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New Jersey's Worker and Community Right-to-Know Act requires employers to report information about toxic substances used, stored, or released from facilities in the state. This information is made available to the public and is directly transmitted to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), local emergency response personnel, and county health departments. The collection of this information enables the DEP to develop a comprehensive database of toxic substance use in the state.
The DEP has developed two surveys to gather information from employers covered by the act. The Emergency Services Information Survey, which gathers information about materials that pose potential safety hazards, requires the reporting of materials on the United States Department of Transportation's Hazardous Materials Table. The Environmental Survey, Part I requires employers to report information about a DEP-compiled list of 154 substances that have the potential to cause chronic health effects or to cause damage to the environment. After a scientific review of data provided on the Environmental Survey, Part I, the DEP will require selected employers to report additional, detailed information about emissions and discharges of hazardous substances.
The centralized database that is developed from information reported in these surveys will enable the DEP to improve public health protection and to guide new efforts in environmental monitoring and regulation.
right to know, emergency response, hazard communication
Assistant director, Office of Science and Research, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Trenton, NJ
Right-to-Know coordinatory, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Trenton, NJ
Program manager, Industrial Investigations/Right-to-Know Unit, Office of Science and Research, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Trenton, NJ