Sends EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Letter of Support
TRENTON – Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex) today expressed outrage and shock at Governor Christie’s last-second refusal to join an EPA lawsuit to protect New Jersey from out-of-state pollution. Senator Buono urged Governor Christie to join a group of states that are supporting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in its effort to stem harmful pollution from other states. She also sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson expressing support for the effort to protect New Jerseyans from harmful toxic pollution emitted by power plants in other states:
“For years, New Jersey has been a leader in protecting our residents and our environment. Yet Governor Christie’s actions are turning back the clock on putting the environment ahead of partisan politics. We have always seen federal standards not as the limit but as the baseline and crafted New Jersey-specific rules to ensure the air we breathe and the water we drink is cleaner. However, we have long experienced the health and environmental impact of harmful pollutants emitted from power plants in other states that did not have strong standards in place. By refusing to join other states in the EPA action, even The Star-Ledger noted, ‘hundreds of people in New Jersey will die prematurely every year if Christie gets his way. Many more will suffer from heart attacks and asthma.’
“Federal officials are now taking responsible action to require dirty plants in states with less stringent standards to clean up. Joining this effort should be a no-brainer. It would better protect the health of millions of people living in New Jersey, and prevent respiratory illnesses and death caused by these harmful toxins.
“I am baffled by this governor’s failure to act quickly on this issue, especially since he recently enlisted the help of the EPA to force a Pennsylvania polluter to reduce its emissions and the federal government complied. The EPA’s effort would ensure broader protections for our residents, so why has the governor’s tune changed? Governor Christie’s actions feel more like a political calculation than a sincere concern about how best to protect New Jersey’s environment.
“I urge the governor to stand with the people of New Jersey in protecting their public health, and not the national right-wing which is intent on dismantling our environmental protections. His last-minute flip-flop on this important issue does not serve our state.”