We think American citizens have a right to know what toxic chemicals are being released into their local communities.
But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced plans to significantly limit the information that companies are required to disclose about their release of hazardous chemicals including toxins like mercury, lead, and dioxin into our environment.
Through its plan to reduce the reporting requirements of its Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program, the EPA is proposing to take away an important tool for protecting public health and our environment. In its 20 years in existence, the TRI has provided the public with critical information about chemical contaminants that pose a serious threat to our health, while simultaneously providing incentives for companies to reduce their pollution levels.
There is no justification for weakening this successful program today, other than to please large corporate polluters, who view public disclosure as a costly nuisance. That's why we must send a strong message to the Bush Administration that this is unacceptable public policy in a democracy!
The EPA is accepting public comments only until January 13, 2005. Please take a moment to oppose this misguided and dangerous proposal and be included in the public record!
Dear Administrator Johnson and EPA staff:
I am writing regarding Docket ID No. TRI-2005-0073.
I am concerned by the EPA's proposed changes to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program. For almost 20 years, the TRI program has been successful in making communities around the country safer and healthier by providing critical information on the toxic chemicals released into our land, water, and air.
Raising the reporting threshold to 10 times its current level, moving from annual reporting to every other year reporting, and allowing for less-detailed reporting on persistent, bioaccumlative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals poses a significant threat to our nation's health, safety, and environmental quality. As the United States responds to the effects of Hurricane Katrina, the EPA should recognize that there is a need for sufficient reporting on toxic chemicals released into our environment.
American citizens should retain the right to know what toxic chemicals are being released in their communities. I strongly urge the EPA to abandon all of its burden reduction proposals in the docket TRI-2005-0073 and to withdraw its plans to move from an annual to a biennial reporting system.
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