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E-M:/ Env-audit Letters to Carol Browner and Bill Clinton



Mail Delivery Subsystem wrote:
> 
 Sorry this is a bit old, but I'm confident alot of folks here would
like
 to know about these letters, etc. Please address all responses to the
 original sender:
        pellodav@merle.acns.nwu.edu
 Thanks,
 ps
 --
 ******************************************************************
 *   Philip T. Shepard, Professor                           (:o)  *
 *   Lyman Briggs School            Consulting Service            *
 *   Holmes Hall                    606 Bainbridge Dr.            *
 *   Michigan State University      East Lansing, MI 48823-1928   *
 *   East Lansing, MI 48825-1107    517-332-0761 (ans. mach.)     *
 *                   E-mail: shepard@pilot.msu.edu                *
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> From: pellodav@merle.acns.nwu.edu (David N. Pellow)
> To: ENVIRONMENT TECHNOLOGY and SOCIETY <envtecsoc@csf.colorado.edu>
> Subject: Env-Audit Law Letters to Carol Browner and Bill Clinton
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> Dear envtsocer's,
>         I thought the following campaign might be of interest to many of you
> engaged in both academic and political work on environmental protection and
> corporate responsibility.
> 
> -David Pellow
> 
> >The following letters were sent to Carol Browner and Bill Clinton.
> >We are still gathering additional signatures for amended filing at a later
> >date. Please circulate these letters to others who may be interested in
> >signing on, to appropriate listserves and to media outlets.
> >
> >We will be transmitting an additional report soon with additional update
> >information regarding the meeting conducted yesterday by environmentalists
> >with Carol Browner and related developments.
> >
> >Sanford Lewis
> >The Good Neighbor Project for Sustainable Industries
> >
> >Please respond to: sanlewis@igc.apc.org
> >
> >
> >March 24, 1997
> >
> >Ms. Carol Browner
> >Administrator
> >USEPA
> >401 M. St SW
> >Washington DC 20460
> >
> >Dear Administrator Browner,
> >
> >As you know, 19 states have enacted environmental audit protection laws.
> >Most of these laws provide a "privilege," allowing regulated facilities to
> >conceal environmental studies relevant to law enforcement and environmental
> >accountability.  Other provisions of these laws provide for outright
> >immunity from prosecution for companies who disclose and self-correct
> >violations as a result of auditing.  While these laws have been enacted
> >under the guise of "proactive" environmental policy, we believe that the
> >actual result of such privileges and immunities is that many neighborhoods
> >and workplaces are less safe than they once were, because polluters have new
> >tools of concealment and absolution allowing them to resist efforts to clean
> >them up.
> >
> >These laws create a dumping grounds for corporate "dirty secrets" and will
> >allow some law-breakers to retain the financial fruits of their previous
> >disregard for the law.  They also interfere with workers' rights to serve as
> >watchdogs of environment and safety issues. We have already seen examples of
> >companies who have tried to use the audit laws to escape responsibility and
> >even to continue polluting with impunity.
> >
> >We are writing to encourage you to take stringent action to ensure that
> >these laws do not continue to undermine the integrity of our environmental
> >law system.  As you know, some of the signatories of this letter have
> >already filed petitions with the EPA calling for the revocation or denial of
> >federal environmental delegation in specific states and programs.  This
> >letter is a call for additional, broader action by the Administration.
> >
> >We are aware of and appreciative of the generally strong statements of
> >policy by the Administration to the states that have enacted these laws,
> >including direct placement of some states  (e.g., Idaho and Texas) on formal
> >notice that they risk never receiving final federal environmental delegation
> >if they do not repeal or amend their audit laws.
> >
> >However, we believe more aggressive action is needed to defend the public's
> >Right to Know and ensure corporate accountability for environmental
> >compliance.  Specifically, we are writing to urge that the EPA do the
> following:
> >
> >1) Continue to move forward with formal action to revoke or deny federal
> >program delegation to states that have enacted audit privilege or immunity
> >laws.  Such action should be taken if privilege or immunity may affect
> >either civil or criminal law prosecution under federal environmental laws.
> >A moratorium should be established on new program delegations for states
> >that have enacted environmental audit privilege or immunity laws.
> >
> >2) Act on the citizen petitions received from organizations in Colorado,
> >Ohio, Texas, Michigan and Idaho by commencing formal withdrawal proceedings,
> >including public hearings in the states where requested by the petitioners.
> >
> >3) Require audit law states to provide immediate notice and opportunity for
> >comment to the EPA and the public when any claim of privilege or immunity is
> >made during enforcement,  inspection or other contexts.
> >
> >4) In instances where the audit laws interfere with state enforcement
> >capabilities, EPA should take direct "over-filing" enforcement action
> >against law breakers consistent with the EPA's own audit policy.
> >
> >In addition, we are writing today to President Clinton to ask that he do his
> >part to help roll back the poor public policies embodied in audit laws. We
> >are aware of and appreciative of the letter that Steve Herman Assistant
> >Administrator, EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance and Lois
> >Schiffer, Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources
> >Division of the Justice Department have sent to federal agencies
> >recommending that federal agencies "take all steps necessary, including the
> >issuance of policies and directives" to ensure that no federal agency or
> >contractor operating a federal facility would avail themselves of these
> >laws. We believe that Presidential level action is needed to reinforce and
> >expand this approach.
> >
> >In the enclosed letter we ask that the President issue an Executive Order
> >requiring all federal agencies to instruct their personnel, contractors and
> >other enterprises receiving or renewing federal grants, loans, or other
> >subsidies that they must not use state environmental audit laws to conceal
> >information obtained through an environmental audit, nor claim immunity for
> >environmental violations discovered and disclosed through an audit.  Such an
> >Executive Order is consistent with the spirit of President Clinton's
> >previous Executive Order, Number 12856, August 3, 1993 requiring federal
> >agencies to comply with Right to Know laws and to plan for pollution
> >prevention.   The new Executive Order we are requesting would encompass more
> >facilities (contractors and subsidy recipients) than the statement issued by
> >the above-named enforcement officials, and would be binding in its effect.
> >
> >We request that you, as EPA Administrator, support such an Executive Order
> >and work with the President to bring about its issuance.
> >
> >We appreciate the Administration's responsiveness to date on this issue.  We
> >hope that these two proposals will help to further roll back the tide of bad
> >policy which encourages environmental secrecy and undermines corporate
> >environmental accountability.
> >
> >Endorsers as of March 24, 1997
> >
> >Sanford Lewis, Chair
> >Network Against Corporate Secrecy
> >and Director
> >for the Good Neighbor Project for Sustainable Industries
> >
> >Ross Vincent, Chair
> >Environmental Quality Strategy Team
> >for the Sierra Club
> >
> >Robert Shavelson,
> >Cook Inlet Keeper,
> >Homer, Alaska
> >
> >David Pellow
> >Midwest/Great Lakes Environmental Justice Network
> >
> >Sandy Buchanan
> >for Ohio Citizen Action
> >
> >Richard Sahli, Esq., Chair,
> >Environment Committee
> >for Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers
> >
> >Pam Kautter, Chair, Environmental Audit Issue Team,
> >for Western Organization of Resource Councils
> >
> >B. Suzi Ruhl, J.D., M.P.H., Director
> >for Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation, Inc. (LEAF)
> >
> >Anne Hedges, Program Director
> >for Montana Environmental Information Center
> >
> >Darrell Geist, President
> >for Cold Mountain, Cold Rivers
> >Montana
> >
> >Diana Anderson
> >for West Michigan Region Environmental Network
> >
> >Steven Viederman, Director
> >for the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
> >
> >
> >Todd Robins, Environmental Attorney
> >for U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG)
> >
> >Dianne Bady, Director
> >for Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
> >
> >Denny Larson, National Oil Refinery Action Network Organizer
> >for Communities for a Better Environment, California
> >
> >Ted Smith, Director
> >for Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition
> >
> >Joel Tickner
> >for the National Association for Public Health Policy
> >
> >Eric Weltman
> >for Toxics Action Center, Massachusetts
> >
> >David Dempsey, Director
> >for Michigan Environmental Council
> >
> >Nina Bell, Director
> >for Northwest Environmental Advocates
> >
> >Mike Garfield, Director
> >for Ecology Center of Ann Arbor
> >
> >Bill Craven, State Director
> >for Sierra Club of California
> >
> >Noreen Warnock
> >for Allen County Citizens for the Environment
> >Bluffton, Ohio
> >
> >Vicki Deisner, Executive Director
> >for Ohio Environmental Council
> >
> >Jeff Skelding, Executive Director
> >for Rivers Unlimited, Ohio
> >
> >Linda Price King, Director
> >for Environmental Health Network, Chesapeake, VA
> >
> >
> >March 24, 1997
> >
> >William Jefferson Clinton
> >President
> >White House
> >Washington, DC
> >
> >Dear President Clinton,
> >
> >As you may know, 19 states have enacted environmental audit protection laws.
> >Most of these laws provide a "privilege," allowing regulated facilities to
> >conceal environmental studies relevant to law enforcement and environmental
> >accountability.  Other provisions of these laws provide for outright
> >immunity from prosecution for companies who disclose and self-correct
> >violations as a result of auditing.  While these laws have been enacted
> >under the guise of "proactive" environmental policy, we believe that the
> >actual result of such privileges and immunities is that many neighborhoods
> >and workplaces are less safe than they once were, because polluters have new
> >tools of concealment and absolution allowing them to resist efforts to clean
> >them up.
> >
> >These laws create a dumping grounds for corporate "dirty secrets" and will
> >allow some law-breakers to retain the financial fruits of their previous
> >disregard for the law.  They also interfere with workers' rights to serve as
> >watchdogs of environment and safety issues. We have already seen examples of
> >companies who have tried to use the audit laws to escape responsibility and
> >even to continue polluting with impunity.
> >
> >We are writing today to you, and to EPA Administrator Carol Browner, to
> >encourage you to take stringent action to ensure that these laws do not
> >continue to undermine the integrity of our environmental law system.  As you
> >may know, some of the signatories of this letter have already filed
> >petitions with the EPA calling for the revocation or denial of federal
> >environmental delegation in specific states and programs.  We have written a
> >separate letter to EPA Administrator Browner to address this issue further.
> >This letter is a call for additional, broader action by you, through your
> >power to issue an Executive Order.
> >
> >We are aware of, and appreciative of, the letters that Steve Herman
> >Assistant Administrator, EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance
> >Assurance and Lois Schiffer, Assistant Attorney General, Environment and
> >Natural Resources Division of the Justice Department have sent to federal
> >agencies recommending that federal agencies "take all steps necessary,
> >including the issuance of policies and directives" to ensure that no federal
> >agency or contractor operating a federal facility would avail themselves of
> >these laws.    However, we believe more aggressive action will be needed by
> >you to fully defend the public's Right to Know and ensure corporate
> >accountability for environmental compliance.
> >
> >Specifically, we ask that you issue an Executive Order requiring all federal
> >agencies to instruct their personnel, contractors and other enterprises
> >receiving or renewing federal grants, loans, or other subsidies that they
> >must not use state environmental audit laws to conceal information obtained
> >through an environmental audit, nor claim immunity for environmental
> >violations discovered and disclosed through an audit.  Such an Executive
> >Order is consistent with the spirit your previous Executive Order, Number
> >12856, August 3, 1993 requiring federal agencies to comply with Right to
> >Know laws and to plan for pollution prevention.   The new Executive Order we
> >are requesting should encompass more facilities (contractors and subsidy
> >recipients) than the statement issued by the two above-named enforcement
> >officials, and should be binding in its effect.
> >
> >We appreciate the Administration's responsiveness to date on this issue.  We
> >hope to work with you to make this proposed Executive Order a reality, to
> >further roll back the tide of bad policy which encourages environmental
> >secrecy and undermines corporate environmental accountability.
> >
> >
> >Endorsers as of March 24, 1997
> >
> >Sanford Lewis, Chair
> >Network Against Corporate Secrecy
> >and Director
> >for the Good Neighbor Project for Sustainable Industries
> >
> >Ross Vincent, Chair
> >Environmental Quality Strategy Team
> >for the Sierra Club
> >
> >David Pellow
> >Midwest/Great Lakes Environmental Justice Network
> >
> >Robert Shavelson,
> >Cook Inlet Keeper,
> >Homer, Alaska
> >
> >Sandy Buchanan
> >for Ohio Citizen Action
> >
> >Richard Sahli, Esq., Chair,
> >Environment Committee
> >for Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers
> >
> >Pam Kautter, Chair, Environmental Audit Issue Team,
> >for Western Organization of Resource Councils
> >
> >B. Suzi Ruhl, J.D., M.P.H., Director
> >for Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation, Inc. (LEAF)
> >
> >
> >Anne Hedges, Program Director
> >for Montana Environmental Information Center
> >
> >Darrell Geist, President
> >for Cold Mountain, Cold Rivers
> >Montana
> >
> >Diana Anderson
> >for West Michigan Region Environmental Network
> >
> >Steven Viederman, Director
> >for the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
> >
> >Todd Robins, Environmental Attorney
> >for U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG)
> >
> >Dianne Bady, Director
> >for Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
> >
> >Denny Larson, National Oil Refinery Action Network Organizer
> >for Communities for a Better Environment, California
> >
> >Ted Smith, Director
> >for Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition
> >
> >Joel Tickner
> >for the National Association for Public Health Policy
> >
> >Eric Weltman
> >for Toxics Action Center, Massachusetts
> >
> >David Dempsey, Director
> >for Michigan Environmental Council
> >
> >Nina Bell, Director
> >for Northwest Environmental Advocates
> >
> >Mike Garfield, Director
> >for Ecology Center of Ann Arbor
> >
> >Bill Craven, State Director
> >for Sierra Club of California
> >
> >Noreen Warnock
> >for Allen County Citizens for the Environment,
> >Bluffton, Ohio
> >
> >Vicki Deisner, Executive Director
> >for Ohio Environmental Council
> >
> >Jeff Skelding, Executive Director
> >for Rivers Unlimited, Ohio
> >
> >Linda Price King, Director
> >for Environmental Health Network
> >Chesapeake, VA
> >
> >
> >
> ************************
> David N. Pellow
> Research Fellow,
> Institute for Policy Research and
> Department of Sociology
> Northwestern University
> 1810 Chicago Ave.
> Evanston, IL  60208-1330
> USA
> ph. 847-673-7910
> fax: 847-491-9907
> fax: 847-491-9907
> internet: pellodav@merle.acns.nwu.edu
> 
> 
> --------------79D16EB71C31--

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