THE DSM COMMUNITY ADVISORY PANEL
A SUMMARY OF SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS
The DSM Community Advisory Panel was revitalized in January 2001 in the aftermath of the company's discovery in late 2000 that its air emissions of hazardous air pollutants greatly exceeded the levels it was permitted to release. Since that time, the CAP has met more regularly to discuss the issues involved not only in DSM's environmental impacts, but those of other industrial facilities as well, particularly power plants operating nearby in Pennsylvania.
With members from the Warren County, Belvidere and White Township environmental commissions, the county health department and emergency management agency, the business community, and neighbors of DSM's facility, the CAP has had three major areas of focus:
1. Development of recommendations for Supplemental Environmental Projects that should be funded by the fine money DSM was assessed, so that Warren County benefits. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection approved four such projects that the CAP recommended.
2. An independent scientific assessment of the health risk that DSM's air emissions posed to the community.
3. Improvements in DSM's environmental performance.
Working with DSM, the CAP had a significant impact on all three fronts. In particular, the CAP recommended and participated in the implementation of three Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) that were funded in large part by the fine money DSM paid for its emissions violations. These SEPs, which were approved by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, were designed to provide significant benefits to the residents of White Township, Belvidere and Warren County.
The SEPs consisted of air monitoring stations to measure levels of sulfur dioxide, fine particles and toxic pollutants, an asthma epidemiology study to correlate air pollutant concentrations with pediatric asthma rates in Belvidere and White Twp, and creation of a regional air quality advisory panel to focus on the impacts of the region’s industrial facilities on Warren County air quality.