Podcast: Cutting Down on Site Contamination
NJ Spotlight's Tom Johnson reviews the history and current status of key antipollution law.
Energy and Environment writer Tom Johnson sat down with Newsworks New Jersey editor Alan Tu to discuss legislative efforts to make it tougher for polluters to avoid paying to clean up contaminated sites.
Under current law, industrial operators and plant owners can simply tell the state that the site only contains a negligible ("de minimis") amount of pollution. Under earlier measures, they were required to certify that their statements were accurate, but the state ruled that the Department of Environmental Protection lacked the authority to enforce this regulation.
The original law dates back to 1983, when large amounts of dioxin were discovered in a shuttered Agent Orange plant in Newark.