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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2004

Contact: Fred Mumford
(609) 984-1795

REPORT ON INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITY FURTHERS PUBLIC'S RIGHT TO KNOW
Pollution Prevention Data Guides DEP Action to Reduce Public Health Risks

(04/65) TRENTON - New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today released a report detailing the industrial use and discharge of hazardous substances in New Jersey from 1994 to 2001.

"Today's report will focus DEP's efforts to stop potential health and environmental threats," said Commissioner Campbell. "We are also examining the data to determine if there are areas where hazardous substance discharges may result from permit violations or unlawful activities."

Under direction from Governor McGreevey and Commissioner Campbell, the DEP is developing targeted initiatives based on hazardous substance release data, trying to reduce releases of hazardous substances and to protect public health.

For example, in 2003, DEP used toxic substance release data to help direct its refinery enforcement initiative, leading to a settlement with the Coastal Eagle Point Oil Refinery. The settlement will result in significant reductions in volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from the facility. Similarly, in June 2002, the DEP used hazardous substance release information to determine that a Newark facility was the state's largest emitter of hydrazine, a carcinogenic air pollutant. The state initiated enforcement action over the unpermitted releases and the company chose to cease operations at the facility that same year.

New Jersey is one of only two states that requires industries to prepare "facility-level materials accounting data," which provides a complete view of hazardous substances used in manufacturing operations. This unique information provides insight into pollution prevention progress and potential public health exposures not seen in other, less comprehensive data reporting.

"The release of today's report provides the public with another tool in its right to know about chemicals used and released in New Jersey and is an example of Governor McGreevey's strong commitment to open public information and pollution prevention," added Campbell.

Statewide, the report found that facilities decreased their total waste generation by 26 percent from 1994 to 2001, even as production levels increased by 10 percent. The amount of this waste released into the environment also decreased - by 58 percent, from 13.7 million pounds annually to 5.7 million pounds. By comparison, total releases of waste nationwide only decreased by 40 percent over the same period.

New Jersey's facilities have also made progress in reducing on-site releases of carcinogens, with emissions decreasing by 68 percent from 1994 to 2001, the equivalent of 1.6 million fewer pounds emitted annually. In 2001, carcinogens accounted for 15 percent of statewide releases of waste - 828,080 pounds out of a total 5.7 million pounds. Air emissions in 2001 accounted for more than 90 percent of these releases of carcinogens.

At the same time, however, facilities have made less progress in reducing the use, as opposed to the discharge, of hazardous substances. Hazardous substance use in industrial production climbed by eight percent from 1994 to 2001 - from 13.8 to 14.9 billion pounds of hazardous substances used annually.

The increase in use of hazardous substances is largely explained through a 15-percent increase in hazardous substances shipped as products. Petroleum refineries and metal fabrication accounted for a large portion of the hazardous substances shipped as products.

Today's report demonstrates that the state is continuing to make progress in its effort to reduce public exposure to hazardous substances. The state's previous trend analysis had found that facilities decreased waste generation by approximately 50 percent over the years from 1987 to 1994.

The report includes data submitted by facilities under the state's Worker and Community Right to Know Act and the Pollution Prevention Act.

A copy of the report is available upon request and on the DEP's Web site at www.state.nj.us/dep.

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