Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New chemical plant rules criticized in NJ

New chemical plant safety rules in the process of being adopted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) are already under fire from an environmental organization that is drawing attention to the chemical industry's praise for the new regulations.

In a press release, Bill Wolfe, state director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) says:

“ 'Inherently safer technologies’ was supposed to be the most effective solution for managing the safety, security, and health risk associated with chemical plants, but what New Jersey produced is only a faint echo of what should have been enacted. This is like the IRS requiring people to fill out tax forms but making actual payment of taxes voluntary.”

Wolfe, a former NJDEP employee and now a critic of the agency, notes that the new rules were: "warmly praised by the chemical industry and condemned by unions representing plant workers in formal comments."

Click here for PEER's entire news release

Click here for a copy of the new rules and the NJDEP's response to public comments submitted during the rule review process.

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