The threat of a catastrophic chemical release remains a major vulnerability for New Jersey. Every year, chemical releases, fires, and explosions claim lives and threaten residents’ health across the nation. New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the country, nestled between New York City and Philadelphia, and has one of the highest ratios of toxic facilities per square mile in the nation.
Fortunately, no injuries or fatalities have been reported from the chlorine fire at the Alden Leeds facility in South Kearny. Alden leads manufactures pool chemicals including chlorine tablets. The Pulaski Skyway was shut down in both directions and residents as far away as Staten Island were alerted to stay inside.
The core of WEC’s work is to advocate for stronger state and national chemical security policies such as switching to safer alternatives and implementing inherently safer technologies as a way to eliminate or reduce the hazard from toxic chemicals.