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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2005

Contact: Karen Hershey
(609) 984-1795

DEP COMMISSIONER RESPONDS TO AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION REPORT

(05/49) TRENTON-- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today issued the following statement in response to the American Lung Association's State of the Air: 2005 report that failed 16 of 21 New Jersey counties for air quality:

"The American Lung Association's report makes all too clear that our air is not clean enough. I agree that it is unacceptable that so many New Jersey residents live in areas where air quality threatens their health and quality of life. Too many residents are needlessly suffering asthma and other respiratory ailments due to our poor air quality. The DEP is committed to helping New Jersey's families and communities have safer, cleaner air.

"Already we have taken a number of steps to address significant air quality problems, including adopting the most protective mercury standards in the nation; being the first state ever to negotiate the shutdown of a dirty power plant outside its borders; securing significant emission reductions in enforcement cases against several utilities; and working on a variety of initiatives to reduce particulate emissions from diesel engines. While we have made significant progress in some areas - reducing emissions of volatile organic compounds, oxides of nitrogen and mercury - much more remains to be done.

"While we continue to do all we can in New Jersey, the report once again underlines the critical importance of having strong federal leadership that supports the efforts of individual states to improve their air quality. More than one-third of New Jersey's air pollution comes from out-of-state, upwind sources. The Bush Administration must halt its rollbacks of critical air quality regulations, particularly related to coal-fired power plants, and provide meaningful new air quality protections if we are going to be able to provide our residents with the quality of air they deserve."

 

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