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Community Right to Know

Organization(s) New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection
Project Description In New Jersey, there is a requirement that all regulations must be readopted every five years. The NJ DEP's Community Right to Know (CRTK) regulation was recently readopted. The CRTK rules require employers having business activities with certain specified North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes to annually report their inventories of environmental hazardous substances that meet or exceed established thresholds to the following entities: the Department; appropriate local police and fire departments; the Right-to-Know county lead agency (usually the county health department); and the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) for their municipality. Approximately 35,000 facilities are covered under the program and are required to use the Community Right to Know Survey to report, by March 1st of each year, their chemical inventories for the period covering January to December of the previous year. The CRTK rules also establish requirements for chemical throughput, multi-media environmental releases, on-site waste management, off-site transfers, and pollution prevention reporting via the NJ DEP's Release and Pollution Prevention Report (RPPR). The RPPR is similar to the Federal Form R, but goes beyond by requiring chemical throughput materials accounting data.

The major changes enacted with this re-adoption include exempting un-staffed sites (i.e., cell telephone towers, telecommunications relay boxes, switching boxes, and telephone poles) and users below thresholds and non-users from annual CRTK reporting requirements, providing a facility provides a one-time notification to NJ DEP verifying its status. Should its status change, a facility is required to notify NJ DEP. Administration for these type sources is resource intensive with very little environmental gain. Another change involves designating violations as minor or non-minor pursuant to the Fast Track Compliance Law. Violations designated as minor automatically receive a 30-day grace period for achieving compliance.

CRTK now requires materials accounting for inputs and outputs, reported on the NJ DEP's RPPR, to be balanced within five percent. DEP believes this requirement will greatly improve their data collection/quality. The RPPR is the NJ DEP's TRI-equivalent reporting mechanism. Electronic reporting of the RPPR is now mandatory, except if a facility is making a confidentiality or hardship claim. The Agency had also proposed adopting a CRTK reporting threshold of "any amount greater than zero" for persistent, bioaccumalative, toxic (PBT) substances and eliminating the CRTK reporting exemption for de-minimus quanties of PBTs in mixtures. However, due to the overwhelming negative comments received from the regulated community, they withdrew these last two requirements and instead will investigate appropriate thresholds for a future proposal.

In June 2006 the NJ DEP intends to publish the Annual Report for Survey Year 2004. This report will summarize the 2004 hazardous substance inventory data and the facility chemical throughput, environmental release, on-site waste management, and off-site transfer data reported by New Jersey companies. This represents a landmark 20th year of collecting hazardous substance inventory data in New Jersey!

The purpose of this report is to provide public information on the storage, use, generation, and waste management, including releases of hazardous substances in New Jersey. Data evaluated in the report were submitted by employers that are regulated under the New Jersey Worker and Community Right to Know Act and subsequent regulations. The information is a summary of the data collected by the Department on the Community Right to Know (CRTK) Survey and the Release and Pollution Prevention Report (RPPR) in March and July of 2005, respectively, for calendar year 2004.

This report reviews total statewide data for hazardous substances and evaluates information on specific chemicals, facilities, industry codes, and counties as well. Included are data summaries and detailed evaluations for calendar year 2004. This single-year assessment provides the most current data available on the use, generation, and release of hazardous substances in New Jersey. The data release includes over 100 tables and charts on the various ways facilities stored, used, and managed their hazardous substances. The information presented in this report may be used as a tool by the NJ DEP to identify areas of the state where industry density, as well as chemical storage by industry, was the heaviest, and where NJ DEP resources could be best utilized.

More Info www.nj.gov/dep/opppc
Project Contact
Name Andy Opperman
Phone 609-777-0518
Project Keywords
Activity Keywords Policy/Legislative
Newsletter Northeast Assistance & Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 16 No. 1, Spring 2006 [PDF]


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Last Modified 09/08/2009

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