N.J. environmental group says many municipalities won’t allow review of emergency plans

An alliance of labor, community, and environmental organizations says the public is being denied access to up-to-date emergency response plans in some New Jersey communities. 

The New Jersey Work Environment Council says 68 percent of counties and towns where the most potentially hazardous chemical and oil facilities are located denied the group’s request to review local emergency response plans.

Trisha Sheehan is with Moms Clean Air Force, an advocacy organization that focuses on how air pollution affects kids. She says it’s critical to know about potential dangers in a community and how to respond to an accident.

“Communities can improve emergency response plans by suggesting improvements but only if we know what is in them. In New Jersey many schools are within one mile of a high-risk chemical facility potentially putting thousands of students in danger of a catastrophic chemical disaster.”

The group wants Gov. Christie to order the State Emergency Response Commission to ensure the public has access to those local emergency plans and post them on the Internet.

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