EPA exonerates Christie administration in obscure bridge-related offense someone made up

posted at 8:11 pm on March 7, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

We talked in our panel of Salem All-Stars today at CPAC about Bridgegate and how the intense coverage of its various off-shoots and ancillary dust-ups was the epitome of “drive-by” media behavior. Hear about an allegation of abuse from a Jersey mayor, cover said accusation aggressively without ever determining if it’s credible, and move on from the story once it’s been debunked. They do swirling allegations, not swirling exonerations.

So, I will commend Politico for following this thread, determining there’s no there there, and reporting it. Nonsense Level of this allegation? DEFCON 2, with accompanying nonsense rhetoric:

The Environmental Protection Agency has cleared New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration of allegations that it suspiciously shut off an air pollution monitor during last fall’s lane closings on the George Washington Bridge.

The group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility made the charges last month, saying the air monitor closest to the bridge had been turned off during the Sept. 9-13 lane closures, when piles of idling cars and trucks were spewing pollution from their tailpipes.

The Environmental Protection Agency has cleared New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration of allegations that it suspiciously shut off an air pollution monitor during last fall’s lane closings on the George Washington Bridge.

The group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility made the charges last month, saying the air monitor closest to the bridge had been turned off during the Sept. 9-13 lane closures, when piles of idling cars and trucks were spewing pollution from their tailpipes.

PEER asked EPA to investigate, writing that federal regulations don’t allow the monitors to be shut down without EPA’s permission except for routine maintenance, and that soot pollution had doubled by the time the monitor returned to service. “Perhaps there is an innocent explanation for marooning thousands in a pollution Twilight Zone but no one in the Christie administration has yet to offer one,” the letter said.

The allegations also appeared in an article in U.S. News & World Report and a post on the liberal website DailyKos. One New Jersey activist tweeted: “We now have the equivalent of the infamous 18 1/2 minute gap in Nixon’s Watergate tapes.”

Oops:

After reviewing data from monitors near the bridge from Sept. 7 to Sept. 14, EPA concluded that no rules violations had occurred, and the air quality met health-based standards, Region 2 administrator Judith Enck said in a Feb. 28 letter to PEER.

And PEER got it wrong in saying that “the federally required air quality monitor closest to the bridge was inoperative,” EPA said.

The closest monitor — at the Fort Lee Library, one mile southwest of the bridge — was working, EPA said. The Jersey City site PEER referenced, to the contrary, is 10 miles away from the bridge.

I’ve heard accusations before that in following this story closely and presenting exculpatory evidence, one is Christie boosting. But it’s important to keep in mind that there is no Republican candidate who will not have to pass through this crucible. There will always be some misstep or character flaw to flog, and it will be flogged to within an inch of its life until voters are made to care about it. Following it closely, keeping the record straight about each candidate’s actual misdeeds and accountability without succumbing to the “cloud of controversy” is what we must do when much of the media won’t. I hope other 2016 hopefuls are watching this closely, too, and learning. If it were President Obama, we’d never have heard this accusation in the first place because it would not be treated seriously, even with evidence. Republican candidates will not have that luxury, and should be prepared to mount their own defenses aggressively.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

I’ve heard accusations before that in following this story closely and presenting exculpatory evidence, one is Christie boosting.

-Mary Katharine Ham

Fair enough, but it would nice to see bloggers here also call out Christie on his pro-amnesty and anti-gun rights stances.

bluegill on March 7, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Fair enough, but it would nice to see bloggers here also call out Christie on his pro-amnesty and anti-gun rights stances.

bluegill on March 7, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Whether it’s pointed out or not, you post it on every thread anyway. Do you just copy and paste at this point?

Everyone knows his stance on amnesty, so why post it on every thread? Did you ask every blogger to call out Romney for Romneycare on every single post related to Romney? Yeah, didn’t think so.

GOPRanknFile on March 7, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Whut’s the EPA?

vnvet on March 7, 2014 at 8:29 PM

bluegill on March 7, 2014 at 8:18 PM

…you have political Tourette’s!

KOOLAID2 on March 7, 2014 at 8:31 PM

it would nice to see bloggers here

KOOLAID2 on March 7, 2014 at 8:34 PM

it would nice to see bloggers here

KOOLAID2 on March 7, 2014 at 8:35 PM

…you have political Tourette’s!

KOOLAID2 on March 7, 2014 at 8:31 PM

You expect too much from a hagfish.

But I saw your comment in the headlines. I’ve used my commenting ability over at MM only once. When someone told us it was OR over there years ago, I jumped to register.
Just in case…

Lanceman on March 7, 2014 at 8:35 PM

it would nice to see bloggers here

KOOLAID2 on March 7, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Lanceman on March 7, 2014 at 8:35 PM

…I don’t go there either…except to read.

KOOLAID2 on March 7, 2014 at 8:37 PM

it would nice to see bloggers here

…how about this? …if you are going to drool the same thing all the time?…it would “be” nice to see bloggers here…
…have a little… r s p e c t!

KOOLAID2 on March 7, 2014 at 8:42 PM

had not even heard about this part before.
sort of shows how much power has been ceded to epa by the states.

dmacleo on March 7, 2014 at 8:44 PM

PEER gets funding from Soros and foundations that also donated to Acorn. Agenda 21 group.

Murphy9 on March 7, 2014 at 8:45 PM

bluegill

I don’t usually engage this troll…I will make an exception.
We can hate Christie plenty. We don’t need your help.

22044 on March 7, 2014 at 8:49 PM

You expect too much from a hagfish.

But I saw your comment in the headlines. I’ve used my commenting ability over at MM only once. When someone told us it was OR over there years ago, I jumped to register.
Just in case…

Lanceman on March 7, 2014 at 8:35 PM

MM uses Disqus now, like all the other conservative blogs gone to the dark side.

22044 on March 7, 2014 at 8:52 PM

MM uses Disqus now, like all the other conservative blogs gone to the dark side.

22044 on March 7, 2014 at 8:52 PM

You have got to be kidding me!
If this place ever does that, I’m otta here.

Lanceman on March 7, 2014 at 8:56 PM

Just so much power in one phone call. They can get them to turn off the monitors that need to be monitored. They think Christie et al can do that as that is something they would want to do.

tjexcite on March 7, 2014 at 9:05 PM

First Black person who makes statements or charges against a White candidate should be labeled RACIST!

GarandFan on March 7, 2014 at 9:11 PM

MM uses Disqus now, like all the other conservative blogs gone to the dark side.

22044 on March 7, 2014 at 8:52 PM

You have got to be kidding me!
If this place ever does that, I’m otta here.

Lanceman on March 7, 2014 at 8:56 PM

That was the single most stupid thing she has ever done just dumping her loyal commenters in the trash can. But I suppose using Disqus makes it easier for the NSA to identify us.

meci on March 7, 2014 at 9:22 PM

So the smears against Governor Palin, an actual accomplished governor, were enough ipso facto to disqualify her from running. But now we can all hop back on the GOPe gravy train with the fat man from Jersey. Gotcha.

gryphon202 on March 7, 2014 at 9:28 PM

Nice headline.

Congrats on Blogger of the Year Mary. You done good.

Dack Thrombosis on March 7, 2014 at 10:12 PM

You don’t have to support Christie to see he’s being unfairly targeted over a relatively minor offense for New Jersey politics.

Compare the coverage of former Governor Corzine walking away after “misplacing” over $1 billion of his investors’ money illegally. It was fleeting at best.

But the media has been against us since Eisenhower. Whining about it won’t help.

Yes, on a level playing field our ideas beat the Democrats’ proven failures every time. But we play on a rigged field. Get used to it.

Adjoran on March 7, 2014 at 10:22 PM

There’s a lot of that going around.

Making sh*t up, I mean.

I am effing fed up.

Before the advent of Obama, I didn’t used to curse this much and that is a fact.

Sherman1864 on March 7, 2014 at 10:33 PM

Everyone knows his stance on amnesty, so why post it on every thread?
GOPRanknFile on March 7, 2014 at 8:24 PM

“Everyone” doesn’t know the truth, which is that Chris Christie is pro-illegal alien amnesty and a liberal fraud, and I will continue to mention it when it is appropriate. More people read this blog than just the registered commenters. And now that I know you appreciate it, I will be sure to double-up on my efforts.

And I was responding to Mary Katherine, who was anticipating being called a Christie booster. If certain bloggers don’t like being accused of habitual RINO-boosting, then maybe they should try to devote more time to calling out such politicians when they attack conservatives and court the liberal media. And maybe they could also spend some time defending actual conservatives with the same gusto.

bluegill on March 7, 2014 at 10:42 PM

I don’t usually engage this troll…I will make an exception.
We can hate Christie plenty. We don’t need your help.
22044 on March 7, 2014 at 8:49 PM

Lanceman is often an inappropriate commenter who has an unfortunate habit of personally insulting others on here who disagree with him, but for the most part I would say he doesn’t deserve the troll label.

I appreciate hearing his and others’ comments, and wish we could stick to commenting more on the subject matter, rather than going after one another personally.

bluegill on March 7, 2014 at 10:45 PM

Wow, I have heard the word DailyKOS in a year or so. Thanks for bringing back the demons.

HopeHeFails on March 7, 2014 at 11:31 PM

“Everyone” doesn’t know the truth, which is that Chris Christie is pro-illegal alien amnesty and a liberal fraud, and I will continue to mention it when it is appropriate. More people read this blog than just the registered commenters. And now that I know you appreciate it, I will be sure to double-up on my efforts.

Everyone that follows a political blog knows the truth about Christie. You’re just a broken record. Do you get paid to repeat the same drivel?

And I was responding to Mary Katherine, who was anticipating being called a Christie booster. If certain bloggers don’t like being accused of habitual RINO-boosting, then maybe they should try to devote more time to calling out such politicians when they attack conservatives and court the liberal media. And maybe they could also spend some time defending actual conservatives with the same gusto.

bluegill on March 7, 2014 at 10:42 PM

How about if you don’t like threads about certain politicians, you stop reading them? No one has ever learned anything by reading your silly posts.

GOPRanknFile on March 7, 2014 at 11:41 PM

bluegill on March 7, 2014 at 10:45 PM

With all due respect, everyone thinks you’re a troll.

GOPRanknFile on March 7, 2014 at 11:45 PM

How about if you don’t like threads about certain politicians, you stop reading them? No one has ever learned anything by reading your silly posts.
GOPRanknFile on March 7, 2014 at 11:41 PM

Look, you are often critical of Ted Cruz and others who favor immigration law enforcement and oppose amnesty, but have I ever told you to stop commenting? Nope.

Maybe you don’t like people even pointing out that politicians like Christie and Rubio favor illegal alien amnesty, but that is no reason to tell people to shut up.

If you support Christie’s liberal agenda so much, then why don’t you try putting forward arguments to support it, instead of attempting to silence others.

Obviously a politician’s embrace of amnesty is no deal breaker for you, but for others it is a huge deal and rightly so.

bluegill on March 7, 2014 at 11:49 PM

Look, you are often critical of Ted Cruz and others who favor immigration law enforcement and oppose amnesty, but have I ever told you to stop commenting? Nope.

Maybe you don’t like people even pointing out that politicians like Christie and Rubio favor illegal alien amnesty, but that is no reason to tell people to shut up.

What exactly are you talking about? You must not pay attention to any of my posts. My opposition to Cruz has nothing to do with his immigration stance. I AGREE with his stance. Anyone that knows me on this board knows that I’m anti-amnesty. I think he’s a great Senator for Texas, but would be a disaster of a presidential candidate. He talks a lot, but hasn’t really done anything substantive in the Senate.

If you support Christie’s liberal agenda so much, then why don’t you try putting forward arguments to support it, instead of attempting to silence others.

Obviously a politician’s embrace of amnesty is no deal breaker for you, but for others it is a huge deal and rightly so.

bluegill on March 7, 2014 at 11:49 PM

Once again, if you knew anything about me, you would know that Christie isn’t even in my Top 3 for the nomination. If he got the nomination, would I vote for him? Heck yes. But I probably wouldn’t vote for him in the primary. You’re more than welcome to criticize Christie and any other politician that supports amnesty, but stop sounding like a broken record. You never add anything useful to the conversation.

GOPRanknFile on March 7, 2014 at 11:56 PM

Anyone that knows me on this board knows that I’m anti-amnesty.

GOPRanknFile on March 7, 2014 at 11:56 PM

If amnesty is the be-all, end-all for you, then alright. Our country has more serious issues.

GOPRanknFile on October 10, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Yep, you’re sure one of those “severely” conservative immigration hawks, alright. No amnesty for you, no, sir. /s

Sorry, but you seem to have a serious problem with people who refuse to support pro-amnesty politicians like
Christie and Rubio.

And, no, I will not stop commenting on this issue of politicians selling out on amnesty. Have a nice night.

bluegill on March 8, 2014 at 12:14 AM

Yep, you’re sure one of those “severely” conservative immigration hawks, alright. No amnesty for you, no, sir. /s

Sorry, but you seem to have a serious problem with people who refuse to support pro-amnesty politicians like
Christie and Rubio.

And, no, I will not stop commenting on this issue of politicians selling out on amnesty. Have a nice night.

bluegill on March 8, 2014 at 12:14 AM

How is what you cited any evidence of what you’re trying to prove? Lol. You’ll have to do A LOT better than that. I’m anti-amnesty, but it isn’t the be-all, end-all for me. I’m not a single-issue voter, and I never will be. You clearly are.

I don’t have a problem with people not supporting pro-amnesty politicians. I have a problem with people bringing irrelevant topics to threads. Just like you were annoyed with people bringing up Romneycare in every thread that had to do with Romney, even though the thread had nothing to do with Romneycare. Don’t be a hypocrite.

You don’t have to stop commenting on amnesty, but don’t be confused on why no one takes you seriously. Have a good night.

GOPRanknFile on March 8, 2014 at 12:19 AM

…don’t care.

Would “bridgegate” stop me from voting for Christie?

Of course not.

I’d never vote for that squish hypocrite progressive anyway. He’s in McCain, Graham, Boehner, and Mcconnel territory. None of these will ever see a vote or a dollar from me.

Diluculo on March 8, 2014 at 2:21 AM

What a freak show.

Murphy9 on March 8, 2014 at 6:40 AM

It seems like our friends in the Democrat Party and the media are anxious for Christie to be the Republican candidate. I wonder why?

rjh on March 8, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Have a nice night.

bluegill on March 8, 2014 at 12:14 AM

…adjust your meds!…………..k?

KOOLAID2 on March 8, 2014 at 10:46 AM

If it were President Obama, we’d never have heard this accusation in the first place
MKH

True. So now we’re to believe Politico and the EPA? Now they’re suddenly no longer tools of Stalin, but legit authorities to vindicate Stalin’s favorite dancing bear rino since he’s grown tired of torturing him?
Uhm. Okay.

onomo on March 8, 2014 at 11:18 AM

It seems like our friends in the Democrat Party and the media are anxious for Christie to be the Republican candidate. I wonder why?

rjh on March 8, 2014 at 10:41 AM

You must have missed MSNBC devoting their entire channel to try to take the man down. The media covered the “scandal” of a NJ Governor more than any of the scandals of our President. If you think the Democrats and the media want Christie to be our nominee, then I’d love to know what you’re smoking.

The Dems and the media want Palin or Cruz…preferable both on the same ticket. They’re no dummies.

GOPRanknFile on March 8, 2014 at 12:25 PM

“You must have missed MSNBC devoting their entire channel to try to take the man down. The media covered the “scandal” of a NJ Governor more than any of the scandals of our President. If you think the Democrats and the media want Christie to be our nominee, then I’d love to know what you’re smoking.”

Thanks for your thoughtful and respectful comment. How in the world would anyone other than a rabid leftist know what was on MSNBC? I guarantee you that the left would love the Republicans to run a Christie or a Bush…they stand absolutely no chance of getting elected.

rjh on March 8, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Thanks for your thoughtful and respectful comment. How in the world would anyone other than a rabid leftist know what was on MSNBC? I guarantee you that the left would love the Republicans to run a Christie or a Bush…they stand absolutely no chance of getting elected.

rjh on March 8, 2014 at 12:36 PM

You personally don’t have to watch MSNBC to know what’s on it. MSNBC’s coverage of the Christie “scandal” was covered by this blog, MRC, and Fox News. Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

The left would love to run against Palin, who is doing poorly against Begich in Alaska, or Ted Cruz, who has less than stellar approval ratings in Texas.

GOPRanknFile on March 8, 2014 at 11:55 PM

Now the liberal lap dog media will have to go and create a new story. They are not very talented and are very predictable.

John21 on March 10, 2014 at 7:44 AM