EPA's March 20, 2009, public release of the latest Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data may have marked the beginning of a new era for the embattled program.
The agency has already begun to implement rollback of Bush-era cutbacks on the amount of information companies have to report about threats to communities from toxic industrial chemical releases. Those reporting changes were mandated by Congress in a March 11, 2009, spending bill.
Explanatory materials to help reporters interpret the annual TRI data had been drastically diminished during the Bush administration. But this year's release was accompanied by a more extensive set of materials, including state-by-state analyses.