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?
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 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.
Well, Governor Christie is now is 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: