Home > Uncategorized > NJ Gov. Murphy Must Fire DEP Commissioner LaTourette For His Handling Of Toms River Ciba-Geigy – BASF Deal

NJ Gov. Murphy Must Fire DEP Commissioner LaTourette For His Handling Of Toms River Ciba-Geigy – BASF Deal

Gross Insensitivity To Victims Of Childhood Cancer Cluster Disqualifies

Murphy DEP Commissioner LaTourette (Source: NJ Spotlight, 12/30/22 interview)

Murphy DEP Commissioner LaTourette (Source: NJ Spotlight, 12/30/22 interview)

Let me pose a hypothetical to illustrate just how badly Murphy DEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette bungled the controversial BASF sweetheart settlement in Toms River NJ, home of a nationally recognized and notorious childhood cancer cluster.

This hypothetical holds whether you think the settlement is fair, or whether (as I do) you feel that the settlement is a gross corporate giveaway and sellout.

If the Connecticut Commissioner of the Department of Education issued a press release touting his “historic” settlement with Remington Arms – the manufacturer of the guns used in the Newtown Connecticut Sandy Hook Elementary School slaughter – that allowed the Company to create a playground, sell adjacent property to a developer for a huge multi-million dollar profit, and pay just $100,000 to the Dept. of Education bureaucrats, not the victims or the community – in exchange for a permanent covenant not to sue from the State – all without any consultation with the families of the victims or the local government – he would be fired before sunset.

Repeat: he would be fired before sunset.

Well, that’s exactly what Murphy DEP Commissioner LaTourette did in Toms River.

And far more children died in Toms River than Newtown.

LaTourette completely failed to consult with and blindsided the community – as I wrote:

But instead of consulting and working with the community, the Department blindsided the Toms River community. This is unforgivable, especially given the deeply troubling and emotionally scarring history of this site.

And even after weeks of criticism of his proposed settlement with BASF – and despite my proposal to provide a face saving exit –  in a December 30 interview with NJ Spotlight news, he still could not admit that mistakes were made and show any compassion for the families of the scores of children who died of cancers that the NJ State Department of Health causally attributed to Ciba-Geigy chemicals.

Shame on NJ Spotlight for failing to report that fact and instead reporting that the cancer cluster was “alleged” and creating the appearance that only Linda Gillick made the allegation.

Read the NJ DoH Report:

“The study found that prenatal exposure to two environmental factors in the past were associated with increased risk of leukemia in female children. These exposures were: 1) access to drinking water from the Parkway well field after the time that the well field was most likely to be contaminated, and 2) air pollutant emissions from the Ciba-Geigy chemical manufacturing plant.”

It is rare to statistically demonstrate the existence of a cancer cluster and rarer still to causally attribute the cancers to specific chemicals and to a specific source.

Ignoring all that, watch LaTourette pathetically split legal hairs about the distinction between natural resources damages and children’s cancer – and minimize the cancer to a single individual! (time just after 2 minutes).

This is pathological.

After watching this interview, I was overwhelmed with rage. I can’t imagine what a parent or resident must feel.

What kind of human being thinks and acts this way?

Equally, how could a DEP Commissioner arrogantly disregard the community like that?

The total lack of human compassion and the bureaucratic mismanagement and incompetence is astounding and disqualifying for a leader of a public institution.

Gov. Murphy must fire his ass – and soon.

More to follow.

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