N.J. at risk of chemical disaster, coalition warns

A coalition of labor, environmental, and community organizations claims New Jersey is still at risk from toxic chemical disasters.

Many of the facilities that use hazardous chemicals aren’t doing enough to comply with rules the state adopted five years ago to protect the public from potential toxic releases resulting from an accident or a deliberate attack, according to Debra McFadden, assistant director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council.

“We need to take a serious look at feasible safe alternatives and not rely on the Band-Aid fixes of adding more guards, guns, and gates on the plant perimeter,” she said.

A Department of Environmental Protection representative said all of the companies covered by the Toxic Catastrophic Prevention Act are in compliance, and a significant number of them have identified alternative chemicals and safer production processes.

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