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DEP Keeps Sandy Prep Plans Secret – Denies Public Records Request

May 31st, 2013 12 comments

DEP’s Lack of Transparency Is Worse than NJ Transit’s

NJ Transit Climate Prep Plan - 3 1/2 pages, all redacted (Source: MSNBC)

I am intrigued by the play on one angle of the story in national media coverage of Gov. Christie’s climate denial – stories all based on the Bergen Record and WNYC investigative reporting on the NJ Transit fiasco (i.e. see this and this).

The intriguing  angle is the NJ Transit’s totally redacted 3 1/2 page “Climate Change Prep Plan” (see above screen shot). WNYC filed an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request for the plan, and this is what they got (see above).

I am intrigued, because I too filed an OPRA request – but I asked DEP for their Climate Prep Plans.

I requested the Plans described by DEP Commissioner Martin in his December 3, 2012 testimony to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, during the 3rd of their Sandy oversight hearings (you can view the hearing video here).

Martin testified extensively about DEP plans and spoke highly of the effectiveness of the DEP’s plans: (starts at time 1:47:40)

First off, the state operates in emergencies based on planning, significant planning that occurs at the state level.

Each department operates with its own plan, and ties into an overall unified command.

All the major critical decisions are made by the Governor. …

We do not operate in silos as an organization. We operate clearly together as a team.  … Cabinet members sit with the Governor, helping to inform on those decisions. …

The scope of responsibilities DEP has deals with several different categories. The first major category is flooding. ..We provide the science, data, and analysis for the state to manage flood impacts. …

We also work with coastal planning and areas of floodplains across the state.

We are also responsible for handling water supply and wastewater treatment plants, and overall water quality.

Nuclear safety … DEP is responsible for monitoring those plants in coordination with the NRC.

We are responsible for shore protection

I briefly would like to talk about 3 different categories. The first is before the storm, all the activities we were involved in; during the storm; then after the storm.

First off, the number one thing we have, we all have a plan. Those plans have been in place. We’ve worked through different table tops, talks through those things, before in the past. So we’ve walked through, stepped through those things numerous times before this event.

Each of my Assistant Commissioners has responsibilities and puts a plan together about what we are going to do before, during and after. So we break out those plans.

A week ahead of time, we started putting these plans into operation. ….

During the storm, we primarily provided technical expertise … on flood maps, where we expected flooding to occur,  what those flood maps look like. 

Well, so it looks like Commissioner Martin was responsible for advising the Gov. on things like whether NJ Transit rail yards would flood.

So, after listening to Martin’s testimony at that hearing, I filed an OPRA requesting copies of DEP’s plans that Martin claimed were in place and worked so well.

DEP responded to that OPRA request thusly:

This request has been denied pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1. See Addendum Disposition Notes below for further information.

The subject plans have not been finalized, are consider deliberative and confidential pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1. In addition, some components of the plans are confidential pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-9, EO 47, N.J.A.C. 7:1D-3.2(b)1.

Not been finalized? Martin testified that that they had long been inlace and DEP had conducted numerous dry runs.

We didn’t even get the NJ Transit redacted 3 page version – but a flat out denial.

We doubt the plans exist, and if they do exist, are probably a lot like the NJ Transit plans in terms of quality.

For example, NJ sewage treatment and drinking water plants were knocked out because they lacked back up power, had inoperable diesel generators, or not enough fuel to run the generators. As result, many communities across NJ lost drinking water supply – NJ was on the verge of an even worse catastrophe.

What kind of planning is THAT?

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Jersey Shore, Comeback!

May 30th, 2013 No comments

Come back, Little Sheba!

Here’s a DC beltway trade journal view of what our Good Governor sometimes refers to when he says: “The Shore is Back”

N.J. shore faces sea-level rise not seen for 6,000 years

Christa Marshall, E&E reporter

Published: Thursday, May 30, 2013

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, scientists now have a measurement of how sea levels changed over the past 10,000 years on the New Jersey coastline.

The last time that sea levels were rising near their current rate on the state’s coast — roughly 3 to 4 millimeters per year — was 6,000 years ago during an unusually warm period with melting ice sheets, according to a study supported by the Department of Energy, National Science Foundation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Then, the melting spurred from a combination of factors, including orbital variations and ocean circulation.

The research confirms the current impact of climate change and provides further detail about how New Jersey is reacting to warming temperatures in comparison to other locations along the Atlantic Coast, according to the study’s lead author, Benjamin Horton, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania. The rate of sea-level rise can vary among Delaware and New Jersey and Florida, said Horton.

“New Jersey now has the most detailed sea-level record for the last 10,000 years for anywhere along the Atlantic Coast,” said Horton. The research was published in the Journal of Quaternary Science.

By examining 20-meter-deep cores taken from marshlands along New Jersey’s coast, the research team determined that sea levels rose 4 millimeters per year on average from 10,000 to 6,000 years ago. That coincided with melting of the world’s ice sheets.

“Now what’s happening? Greenland and Antarctica are melting and could trigger similar rates of sea-level rise,” Horton said.

As the climate gradually stabilized, sea-level rise tapered off — from 6,000 to 2,000 years ago, the rate was 2 millimeters annually. Between 2,000 years ago and 1900, the New Jersey rate was 1.3 millimeters a year, the scientists said.

The last figure is noteworthy because the rate has doubled since the beginning of the 20th century, largely because of climate change, according to Horton.

From the fossil record, the researchers also determined how non-climate factors are playing into rising water levels along the state’s coast. Of the roughly 3 to 4 millimeters of annual sea-level rise now, about 1 millimeter of that in New Jersey is caused by geological land subsidence, said Horton.

“We were only able to determine what that value was from going back through time,” he said. The scientists made their conclusions by measuring the abundance of small organisms that are very sensitive to changes in salinity. They also used new methods, such as consideration of sediment compaction, that make the measurements more accurate than prior estimates, according to Horton.

Last year, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey reported that sea levels along a 600-mile “hotspot” between Cape Hatteras, N.C., to north of Boston have increased three times the global average since 1990.

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Breaking! Logjam in Hazardous Waste Site Cleanups Is Broken!

May 30th, 2013 2 comments

Lisa Jackson’s Career Trajectory A Perfect Example of Corporate Capture


William Reilly was instrumental in the 1984 founding of Clean Sites, Inc., the public-private partnership that broke the logjam in hazardous waste site cleanups.   ~~~ 
A Profile of the New Administrator – EPA Journal March/April 1989

Bet you didn’t know that the logjam in hazardous site cleanups was broken back in 1989, by a “public-private partnership” known as Clean Sites, Inc. (that’s Washington DC beltway spin for a corporate front group).

Keep in mind that Clean Sites Inc. was formed in 1984, at the height of the “Reagan Revolution”, i.e. “government is the problem, not the solution” – and the deeply ideological,  anti-regulatory, anti-government 94th Congress’ “Contract on America”.

Reflecting that ideology and corporate interests, but posing as a public interest group, Clean Sites Inc. really was:

Clean Sites Inc. was a U.S.-based corporate front group which was described by Mark Megalli and Andy Friedman in their landmark review on the use of front groups in the U.S. as “concerned about the costs to its sponsors of toxic cleanups.” [1]

The group now appears to be defunct. The last financial return for the 501(c)(3) registered non-profit group was filed for the year ending June 30, 2000. It revealed that the group had no income in that year. However, in the decade before, Clean Sites had run a significant operation.

Or that President Bush’s (I) EPA Administrator William Reilly did that good deed, in altruistic pursuit of sound public policy.

So, what’s the current relevance of this 25 year old information?

Lisa Jackson’s revolving door move to Apple prompts me to mention something I’ve been meaning to clarify for a long time.

I’m further motivated by the way the issue is simply buried on Lisa Jackson’s promotional Wikipedia page.

I am referring to the literally never mentioned fact that Jackson began her career at Clean Sites, Inc., a corporate DC Beltway front group – funded by and serving the chemical industry – who worked hard and effectively to rollback the federal Superfund program.

This reality directly and completely undermines the myth that Jackson is some career government technocrat that worked her way up the EPA food chain to attain high office.

Lisa Jackson began her career at Clean Sites, Inc. – something that is virtually never mentioned in her biography.

Jackson was wired politically from day one (just look at the Directors of Clean Sites Inc., the institutional mission and covert development strategy, and the corporate interests they represented:

II. Resource Development: Initially, CSI is to be funded by contributions from industry and from foundations. The strategy has been to show a strong chemical industry commitment which is then extended to other industries that generate hazardous waste and then to approach foundations to request support for a very specific piece of CSI activity, probably the Technical Review function where independence of function should probably be matched by some “independent” funding.

Of course, it is likely that as CSI develops, companies who utilize its services will contribute to the operation.

For now, the chemical industry is moving quickly to support half of CSI’s costs for the first three years. The materials found under Tab II explain how this process works. The key documents here are the commitment forms on which CMAcompanies commit on the basis of chemical and chemical product sales. The formula used assumed full support from the chemical industry and  was calculated to yield $2.5 million in year one, $3.5 million in year two and $5 million in year three.

From day one, Jackson always had a firm understanding of and close affinity with corporate economic interests.

From day one Jackson had powerful political connections that obviously opened doors for her.

The perspectives, training, and contacts forged in places like Princeton and Clean Sites Inc. are the values that are rewarded by the political culture in government agencies, which has become increasingly corporate, increasingly captured by corporate interests, and prone to revolving door incentives and abuses.

Those “careerists” in agencies that manage to advance know exactly how to play the game – don’t make waves.

If a bureaucrat in an environmental agency should step out of line, and buck management to become an “advocate” of science and the public interest, that would amount to isolation, marginalization and pariah status – career suicide.

Jackson attended Tulane on a scholarship from Shell and went to graduate school at elite Princeton University.

Of such humble origins, corporate culture is fostered, corporate values reinforced, corporate capture is founded, and the revolving door swingeth.

So I am not surprised by the Apple move.

The move to Apple returns full circle to Jackson’s origin in corporate America.

And that, my friend, is a storyline you will never hear in any mainstream media outlet – or whispered by any environmental group.

(PS – Maybe they’ll send her to the Ireland tax office, given Jackson’s government experience with loopholes)

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“Resiliency Strategies”

May 29th, 2013 No comments

You can’t make this stuff up

"Underground" - 1 of 3 Sandy "Ocean to Bay" cuts in Mantoloking, NJ

 

Waist deep in the big muddy, and the big fool says to push on”  ~~~ Pete Seeger (listen)

NJ Natural Gas “Resiliency Strategy”:

Natural gas infrastructure is underground and protected    

Really? Who knew?

Ahem ..  wait a minute, but what about this?

New Jersey Natural Gas to snuff gas fires on barrier islands

 

BRICK — The natural gas fires that have burned for days along the ravaged barrier islands, spanning from Bay Head south to Seaside Park, and also Long Beach Island, are about to be snuffed by New Jersey Natural Gas, the company said this afternoon.

and this:

Flames rage anew in Mantoloking, NJ, barrier island town ravaged by Sandy (watch NBC video)

 

and this

Rebuilding Brick barrier island put on hold for gas line repairs

 

BRICK — The arduous task of rebuilding along the barrier island in Brick Township will be halted next week, officials said.

For five days beginning Monday, residents and contractors will be prevented from getting on an approximately three-mile portion of the island as repaired natural gas lines are pressurized, officials said today.

and this:

Barrier Island Closed to Vehicles Dec. 8 to 18 for Natural Gas System Repairs

 

and this:

Natural gas fuels fire in small New Jersey town devastated by Sandy

 

I could go on – but think I’ll stop now.

We’ll let the experts push on.

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NJ is “Separate and Unequal” When it Comes to Pollution and Health Risks

May 28th, 2013 1 comment

Industry Lies on Cumulative Risks and Environmental Injustice

Christie Administration In Denial and Delay Mode

Source: US EPA "National Air Toxics Assessment" (NATA - 2005)

Lies by the chemical industry about the environmental and health effects of their products are nothing new – entire books have been written about that (e.g. see:  Doubt is Their Product – How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health by professor David Michaels).

But, those lies have become much more nuanced and sophisticated, typically requiring scientific and legal expertise to detect and expose, as professor Michaels did so effectively in his superb book.

Hal Bozarth. lobbyist, NJ Chemistry Council (AKA "The Godfather of NJ Toxics")

So, I’m actually happy to report, that nuance and sophistication were not the case recently in Trenton, when Hal Bozarth, chief lobbyist for the NJ Chemical industry (AKA “The Godfather of NJ Toxics”), repeatedly and obviously lied and mislead in testimony to the Assembly Environment Committee on an environmental justice bill, A3836.

(see Tom Johnson at NJ Spotlight story on the May 13 hearing:  Bill Would Enforce Environmental Justice, Keep Polluters out of Poor Urban Areas)

I’m happy to report those lies and distortions because they open the door and become an opportunity to educate legislators and media on long ignored and complex scientific and regulatory issues. Ironically, Bozarth’s testimony was so egregious that it actually advances the compelling arguments in favor of the bill.

This is a very big deal, because the chemical industry blatantly lied about EPA and DEP research and air monitoring initiatives in NJ. Those lies were used to support a series of false or misleading claims that:

  • there is no scientifically valid methodology currently available to assess cumulative impacts and/or cumulative risks from chemical exposures;
  • the best available studies in 3 NJ urban areas indicate that health risks are below levels of concern;
  • the best available studies in 3 urban areas suggest that the detected pollutants of concern are emitted by mobile sources (cars, trucks, ships, planes, trains) and not by stationary sources like chemical plants and refineries; and
  • US EPA and NJ DEP studies have found that air quality is no worse in urban NJ than elsewhere in the state.

So, let’s get right down to it and start with what the bill does and exactly what Bozarth lied about in his testimony.

The key technical feature of the bill involves what the wonks call “cumulative impacts” or “cumulative risk”.

The bill would authorize DEP to deny environmental permits where consideration of cumulative impacts pose unaceptable risks.

I lay some of this out in a letter today to Chairwoman Spencer, the bill’s sponsor

Dear Chairwoman Spencer:

Re: clarification and correction of chemical industry testimony on A3836

Apologies for delay in providing this information, which I promised during my May 13, 2013 testimony before your committee on your bill, A3836.

As I testified, Mr. Bozarth’s testimony was false and/or misleading.

As promised, I now would like to followup in more detail to point out specifically where the testimony of Mr. Bozarth of the NJ Chemistry Council was false and/or misleading in statement or inference, as follows.

Lies and distortions by the chemical industry about the environmental and health effects of their products are nothing new – entire books have been written about that subject (e.g. see:  Doubt is Their Product – How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health by professor David Michaels).

There are also relevant science, regulatory, and policy documents that Bozarth failed to mention that I will touch on briefly.

1. Mr. Bozarth testified that US EPA and NJ DEP had conducted cumulative risk studies in Elizabeth, Paulsboro, and Paterson, and found no cumulative risk problems, inferring that there were no “unreasonable risks” the bill sought to address. Both statements are false and misleading, as set forth below.

2. Directly contradicting that statement, he then testified that scientific tools to assess cumulative risk do not yet exist.

3. Bozarth stated that those studies found that air quality is urban areas was no worse than in other areas of NJ. THis statement is false according to DEP data in the Report cited by Mr. Bozarth, as set forth below.

Taken in order, here are the facts, with verbatim excerpts of the documents and links to the studies Bozarth cited in his testimony:

1. Elizabeth and Paulsboro studies

The Elizabeth (Mabel Holmes Middle School) and Paulsboro (High School) studies were conducted by US EPA. These studies did not assess or include findings on cumulative risk, as stated by Bozarth.

The EPA studies of outdoor air quality near two NJ schools were part of a national monitoring program purportedly designed “to understand whether outdoor toxic air pollution poses health concerns to schoolchildren.” The EPA school monitoring program was triggered by a USA Today investigative series. A commitment for EPA to conduct the study was extracted by US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer during Lisa Jackson’s EPA confirmation hearing 

(look at the photo I took of that at this link: http://www.wolfenotes.com/2009/01/politics-versus-science/#more-497

The EPA schools study did not emerge from within EPA professionals or a credible scientific body, and the study itself reflects inadequate scientific development and vetting made difficult by political intervention. 

EPA sampled outdoor air in the area of 63 schools in 22 states – see EPA’s description of the program, with all data and findings:

The EPA study methodology did NOT conduct cumulative impact or cumulative risk assessment, but instead was based on air monitoring and individual chemical specific analysis, based on a comparison with EPA derived health screening values for individual chemicals.

There are serious flaws in this study, including:

a) the small number of chemicals sampled – industry emits thousands of chemicals and the Clean Air Act regulates 187 “Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP’s), yet EPA sampled for just 45 compounds;

b) the EPA study failed to consider community susceptibility or cumulative impacts or cumulative risks from human exposure to multiple chemicals via multiple exposure pathways (e.g. air, water, soil, food) – or synergistic or subtle developmental effects;

c) EPA screening values were over 200 times HIGHER than NJ DEP health based screening values. If EPA had used NJ DEP’s screening values, almost all samples would have exceeded health levels of concern. 

For example, EPA used screening values of 90 micrograms/cubic meter for acetaldehyde and 30 micrograms/cubic meter for benzene, a known human carcinogen.

In comparison, the NJ DEP’s “health benchmark”  screening values for acetaldehyde is 0.45 micrograms/cubic meter (200 times lower than the EPA value) and 0.13 micrograms/cubic meter for benzene (230.7 times lower than the EPA value). For DEP “health benchmarks” and their derivation, see this link:

http://www.nj.gov/dep/airtoxics/njavg05.htm

d) the EPA selected pollutants that are emitted by mobile and stationary sources, making it difficult or impossible to determine the source of the pollutant detected with any degree of confidence. Accordingly, Mr. Bozarth’s repeated claims that the large majority of the pollution comes from mobile sources finds no basis in this particular study.

2. Paterson Study

The Paterson study was funded and reviewed and approved by US EPA, but conducted by NJ DEP. It is known as “UCAMPP”, for Urban Community Air Toxics Monitoring Project – see this for DEP study:

http://www.state.nj.us/dep/dsr/paterson/

First of all, in contrast to EPA studies above, the Paterson DEP UCAMPP study initially WAS designed as followup “environmental justice” research project and the final draft Report did include cumulative risk assessment findings.

Specifically, page 61 from Draft report showed unacceptably high combined cancer risks – see a copy of that page here:

http://www.wolfenotes.com/2010/02/dep-guts-science-on-cumulative-cancer-risks-in-paterson-nj/

But, as I wrote on February 10, 2010, those and other important findings were deleted from the version released to the public. This amounts to political suppression of scientific findings, a corrupt practice that has no place in government.

Secondly, the Paterson study used an air monitoring station located in Chester, NJ as a “background” station. 

Contrary to Mr. Bozarth’s claim, according to DEP’s data, the air in Chester NJ is far less polluted than the air in Paterson, and the people of Paterson are exposed to significantly higher health risks from air pollution, compared to residents of Chester.

As some others testified on your bill, this is the definition of “separate and unequal”.

3. Previous DEP conclusions on “disproportionate burden” and available cumulative risk tools

A December 2009 DEP Report documented that NJ’s urban areas were suffering disproportionate pollution burdens – see: 

A Preliminary Screening Method to Estimate Cumulative Environmental Impacts

http://www.state.nj.us/dep/ej/docs/ejc_screeningmethods20091222.pdf

As I wrote back on December 5, 2009:

http://www.wolfenotes.com/2009/12/dep-discovers-discrimination-dumps-environmental-justice-issue-in-christies-lap/

“DEP considered 9 indicators of environmental and/or public health impact: 1. cancer rates; 2. diesel emissions; 3. ambient benzene levels (a carcinogen); 4. traffic (all); 5. traffic (trucks); 6. density of DEP regulated industrial facilities; 7. density of toxic waste sites; 8. density of dry cleaners (toxic air emissions) and 9. density of junkyards.

For every single one of those indicators, the adverse impacts increased directly as the percentage of minority and poor residents increased.

DEP data conclusively demonstrates that poor and minority communities bear disproportionate impacts.

The strength of the correlation between race and income and adverse environmental & health impact demands that DEP take action to remedy this injustice. DEP must enforce existing environmental regulations to mitigate these impacts and develop tough new standards to prevent and better protect already over-burdened EJ communities.”

As I’m sure you are aware, the NJ Environmental Justice Advisory Council also has done considerable work on this issue since then, including a Report on cumulative impact methodologies and issues 

STRATEGIES FOR ADDRESSING CUMULATIVE IMPACTS IN ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE COMMUNITIES

http://www.state.nj.us/dep/ej/docs/ejac_impacts_report200903.pdf

Also please see my followup post of April 11, 2012

Dissenting Report Rips Christie DEP Commissioner Martin On Environmental Justice

http://www.wolfenotes.com/2012/04/dissenting-report-to-christie-dep-commissioner-martin-on-environmental-justice/

4. EPA “Framework for Cumulative Risk Assessment”

Mr. Bozarth implied that cumulative risk is not developed scientifically or in regulatory policy. Yet EPA has had a cumulative risk assessment framework for over a decade.

Here is just one example: the National Air Toxics Assessment Report (see 2005) technical basis document states the following: (access is restricted to the quoted and cited EPA 2003 document)

“The national-scale assessment described in this document is consistent with EPA’s definition of a cumulative risk assessment as “an analysis, characterization, and possible quantification of the combined risks to health or the environment from multiple agents or stressors” (EPA 2003; p. 6). EPA’s Framework for Cumulative Risk Assessment (EPA 2003) emphasizes that a conceptual model is an important output of the problem formulation phase of a cumulative risk assessment. The conceptual model defines the actual or predicted relationships between exposed individuals, populations, or ecosystems and the chemicals or stressors to which they might be exposed. Specifically, the conceptual model lays out the sources, stressors, environmental media, routes of exposure, receptors, and endpoints (i.e., measures of effects) relevant to the problem or situation that is being evaluated. This model takes the form of a written description and a visual representation of the relationships among these components (EPA 2003). The conceptual model sometimes can include components that are not specifically or quantitatively addressed by an assessment, but that are nevertheless important to consider.”

“6.2.2 Multiple Pollutant Risk

The individual lifetime cancer risk resulting from exposure to multiple air toxics is estimated by summing the chronic cancer risk for each air toxic that can be quantified. This estimate of risk focuses on the additional lifetime risk of cancer predicted from the exposure being analyzed, over and above that due to any other factors. The following equation estimates the predicted cumulative individual cancer risk from inhalation of multiple substances:

Risktot = Risk1 + Risk2 + … + Riski
Risktot = total cumulative individual lifetime cancer risk, across i substances

Riski = individual risk estimate for the ith substance

For NATA, the estimated exposure concentrations are not considered to be upper bound. Rather, they represent central tendency estimates of exposure concentrations for each demographic group at the geographic unit of analysis (e.g., the census-tract level). Because cancer slope factors are not “most probable estimates,” however, but instead are 95-percent upper confidence intervals, summing traditional risk levels can cause the resulting sum to overestimate a 95-percent upper confidence level risk for a mixture.

The NATA approach assumes an additive effect from simultaneous exposures to several carcinogens. Summing cancer risk estimates is not appropriate when effects from multiple chemicals are synergistic (greater than additive) or antagonistic (less than additive). 

I would be glad to expand upon or discuss these important matters at your convenience.

Sincerely,

Bill Wolfe, Director

NJ PEER

For interested readers, the EPA national school ambient air monitoring initiative sampled outdoor air quality for a handful of pollutants at two NJ schools – hit the links for one in Mabel Holmes Middle School in Elizabeth and one in Paulsboro High School.

A summary of the EPA initiative can be found here, the sampled pollutants here and the actual results here.

Source: NJDEP air toxics screening values

Source: US EPA School Monitoring screening values

NATA 2005 findings:

Cumulative Cancer Risks:

NATA estimates that all 285 million people in the U.S. have an increased cancer risk of greater than 10 in one million. 13.8 million people (less than 5 percent of the total U.S. population based on the 2000 census) have an increased cancer risk of greater than 100 in a million. The average, national, cancer risk for 2005 is 50 in a million. This means that, on average, approximately 1 in every 20,000 people have an increased likelihood of contracting cancer as a result of breathing air toxics from outdoor sources if they were exposed to 2005 emission levels over the course of their lifetime

[extrapolating to NJ approximately 8 million population = 400 excess cancer deaths]

Cumulative Noncancer Hazards:

Ideally, hazard quotients should be combined for pollutants that cause the same adverse effects by the same toxic mechanism. However, because detailed information on mechanisms was unavailable for most of the substances considered in this assessment, the EPA used a simpler and more conservative method. Many of the pollutants in this assessment cause adverse effects in humans or animals by irritating the lining of the respiratory system. Although it is not clear that these respiratory effects occur by the same mechanisms for all such air toxics compounds, the EPA protectively assumed that these effects could be added for each target organ. These additive effects were represented by a “hazard index,” which is the sum of the hazard quotients of the 41 air toxics compounds in the 2005 NATA that affect the respiratory. (sic)

The respiratory hazard index was dominated by a single substance, acrolein, which contributed about 75 percent of the nationwide average non-cancer hazard. The respiratory hazard index exceeded 1.0 for approximately 69 million people while the HI exceeded 10 for more than 174,000 people. These estimates for acrolein differ greatly from the 2002 NATA estimates. This is primarily due to the removal of fires, which were a big contributor of atmospheric acrolein in 2002, from the 2005 inventory and assessment.

[extrapolating to NJ = 1.937 million people with respiratory hazard, measured as >1]

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