Protect Raritan River from Rutgers Abuse

raritan

Target: United States EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

Goal: Stop awarding Raritan River restoration grant money to Rutgers University, one of the worst Raritan River polluters

The Raritan River has always been a vital and important piece of central New Jersey history. Named for the Algonquian tribe that inhabited Staten Island near the river’s mouth, it was a keystone for colonial growth around New Brunswick. Sadly, this rich history has not translated into ample protection or care for the river as it has become a victim to pollution and subsequent poor water quality. Efforts to recover from dumping and chemical abuse have been undertaken, but these are still in their infancy and threaten to be undermined by the very agency tasked with protecting the river.

Seeking to help hasten along the river’s protection, the United States EPA began allocating funds to start the Raritan River Initiative. Unfortunately, in their haste the EPA awarded a grant to Rutgers University, which has proven to be one of the worst offenders for polluting the very river this initiative aims to restore.

Rutgers’ offenses have included two separate 3500 gallon releases of toxic biocide from its laboratories into the Raritan River. That the school attempted to cover this up further illustrates the lack of trust the EPA should be placing with the university.

Rutgers further demonstrated its lack of any regard for the Raritan River’s well-being upon being hired to conduct multiple sediment and water quality studies in 2011-2012. During this expensive process the school failed to utilize any quality control methods, thus invalidating all results from the testing.

This was discovered by the non-profit group Edison Wetlands Association, after which time the school elected to simply withdraw from the study rather than attempt to correct those mistakes already made. While doing this, the school also refused to return any of the money already paid out.

This continued cycle of incompetence and complete lack of any true concern for the protection of the river is unacceptable. The EPA must withdraw its $100,000 grant from the university. Rutgers deserves to be punished, not rewarded for what it has done.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Administrator Jackson,

The Raritan River has been a vital cog throughout central New Jersey since pre-colonial times. Named for the Algonquian tribe that inhabited Staten Island near the mouth of the river it was a keystone for colonial growth around New Brunswick.

It has also fallen victim of late to pollution and chemical dumping, which have had a considerable impact on the river’s water quality. Efforts being made by several organizations such as the Edison Wetlands Association and United States EPA to combat this issue are commendable, but still in their infancy.

It is during this time that extreme care must be taken in how efforts to protect the Raritan are conducted. Allocating funds to start the Raritan River Initiative was a positive step. Unfortunately, as part of this initiative a grant was awarded to Rutgers University. This has proven to be a mistake as Rutgers has shown to be one of the worst offenders for polluting the very river this initiative aims to protect.

This school has proven to have little regard for protecting the river with numerous incidences including two separate 3500 gallon releases of toxic biocide into the Raritan. That the school attempted to cover these up further illustrates the lack of trust the EPA should be placing with the university.

This lack of regard was further demonstrated when Rutgers University was hired to conduct multiple sediment and water quality studies in 2011-2012. During this expensive process the school failed to utilize any quality control methods, thus invalidating any results from the testing.

After this his was discovered by the Edison Wetlands Association the school elected to simply withdraw from the study rather than attempt to correct their mistakes, in the process refusing to return any of the money already paid out. This is clear evidence that the university cannot be trusted. Because of this, Rutgers cannot be awarded an additional $100,000 grant for studies it cannot be trusted to conduct in any legitimate fashion.

Withdraw the grant from Rutgers and allocate that money to an organization that will put proper care and effort into these studies, before it can waste more taxpayer dollars.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. I thought that universities are concerned with the environment and ecology. Guess it depends on which department.

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