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Jersey Sierra Club Boss Blasts NJ DEP

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has held a hearing today, as part of a plan to petition the EPA to change the way air pollution is monitored in the Garden state, because over the past couple of years, data indicates pollution levels have dropped.

Air Pollution
Flickr User United Nations Photo

But the head of the Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club isn’t buying it.

Jeff Tittel accuses the Christie administration of playing games with the air quality data and trying to change the State Implementation Plan (SIP) under the Clean Air Act.

He says rather than putting in place policies to clean up our air, the Governor is moving monitoring stations and eliminating ones in some of the most polluted areas such as the Ironbound section of Newark and Elizabeth.

Tittel also believes the administration is using the recession and a downturn in energy use to justify rolling back air quality protections.

“The administration is trying to play games with statistics instead of cleaning up our air” says Tittel, “to a kid in the emergency room with an asthma attack, just because you say the air is cleaner, it does not mean it is.”

He points out Jersey has been in a recession the last couple of years resulting in decreased energy use.  Also, people have been driving less do to unemployment, businesses have been using less energy, and facilities have not been running at full capacity, resulting in less air emissions.

In addition he says more people have been taking mass transit because of the recession with PATH having a record year.

“Just like on water quality standards” says Tittel, “the administration is fudging the numbers instead of taking action to improve our environment.”


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