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John Kerry Stands Up to Administration Efforts to Weaken Public Right To Know

by Pamela Leavey

The Bush administration has proposed serious changes annual Toxic Release Inventory put out by the EPA. I posted a piece about the proposed changes on Monday.

Today, while traveling in India (Mumbai), John Kerry praised New England Attorneys General for vowing to fight against the Bush Administration’s proposed changes to the annual Toxic Release Inventory that will eviscerate the public’s right to know about toxins in their environment:

States need to fight back against a Bush Administration that seems to believe that Americans don’t have a right to know about poisons being pumped into our air and water and wants to give polluters a free pass.

“Congress passed the Community Right-to-Know Act after a chemical spill that killed more than 15,000 people. We’re better off as a country because that reform created a publicly accessible annual report on poisonous substances being pumped into the air, water and ground by refineries and chemical plants. By spotlighting where dangerous pollutants come from, it’s helped reduce toxic chemical releases in our communities by almost 65% over the past two decades.

But now, the Bush EPA wants to give corporate polluters a free pass — a pass that would allow polluters to withhold information on potentially deadly poisons such as lead and mercury that build up in people’s bodies. That’s dead wrong. We all have a right to know what is in our environment. The Administration falsely claims they’re acting in the name of small business but small firms account for less than 1% of the nation’s toxic emissions. The truth is the Administration is just helping big corporate polluters avoid public scrutiny.

The NRDC reports that the EPA is accepting comments on its proposed changes to the Toxics Release Inventory reporting rules through January 13th. You can send an email to the EPA today, by visiting the NRDC Action Center.

3 Responses to “John Kerry Stands Up to Administration Efforts to Weaken Public Right To Know”

  1. Hmmm…just clicked on the NRDC link and it said the page was no longer active. I went to the Action Center main page and didn’t see it listed. ??

  2. Okay, on your prior post it said the EPA comment period closed today. That is probably why the action alert is down now. I guess they close comment periods at “close of business” EST, rather than midnight as one might expect.

  3. MH

    It was there when I posted it. It must have been the close of business.