There are 23,985 facilities nationwide that are required to disclose their chemical releases to the government. The U.S. EPA estimates they collectively spend $650 million a year to do so.
But now, ostensibly to give industry a break by reducing its paperwork, the Bush administration is proposing to roll back the reporting requirement to once every two years.
It also wants to raise the bar tenfold by allowing companies that release fewer than 5,000 pounds of chemicals in a given year to report less information. The current threshold is 500 pounds.