Sunday, April 23, 2006

Bush Plan To Hide Data on 1.5M Lbs. of Toxic Chemicals in California

A Bush Administration proposal to roll back Americans' right to know about chemical hazards in their neighborhoods would let California industries handle almost 1.5 million pounds of toxic chemicals a year without telling the public, according to an investigation of federal data by Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Currently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program requires industrial facilities to report annually the release, disposal, incineration, treatment or recycling of 500 pounds or more of 650 chemicals covered by the law. But last fall the EPA proposed sharply raising the reporting threshhold so that only releases of 5,000 pounds or more would be reported, and reports would only be required every other year.

"The right to know what hazardous chemicals are coming out of the smokestack across the street from your child's school is essential," said EWG Vice President Bill Walker. "The Administration's proposal makes it easier for industries to pollute our communities with hazardous chemicals—in secret."

EPA will announce later this year whether it plans to adopt the proposed rollback.


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