Congress of the United States
Washington DC 20515

Air Toxic Report
New York-New Jersey-Connecticut Metro Area

Sen. Frank Lautenberg
Rep. James J. Florio

April 20, 1989


This report provides detailed information on the amount of toxic air pollutants routinely emitted into the air by manufacturers in northern New Jersey and in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut Metropolitan Area. The information in this report provides the most comprehensive assessment ever of the magnitude of the air toxics problem in the New York metropolitan area.

This data was collected as part of the requirements of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986. This law, authored by Representative James J. Florio and Senator Frank Lautenberg, requires manufacturers from across the country to provide detailed reports estimating their release of more than 320 toxic chemicals into the environment.

Key Findings:

In 1987, manufacturers in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut Metropolitan area released approximately 55,785,000 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the air. Compared to national data released by the U.S. House Subcommittee on Health and the Environment last month, the Metro region alone accounts for more toxic air emissions than 36 states. The Subcommittee report showed that over 2.4 billion pounds of toxic air pollutants were emitted into the air in 1987.

Within the tri-state area, air emissions in New Jersey’s eleven northern counties (Bergen, Essex, Eudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Somerset, Sussex, Union, Warren) account for over half (56%) of all the air pollutants in the region – 31 million pounds. Connecticut’s Fairfield, New Haven and Litchfield counties added 13.8 millions pounds, or 25% of the region total. New York counties, including Long Island, contributed 10.8 million pounds (19%).

Based on available national data, emissions in New Jersey’s northern counties accounted for over 80% of all the pollutants emitted in the state. Connecticut’s western counties accounted for nearly 60% of the state’s total emissions. The New York counties and boroughs made up 13% of New York’s total.

In New Jersey, Middlesex County had the largest quantity of air emissions – over 10 million pounds. But, looking at these emissions on a square mile basis, Union County had the highest emissions rate with an average of nearly 48,000 pounds of toxic pollutants per square mile. The state average is 5,172 pounds, which is second highest in the nation.

In Connecticut, New Haven County showed the second highest total emissions in the region with 8.2 million pounds, which amounted to 13,000 pounds per square mile.

In New York, Nassau County had the highest total emissions with over 3.8 million pounds, but Kings County had the highest emissions per square mile at nearly 16,000 pounds.

In the region, the New Jersey cities of North Brunswick, Linden, Newark, and Belvidere showed emissions in excess of 2 million pounds during 1987. Bethpage, New York had the highest emissions of any city in the New York area with 1.9 million pounds. In Connecticut, Wallingford, North Haven, Stratford, and Waterbury all showed emissions in excess of 1 million pounds.

One of the most stunning findings in this report is the amount of air emissions in one location – the Exit 13 area on the New Jersey turnpike. In a five mile area around this turnpike exit, over 6 million pounds of toxic pollutants were emitted into the air. that means over 77,000 pounds per square mile during 1987 alone. This one site produced more air toxics than 10 of the 50 states, according to these data.

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