North Bergen’s unhealthy health department


Dear Editor:

In a June 1 interview at North Bergen, NJ’s Summer Health and Green Family Festival, Janet Castro, the NB Health Officer who organized the event, stressed that the public should be aware of, and take responsibility for important health and environmental issues.

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Afterward, I tried to contact Ms. Castro to find out if she has spoken to Mayor Sacco and the public about the health risks associated with the proposed unneeded, huge, fracked gas power plant that the mayor wants built in North Bergen.
She hasn’t answered my emails or phone calls.

This power plant would emit hundreds of tons of pollutants annually, including particulate matter, toxic chemicals and known carcinogens.

Exposure to these pollutants is linked to neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases such as COPD and asthma, cancer, premature death and birth defects, increased susceptibility to infections as well as damage to lungs, liver, kidneys, reproductive and nervous systems, increases in obesity, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, other forms of dementia and stroke and even huge reductions in intelligence.

The power plant would damage the surrounding Meadowlands wetlands, which help to filter our drinking water and minimize damage from flooding.

Information concerning the detrimental effects of the proposed power plant should have been presented at this festival by the North Bergen Health Department and other participants.

The silence at the festival about the power plant was deafening, as it has been, since the day the project was announced.

There haven’t been any town hall types of meetings to inform the public and to allow feedback from the community about the proposed power plant.

This is but one more example of how callous North Bergen officials control the medium and the message, at the expense of the public’s health.

Officials are more concerned about the $5 million/year in PILOTs that the power plant owners plan on paying to the Township’s coffers, not letting on that NONE of these Payments In Lieu Of Taxes will go to the North Bergen Board of Education (as property taxes do), nor do they mention how property values will be negatively affected.

To find out more and to sign a petition to help stop this dangerous fracked gas power plant, go to:

Robert Walden