Feb. 27 Update:
Via @WolfeNotes....The EPA is now investigating why the GWB air monitor was offline during the ChristieGate bridge lane closing: "EPA Region 2 which is supposed to oversee the Clean Air Act program in New Jersey, had been tasked with conducting an initial “review” and “Following this review, a determination will be made as to the most appropriate course of action.”
See WolfeNotes post here.
On Jan. 22, U.S. World & News Report's Alan Neuhauser wrote that the NJDEP air monitor nearest to the GWB stopped working from Sep. 8-11.
Air Monitors See Spike in Pollution During 'Bridgegate'I haven't seen this reported in any other media outlets, so please let me know if you've seen it elsewhere.
The monitor closest to the bridge shut down at the height of the traffic jams
By Alan Neuhauser
One night before local access lanes to New Jersey's George Washington Bridge were closed last fall in an apparent act of political retribution that sparked miles-long traffic jams for four straight days, an air quality monitor run by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in Trenton abruptly ceased collecting data.
The closest state-run monitor to the bridge with its data posted online, the monitor started measuring air pollution again more than two days later – just as a key pollution indicator was starting to decline.
The timing is weird, but hey, machines do malfunction.
This is a problem because the state is missing some air quality information that's very important to public health officials. They use this data to inform people of potentially dangerous air quality conditions. People who have, or care for someone who has, asthma or lung problems need to know when they should stay inside or refrain from exercising due to poor air quality.
That's why the state installs these air monitors in the first place.
Nevertheless, data collected just as the Jersey monitor came back online, supplemented by another monitor in Newark, suggest that air pollution reached potentially dangerous levels during at least part of the lane-closure period from Sept. 9 to 12, as thousands of cars, trucks and buses waited for as long as four hours to cross the bridge.Here's how the NJDEP responded to Neuhauser's questions:
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection declined to comment Tuesday afternoon, referring questions to Christie's office.So, where there's smog, is there....more to the story? I'll email Mr. Neuhauser to find out.
H/T to NJ environmental activist Bill Wolfe for tweeting this story.
We now have the equivalent of the infamous 18 1/2 minute gap in Nixon's Watergate tapes:
DEP air data missing:January 22, 2014
1:56 PM PT: Update: Rec list? Whoa! Thank you so much
3:31 PM PT: Thank you for sharing the Kos Braintrust--so many excellent (and funny!) comments and ideas. Since I'm a new diarist, so please let me know if I should be doing anything other than watching the comments for anything I can help with. Thanks