Sunday, July 01, 2007

Categorically Cronyism

Environment disregarded

Isn't it amazing that the state Department of Environmental Protection would give the go-ahead to destroy the Route 36 Highlands-Sea Bright drawbridge and build a new one without making the Department of Transportation go through a real environmental review? ("Rt. 36 bridge plan has DEP's conditional OK," June 7.)

The DEP is allowing the DOT to demolish and build the bridge under a categorical exclusion that is supposed to be used only to exempt environmental studies of projects that everyone wants and have no impact on the environment.

Are they saying that the dunes and the sea life will not be affected enough by building a huge structure to warrant a normal study? Are they saying that all the letters, meetings and lawsuits do not indicate that there is controversy about this project?

Amy Cradic, an assistant DEP commissioner, puts politics above environmental concerns. The conditions she set are as much of a joke as the one she has made of the DEP. Sandy Hook and the shoreline are New Jersey's most valuable resources, but she waives all the rules that would protect them.

I have always heard about the corruption in New Jersey, but until I moved here, I thought it was probably like New York and other places. This would not happen in the Hamptons. The public there is allowed input into what happens in their back yard and public officials work for the people, not the reverse.

If the DOT and the DEP think this will all go away when construction starts, they should think again. An independent review of who benefits will be called for.

Jean Kingman


Letter to the Editor, Asbury Park Press

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