Home > Uncategorized > Key Upcoming Appointments Will Test NJ Gov. Murphy’s Rhetorical Commitments to Restore NJ Environmental And Climate Leadership

Key Upcoming Appointments Will Test NJ Gov. Murphy’s Rhetorical Commitments to Restore NJ Environmental And Climate Leadership

Will Murphy Serve Privilege and Power or Justice and Truth?

Personnel Is Policy

As we previously wrote, NJ Senate President Sweeney is blocking the Senate confirmation of NJ Gov. Murphy’s nominee for DEP Commissioner, Catherine McCabe. McCabe has yet to name her management team at DEP or purge Gov. Christie and Commissioner Bob Martin’s partisan hacks.*

[* Note: our sources tell us that Murphy and McCabe are listening to the Beltway national groups, e.g. NRDC & corporate market driven EDF – Murphy’s wife Tammy is on NRDC Board – and have ignored and dissed key NJ groups. This is a formula for failure. McCabe might want to call former DEP Commissioner Brad Campbell and ask him how his reliance on NRDC’s “Big Map” initiative worked out. It put him, as the NY Times wrote, “under siege”, and destroyed his credibility and legacy. In contrast to that NRDC failure, the McGreevey Administration’s legacy accomplishments – the Highlands Act, the C1 stream buffer program, and termination of the EDF backed “Open Market Emissions Trading” (OMET) program – were the product of NJ “radicals” – myself, Jeff Tittel and Curtis Fisher. See update below for detail on the history of OMET. ~~~ end Note]

In an effort to pressure Sweeney to relent and frame policy issues for that eventual confirmation hearing, we laid out 40 policy questions.

While we were successful in forcing the resignation of former Gov. Christie’s BPU President Richard Mroz, thus far, we have had no discernible impact on pressuring Sweeney to remove his confirmation block or prompting the Murphy administration to begin the necessary public process of laying out a detailed policy reform agenda to restore NJ leadership on environment and climate.

In fact, our Trenton sources tell us that Sweeney is now blocking Gov. Murphy’s replacement of Christie installed BPU Commissioner Mroz, who recently resigned.

So today, we expand on the key policy issues to recommend personnel. People are often policy.

Given that Murphy and McCabe have little history in NJ environmental circles, we suggest a set of longtime NJ environmental leaders for appointments in the Murphy Administration.

If the Gov. and DEP Commissioner are serious and have the leadership to back their reform rhetoric, here are the people that they should put in policy positions.

Murphy leaders

Governor’s Environmental Policy Aide – Rick Engler

Environmental Prosecutor – Dante DePirro

BPU Commissioner – Curtis Fisher

Pinelands Commission

  • Rich Bizub, Executive Director
  • Jeff Tittel Commissioner
  • Carleton Montgomery Commissioner

Highlands Council

  • Tracy Carlucchio, Executive Director
  • Scott Olson Commissioner (or Director of Planning)
  • Dave Peifer – Commissioner
  • Robin O’Hearne – Commissioner
  • Note: Maybe Tom Borden will come back from his Rhode Island gig as ED?

Department of Environmental Protection

  • Assistant Comm Enforcement – Maya VanRossum
  • Assistant Comm Environmental Regulation – Dena Mottola
  • Assistant Comm Communications and Legislative Affairs – Kate Millsaps
  • Press Office – Kirk Moore
  • Assistant Comm Site Remediation – Bob Speigel
  • Assistant Comm Natural Resources – Emile DeVito, PhD
  • Director Parks and Forestry – Sam Pesin
  • Office of People’s Parks – Mary Penney
  • Director of Fish and Game – Benson Chiles
  • Director of Local Government Coordination – MaryLou Ferrara
  • State Hydrogeologist – Matt Mulhall
  • Assistant Comm for Climate, Policy, Science & Regulatory Affairs – Bill Wolfe
  • Director of Science and Research – Mike Kennish
  • Director Office of Env. Health – Steve Fenichel, MD
  • Director Office of Urban Affairs  – Nicky Sheets
  • Director Office of Environmental Justice – Roy Jones
  • Director Office of Environmental Rights – Olga Palmar
  • Director Office of Land Use Planning – Bill Neil
  • Director Office of Outdoor Recreation and Public Involvement – Margo Pellegrino
  • Director Office of Climate Change – Mike Aucott, PhD
  • Director of Citizen Engagement – Doug O’Malley
  • DEP Ombudsman – Lisa Riggiola (North), Georgina Shanley (South)
  • Director Division of Coastal Management, Planning and Engineering– John Miller
  • Director Division of Watershed Management – Bill Kibbler
  • Director Office of Materials Management, Source Reduction and Recycling  – Marty Riesinger
  • Director of Office of Pollution Prevention – Zoe Kelman
  • Director of Legal Affairs – Bill Potter
  • Director of Renewable Energy – Lyle Rawlings
  • Director of OPRA – Theresa Lettman

External Advisory Bodies to review and solicit candidates for fresh blood

  • Clean Water Council
  • Clean Air Council
  • Environmental Justice Advisory Council
  • Water Supply Advisory Council
  • D&R Canal Commission
  • Solid Waste Advisory Council

GO TO PUBLIC SOLICITATION FOR NEW BLOOD – Make subject to State level FACA process

Terminate funding for the following organizations and do not hire people from the following organizations or those that received funding from Dodge Foundation, William Penn Foundation, or Duke Foundation:

  • NJ Audubon
  • NJ Future
  • Sustainable NJ
  • Rethink Energy NJ
  • Barnegat Bay Partnership
  • Clean Ocean Action
  • American Littoral Society
  • Wildlife NJ
  • Local Watershed Groups
  • NJ LCV
  • Trust for Public land
  • Mike Catania – Duke Foundation
  • EDF
  • NRDC
  • Citizens Campaign
  • Passaic River Coalition
    NY NJ Baykeeper
  • Delaware Bay Partnership
  • NJ Env Federation –Clean Water Action
  • Jeanne Herb and Marjorie Kaplan.

Institutions To Create

  • Delaware Bayshore Commission
  • Coastal Commission

Institutions and and policy initiatives to Abolish

  • Science Advisory Board
  • Office of Economic review
  • Office of Dispute resolution
  • Office of Permit coordination
  • Culture change – transformation plan
  • Administrative Orders
  • Executive Orders #1, #2, #3 #4 and Privatization (EO#17?)
  • Delaware Bay, Barnegat Bay, and NY NJ Harbor Estuary programs

Commissioner’s Driver Team – Jim Benton, Sarah Blum, NJBA, NJBIA, Chamber of Commerce, and Farm Bureau

DEP Building Maintenance – Senator Oroho

[Update on OMET’s demise:

Outrageously, my former employer PEER scrubbed my name from their OMET press releases and inserted Jeff Tittel’s name (that is OK, because I was working at DEP at the time of the second press release. But it is not OK  because I was not at DEP when the first PEER press release was issued or when the OMET analysis was done and comments were submitted to EPA.

PEER also removed my name from the EPA comments and letters I wrote, so to get the facts, and confirm my role, please read an Environmental Law Reporter review article on OMET’s demise

My quote in the Bergen Record article excerpted below is additional supporting evidence. No way the Record or Jeff Tittel would let me get the quote if he had done anything on the OMET issue (and it sure is beyond curious to be named in a law review article while my name was excised from PEER’s press releases and EPA letters. In fact, as I recall, Jeff Ruch of DC PEER simply put his name on the EPA Tinsley letter I wrote, which was based on the prior comments I submitted to EPA Region 2. Unreal. Down the memory hole again.) Per the ELR article linked above:

50. Bill Wolfe, Comments to EPA Region2 on the Proposed Approval of  New Jersey’s Open Market Emissions Trading State Implementation Plan Revision, N.J. State Chapter of the Sierra Club, Trenton, N.J. (Mar. 11, 2001).

66. Letter from Jeff Ruch, Executive Director, PEER, and Bill Wolfe, Policy Director, New Jersey Sierra Club, to Nikki Tinsley, IG, U.S. EPA (2001) (on file with EPA). ~~~ end Note]

After more than 5 years of behind the scenes bureaucratic warfare with US EPA, on Feb., 2002, Alex Nussbaum then with the Bergen Record wrote:

The federal Environmental Protection Agency gave preliminary approval to the plan last year, but it has yet to make the decision final a move that could clear the way for the New Jersey plan to be replicated elsewhere in the country. Now, the approval could be held up by the review of the EPA’s inspector general, an independent watchdog within the agency.

A bad report could be a rebuke for EPA chief Christie Whitman, New Jersey’s governor until she joined the Bush administration. She ushered in the trading program while in Trenton and has said she wants to use similar market-based efforts in other environmental areas.

Environmentalists, though, say the Open Market Emissions Trading plan could be a blueprint for avoiding controls on pollutants linked to smog, cancer, ***and global warming. The program relies on companies to report their own reductions, but it has no serious mechanisms to prove that the reports are accurate, the critics say. …

Critics who requested the audit last year welcomed the scrutiny.

“I think we raised significant and valid concerns about how the program originated and some of the flaws, and how New Jersey companies illegally used credits to violate the Clean Air Act,” said Bill Wolfe, policy director for the state Sierra Club.

**** If the public understood this and environmental groups had any vision or integrity, they would have understood and used this huge win – the McGreevey Administration termination of a market based tool – and blocked the passage of RGGI, which is a flawed market based trading scheme similar to OMET. ~~~ end update]

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