New Jersey environmental officials have mandated regular reviews for safety upgrades at the 89 most dangerous chemical plants, oil refineries, water treatment plants and industrial facilities in the state, The Associated Press reports.
Industry groups say the new mandates simply formalize reviews that already take place, and others say the rules will reduce the chance of a chemical catastrophe by cutting down the amount of hazardous substances in the state. Environmentalists, however, are questioning whether New Jersey environmental officials can actually enact the stronger regulations.
California’s Contra Costa County, which passed similar regulations almost a decade ago, has seen its refineries and chemical plants reduce the volume of chemical tanks, piping and trucks in the county, cutting the odds of a chemical disaster.
New Jersey was one of 18 states suing the EPA in an attempt to force it to comply with a Supreme Court ruling in April that found the EPA has authority to regulate vehicle emissions.
For more on the rules, visit the NJ DEP website.