Home > Uncategorized > There Is No Air Pollution Monitoring Station In Newark – The Murphy DEP Shut It Down

There Is No Air Pollution Monitoring Station In Newark – The Murphy DEP Shut It Down

Lack Of Monitoring Contradicts “Environmental Justice”  & Public Health Science

DEP Will Hold A “Virtual” Public Hearing On July 16

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(Caption: I took the above photo back in 2009 and posted it on Newark pollution. I just now learned the Reichold Chemical Newark plant was shut down in 2012 as a result damage from Superstorm Sandy.)

[Important Updates Below]

The Murphy DEP Commissioner LaTourette constantly stresses his priority commitment to “environmental justice”.

The DEP and public health scientists warn that the worst pollution threat to the health of overburdened environmental justice urban communities – particularly children and elderly people –  is ground level ozone: (Source: DEP Ozone SIP)

Ozone causes health problems because it damages lung tissue, reduces lung function, and sensitizes the lungs to other irritants. Ozone has long been known to increase the incidence of asthma attacks in susceptible individuals. Ozone exposure also makes the lungs more vulnerable to lung diseases such as pneumonia and bronchitis. Ozone not only affects people withs impaired respiratory systems, such as asthmatics, but healthy adults and children as well. Exposure to ozone for several hours at relatively low concentrations significantly reduces lung function and induces respiratory inflammation in normal, healthy people during exercise. This decrease in lung function is generally accompanied by symptoms such as chest pain, coughing, sneezing, and pulmonary congestion. Recent research in southern California strongly suggests that, in addition to exacerbating existing asthma, ozone also causes asthma in children.39 Longer-term exposure to ozone can also lead to scarring of the lung tissue and permanent reductions in lung capacity. Long-term exposure to ozone can eventually lead to premature death.

So, why is there is no DEP ozone monitoring station in Newark?

Take look at this, from the DEP Ozone SIP:

“The NJDEP currently measures ozone concentrations at 16 sites in New Jersey. Seventeen sites were running prior to September 2022. The Newark Firehouse site was closed in September 2022 and NJDEP is currently working on re-establishing a new monitor in Newark City.” (p. 1-12)

Did you get all that? Almost 2 YEARS later, and they’re “working on it”?

This is outrageous and unacceptable.

Why did DEP shut the Newark Fire House ozone monitoring Station down?

Why have they not replaced it with more and better monitoring in Newark and all NJ environmental justice communities?

Why are they holding a virtual meeting that is NOT accessible to many community members?

Why are they not holding real public meetings in environmental justice communities? 

Why did they do NO outreach to communities on this critically important air quality plan (SIP)?

Why doesn’t DEP mandate that major polluters monitor and pay for monitoring air quality in EJ communities?

Why doesn’t DEP greatly expand the monitoring network, both in terms of the number of stations and the pollutants monitored?

In response to my request, DEP is holding a virtual public hearing on July 16 at 10 am – you can get the call in information and speak and ask DEP these questions at this DEP website.

Time to walk the talk.

Don’t let them get away with this bullshit.

[End Note: DEP only collects ozone data at 8 sites, not the 16 sites they claim in the excerpted text above – to verify that lie, hit this link to see the DEP air quality monitoring network data.]

[Update: There’s no monitoring in Camden either, but the Biden EPA is all in: (EPA Press Release today)

Rowan University working in Camden, NJ will receive $100,000 for their project “Greening Camden: Educating, Empowering, and Enriching Communities for Climate Action and Cleaner Air”

Using urban greening initiatives (e.g., tree planting, nature-based solutions, and urban gardening) to help address the impacts of climate change and air pollution in Camden, New Jersey, an environmental justice and overburdened community. Activities span all seven stages of the environmental education continuum, including awareness, knowledge, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, action, and stewardship. Notable activities involve creating learning modules, an online certificate program, and collecting micro-level air quality data from various locations.

These token grant programs are designed for patronage and manipulation – they do NOTHING to actually improve air quality and reduce air pollution. They are no threat to the corporate polluters and serve to mollify urban EJ communities and create the false appearance of doing something. Really disgusting. ~~~ end update]

[Update #2 – I just got this email from DEP – glad they noted they are acting in response to my request, but are they trying to gaslight me? The email says the hearing is on July 15, but the DEP link and webpage says July 16:

Dear Mr. Wolfe,

In accordance with the public notice below and attached, and per your request, NJDEP is holding a virtual public hearing on July 15, 2024 at 10:00 AM.   As noted below, the hearing call in information and guidelines are posted on our website at:

NJDEP| Air Planning | State Implementation Plan (SIP) Dashboard

[Update #3 – 7/10/24 – DEP made a fatal procedural error. DEP sent me an email that admits that they posted the wrong date (July 16) in their original public notice and on the DEP website. The actual hearing is on July 15. DEP wrote:

The hearing is on July 15, 2024 at 10:00 AM.

The public notice with the July 15, 2024 date is at the bottom of this email, was sent out via our listserv, and was posted on our webpages on June 6, 2024.

The hearing call in information link including the incorrect July 16 date was added to the webpage yesterday afternoon, and we have corrected the typo you mentioned.


Judy Rand, PE she/her

That DEP correction gives the public 3 working days of public notice.

But hey, she/her got she/her’s pronouns right!

I filed an objection with DEP and EPA, demanding that they cancel the July 15 hearing and re-public notice a hearing with adequate 30 day notice. – ~~~ end update

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