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Despite Executive Order, LSP Legislation Still Dangerous


Date : Thu, 07 May 2009 15:45:31 -0400

For Immediate Release

May 7, 2009

Contact: Jeff Tittel, Chapter Director, 609-558-9100

 

Despite Executive Order, LSP Legislation Still Dangerous

 

Governor Jon Corzine today signed into law a Licensed Site Professional bill that outsources the cleanup of the state's most toxic sites. While Corzine added an Executive Order that slightly improves oversight at certain contaminated sites, the bill is still dangerous and a threat to the state's environment and residents.

 

"We're glad to see the Governor signed an Executive Order to help lessen some of the problems in implementing the bill," NJ Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel said. "Even though we think the Executive Order is a step in the right direction, the bill is still faulty and unconstitutional. Having more oversight in certain places is a good thing, but this Executive Order also shows that even the Governor understands the bill is flawed."

 

Under this legislation, the DEP forfeits authority over cleanups of contaminated sites. Instead, that authority will be delegated to private consultants that are hired by polluters and who have limited liability.
"This bill will leave a polluted legacy throughout New Jersey," Tittel said.
"Contaminated sites will only look clean on paper but we'll be leaving toxic time bombs to be discovered by future generations."

 

The Sierra Club plans to seek a legal challenge to fight this legislation. The Sierra Club believes the LSP bill is unconstitutional because it violates the separation of powers and police powers clauses. We believe the state's Department of Environmental Protection professionals should have the power to pick the remedies for cleaning up these sites and public input should be required.

 

The LSP law, which is modeled after a similar program in Massachusetts, allows for these private consultants to deviate from state requirements on cleanups of hazardous materials. This will put families and their properties at risk and could ultimately result in disaster. The program is proving unsuccessful in Massachusetts and should not be implemented in New Jersey. According to a 2006 report of the Massachusetts program, more than 70 percent of the contaminated sites had serious cleanup and reporting errors. More than half the sites had additional contaminated material on them.

"This bill takes away the government's ability to protect us and instead protects the polluters," said Tittel. "It violates the fundamental relationship between government and its citizens and is a radical departure from how government is supposed to work in order to protect public health and safety as well as the environment."

 

 

 

Kara Seymour, Program Assistant

NJ Sierra Club

145 W. Hanover Street

Trenton, NJ 08618

609.656.7612

(f) 609.656.7618

 <http://www.newjersey.sierraclub.org> www.newjersey.sierraclub.org

 

Received on 2009-05-07 12:45:31

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

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