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Thursday, October 10, 2013

NJ Work Environment Council Says State at Risk from Chemical Disasters

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New Jersey Work Environmental Council representatives say millions in the state are still at risk from major toxic chemical disasters.

At a Statehouse press conference today, the New Jersey Work Environment Council released a new 43-page report, entitled “Failure to Act,” which says thousands of New Jersey jobs and millions of residents are still at risk from toxic chemical disasters.

These findings come five years after the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection adopted rules to implement the NJ Toxic Catastrophe Prevention Act that were supposed to reduce that risk.
Photo by Dari Kotzker.
The author of the report found that 99 facilities still use large quantities of highly hazardous chemicals that can pose a potential catastrophic safety and health risk for millions of people. Many facilities failed to consider solutions for using safer chemicals and processes which already exist and are successful, and a lack of enforcement from the Christie administration.

Some recommendations include stopping facility management from declaring safer technology reviews as secret, require facility management to better document their claims that adopting safer chemicals and technologies are not feasible, and to withdraw the DEP “waiver rule” that allows the agency to not enforce the IST provisions of the Toxic Catastrophe Prevention Act.

Other speakers spoke of the potentially dangerous risks workers, first responders, nurses and...
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