Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Political Corruption in New Jersey and Cancer.

Laura Masnerus, "Development on a Toxic Site Draws Scrutiny in New Jersey," in The New York Times, October 2, 2006, at B1.

"WEEHAWKEN, N.J., Sept. 26 -- Hadsome new townhouses selling for more than $2 MILLION hug the waterfront here, and more are on the way. On a curve in the river that offers spectacular views of Manhattan and New York Harbor, earthmovers are at work on a public park."

"But in the view of some environmentalists, the development on this immensely valuable sliver of shoreline is an experiment of sorts because of what lies beneath it: dirt spotted with hexavalent chromium, a manufacturing component that has been identified as a cause of lung cancer, liver and kidney damage and mutilations to human DNA."

"Hudson County is the nation's chromium-waste center, with almost 200 sites where [lethal chromium] was dumped decades ago."

How is it possible that all of the agencies of New Jersey government failed to protect citizens from this public health hazzard? Where were the people's elected officials? Posing for portraits?

"The state and local authorities have approved everything the developer, Roseland Properties has done, and they say the clean-up has far exceeded their standards."

I bet they do.

I wonder why these approvals have been so easily obtained? Have state officials been receiving Broadway tickets and free dinners? Is this merely about cold hard cash? Inquiring minds want to know. Is the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE) looking into representations made by attorneys on behalf of backers of this development project to ensure that they were "accurate"? If not, why not?

After all, if representations made on the record that it is "safe" to develop properties for luxury residential use are false -- and known to be false -- when made by attorneys on behalf of developers, then human lives may be endangered from all the hidden health risks, like carcinogens buried under the foundations of people's homes. I think that such falsehoods, if any, are unethical. Don't you? Whatta-ya say, Anne?

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection "allowed the waterfront project to proceed even though various environmental groups and some scientists in the state agency contend that in residential areas, a [dirt] cap can never be protective enough."

Residents of these fancy new homes may have a little surprise coming their way. Don't you want liver cancer as part of the price of your new home? It is only a small part of the courtesy you receive from New Jersey's crooked politicians and lawyers. Enjoy.

"Several other agency scientists" -- these are the supposed state regulators! -- "speaking on condition of anonymity because they FEARED RETRIBUTION, said that the Department of Environmental Protection had bent to political pressure to speed [so-called] cleanups."

You don't say? New Jersey's corrupt politics affects decisions bearing on public safety? I am shocked. How could that be true? It would mean that politicians, lawyers and even judges are corrupt. Is it possible that, in a state so seemingly "concerned" about whether public officials wear a safety belt in their cars or receive traffic tickets, such vile and loathsome evil passes for governmental action in the public interest? Where's the New Jersey Supreme Court? Where is the state's new Attorney General, Stuart Rabner? Where is U.S. Senator Robert Menendez? Ethics?

"Where" indeed.

If you have information pertaining to governmental corruption in New Jersey, please contact the U.S. Attorney's Office or the FBI.

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