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Despite Record Breaking Heat, Murphy DEP Quietly Delays Extreme Heat Action Plan

Despite the spin, measures to mitigate extreme heat will be delayed another year

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In February 2023, to much fanfare and self promotional press releases, the Murphy Administration presented its Climate Resilience planning strategy adopted under Gov. Murphy’s Executive Order #89. The Strategy is being managed by an “Interagency Council On Climate Resilience”, a cynical bureaucrat game to avoid accountability, parading under the slogan of a “whole of government” approach.

Among other things, the scoping document for the strategy called for a Draft Extreme Heat Resilience Action Plan to be released for public comment in the “summer” of 2023. (see above chart from the February scoping document’s planning strategy and schedule). The Final Plan was to be released in the “Fall”.

The summer of ’23 has come and gone, and it was a summer of record breaking and extreme heat.

Despite this record breaking extreme heat, the Murphy DEP just quietly revised the schedule and delayed release of a draft until Spring of next year.

Look at how DEP made this revision via an update of the DEP website with no fingerprints or notation that the plan schedule was delayed. Compare the schedule above (summer 2023) with the DEP updated version (spring 2024):

Screenshot 2023-09-07 at 4.20.40 PM

This is a dishonest tactic to hide planning delays.

But at least the Pinelands Commission documented this delay in their August Monthly Report:

  • Interagency Council on Climate Change (IAC): The monthly meeting of the Senior Staff representing all agencies on the Council was held on August 8, 2023. NJDEP staff provided a revised schedule for completion of the Extreme Heat Resilience Action Plan by spring 2024.

The Commission also spilled the beans and exposed the upcoming PR strategy of the Murphy administration:

  • Finally, ways to recognize the upcoming two-year anniversary of the IAC’s release of the state’s Climate Change Resilience Strategy were discussed. All agencies have been asked to draft descriptions of recent actions taken related to the Climate Change Resilience Strategy so that a document highlighting the collective accomplishments of IAC members can be released.

Of course, there will be no accountability because the media and the environmental groups don’t get into the technical weeds and the don’t hold the Murphy DEP accountable. Period. Instead, they cheerlead.

So, the extreme heat will get even more extreme, and measures to mitigate that heat will be delayed another year.

And you can be sure that the mitigation measures adopted in the plan will lack regulatory teeth and funding required to implement them and that they will be delegated to local government and reliant on the voluntary actions of the private sector.

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