NJ: "Polluters Rewriting Rules for Site Cleanup"

"Key committees writing rules for New Jersey's new program to clean up contaminated sites are made up entirely of the polluting companies and their contractors.

The 16 committees, which have been putting together rule and guidance documents, include no one from environmental or resident advocacy groups, no health specialists, and no outside experts who aren't affiliated with the cleanup industry.

"It's a who's who of corporate polluters and their hired consultants," said the New Jersey Sierra Club's Jeff Tittel. "These oversight rules will be written so loosely there will be nothing to enforce later."

Officials with the Department of Environmental Protection counter that an overarching steering committee has four environmentalists among 25 members and that environmentalists were offered a chance to join the committees, but failed to do so."

James M. O'Neill reports for the Bergen Record May 31, 2011.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011