Live Near One of These 2,500 Chemical Sites? Watch Out for Flooding!
Do you live near any of these chemical plants?
These plants are a holdover from the past when a close proximity to water was needed for transportation and cooling. Unfortunately, this close proximity to water also makes them very susceptible to flooding near chemical sites.
The chemical sites on this map represent a wide range of manufacturers and cover everything from plastics plants to fertilizer manufacturers. The thing they all have in common is the fact that they have chemicals on site that are hazardous to humans and livestock.
“Waterfronts are changing as a result of sea level rise,” said Jeanne Herb, an environmental policy expert at Rutgers University who has researched hazards posed by climate-related flooding to industries in New Jersey. “More often than not, these are facilities are on the water for a reason,” she said. “So how do we make sure that there are protections in place? That’s the big question.”
Federal law does not explicitly require sites in floodplains that handle toxic chemicals to take extra precautions against flooding. Nor do most states or local governments have such requirements.
If you live near a plant it would benefit you to do a little research to find out what types of chemicals you could be exposed to. It may not be as easy as googling the name of the plant, but with some persistence, you should be able to figure out what types of chemicals are used in the manufacturing process.
The Toxic Release Inventory maintains a library of toxic chemicals that could be helpful in your research. The Emergency Response Guidebook can tell you more about specific chemicals once you figure out what types of chemicals you’re dealing with.
Do you have any stories about a chemical plant in your area? Please share them in the comments below!
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