Newark Mayor joins residents telling the Port Authority to stop damaging our health

 The Ports of New York and New Jersey have long been known as the dirtiest in the country, and the Port Authority as a spectacularly uncaring and unresponsive organization.

As a result, residents of Newark and other cities around the ports have been subjected to extremely dangerous levels of diesel exhaust pollution, and the health effects that come with it.  Asthma levels are shamefully high, and residents are subjected to the myriad other health risks of diesel exhaust, which has been linked to cardiovascular disease, impaired lung function, dementia, brain damage, mental illness, pre-term birth, and much more.

After years of work by the Ironbound Community Corporation, Clean Water Action NJ, the Coalition for Healthy Ports, the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance and many academic experts, including Dr. Ana Baptista, professor at the New School, the tide is turning.

In the few months, the Village Voice and other news publications have highlighted the health issues and environmental injustice of this assault on residents’ health.  Political leaders, including U.S New Jersey Senator Cory Booker have called for the U.S. EPA to take action.  Most recently, the mayor of Newark, Ras Baraka, has ramped up the pressure, and used his formidable leadership skills to force the Port Authority to become a good neighbor and responsible organization.  

For more information, check out this excellent Village Voice article, or some of the background references below. 

 

After a Voice Investigation, Newark Is Looking to Make the Port Authority Pay, Village Voice

Background 

Hell on Wheels: Port Authority’s Broken Promise Is Choking Newark’s Kids, Village Voice 

How the NY/NJ Port Authority Misspent Millions in Federal Money Meant to Cut Air Pollution, Blog post and podcast ProPublica 

Ports are the new power plants — at least in terms of pollution, Washington Post 

Newark kids choking on Port Authority’s diesel exhaust, Editorial, NJ.Com 

Ironbound Residents Want Truck Emissions Reduced, YouTube Video, NJTV News 

Why Did Port Authority Scale Back Its Truck Emissions Program?, New York Public Radio

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey an “Indifferent Failure”

What do you call a public agency with an $8 billion annual budget that poisons and sickens thousands of its neighbors?  

How about “Failure”?

That’s exactly what the influential New Jersey news site NJ.com called the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in an editorial yesterday.

“In short, the trucks and barges around the busiest container terminal in the East are poisoning children and ruining lives by spitting emissions that have been linked to everything from heart disease to developmental defects, and the $8 billion agency that can reverse this trend is doing as little as possible.”

Nicky Sheats from video

Learn more by reading Newark kids choking on Port Authority’s diesel exhaust, and watching the excellent NJTV video below, with includes interviews with Moving Forward Network participant Dr. Ana Baptista, and National Environmental Justice Advisory Council member Dr. Nicky Sheats.