Groups Call On EPA To Settle Suit, Restore TRI

March 11, 2009

[UPDATE: On March 11, 2009, President Obama signed the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill (HR 1105), which contained language restoring the toxics right-to-know cuts discussed in the article below.]

Hundreds of civic groups and individuals called on EPA March 1, 2009, to restore the Bush-battered program that informs people of what toxic chemicals companies are releasing into their air, water, and land.

At the urging of industries that contributed heavily to Bush and GOP campaigns, the EPA after 2001 took a number of actions blindfolding communities to the toxic emissions industries were spewing across the fenceline.

One of EPA's actions, in December 2006, raised the thresholds above which companies had to report certain toxics. Thirteen states sued EPA to get this action reversed, saying it denied many people key information about whether they were being poisoned by industry.

The March 1 letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson by 238 state, local and national organizations, along with nearly 1300 individual signers, urged EPA to settle the suit and rescind the December 2006 rule change.

The groups urged the EPA to settle an ongoing lawsuit with 13 states and invalidate the Toxics Release Inventory Burden Reduction Final Rule (71 Federal Register 76932-45).