EPA Reverses Bush-Era Toxics Release Inventory Blackout
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced April 21, 2009, that she had signed a rule restoring Bush-era cuts in the amount of information communities could get about industrial releases of toxic substances in their localities.
Congress had actually ordered EPA to roll back the Bush-EPA blackout in the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, signed by President Obama on March 11, 2009. Jackson's April 21 rulemaking carried out that mandate. The rollback has not yet been published in the Federal Register.
In 2006, at the urging of some parts of the small-business lobby, EPA had eased the thresholds for detailed numeric reporting of the amounts of certain toxics released by industrial plants. Plants releasing less than the threshold amounts could use an easier "Form R" which did not require releases to be quantified. Still, plants would have to quantify their releases to determine whether they met the threshold. But many communities would get much less information about toxic releases nearby.
Twelve states sued EPA seeking restoration of the original thresholds.
- "EPA Restores Stricter Reporting of Toxic Pollution," Associated Press via New York Times, April 21, 2009, by Dina Cappiello.
- Previous Story: WatchDog of March 11, 2009.
- EPA Release of April 21, 2009.
- "New Energy on TRI at National Conference," OMB Watcher, OMB Watch, April 7, 2009.