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Governor Phil Murphy

Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Updating State Commission Charged with Facilitating Response Plans for Chemical Releases


TRENTON – Governor Murphy today signed an executive order updating the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), which is charged with facilitating local response plans for chemical release emergencies. The Commission was established in 1987 during the Kean Administration in response to the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

“Our State Emergency Response Commission serves as a key protection measure for our communities from chemical hazards,” said Governor Murphy. “This update ensures that the SERC is fully equipped to respond to any incidents that may arise and is able to keep New Jerseyans informed of potential health and safety hazards.”

The SERC is comprised of the Attorney General, the Adjutant General and Commissioner of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, the President of the Board of Public Utilities, the Commissioner of the Department of Health, and the Superintendent of State Police and State Director of the Office of Emergency Management.

Executive Order No. 284 updates the SERC through the following means:

  • Updating the SERC to include the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and to allow the Governor to appoint additional members as needed;
  • Empowering the SERC to revise how it designates emergency planning districts, and allowing the SERC to designate districts across municipal and county lines;
  • Ensuring that for each local emergency planning committee, key constituencies are represented, such as elected county and municipal officials, law enforcement, first responders, the media, community groups, and operators of facilities subject to the Act;
  • Requiring local emergency planning committees to create and make public available emergency response plans, with exceptions for sensitive security information.

Copy of Executive Order No. 284