November 11, 2021,
Members of 350NJ-Rockland rallied in solidarity with the Ironbound community of Newark at the March For Clean Air! Stop Dumping on Newark to urge Governor Murphy to say NO to the Aries sludge plant and NO to the PVSC fracked gas power plant!
What: March For Clean Air! Stop Dumping on Newark
Where: Sharpe James/Kenneth A. Gibson Rec Center at 226 Rome Street, Newark, NJ.
When: Nov. 10th from 3:30 – 5:30pm.
Who: Ironbound Community Corporation, EmpowerNJ, Don’t Gas The Meadowlands
BACKGROUND: The Ironbound community in Newark is one of the most pollution overburdened communities in the country. Thankfully, after decades of inspired grassroots organizing and advocacy, our representatives took a critical step by enacting S232, landmark environmental justice legislation designed to protect communities like the Ironbound.
But Governor Murphy’s NJDEP has yet to implement the environmental justice law, and final rules to make it operational aren’t expected until sometime in 2022. In the meantime, polluters are trying to sneak in their permit applications before the new rules go into effect, including two new polluting projects proposed in the Ironbound.
The first project is a massive sludge facility proposed by Aries Corporation that involves the transport of 430 tons of human waste via hundreds of truck tankers DAILY. The facility would operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and would introduce more sludge trucks, noxious odors, and the potential for toxic exposures in an area that already has too much pollution. The plant would emit over 285,000 pounds per year of air pollutants including particulate matter, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and more.
The second polluting project in the Ironbound is being proposed by the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (PVSC), a state agency within Governor Murphy’s administration. PVSC is proposing to build a new fracked gas power plant in the Ironbound of Newark. The power plant is part of a resiliency project to allow their existing facility to continue processing wastewater in times when the commercial electricity grid is down. While we support the goal of building resilient wastewater treatment systems, we simply cannot achieve real resiliency by building new fossil fuel infrastructure. The emissions from a new fracked gas power plant would further exacerbate the climate crisis and lock us into even more extreme weather events in the future. And it would increase the pollution burden in the Ironbound community, which already suffers from decades of environmental racism.