strong willed woman under God Fighting for Justice for us all…

  4. Shannon Caccavella
    April 13th, 2013 at 19:08 | #4

    Have you visited Roxbury lately?

    Over the past few months, the growing issues surrounding my home on Mountain Road in Ledgewood, NJ have been unbearable. Since the project started for the proposed solar farm, my family has suffered greatly and our quality of life has diminished. My family and I are extremely worried about our home, lives and more importantly our health due to the daily project at the Fenimore Land Site owned by SEP operated by Richard Bernardi (released criminal).
    The rotten egg, foul odor of hydrogen sulfide is horrible! The smell has consumed our lives as well as home. We can no longer enjoy our property or play in our yard. We cannot entertain guests or enjoy a meal from the grill. This all stems from the SEP Project at the landfill off Mountain Road. The NJDEP proved the H2S omissions are coming from the landfill but still not the town, a judge or NJDEP can stop this project.
    How would you feel if the smell woke you up in the middle of the night? How would you feel if you are standing on the bottom of your driveway waiting for the Roxbury Public School Bus and watching your 9 year old eyes water while having to gag and choke from the odor drifting across your property? What would you do if this was your home and family inhaling these toxic fumes? She now has to wear a mask to shield her from the omissions of H2S while waiting for the school bus.
    We are currently seeking medical treatment for our daughter who has begun to have migraine headaches since the smell has begun to surround and come into our home and on our public school buses. Where is the DEP’s involvement in stopping this project? Who is helping us, the residents of Roxbury? We call the DEP with every odor complaint and have recorded and documented case numbers but we are not getting real help. These odors are hazardous and the levels are unhealthy as stated in the NJDEP Report dated January 7th, 2013. Why isn’t the DEP testing for more hazardous gases? We need answers!
    This rotten egg odor coming directly from the landfill owned and operated by SEP and Richard Bernardi has become worse and the testing has proven to have readings higher than the healthy intake (over 39 ppb). If the levels reach this high again, we have to relocate but who will pay for it? Who will pay our mortgage? Where will we go?
    I am truly fearful that our lives have to permanently changed due to this odor. My family is currently forced to stay indoors. What happens now? I have my windows open and the smell has taken over my home completely. Where do I turn?
    As to date I have call the DEP over 45 times and have signed complaints stating that the H2S in my yard. The DEP says they can’t do anything more than what they are doing and that is clearly taking our calls, sending someone out and writing it down. Why can’t Roxbury get the help we need? The DEP told me today that they have no authority to stop the landfill or SEP.
    We are highly concerned now the warm is here. The environment at our home has become a more disgusting, intolerable living situation and the summer will be an awful vacation for our children and entire family if this is not resolved.
    We have complained, emailed and called all the proper channels to find out what health risk this terrible rotten egg odor will cause our family now and in the future. We have voiced our concerns many times and have never received a valid response. We have also interviewed with News12 and Walt Kane is currently running our story weekly on the news.
    Our lives have had to change due to the nuisance this project has caused at our property. Our concerns have deepened as the projected has continued and been allowed to continue by the DEP and Morris County Judge Wilson.
    We need state officials to take notice and help our community, help our struggle and restore our quality of life. Roxbury residents care about our town, homes and children. Governor Christie, please visit our town, listen to the residents and help us.

    Shannon Caccavella
    Email: shancacc@optonline.net

  5. April 15th, 2013 at 14:02 | #5

    Governor Christie! PLEASE send a letter in support of our nomination to the Federal Superfund National Priority List (NPL) to USEPA Region Administrator Judith Enck as soon as humanly possible. You Do not have to live in Pompton Lakes, NJ to sign this petition. May 2013 be the YEAR that the People Living Directly in the DuPont Plume in Pompton and the Community of Pompton Lakes, NJ GET THE HELP and CARING IT DESERVES and HAS BEEN WAITING TO RECEIVE FOR DECADES! 11,862 have signed to-date BUT We still need your help and support! This petition must go Viral so please sign and share with all you know. We have passed the 2010 census population number for the Borough of Pompton Lakes, NJ but we must keep going! Thank you! SAVE OUR CHILDREN….SAVE THEIR FUTURE!
    STOP DUPONT CHEMICAL FROM POISONING NJ FAMILIES – http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-dupont-chemical-from-poisoning-new-jersey-families?utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=url_share&utm_campaign=url_share_before_sign

  6. Eileen M Antolino
    April 15th, 2013 at 14:37 | #6

    Gov Christie, Please endorse the listing of this Pompton Lakes contamination as a superfund site with th highest priority. This egregious disregard and neglect on the part of the EPA to protect the health and welfare of tax paying citizens is unforgivable and needs your immediate attention before the next generations fall victim.

  7. April 15th, 2013 at 20:51 | #7

    Governor Christie, we your help. Please send a letter pledging your support to USEPA Region Admin. Judith Enck to add Pompton Lakes, NJ to the Superfund National Priority List. We have suffered through nearly 30 years of ineffectual leadership in the cleanup effort of toxins that pollute our homes, community and neighbors. People are sick, others have died and our home values have suffer tremendously yet we still only get false promises, band-aid solutions and no one willing to tell us the truth regarding whether or not they can even cleanup our community. In this time of tight budgets help remove some of the burden place on NJ residents by placing the clean-up of Pompton Lakes were it belongs, with the USEPA and as part of Super Fund.

  8. Michael Garbe
    April 15th, 2013 at 20:53 | #8

    @Lisa Riggiola
    Message above posted by Lisa Riggiola c/o Michael Garbe

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