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A Spotlight on A NJ Spotlight Story

Accountability applies to friend and foe alike.

Tom Johnson, NJ’s senior and best and most reliable environmental reporter, lost his edge on this one and gave DEP, polluters, and Senate Environment Committee Chairman Bob Smith a big wet kiss.

His story on yesterday’s Senate Environment Committee release of a polluter friendly bill left out some essential stuff, see: STATE PRAISES PRIVATIZED CLEANUP OF HAZARDOUS-WASTE SITES.

I wrote about what went on at that hearing in this post, which makes it seem like Tom and I were not in the same room: Your Orwell Today: Christie DEP Calls Privatization of Toxic Site Cleanup Program “Self Implementation”.

So, again relegated to the NJ Spotlight comment section  I tried to make his readers aware of that (my pariah status over there is another story in itself, an example of thin skinned petty BS):

Two points:

1) The DEP data on the so called number of cleanups was a misleading sham. Sen. Greenstein even called DEP out on this abuse. DEP combined simple, low risk, underground storage tank removals with real cleanups.

The key reason that DEP can get away with this misleading inflation in cleanup progress is because DEP failed to meet a May 2010 legislative deadline to develop the “Remedial Priority System (RPS) that is supposed to rank sites based on risk – worst first.

Because there is no RPS, there is no scientific basis for setting cleanup priorities and no ability to distinguish a 100 gallon UST tank pull from a 1,000 acre toxic site with groundwater pollution.

It is absurd and intolerable that the legislature and the media let DEP get away with this abuse.

What we saw yesterday was nothing like real legislative oversight.

2) Because I was going to say all this, Sen. Smith blocked my testimony – or any other testimony on the bill, an unprecedented move to gag critics.

That too should be called out by the press.

BTW, Tittel was not at the hearing and testified on Dec. 5 in support of the bill.

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  1. June 17th, 2015 at 21:51 | #1
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