Date of Award

Spring 2001

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Policy Studies - (M.S.)

Department

Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Peter B. Lederman

Second Advisor

Nancy L. Jackson

Third Advisor

Daniel Watts

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to determine if the amount of toxic chemicals a facility stores on-site is a valid indicator for determining a facility's risk potential and need to communicate risk information to the public. This study analyzes New Jersey chemical facilities regulated under the CAA's Risk Management Plan (section 112(r)) and their toxic chemical releases and other risk factors to determine if there is a relationship between the amount of toxic chemicals stored on-site and the potential risk from a toxic release. The analysis of data suggests that no relationship exists; therefore, one could assume that all local communities are at risk and could benefit from risk communications programs. A limited number of interviews were conducted with owner/operators of facilities not required to communicate risk information. The interviews suggest that these owner/operators do not communicate risk voluntarily. One of the main reasons is because they do not identify their facilities' as posing a risk to the surrounding communities.

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