Sun, May 13, 2012

Community, Health, Ironbound

Industry Over Health?

BY SamKa

Industry Over Health?

I arrived at City Hall at 6:05, folding bike under my arm. I looked like the kind of person that would be against a major fuel company erecting a 655-Mega Watt natural gas power plant in the Ironbound. Military jacket, cropped haircut, ankle boots…The stereotype. I intended to observe and see for myself, what you read about in the paper but always happens in someone else’s neighborhood.

When I sat down, I was expecting the floor to be open for residents to speak. Of course, that was the case during the last meeting. What happened next was jaw dropping.

Formalities, and legal jargon, then from what I could hear, “yes”, “yes”, “yes”, ¬†and so on and so forth.


Hess’s plan had been approved.


Most of the room was clapping loudly. I thought I was mistaken. I thought, “Was I in the wrong place?” “Did did the people in this room really know what they were supporting?”


According to Kim Gaddy, Chair of the Newark Environmental Commission, those clapping had been paid to attend the meeting.

In an economy where jobs are scarce, I can imagine Newark residents being excited for a major project boasting 300-400 jobs for the perpetual “Renaissance City”. However, those 300-400 construction jobs are temporary. Only 26 highly specialized jobs will be available after the power plant’s completion. I couldn’t help but think people weren’t seeing the bigger picture over the short term. As a lifelong asthma sufferer, I wonder how valuable money is when it’s used to pay for asthma medications and hospital bills? No doubt my own condition was a result of the pollution in my urban surroundings.


Will residents choose Industry over Health?


Gaddy has been vocal about the consequences of supporting such a project, “I will be organizing a class action suit because of the health risk this plant will have on Newark residents and the negligence of this administration to address the respiratory and cancer risk that will impact Newark residents.”

When asked what locals can do to prevent the power plant from being erected, she stated, “The next step is with the NJDEP who has the authority to issue the air permits needed by Hess. Residents will have the opportunity to testify at hearings that will be held sometime in June, July or August.”



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6 Responses to “Industry Over Health?”

  1. BrickCityVintage Says:

    What I find appalling is that we were never told about this until the last minute. Maybe I missed it in the Star Ledger but I didn’t even see anything in the Portuguse one. I was around when they built the incinerator and saw my parents and neighbors protests fall on def ears. Hopefully we live in different times and our voices will be heard this time


  2. Also Says:

    Agreed. I felt like just mere seconds before the hearing the town was alerted. Maybe that was the point.


  3. me Says:

    “Hopefully we live in different times and our voices will be heard this time”

    Im not sure about this, but we can try… If glocally can keep us up to date as to when the epa hearings, etc. are, maybe we can all try to make our words heard……

    Funny how dumb Newark Pol’s are, they probably couldve held out and make a crap load more money off them, instead, first offer, Ill take it!!

    Amador, Ironbounds rep, the portuguese communities rep, screws everyone again …. Something to be proud of…..


  4. Net Watcher Says:

    Citizens have to be proactive. Though Hess is one of the biggest polluters to try to move to Newark, they will not be the last. Residents need to look at the new Newark Master Plan. The Master plan will determine what businesses can come to Newark and tell they where in Newark they are allowed to operate. If residents made Health Impact Statement, which outline how their business will affect our health and Environmental Impact Statements, which outline how their business will affect our air, water and land required for all new business applications, then the planning board will have the information it needs to make a good judgement. It will not be like the Hess application where much of the information was given verbally at the last minute when it could not be analyzed or checked. HIS’s and EIS’s are other tools that can be used to stop new polluters.


  5. Caroyln Buntjer Says:

    construction jobs are great because they offer a high paying job which everyone of us can enjoy. sometimes it is tiring but the payment is worth it. ‘`,’`

    Kindest regards


  6. SamKa Says:

    @ Carolyn – Clearly this comment must be a joke. Explain how a temporary construction job is “a high paying job which everyone of us can enjoy”? This project is doing nothing to improve the community, and any tiny amount of money that Hess pumps back into Newark is a drop in the bucket. In this instance there is nothing enjoyable to speak of.


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