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