We are proud to share the impact of WEC’s work in 2020. We did this work together with our members which includes, labor, community organizations, environmental organizations, and individuals. Faced with a public health crisis, WEC went to work to educate and advocate for COVID protections for workers and our communities. The COVID crisis made it clear that worker health is public health. Even amid a pandemic, together with you, we made significant progress in our other areas of work from labor friendly climate policy to public need and healthy schools.
Center for American Progress and the New Jersey Work Environment Council co-released a report highlighting the jobs potential of clean energy. According to the findings, approximately 75,000 jobs could be created by the construction of offshore wind farms. Read Full Report Press Release Center for American Progress
Access Denied documents how Governor Chris Christie continues to fail in carrying out his legal responsibility under federal law for ensuring that the public has access to an up-to-date Emergency Response Plan (ERP) in each of New Jersey’s counties and municipalities in the event of a chemical plant fire, explosion, or other toxic emergency. The Governor's State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) is supposed to ensure public access to these plans. However, despite acknowledgment of the violation, they have not done so. Read Full Report Press Release Respect Our Right to Know
Greenpeace and the New Jersey Work Environment Council co-released a report on the safety and environmental performance of chlorine bleach plants across the United States. According to the findings, nearly 9 million people in New Jersey could be impacted by a potential disaster. Read Full Report Press Release
This report offers a unique inside look at the working conditions faced by recycling workers across the United States, as well as a series of specific policy recommendations that municipal decision makers should follow to improve industry accountability and health and safety outcomes. It also includes practical recommendations for public education programs that can prevent dangerous materials from entering the recycling stream; workers are regularly exposed to used needles, dead animal carcasses, and hazardous chemicals. Recycling workers are more than twice as likely to be injured at work as the average worker. Our analysis is based on occupational health studies, OSHA reports about health and safety violations, articles from news media and industry trade publications, interviews with recycling workers, and first-hand observation of recycling work. The findings underscore the need for urgent action to improve health and safety conditions for recycling workers. Improving the recycling sector overall is not only possible – it’s imperative for averting today’s ecological crises, and protecting the health and well-being of this important group of climate workers who protect us all. Read Full Report The report was produced by: GAIA Partnership for Working Families MassCOSH National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. [...]
Danger in the Dark: How Gov. Christie Helps Oil, Chemical, and Railroad Companies Cover Up Potential Catastrophes
This report documents how the Christie administration has failed to meet his legal responsibility under federal law and used security concerns as an excuse to refuse public access to information that would allow the community to plan and prepare for a chemical disaster from a fixed facility or hazard by rail. This report was developed by a New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC) team, which included staff members Debra Coyle McFadden and Rick Engler, consultants Matt Witt, Paul Orum, and David Dembo, our General Counsel David Tykulsker, and College of New Jersey interns Philip Simonelli and Joe Sgroi. Cover design by Judith Rew. Read Full Report
Failure to Act documents how New Jersey jobs and communities are still at risk from toxic chemical disaster – five years after the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) under former Governor Jon Corzine adopted rules to implement the NJ Toxic Catastrophe Prevention Act that were supposed to drastically reduce that risk. These are the conclusions of the NJ Work Environment Council (WEC) following review of 42 publicly available reports submitted to DEP under the regulations. WEC is a nonpartisan advocate for worker and public health and safety and, along with its member organizations, was a leading proponent of the Toxic Catastrophe Prevention Act and the rules issued by DEP to implement the law. This report was written by Denise Patel, former Project Coordinator, New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC) and Debra McFadden, WEC Assistant Director. Additional research and data analysis was conducted by Paul Orum and Suzanne Marine. Cover design by Judith Rew. Read Full Report Sponsors of this WEC report are 15 organizations representing chemical facility and oil refinery workers, firefighters and other first responders, emergency room nurses, government environmental protection staff, educators, community members, faith leaders, environmental justice advocates, and environmental leaders: United Steelworkers [...]