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Is The Legislature Serious About Responding to Problems Highlighted In Flint Michigan?

Underlying Policy Failures of the Christie Administration Still Not Identified

The real agenda driving the emphasis on cost impacts to poor residential users is to justify gentrifying urban redevelopment and privatization of water systems.

NJ Spotlight reports on a Legislative oversight hearing yesterday on the lessons of Flint, Michigan for NJ, read the whole thing:

I’m reluctant to be critical, because I’ve called for the Legislature to do just that and use oversight powers to expose the flawed Christie DEP policy, see:

I fleshed that out with a critical post that sought to highlight the real policy issues of Flint that were being ignored, and the self serving agenda that has filled that void, see:

Yet, despite this well endowed white bread effort, they have completely failed to focus on the issues brought to the fore in Flint Michigan, including: structural racism, poverty, environmental injustice, austerity, unregulated chemicals, endocrine disrupting chemicals, river water quality, wastewater treatment plants,  childhood lead exposure, lack of adequate treatment of drinking water, or a host of related urban water and public health issues.

(Curious, the Dodge Foundation and its ENGO puppets cried no crocodile tears for poor urban residents when they launched their Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) campaign, which targets 14 of NJ’s poorest cities and will cost BILLIONS of dollars for marginal water quality improvements.

Meanwhile, those same puppets ignored – for decades – the need to upgrade treatment technology at Morris County sewage treatment plants that serve NJ’s wealthiest towns and discharge billions of gallons of inadequately treated wastewater to the Passaic Basin, which is used by downstream urban communities for drinking water.

That is one warped set of priorities.)

So, for now I will simply bullet those underlying science, policy and regulatory issues that continue to be ignored, just in case Legislators are serious or some intrepid journalist wants to do follow-up stories.

The links between Flint Michigan and current Christie DEP policy are to:

1) the collapse of DWQI,

2) failure to address unregulated contaminants,

3) failure to update Water Supply Master Plan,

4) failure to implement DEP’s Asset Management Plan, 

5) abandonment of the environmental justice program, and

6) outsourcing and industry capture of science.

I’ve written extensively about each of these issues, so, until I insert the links to those posts, you can just use the word search function in the top right.

[PS – the assumption that poor residential users must shoulder 100% of the financial burden via water bills is flawed – we used to have a robust federal financial capital construction program and NJ’s wealthy suburbs and corporations can subsidize a significant portion of the cost burden.

The real agenda driving the emphasis on cost impacts to poor residential users is to justify gentrifying urban redevelopment and privatization of water systems.

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  1. August 3rd, 2020 at 17:21 | #1
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