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1997 Public Hearing Transcript

April 21, 1997 Trenton, New Jersey  


(908) - 494 - 9100


JOSEPH A. SPATOLA, Ph.D., Chairman
MICHAEL BERRY, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
STEPHEN J. PAPENBERG, New Jersey Health Officers' Association
FARID AHMAD, Department of Community Affairs
JORGE BERKOWITZ, New Jersey Business and Industry Association
JOHN SERKIES, New Jersey Department of Commerce

SPEAKERS: Click on the speaker's name below to go to their testimony

GEORGE WOLFF, General Motors Corp.
AL MANNATO, American Petroleum Institute
BERNARD GOLDSTEIN, Environmental and 201 Health Sciences Institute
MARIE A. CURTIS, N.J. Environmental Lobby
BETTY WOLFE, Princeton Environmental Commission
JIM SINCLAIR, N.J. Business & Industry Association
REVEREND JOSEPH R. PARRISH, St. John's Episcopal Church

CHAIRMAN SPATOLA: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to get started this morning.

I want to welcome all of you here to the Clean Air Council public hearing. Today we're going to be talking about the proposed standard and how it may affect New Jersey for the new particulate matter.

My name is Joseph Spatola, and I'm in charge of this year's Clean Air Council's public hearing. My co-chair is John Maxwell, to my left.

I just have a few introductory statements to make.

This year's public hearing will focus on a proposed federal fine particulate matter standard PM2.5. Today we'll be seeking more information on the basis of the proposed standards and the implications of the new standard for New Jersey.

Before we start this morning's hearing I would like to speak to you very briefly about the Clean Air Council.

The Clean Air Council was created in 1954 through New Jersey statute N.J.S.A. 26:2C3.2. The Council makes recommendations to the Commission of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection on matters and programs pertaining to air pollution control.

The Council consists of seventeen members, three of whom represent the Department of Commerce and Economic Development, the Department of Community Affairs and the Department of Agriculture. Six members represent the general public, including one medical doctor licensed in New Jersey. And eight members are from organizations enumerated by the Governor. These include the New Jersey Health Officers' Association, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, the New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers, the New Jersey Manufacturers Association, the New Jersey section of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the New Jersey League of Municipalities, the New Jersey Freeholder Association, and lastly, the New Jersey AFL-CIO.

So, you can see that we have a good cross-section of the various interested parties in the State.

The Clean Air Council meets monthly and is required to hold an annual public hearing on existing air pollution strategies, codes, rules and regulations, the state-of-the-art and technical capabilities and limitations in air pollution control, and then to report its recommendations to the Commissioner of the DEP.

Before we begin this public hearing today I would like each council member to introduce himself or herself and indicate whom they represent.

I would like to start from the left-hand side.

DR. MANGANELLI: Ray Manganelli, public.

MR. BERRY: Michael Berry, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, which you need to update your list as one of the departments.

MS. STANSFIELD: Linda Stansfield, public.

MR. MAXWELL: John Maxwell, public.

CHAIRMAN SPATOLA: I'm Joseph Spatola, representing the public.

MR. PAPENBERG: Steve Papenberg, representing New Jersey Health Officers' Association and its present chair.

MR. AHMAD: Farid Ahmad from the Department of Community Affairs.

MR. BERKOWITZ: George Berkowitz. I represent New Jersey Business and Industry Association.

MR. SERKIES: John Serkies. I represent the New Jersey Department of Commerce.

CHAIRMAN SPATOLA: I also at this time would wish to acknowledge Ms. Erin Indelicato, the N.J. DEP, --

A VOICE: She just left the room.

CHAIRMAN SPATOLA: -- who is our liaison with the Department who was instrumental in coordinating all those activities that were necessary to enable us to have this public hearing today.

Sorry she missed that.

It's on the record.

We will be hearing some background statements this morning from the Department. I'd like to adjust a few little background statements myself regarding this issue of the new PM2.5 standard.

Just in the way of background, the Federal Clean Air Act directs the Environmental Protection Agency to identify and set national standards for pollutants which cause adverse impacts to public health and the environment.

EPA is required to review the health and welfare-based standards at least once every five years. Standards are included in each State's Implementation Plan, which is called a SIP, and which is ultimately approved by the EPA. This plan outlines how a state such as New Jersey will attain the standards.

Concerning the proposed PM2.5 standard, EPA has concluded that the particulate matter PM10 standards are not fully protective of public health. They have cited increased premature deaths, aggravation of respiration and cardiovascular illness, lung function effects, changes to lung structure and defense mechanisms, and that smallest particles at 2.5 microns and smaller are of significant concerns for effects. In addition, other effects, EPA has included are visibility effects, soiling and material damage.

The current and proposed particulate matter standards are as follows: Currently the PM10 standard has been set at fifty micrograms per cubic meter annual average arithmetic mean, with a second standard of a hundred and fifty micrograms per cubic meter per twenty-four hour standard with one exceedence allowed.

The proposed PM10 standards would be the same for the annual one and the twenty-four hour one will remain the same but at the ninety-eight percentile concentration.

The proposed 2.5 standards are two: One is a fifteen microgram per cubic meter annual average arithmetic mean, it being, however, a spatial average. And there is also proposed a fifty microgram per cubic meter twenty-four hour ninety-eight percentile concentration.

In terms of projected impacts to proposed PM standards, EPA estimates the PM standards to result in costs of approximately $7.2 billion.

In contrast, EPA estimates that the benefits would be in the range of seventy to a hundred and forty-three billion dollars.

The Air and Waste Management's Association magazine for environmental managers suggests that large urbanized areas in New Jersey may likely be out of attainment with the new PM2.5 standards. In its January 1997 edition the following ten New Jersey counties were named as examples: Atlantic, Bergen, Camden, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Mercer, Passaic, Union and Warren.

In short, many questions have been raised regarding the standards. There are strong proponents and those who believe strongly that the standard is not needed.

This morning we'll have an opportunity to hear both sides of this issue and begin flushing out all of the concerns that we need to be aware of.

On that note, before we begin anything further, I would like at least to ask any of my fellow council people here if they would like to add any statements of their own at this time?

(No response.)

CHAIRMAN SPATOLA: John, did you have something you wanted to say?

MR. MAXWELL: Joe, I think you said it all. You've done a great job as chair, and I'll pass it on.

CHAIRMAN SPATOLA: Thank you very much.

On that note, then I would like to introduce Assistant Commissioner Lewis Nagy to make some introductory comments on behalf of the Department.

MR. NAGY: Thank you, and good morning. I'm Lew Nagy, Assistant Commissioner for Policy and Planning here at DEP, and on behalf of Commissioner Shinn and the management team, I'd like to welcome the Clean Air Council to the Department of Environmental Protection today. We would like to express our appreciation to all of you, not only for hosting today's public hearing, but for your continuing efforts toward ensuring the public's awareness of New Jersey's air quality. Through your efforts the public plays a continuing role in improving and preserving the air quality of New Jersey.

I'd also like to specifically thank Steve Papenberg, chairman of the Council, today's hearing chairman, Joe Spatola, and vice-chairman John Maxwell.

We're fortunate to have the opportunity to hear testimony from your list of distinguished speakers.

On behalf of the Department, I'd like to personally thank each of today's speakers with participating in and contributing to today's topic. That's a thank you in advance.

Everyone is entitled to their position on the issues, but the dialogue needs to take place, and thank you for participating in these proceedings.

Again, welcome.

Later this morning John Elston and Charlie Pietarinen of my staff will address specific New Jersey considerations in their presentations. I would, however, like to help set the stage for today's hearing.

The standard that EPA is proposing for fine particulates is based on health studies which link an increased incidence of both respiratory problems and mortality rates to elevated levels of fine particulates in the air. Proponents of the new standards believe that because of the severity of the health effects and the weight of the evidence tying them to particulates it is imperative that we act now to control the problem.

Opponents of the new standard find the evidence insufficient and inconclusive. They believe that adoption of a standard now is too costly, given the current data available.

I'm sure you're going to hear both sides of the argument here today.

The implication for New Jersey are, indeed, significant. The health studies are accurate, attaining the standard could not only improve the quality of life for citizens of the State, but also extend it.

On the other hand, if significant additional controls are required to meet the standard, it could put some industries at an economic disadvantage.

Thus, today's hearing is especially appropriate and timely.

New Jersey meets the current air quality standards for particulates, but, as you will see later this morning, it is likely that some or all of the State will not be able to meet the new standards as proposed.

If this proves to be true, the State will have to develop a plan to meet these new standards.

Although our knowledge of the makeup of fine particulates in New Jersey is incomplete, we do know that a significant part of the total amount comes from secondary aerosols, particulates that are not directly emitted to the air but form from emissions of gaseous pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.

These types of particulates take time to form and can be transported long distances, hundreds of miles or more. Thus, just as with our ground level ozone problem, we will be looking to work with neighboring states to help address the transport problem.

Controls of some of the gases that eventually form secondary aerosols are also being implemented as part of our other efforts to improve air and water quality. Sulfur dioxide emissions will be cut significantly as part of the national effort to control acid rain. This will have the added benefit of cutting levels of sulfate particles in the air. Similarly, reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides in an effort to reduce ground level ozone will also cut levels of nitrate particles.

These efforts shall go a long way to assuring that New Jersey can attain the new standard if and when they are adopted.

Depending on the severity of the problem, however, additional controls specific to New Jersey may be necessary.

We also know that diesel emissions contribute to fine particle concentrations, and this mobile source is another area to look for for reduction.

Indeed, we have recently adopted new laws requiring the inspection and maintenance of heavy-duty diesel powered vehicles, which will begin full implementation next year. Thus, it is possible that continuing programs will be sufficient to attain the standard without the need for significant additional controls in industries in the State.

The proposed standards for particulates will pose many challenges for New Jersey, all of which will be made easier by an open and full dialogue on the issues. Today is a way of fostering that open and full dialogue. So, I want to thank the Council for this hearing and on behalf of the Department say that we really await your finding.

Thank you very much.

CHAIRMAN SPATOLA: Thank you, Commissioner.

MR. MAXWELL: Commissioner, thank you very much.

Just a procedural note in addition to welcoming you all here, which Joe had done, if there are questions that you have for individuals who are testifying, if you could kindly give them to either Erin or Lori, they would be happy to bring them up to us. That way we may be able to get into more depth in terms of our dialogue.

I just say that as an opening here.

Thank you.

Do we have the cards?

MS. INDELICATO: We also left some out on the table out front.

MR. MAXWELL: There are cards out front.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SPATOLA: At this time I'd like to ask the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2, to begin their presentation.


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