August 18, 2010 (Kearny, NJ) The Newark Star Ledger Editorial Board has joined KOTW in its call to retrofit the Kuehne Chemical Plant located in South Kearny, New Jersey. In an editorial piece entitled "Clear and present danger: Lautenberg bill aims to safeguard chemical plants" published in the July 27, 2010 edition of the Star Ledger, the Editorial Board points out referring to the Kuehne Chemical plant, "If an enterprising terrorist were to launch an explosive from the Pulaski Skyway to a chemical plant below, 12 million people could be at risk of death or injury."
KOTW has dedicated several articles on the safety issues surrounding the Kuehne Chemical plant which are available on our Environment Page.
In 2003, two Kearny residents, Rosa Alves and Frank Ferreira took a ride past the Kuehne Chemical Plant in South Kearny and shot video of a gapping hole in the plant's front gate. Rosa Alves, then a sitting councilwoman, brought the matter to the attention of the Mayor and Council. Shortly thereafter the Kuehne Chemical Plant received some media attention and security to the plant was improved. But critics of the plant, including Greenpeace, insist that the plant is still not safe and a potential disaster.
Seven years after the Rosa Alves and Frank Ferreira found a gap in the front gate of the plant, the plant still poses a danger to the New York Metropolitan area. Efforts by United States Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez have resulted in some improvement to security but the ultimate solution of retrofitting the plant has stalled.
One wonders what it will take to finally retrofit the Kuehne Plant? Executives at Kuehne Chemical have stated that it would cost $80 million to retrofit the plant more than the annual income of the plant. Using Kuehne's own numbers of how many people would be killed or injured by a terrorist attack, it would cost a little over $6.66 per person to retrofit the plant. The cost is far less money than the loss of life (priceless) and medical services necessary to treat the injured.
KOTW is glad that the Star Ledger Editorial Board has once again brought attention to this crucial issue. KOTW has been waiting for over seven years for the Executives at Kuehne to retrofit the South Kearny plant. It is obvious that those Executives will not retrofit the plant voluntarily. It is time that the Federal, State and County government force Kuehne Chemical to retrofit its plant. To allow this potential terrorist target to continue to operate with old technology when new technology would make it much safer is irresponsible. Our elected officials should be condemning Kuehne for its inaction.
Visit our Environment Page for more articles and background information on the Kuehne Plant. Review prior Discussion threads on our Discussion Board. Join our effort to make Kuehne safer.