Hazardous chemicals hurt and kill. So why is Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott denying families the right to know which of these chemicals are present in their own communities?
Greg Abbott recently declared that state records on private facilities with dangerous chemical locations can be withheld from the public. When asked how Texas families could find out this information if they were worried about exposure, he suggested they "drive around" and ask each facility.
Tell Abbott that Texans have right to know about the chemicals in their own backyards.
More than transparency is at stake — Greg Abbott has put the safety of Texas families and children on the line. Barely a year ago, a massive chemical explosion at West Fertilizer Co. left 15 people dead, injuring and evicting hundreds more. Tragedies of this sort are all too common and we have a right to know if our homes and schools are at risk.
How many kids are passing explosive chemical stockpiles on their way to school every morning? How many families unknowingly breathe in chemical fumes every time they step outside their homes?
Tell Greg Abbott to reverse his decision and protect Texas families from dangerous chemicals.
We condemn your decision to block public access to companies' Tier II reports about the locations of dangerous chemicals.
Despite what you have said, it remains overwhelmingly clear that this decision does not allow for transparency.
You claim that Texans can go door-to-door, asking individual companies about the chemicals they store on-site. Not only do most working families lack the time and resources to engage in this sort of protracted activity, but those that have documented their experiences have been met with resistance and denial from company officials. People following your exact instructions on how to get access to Tier II information are being told "No."
Mr. Abbott, you have defended your choice to keep the public in the dark by claiming it is in the interest of public safety. You must know that nothing could be further from the truth. Chemical spills, explosions and other accidents are unavoidable -- and people have the right to know if they are at risk of injury -- or worse. Your decision is the real threat to public safety.
[Your comments here]
Please, restore the protections of the Community Right to Know Act and start requiring companies to provide their Tier II reports to the public again.
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