N.J. legislator expresses concern about chlorine shipments
A New Jersey Assemblyman is raising concerns about the safety of chlorine tanker truck shipments, and seeking more information from the State Police and other agencies.
John J. Burzichelli, D-3rd District, in a letter to the New Jersey Attorney General, the head of the state’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, and the superintendent of the State Police, points to reports that federal authorities are warning U.S. chemical plants and bomb squads to increase their guard against potential chlorine tanker truck bombs.
“The federal warnings appear to be extremely warranted. At least five chlorine truck bombs have been successfully detonated in Iraq since the beginning of the year, killing and injuring hundreds of people,” Burzichelli said in the letter.
“The Chlorine Institute, a national chemical trade group representing over 200 chlorine manufacturers and distributors, has alerted the FBI to several thefts and attempted thefts of chlorine truck tanks in California,” he said. “With our 11 chemical plants, numerous refineries, and the FBI-described ‘most dangerous two-mile stretch in America’ surrounding the ports of Newark and Elizabeth, N.J., is a potential target for this new type of attack.
“To determine our risk of a weaponized chlorine truck attack, I would like to know if New Jersey has suffered any thefts or attempted thefts of chlorine tanker trucks during the past six years” he said in the letter.
He asked for assessments about whether chlorine truck bombs are a threat to New Jersey, and what steps might be needed to safeguard against such an attack.