TRENTON, N.J. - Acting Governor Richard J. Codey announced that New Jersey is the first state in the nation to require enforceable plant-security practices for its 140 chemical facilities to provide the public and workers greater protection from potential terrorist acts.

"Certain New Jersey industries are more vulnerable to domestic threats," said Codey. "We must explore any measure - including the possibility of using inherently safer technology - to better protect us from uncertainty. We will work with New Jersey businesses to ensure that this initiative improves security and emergency-response plans at each chemical facility."

The new requirements continue facility-by-facility security assessments to evaluate potential security threats and vulnerabilities and likely consequences of a chemical release. Of the 140 facilities that must comply with the standards, 43 are subject to the state's Toxic Catastrophe Prevention Act (TCPA) program. As part of the new requirements, these 43 facilities must review the potential for adopting inherently safer technology as part of their assessment.

The 43 chemical facilities in the TCPA program must analyze and report the feasibility of reducing the amount of material that potentially may be released, substituting less hazardous materials, using materials in the least hazardous process conditions or form, and designing equipment and processes to minimize the potential for equipment failure and human error.

Best practices included provisions for the facilities to prepare an emergency-incident prevention, preparedness and response plan and outline the status of implementing other security practices. The state standards also now require worker participation in the development of the security assessments, and prevention and response plans at each facility.