Contact Us

Fighting to Prevent NJ Chemical Disasters [AUDIO]

A coalition of community, environment and labor groups is banding together and calling on federal officials to do more to ensure safety at chemical plants across New Jersey and the nation.

David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ

The Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters traveled to Newark on Thursday to testify during a government-sponsored listening session.

“Chemical facilities and chemical accidents are threatening the public today,” said Coalition coordinator Jen Kim, who is also director of the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group. “We can’t wait for another disaster to take action.”

She said a string of deadly chemical accidents, in New Jersey and across the country, has put the public on high alert.

“New maps created by the Center for Effective Government show in New Jersey there are 68 schools within just one mile of a dangerous chemical facility,” Kim said. “If there were a spill or accident at these facilities, there would be 34,641 students potentially put in danger.”

Trisha Sheehan and her family live in Woodbury. That’s right next to Paulsboro, where a train derailment 15 months ago released more than 23,000 gallons of vinyl chloride into the air. So Sheehan knows all about the dangers of chemical accidents.

When the derailment took place, the so-called experts assured her there wasn’t a problem and that everyone was safe.

“However, my family was very sick,” Sheehan said. “We were vomiting, our eyes were watering and it felt like there was a band around our head, the pain was so severe.”

She later found out the equipment being used to test the air in her neighborhood was faulty.

Cancer is big on my mind, and whether or not we will end up with the rare form of liver cancer that vinyl chloride causes,” Sheehan said. “I shouldn’t have to worry about my 3-year-old getting cancer from a chemical that was released nearby that he breathed in, in his own home.”

To read NJPIRG’s news release on Thursday’s event, click here.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Best of WOBM

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for WOBM Listener Club quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive WOBM Listener Club contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.