NJDEP is letting us down with proposed power plant in the Meadowlands

JENNIFER AMATO/STAFF

In July, the Diamond Generating Corp. proposed a $1.5 billion project to build a gas power plant in the heart of the New Jersey Meadowlands in Hackensack.

The New Jersey Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) took the first steps to approve this proposal, only to be met with pushback from environmentalists and residents of the surrounding area, and for good reason.

As it is, almost every county in New Jersey has an F rating for ozone. Another power plant would increase New Jersey’s contribution to global warming, and increase health risks for people with asthma, heart disease and lung issues.

The project also goes against the promises made by the Murphy administration that there will be an attempt to decrease the county’s carbon footprint, and to move towards more renewable energy sources.

Furthermore, the placement of the power plant is harmful. Humans have polluted the Meadowlands so much since the industrial age, that the entire ecosystem is drastically different. The species that still manage to live there are not even safe to eat because of chemical contamination. The Meadowlands need to continue being cleaned to restore the incredible biodiversity found there.

Regardless of the company’s justification that the power plant will provide high tax revenue for the surrounding towns, and that the plant will be more efficient than ever, the project is still a huge environmental concern. Humans are not the only beings on this planet and it’s about time we worked hard to share it nicely.

Heather Dawn Kizner
North Brunswick

References:

www.northjersey.com/story/news/environment/2018/09/21/opposition-grows-towards-meadowlands-power-plant-power-new-york/1366456002/

www.urbanhabitats.org/v02n01/

www.fws.gov/northeast/njfieldoffice/pdf/Fact%20Sheets%20PDF%20holding/Meadowlands_restore_.pdf

www.sierraclub.org/new-jersey/stop-meadowlands-power-plant

www.northjersey.com/story/news/environment/2018/07/09/meadowlands-power-plant-phil-murphy-administration-blasted-over-permits/767572002/

www.njspotlight.com/stories/18/04/25/supersized-natural-gas-power-plant-would-supply-energy-to-new-york/