Common substances often associated with chemical processing or manufacturing business activities may pose a hazard to human health and the environment. The New Jersey Worker and Community Right to Know Act and the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986 require public and private employers to provide information about environmental hazardous substances (EHS) that are produced, stored, or used at their workplaces.
COMMUNITY RIGHT TO KNOW SURVEY
State and federal laws require New Jersey employers to submit a Community Right to Know (CRTK) Survey to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) agency by March 1st every year. The information provided on the CRTK survey is available to the public and to emergency responders such as police and fire departments. The CRTK survey is used to:
• Inform public employees about chemical hazards at their workplace so they can work safely with these hazardous substances;
• Help firefighters, police, and other emergency responders adequately plan for and respond to incidents such as fires, explosions or spills;
• Provide data for monitoring and tracking hazardous substances in the workplace and the environment.
Inventory reporting is based on the substances identified on the EHS list and the reporting threshold per substance. Any EHS produced, stored, or used at a facility above the reporting threshold has to be reported in the CRTK survey. A full list of CRTK environmental hazardous substances and reporting thresholds can be found at http://www.nj.gov/dep/enforcement/opppc/crtk/ehsalpha.pdf.
WHO MUST COMPLETE THE CRTK SURVEY
New Jersey employers who are engaged in business activities identified by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes assigned to them by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DLWD) are required to submit a CRTK survey for each of their facility locations. The complete list of NAICS codes can be found at http://siccode.com/en/naicscode/list/directory.
New Jersey employers who are subject to the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) are required to submit a CRTK survey when all of the following criteria are met:
• The facility is required to maintain Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS’s) for hazardous substances in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) Hazard Communication Standard; and
• Quantities of these substances at the facility were at or above 10,000 pounds at any one time during the reporting year.
If the facility falls under one of the following exempt categories, the employer can submit a CRTK reporting exemption form to NJDEP.
• Exempt Subcategories
• Certain subcategories under a particular NAICS code may be exempt from CRTK reporting requirements. The list of NAICS codes with exemptions and limitations can be found at http://www.nj.gov/dep/enforcement/opppc/rtknaics.pdf.
• Non-Users and Users Below Threshold
• Facilities that do not have any EHS’s or those where all EHS’s are below reporting thresholds may be exempt from CRTK reporting.
• Unstaffed Sites
• Administrative Office Only
• No Facility in New Jersey
Additional information about the New Jersey CRTK program and provisions can be found in the NJDEP Community Right To Know Guidance Document provided here: http://www.nj.gov/dep/enforcement/opppc/crtk/crtkguidance.pdf