Final Report-SL

Open Windows Without Clean Air:
We Need to Do More for the Port of Elizabeth’s Air Pollution Problem

By Sonia Lenahan

            On April 21, 1980 one of the largest fires the residents of Elizabeth, New Jersey have ever seen broke out on the Chemical Control Corporation Site. The fire lasted for 15 hours and the chemicals, while mostly unknown did include some that were considered highly toxic. The smoke was almost 100 feet into the air, and the Environmental Protection Agency, or the EPA, showed up to take samples of the air and assess the situation for a future clean up. The site was later labeled as a ‘superfund’ site, or a site that is labeled as a mandatory ‘clean-up’ site.1 The EPA spent the next few years cleaning the site and while doing this, schools and jobs around the area were shut down. This fire created a large commotion in Elizabeth, and people started to notice just how much smoke had gone into the air, and how there may be repercussions from breathing that air. Thus, this became one of the first instances in which the residents of Elizabeth became concerned about their air.

            The city of Elizabeth, New Jersey is one of the oldest cities in America and has now also become one of the most environmentally dangerous. Air pollution around Elizabeth became an everlasting presence and has been affecting those that live there for years. On August 15, 1962, The Port of Elizabeth opened and toxins began being produced from the equipment in and around the port, which started polluting the Elizabethport Neighborhood. The diesel exhaust emitting from the engines of container ships, trucks and various other forms of equipment, such as cargo movers released toxins, such as the heavy metal Arsenic and Cadmium, gasses, such as Sulfur, Nitrogen and Carbon Dioxides, and carbon particles from the combustion of diesel fuels, into the air when they came to dock and transfer their cargos. 

            The residents of Elizabeth now have many questions concerning this air pollution. When will it no longer be a variable in their health? Does air pollution affect everyone or just those who are closest to it?  Will the residents of Elizabeth benefit from the removal of diesel emitting equipment and transportation? Why did the residents of Elizabeth not always know about air pollution or care? Is there any way to alleviate more pollution than what has already been done? What has the mayor done to help the residents that live in Elizabeth?  Did his efforts help improve the air quality?

            Air pollution has taken its toll on those who live near the port of Elizabeth, and actions have been made by the mayor to fight it. The mayor of Elizabeth implemented some programs to try and alleviate some of this air pollution; however, there is more that could and needs to be done. Therefore, although the mayor of Elizabeth has taken actions against air pollution in the Port, more needs to be done to help the minority population that is being negatively affected by air pollution.

            This paper will give a clear insight as to how air pollution became a large problem in Elizabeth, New Jersey and what has been done to help. It will begin with an introduction to the air pollution in the port, and follow with how this pollution has directly affected certain groups of residents. Following this, I will give some background on the elected mayor in Elizabeth, and how he has tried to fight all forms of pollution, including air pollution. From there the paper I will show how Elizabeth is today with its air pollution and discuss whether or not more needs to be done.

What Causes Air Pollution in the Port of Elizabeth and Elizabethport Neighborhood

            The city of Elizabeth has become a ‘hotspot’ for air pollution because of its proximity to both a port and large highways, which were created to be able to trade goods and build an economy from this industry.2 It was not long until it flourished, but it did more than that. The port of Elizabeth grew so well that it became the ‘container capital of the world’.3 In 2018 alone, reports show how the Port of New York and New Jersey transported 4,095,454 containers bringing in mass amounts of economic value to the ports.4 These containers were valued close to $200 billion.5 The Port of Elizabeth is therefore very valuable to Elizabeth and the East Coast monetarily; however,  because of the large volume of traffic through this large port, the resulting air pollution was just as colossal. Generally, the same cities that benefit from ports economically, have been considered the largest point-source of air pollution in their localities.6 From the ships that have come into the port, to the equipment used in it, and not to mention the trucks as well; the pollution in Elizabeth has always been high.

            The ships that come into the Port of Elizabeth are large container ships that release mass amounts of gas into the atmosphere. The main worry is the Sulfur Dioxide, or SO2, that is released from the heavy fuel oil that these ships use. In order to save money, shipping companies use heavy fuel oil instead of gasoline to run their engines; however, it is 2700 times higher in sulfur than road fuel causing mass amounts of air pollution.7 This gas has been one of the most harmful gases, and in large amounts can even cause death.  Just one of these container ships can produce the same amount of pollution as 50 million cars and 15 would produce as much pollution as all of the cars in the world.8 The second gas these large ships give off is Carbon Dioxide, or CO2. This gas, while not as dangerous as SO2, can displace the oxygen in the air and, in large amounts make it impossible to breathe. With how much pollution is given off in the Port of Elizabeth by these large ships, it is clear to see even if the oxygen has not been displaced, breathing in these large amounts is not good for its citizens’ overall health. The ships are what creates the largest problems for pollution surrounding ports; however, the ships are not the only contributing factor.

After the containers are dropped off at the Port, they are then transported using large cranes and trucks that also run on diesel fuel and emit gases that are harmful to the environment. These cranes are used hundreds to even thousands of times in just one day to transport these containers off of the ships and into the container yard. Afterwards, these cranes will then pick them up again to place them onto large trucks that will transport these containers to other parts of the port. Many different diesel fuel equipment, such as terminal tractors or reach lifters, are being used in the port to transport and store these containers. These containers do not end their journey of pollution there either, because after they are ready to be moved, they are then loaded onto large trucks that drive through the Elizabethport neighborhood and travel onto highways crossing Elizabeth and surrounding cities.

The trucks that go through these cities to get to the highways only further pollute the neighborhoods that they drive through. For the port of Elizabeth, the Elizabethport Neighborhood was the most affected. The emissions that come from the trucks driving through the Elizabethport Neighborhood have been linked to cancer and other health related issues.9 With the large number of trucks that had come and gone through the port and the surrounding neighborhood, it is no surprise that the trucks were large contributors to air pollution.

Figure 1: Port of Elizabeth and Elizabethport Neighborhood

Figure 1 is of The Port of Elizabeth, New Jersey. It shows the containers and equipment used in moving these containers, as well as the containers themselves. In the background, small buildings and hills of Mountainside, NJ show the rest of Elizabeth and other parts of New Jersey. This photograph gives an accurate portrayal of what a normal day in The Port of Elizabeth looks like. There are ships coming into the Port every day of the week to drop off cargo and cranes all along the side of the water, taller than the ships and most buildings in Elizabeth, remove the cargo from the ships. This image gives a view of both the neighborhood of the port in the background, and the actual port itself. I chose this photo of The Port of Elizabeth New Jersey to show how air pollution does not always take a form that we can see, but that does not mean it is not dangerous or that it is not getting worse. The website that this image comes from is known as “gCaptain”; it is a site that posts articles that details what happens on or near the sea. This photo shows the terminals for container ships in the Port of Elizabeth. The photo gives a detailed view of what is happening in this terminal, and what it is made of.

The first thing that I noticed about this photo was the ship pulling into the harbor. They have massive containers on top of them. They are pulling up to what looks like large cranes. Although these things seem small in the photo, they are as big as football fields in length. The next thing that stands out from this photo are all of the containers that are already covering most of the terminal. For each of these containers, a truck or a crane had to move them. Also, not only is there one ship seen in this picture, but there are three. While the air in this photo does not look harmful, greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide cannot be seen being emitted into the environment as a result of the equipment. Although the Port itself is incredibly large, as seen in the photo above, it is still borders some homes and businesses just off in the background to the middle left of the photo. The gasses that can be found in the air in this picture, Nitrogen and sulfur dioxides carbon dioxide environment that they live in, although they cannot be seen. 

The reason we need to be worried about this and should be protecting the environment, is because of the people that live in the homes that can be seen to the left background of the photo. The people in these neighborhoods may know that these gases are toxic, but they could not know by how much. The gases in the air cannot be seen by these residents, and they therefore have no choice if companies are pumping toxic gases into the air around their communities. Figure 1 is important to my overall argument as it shows how there is nothing in this picture that points out the pollution in the air, but what is visible are all of the objects that contribute to this pollution. Many of the citizens that live in this section of the city may not even know how they are being harmed by this pollution or they do and cannot get away. By the time they find out, it may already be too late.

Air Pollution Affects the Health of Elizabethport Residents

For some people in Elizabeth, it already is too late as different illnesses have been linked to air pollution especially from port cities. The top two most common illnesses associated with air pollution are respiratory diseases and cancer.10 From the constant inhalation of polluted air, those that live near ports are more susceptible to getting these.11 As many as 50,000 premature deaths have been linked to air pollution, partly from particle soot poisoning.12 This number could easily include families from Elizabeth as the amount of soot that comes from the diesel being burned at the port is in such close proximity, that it would be almost dangerous to open your windows and take a deep breath. No one likes going to the hospital, but imagine having to go for none preexisting conditions that you could not control. The people that live near the port have no way of knowing who in their families could be affected by this air and will not know what kind of health risk could be lurking. The particle soot is something that cannot be avoided, which is why it is important to make reforms on what kind of fuel is being used in ports. Dealing with a respiratory illness or cancer is much harder for someone to battle, when instead the residents of Elizabeth should be fighting the problem that causes it.

            According to Figure 2 (below) from the EJScreen data that I have taken, this area shows that those who live in this neighborhood range in the 75th percentile being at risk for cancer. Cancer is a battle that no one is prepared to fight but getting cancer because of air pollution, a problem that the residents of Elizabeth have not largely contributed to, is what causes it. The most common form of cancer is lung cancer which has been linked to breathing in the organic Carbon particles resulting from the diesel fuel combustion.13 An estimated air quality test revealed that “the cancer risk predicted at residences in Elizabeth, Newark, Staten Island and Jersey City is lower (between 10 and 100 in a million), but high enough to justify long term efforts to further reduce cancer risk.”14 Fighting to lower the cancer risk needs to be a top priority. The residents of Elizabeth are constantly being attacked by this unseen villain, and this is not the only problem it can cause.

Figure 2: Environmental Indicators for Elizabethport Neighborhood and the Port of Elizabeth

Respiratory illnesses can include asthma, reduced lung function in children and adults, and even lung development defects in fetuses still growing in a mother’s womb.15 This pollution was affecting families in the Elizabethport Neighborhood for many years. Hope Moran, a former resident of this neighborhood, detailed her account of what it was like to live in this section of Elizabeth. She stated in her oral interview, “when I lived anywhere close to the highway my allergies would be a lot worse, I would have more asthma related allergy issues.”16 These issues would have only continued to get worse if Miss Moran had decided to stay there. If those that live there do not find it easy to breathe, and may even leave for this reason, then it has gone past the idea that this is not something noticeable and therefore does not need immediate attention. While living in this section of Elizabeth, Ms. Moran had a low-income job and lived in low-income housing. Once she was able to move, she did. She states, “I would never move back to the Elizabeth Port Neighborhood.”17 (For the Full interview, please click the link below). She made this statement very strongly as she has not had as many asthma related attacks since she has moved. The only reason she claims she lived there was because of financial circumstances. (Click on the link below to listen to the full 3 minute interview.)

The Elizabethport Neighborhood has been home to many minority residents who have little choice but to live there for various reasons the property values and rents are generally less expensive due to their location to the industrial sections near the port, and their lower-incomes. They have become the most affected by air pollution as a result. This particular neighborhood of Elizabeth has an 86% minority population according to EJScreen results. EJScreen is a website designed to give you environmental and demographic statistics of any area you pick to outline.  Below is a graph of the demographic indicators for Elizabethport Neighborhood.

Figure 3: Demographic Indicators of Elizabethport and the Port of Elizabeth

The first thing that stands out in Figure 3 is how all but one indicator exceeds the 75 percentile mark. This shows that this neighborhood is composed of many different minority groups and all are affected by the air pollution produced from the Port. The demographics that stand out the most are the low-income population and the linguistically isolated population. Both of these are higher than the state and national averages. This neighborhood contains affordable housing and many of the people in the neighborhood speak Spanish or Portuguese.

The data revealed that individuals in the lowest 88th percentile for income live in this neighborhood. This tells us that Elizabethport neighborhood has a large number of low-income properties in the state and country. This same data when compared to the other cities in the state shows that this particular region is experiencing an incredibly high exposure to pollution. Without being able to move because of low-income or other circumstances, these residents have no choice but to breathe this air every day. Being in a low-income neighborhood can also be inferred that those who live here may not get the same medical care even if they have the same illnesses that were mentioned above. It can create a disproportionate advantage to those that have enough money to choose an area further away from the industrial pollution.

Also shown in the data, linguistically isolated individuals range in the 90th percentile. This tells us that the majority of people in this particular area belong to groups that may not understand reports on pollution if they are not provided in their languages. Things such as what can be done to help combat it for example could be falling on deaf ears in this community. This stunts the possibility of more activist groups fighting for clean air. Even if they were fighting, many other residents of Elizabeth that do not speak the same languages would miss what these residents are fighting for. Overall, the data shows the minority population has been affected the most by this pollution. Action is needed to help solve this air pollution problem. Not to say that the Port of Elizabeth did not receive any attention though, as when a new mayor was elected in Elizabeth he made many efforts to not only help those in Elizabeth, but also to help the environment.

The Mayor of Elizabeth Takes Strides To Help Ease Air Pollution

As the citizens of Elizabeth continued to be negatively affected by such pollution, a new mayor, Christian J. Bollwage was elected and brought with him “Go-Green” initiatives for the community.18 Through this “Go-Green” initiative, schools were able to be more involved in conservation of natural resources.19 He also strived to implement a “Healthy Elizabeth” initiative, which would help promote long-term healthy living.20 Mayor Bollwage has been re-elected multiple times since first being elected in 1992, and he has continued to make strides to helping Elizabeth become healthy. One of the first steps Mayor Bollwage took to help Elizabeth was the Brownfields Pilot Program.

Figure 4: Map of Elizabethport and Surrounding Revitalized Brownfield Projects

The Brownfields Pilot Program was the first major change that Mayor Bollwage made. This program helps to redevelop properties, or brownfields, that are not in use in cities and may be contaminated by toxins left by whatever industrial site used to be located there.21 The Mayor stated that “redeveloping brownfields cleans up properties, creates jobs, and recycles land back into productive use while preserving farms and greenfields.”22 As Mayor Bollwage continues to redevelop places such as the area by Kapkowski Road, more commercial industries are opening, and less industrial plants are being made. The Mills at Jersey Gardens and Ikea are just a few of the businesses that have opened as part of these plans.23 This continues to help Elizabeth grow and prosper by not just allowing these areas to continue being desolate.

As a way to continue this growth, Mayor Bollwage also decided to commit Elizabeth to “Mayors for 100% Clean Energy”, which has allowed Elizabeth to change transportation vehicles and other equipment to run on renewable energy.24 According to the Sierra Club, “transitioning to 100% clean and renewable energy — like energy efficiency, wind, solar and electrified transportation — will protect our kids and families from pollution, create new jobs and local economic opportunities, and ensure that all people have access to affordable energy solutions”.25 The Sierra Club is a grassroots environmental organization that has amplified power to help those around the world. The mayor has been taking the steps needed to reduce air pollution by allowing the city of Elizabeth to fully commit to this initiative with the Sierra Club. “We have to start planning this,” Sam Ruda, port director at the authority, said of the initiative to pursue electric equipment.”26 Support for changing the equipment to electric, renewable energy has made itself known in the ports. This is why they are one of the first things being dealt with in Ports all over New Jersey, but especially Elizabeth. “Right now, the yard tractors will have the biggest direct impact on the port in terms of the environment” in the local area, Heimgartner said. “Because they’ll spend their whole life within the port, whereas the other trucks will be on the highway.”27 This was a strong step in the right direction for Elizabeth as it tries to help stop more emissions from being introduced into the environment. The challenges this city faced were not entirely unknown to the State of New Jersey as well.

The state of New Jersey has joined the movement for the “Cool Cities” initiative which plants trees in cities to combat heat and other issues, but most importantly it also combats air pollution. In Figure 5 below, it is plain to see how the city of Elizabeth is scarce when it comes to trees. In order to fight air pollution, trees are a large natural fighter. The oxygen that is given off from the trees is a natural remedy to combating the toxins, such as carbon, that are released from the Port. Therefore, the city decided to plant 1500 trees in Elizabeth.28 There were nine trees planted in the Elizabethport Neighborhood around 2nd and 3rd street.29 The rest of the 1500 trees that were planted as a part of this initiative were placed in the Peterstown Neighborhood of Elizabeth.

Figure 5: Tree Canopy Map for Union County

Finally, on the Elizabeth, New Jersey website, there is a list of the things Elizabeth is continuing to do to help the environment and the people through the Environmental Health Program. The Environmental Health Program is under the Division of Health in the Department of Health and Human Services. At the present time it’s staffed with one full-time Air Pollution Inspector, one full-time Public Health Investigator who is a New Jersey Licensed Registered Environmental Health Specialist, a part time Registered Environmental Health Specialist, and three full-time Registered Environmental Health Specialists.30 These are all great additions to the program, and they are definitely headed in the right direction. However, the city of Elizabeth needs to get more involved with getting policy changes so that this air pollution will not come into the air rather than trying to take it out of the air. Even today looking at the status of the air by the Elizabeth port and Elizabeth Port Neighborhood, it is clear to see that more needs to continue being done by both local but also state and federal laws.

All of these steps to help the community have furthered its development into a more commercial than industrial area. Bob Lenahan, a city attorney for Elizabeth, stated in his oral interview that these were the plans coming for the future of Elizabeth.31 He continued to state that the Elizabethport Neighborhood is much better than it was before Mayor Bollwage was elected. He stated, “over the past few years, the city has encouraged residential development, and commercial development”.32 (For the full interview of Bob Lenahan, please click the link below). Seeing the new stores, the tree planting, and new energy plans, Elizabeth has slowly moved closer to this ideal of a commercial city. The one thing that still keeps it from fully obtaining that title, is the Port of Elizabeth. (Click on the link below to listen to the full 3 minute interview).

This is the interview of Bob Lenahan who is my Uncle. He has lived in Elizabeth his entire life and gives many accounts of different things that have gone on through the years. It is important to note that he has never lived in the ElizabethPort Neighborhood, but can give detailed accounts of the other neighborhoods in Elizabeth and how they are affected.

Pollution in Elizabeth, NJ is Still Amongst the Worst in the State

The photo below is of the sites that I have chosen for this essay, the Elizabeth Port and the Elizabeth Port Neighborhood in New Jersey. The highlighted area is the specific area I have chosen and mapped out on a website by the EPA. This website is called ‘EJSCREEN’ and anyone with a computer can use it. By picking a certain area, you can receive both environmental and demographic data from it. The following information is based on this site and compares and contrasts this region to the state and country statistics on average. Things that will be compared and contrasted are the environmental effects from things such as diesel and lead, and the demographic of the regional population affected by these things. This particular location is affected by these things because of the Port’s industry with ships and trucks coming and going through it. With the help of the EPA, information about just how much unseen pollution is getting into the environment was identified. When using the web-site, there is an option to choose a buffer that will give you a certain mileage past a point that you have chosen. I decided to keep a 0-mile buffer and instead I outlined the exact area of Elizabeth that I wanted to cover.

Figure 6: Highlighted Map of the Port of Elizabeth and the Elizabethport Neighborhood

 In the data provided in Figure 2 and 3 above, I am going to be covering traffic proximity, NATA Diesel Particulate Matter (PM), air pollution, as well as the cancer risk. These are all the environmental indexes that will be compared and contrasted. To begin, the highest pollution comes from traffic proximity and Diesel. Each of these are above the 75% pollution percentile; and it is no surprise as the Port is home to many ship terminals and large trucks. All of these emit diesel exhaust into the air and cause increases in air pollution and cancer risks. Although you cannot see air pollution, you can see the ratings that are given by the EPA that show just how much there is. The first large attributor to air pollution is traffic proximity; we are at the 93rd percentile meaning that we have some of the highest pollution in regards to our massive amounts of traffic. These two percentiles are higher than the state and national averages meaning that the city of Elizabeth is one of the worst areas in regards to this kind of pollution. The NATA Diesel PM is at the 92nd percentile which is 6% lower than the state and country average. This is not a great percentile as it shows that we have more diesel emissions than surrounding areas in the state and country as well. The cancer risk is at the 90th percentile creating a 4th%ile difference from the state and 1st%ile from the country. People in Elizabeth are therefore at a high risk compared to many other cities for getting cancer. This is more than likely due to the large amounts of air pollution that these residents are exposed to.

This data shows that the city of Elizabeth is still not at its best. The initiatives the city is taking to combat this pollution must not be enough as these statistics were taken in the year 2020, and these initiatives were started three or more years ago. It is not to say that the city of Elizabeth had done nothing at all, it means that more needs to be done. For example, activist groups in Elizabeth have now started the fight locally.

Conclusion: Air Pollution in Elizabeth Still Needs to Be Addressed

            Groundwork Elizabeth is an activist group that is working to make the city of Elizabeth ‘climate safe’.33 They are taking actions to help Elizabeth lower its heat and stop rain water flooding.34 In doing so, they plan to install green infrastructure, such as rain gardens and permeable surfaces.35 These surfaces will not only help the heat and water problems, but it will also help the air pollution problem. These activists are working closely with the residents who live in the Elizabethport Neighborhood, and other neighborhoods of Elizabeth that are being affected by similar issues. More activist groups such as Groundwork Elizabeth are needed to help the port and Elizabethport Neighborhood lower their pollution enough that those who live there are no longer affected. Having the support of the Mayor and groups willing to participate and build for a better future will only help the residents of Elizabeth and the environment as well. Elizabeth fought many battles over the years to continue to grow, but one of the most important battles that we need to continue fighting is the one we cannot see, air pollution.

Keyword Tags: Pollution, Minorities, Air, Toxics, Business, Shipping, Relief


1.  CHEMICAL CONTROL ELIZABETH, NJ.” EPA. EPA. Accessed April 25, 2020.  

2.  Cleaner Air in Port Cities”. Environmental Defense Fund. Accessed April 25, 2020.

3.  James S. Cannon. U.S. Container Ports and Air Pollution: A Perfect Storm. Pg. 46. Energy Futures, INC. 2008

4. Our Port – History Information: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.” Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Accessed April 25, 2020.

5. Our Port – History Information: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.” Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Accessed April 25, 2020.

6. Cleaner Air in Port Cities”. Environmental Defense Fund. Accessed April 25, 2020.

7. Jason, Thongplang. “Air Pollution from Ships or Ports Harbouring a Problem?” Aeroqual, March 17, 2020.  

8. Victoria, Heckstal. “Here’s How Much Pollution Shipping Containers and Freight Trucks Cause.” Medium. Medium, April 22, 2018.

9. “Estimated Air Quality Impacts on Surrounding Communities of PM2.5 and SO2 Emissions Resulting From Maritime Operations at Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal and Port Newark”. State of New Jersey Department of  Environmental Protection. October 9, 2009

10.  Report of a Task Group. “Air Pollution and Cancer: Risk Assessment Methodology and Epidemiological Evidence.” Environmental Health Perspectives 22 (1978): 1-12. Accessed May 8, 2020.

11. Jason, Thongplang. “Air Pollution from Ships or Ports Harbouring a Problem?” Aeroqual, March 17, 2020.

12.  Victoria, Heckstal. “Here’s How Much Pollution Shipping Containers and Freight Trucks Cause.” Medium. Medium, April 22, 2018.

13. Report of a Task Group. “Air Pollution and Cancer: Risk Assessment Methodology and Epidemiological Evidence.” Pg. 2. Environmental Health Perspectives 22 (1978): 1-12. Accessed May 8, 2020.

14. “Estimated Air Quality Impacts on Surrounding Communities of PM2.5 and SO2 Emissions Resulting From Maritime Operations at Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal and Port Newark .” Pg. 3. Division of Air Quality, October 9, 2009.

15. Dasom Kim, Zi Chen, Lin-Fu Zhou, and Shou-Xiong Huanga. Air pollutants and early origins of respiratory diseases. Chronic Dis Transl Med. Vol. 4,2 75-94. June 7, 2018.

16. Hope Moran (Elizabeth, New Jersey resident) in discussion with the author. April 11, 2020.

17. Hope Moran (Elizabeth, New Jersey resident) in discussion with the author. April 11, 2020.

18. Mayor J. Christian Bollwage” n.d.

19. “WHAT IS THE GGI?” Go Green Initiative. Accessed on May 3, 2020

20. “Collaborating for long-term healthy living in Elizabeth.” New Jersey Health Initiatives. 2015

21. “Elizabeth Mayor Bollwage to Testify on Brownfields Redevelopment as a Means of Economic Development, Job Creation.” United States Conference of Mayors, March 27, 2017.

22.  Sara Durr. “Elizabeth, NJ Mayor Chris Bollwage Applauds Passage Of Bipartisan Brownfield Redevelopment Bill.” The United States Conference of Mayors, July 27, 2017.

23.  “Our Mayor.” City of Elizabeth, NJ. Accessed April 22, 2020.  

24. “Elizabeth Commits to 100% Renewable Energy.” Insider NJ. Accessed April 22, 2020.  

25. “Mayors For 100% Clean Energy.” Sierra Club, December 2, 2019.

26.  Hugh R. Morley. “NY-NJ Pushes Electric Equipment to Curb Pollution.” August 30, 2019.  

27. Hugh R. Morley. “NY-NJ Pushes Electric Equipment to Curb Pollution.” August 30, 2019.  

28. “State Plants 1500 Trees in City of Elizabeth. DEP & BPU Continue to Green New Jersey through Cool Cities Initiative”. State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. September 23, 2004.

29.  “State Plants 1500 Trees in City of Elizabeth. DEP & BPU Continue to Green New Jersey through Cool Cities Initiative”. State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. September 23, 2004.

30. Environment Health Program.” City of Elizabeth, NJ. Accessed April 29, 2020.

31.  Bob Lenahan (Elizabeth, New Jersey resident) in discussion with the author. April 11, 2020.

32.  Bob Lenahan (Elizabeth, New Jersey resident) in discussion with the author. April 11, 2020.

33. “Climate Safe Neighborhoods”. Groundwork Elizabeth. Accessed on May 4, 2020.

34. “Climate Safe Neighborhoods: What is Groundwork Elizabeth Doing to Help Organize Residents for Change?”. Groundwork Elizabeth. Accessed on May 4, 2020.

35. “Climate Safe Neighborhoods: What is Groundwork Elizabeth Doing to Help Organize Residents for Change?”. Groundwork Elizabeth. Accessed on May 4, 2020.