State lawmakers scored failing grades on protecting public health and the environment. The report card from Clean Water Action claims state senators and Assembly members took pro-environment positions less than half the time on 16 key issues.
From allowing funds dedicated to environmental programs to be shifted to other departments, to green-lighting private development at Liberty State Park, to the dimes-on-the-dollar Exxon deal.
They count them, one at a time, as the rigs roll by.
On Thursday, volunteers hit the streets of Newark's South Ward and Ironbound neighborhoods, clipboards in hand, for a truck count that is conducted every two years. The count quantifies a reality all too obvious to residents of the city, where asthma rates are three times the state average: the residential areas near the East Coast's busiest port are overrun by trucks, many of them running on diesel engines built before 2007, when the Environmental Protection Agency imposed stricter emissions standards intended to protect human health.
On the one side are Six Flags and its partner, KDC Solar, and their stated objective to power the world's largest amusement park with solar as a way to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. It would also fit in with their stated future development plans.
On the other side are the hefty ecological consequences; the clear cutting of 18,000 mature trees and the destruction of native shrubs, ground, leaf and herb cover, forest fragmentation, soil compaction, watershed degradation and the disruption of critical habitat for wildlife and endangered species.