Thursday, December 25, 2014

Opinion: Why Doesn't the State DEP Believe in Global Climate Change?

Pop quiz: What has 1,000 pages of amendments, 40-plus years of rules protecting the New Jersey coast, will "eliminate red tape" by "streamlining regulatory processes," and incorporate "lessons learned from superstorm Sandy"?

Opinion: Why Doesn't the State DEP Believe in Global Climate Change?

Pop quiz: What has 1,000 pages of amendments, 40-plus years of rules protecting the New Jersey coast, will “eliminate red tape” by “streamlining regulatory processes,” and incorporate “lessons learned from superstorm Sandy”?

Answer: According to the Departmental of Environmental Protection’s June 10, 2014 press release, it’s the Christie administration’s massive rewriting of literally every coastal regulation enacted since the early 1970s.

The DEP says these are only “technical revisions . . . providing more clarity” to rules that will continue to “maintain New Jersey’s high standards for protection of natural resources,” according to DEP Commissioner Bob Martin.

Really? To borrow a phrase from former President Ronald Reagan: “Trust but verify.”

Ironically, the most obvious problem with this comprehensive rulemaking revision is what’s missing. Despite promising to include “lessons learned” from Hurricane Sandy -- which virtually wiped out shore communities up and down the coast -- the new rules do not even mention global climate change and the consequent dangers to life, limb, and property.

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