Washington, D.C. — U.S. Rep Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, yesterday introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that will undo U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations weakening toxic reporting requirements that have been in place for nearly two decades.
The Toxic Right-to-Know-Protection Act will undo changes that have seriously undermined the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), a critical tool that has given communities access to an online database describing what toxic chemicals are being released from nearby plants and refineries. The TRI program has been extremely successful in empowering communities by ensuring that they know what chemicals and how much of these harmful chemicals are being released into the air, water and ground.
In December 2006, the Bush administration’s EPA announced final rules that loosened reporting requirements for the TRI. These rules have significantly reduced the amount of information available to the public about toxic chemicals by eliminating detailed reports from facilities that release up to 2,000 pounds of chemicals every year, and facilities that manage up to 500 pounds of chemicals known to pose some of the worst threats to human health, including lead and mercury.
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