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GLIN==> Proposed changes to toxic release reporting



Community Right-to-Know eUpdate Special Edition:  EPA Proposed Sweeping Reductions to TRI Pollution Reporting
October, 2005
 
Editor's Note:
Our regular Right-to-Know eUpdate in its usual format will be coming out next week.  We are sending out this special edition due to EPA's recently announced proposal to fundamentally change the Toxics Release Inventory, and the dire consequences this change will have on the public's right-to-know.  
 

EPA Proposes Sweeping Reductions in TRI Pollution Reporting <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

 

EPA recently announced plans to virtually dismantle the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), the nation?s premier tool for tracking toxic pollution.  The TRI makes companies report on the toxic chemicals they release into the air, land, and water.  This information enables average citizens and government regulators to press companies to reduce their pollution, resulting in healthier communities.  

 

EPA has proposed to cut the TRI program in half by letting industries report their pollution every other year instead of annually; allow thousands of facilities to withhold details about pollution volumes and treatment; and reduce information collected on persistent bioacculuative toxins (PBTs), which are some of the most toxic industrial byproducts that persist in the environment, and build up in the body.  

 

In response to hurricane Katrina, government officials used the TRI to identify facilities that store or release large quantities of toxic chemicals.  The government should be expanding information available to citizens and first responders, not reducing it, especially since this information has proved useful in emergencies like Katrina.

 

EPA justifies the changes by claiming a projected $2 million a year savings on the proposed off-years of reporting, and the need to reduce reporting companies' paper work.  However the public's right to know should not be auctioned off for any dollar amount.  In addition, EPA's charge of protecting public health should not be trumped by its ambitions to reduce companies' paperwork costs.

 

EPA is required to consider public comments before making these changes, so your input can make a difference. 
    * <http://www.demaction.org/dia/organizations/ombwatch/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=1324>Click here to send an official comment to EPA. 
    * <http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20051800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2005/pdf/05-19710.pdf>Click here to read the proposed rule in the Federal Register. 
    * <http://www.crtk.org/detail.cfm?docID=28&cat=industrial%20toxics>Click here for a fact sheet on the Toxics Release Inventory. 

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© 2005 Working Group on Community Right to Know (A Project of OMB Watch). All rights reserved.
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Please feel free to copy and disseminate this newsletter with proper credit
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Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy, 
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Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf 

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(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com
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