Thursday, December 15, 2016

DEP doles out enviro settlement dollars along the Passaic

At an chilly outdoor news conference Wednesday alongside the Passaic River in Newark, NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno made quite a show of the $53 million that the state is returning to local communities along the polluted waterway. The money was won by the state in law suits brought against river polluters.


Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno announces grants for Passaic River improvements (Photo: Dale Mincey/NorthJersey.com)

Was it all staged as a look-what-we've-done-for-you-lately reminder to state Senators who will vote on bill on Monday that would require all of the proceeds of such settlements to go in the future to the affected communities?

Maybe so, Governor Christie and several of his predecessors have made a practice of skimming large percentages of pollution settlement money to balance the state's always-challenged budget. Christie alone diverted $302 million of the $358 million collected from the three Passaic-related settlements

Still, none of the takers were grumbling at the news event. 
After all, as DEP chief Martin said, "it is a big chunk of change" and the money will be used on a number of projects that will bring noticeable improvements to waterfronts along the river.

The Record's Scott Fallon provides the print details 

NJTV NEWS's Erin Delmore reports in the video below.




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