I fell upon this story in the Bergen Record totally by accident. While listening to an WNYC report yesterday about how GE had bamboozled the government into cleaning up the PBC's they had dumped in the Hudson river, I remembered something about Forrester wanting to do the same "Superfunding" in Ringwood, NJ. My first thought was to write just a quick snarky post on how Forrester's stance was politcally expedient but incomplete and potentially wrong on all fronts.
However, my initial research made me realize just how big this Ringwood issue really is. As such, I think it deserves a more detailed approach to nailing our potential governor with this story. I have been rather dismayed by the lack of environmental platforms put forth by both candidates for governor. This is one of the most polluted states in the country, it deserves to have an environmental agenda at the top of any political platform. According to Scorecard.org NJ is:
1st with the ammount of Superfund sites with 116
2nd in Cancer and other Health Risks associated with Hazardous Air Pollutants
4th in Impaired water bodies (with respect to the Clean Water Act)
9th in Housing units at risk of Lead hazards
11th in Health risks associated with Criteria Air Pollutants
17th in Emissions of Criteria Air Pollutants
These are the kind of rankings you want to be at the bottom of the 50 states, not at the top.
The story the Bergen Record is exposing is but of one of the 116 Superfund sites, and what damage it has done to surrounding communities, towns, counties, and in terms of water supply, all of Northern New Jersey. The Record's own Frank Scandale put it best, the story "conjures up images of "Erin Brockovich" and "A Civil Action," two Hollywood tales rooted in true stories about pollution and resolve." You will see failures of herculaen proportions on various levels of government, including the EPA, and all the other folks in whose hands we place the trust of caretaking our environment.
So, this is my first installment of what is to come. The Record is to be commended on a text book job of what has been lost in other media outlets claiming to be journalistic. This is textbook investigative journalism.
You can read ahead at the Record's excellent Toxic Legacy website. As I research the Record's reporting, I will juxtapose these reports, and what both Doug Forrester, and John Corzine have shown as their positions on this issue.
XP at Blue Jersey