Scorecard relies on the Toxic Release Inventory for
local data on environmental releases of toxic chemicals, but the
EPA recently proposed a new rule that would significantly weaken pollution reporting. Show your support for community efforts to
improve the right-to-know about toxic chemicals by sending an
email to top US EPA officials.
This is an example of the sort of email that you can send from our
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otherwise we won't be able to sign your letter.
EPA Docket ID No. TRI-2005-0073
Comments in Opposition to TRI Burden Reduction Proposed Rule
I just reviewed detailed data on toxic chemical emissions here in
TEXAS, as shown on the Scorecard website (scorecard.org),
based on official reports to you via the Toxics Release Inventory.
I am writing to express my strong opposition to EPA's proposed plans
to scale back the reporting requirements of its TRI program. If adopted,
the "TRI Burden Reduction Proposed Rule" would take away an important
tool for protecting public health and the environment. Please add my
comments to the docket in opposition to the TRI Burden Reduction
Americans have a right to know what toxic chemicals are being released
in their communities. We need more information about these releases,
not less. We need to know about the exposures our communities experience
as a result of these releases, in order to characterize their potential
health risks. The real burden TRI should be focused on reducing is the
health burden caused by pollution releases.
Instead, EPA is focused on reducing the economic burden of TRI
reporting on polluting companies. The EPA has proposed three changes
to TRI reporting requirements that would allow tens of thousands of
facilities to report less information:
1. Move from the current annual reporting requirements to
every-other-year reporting for all facilities, eliminating any hope of
real-time community access to pollution information. This is exactly the
wrong direction to go: we need current data to inform local campaigns to
reduce pollution. Already, the most recent TRI data now available to me
is at least two years old, even though it is reported to you within six
months. Please speed up your disclosure process so that the data I see
is much closer to being up-to-date.
2. Raise the maximum Annual Reportable Amount from 500 to 5,000 pounds,
allowing many facilities to avoid providing communities with the
detailed release information required to identify health risks. Please do
not reduce our ability to identify significant local sources of pollution.
3. Permit facilities to withhold details on low-level production of
persistent, bioaccumlative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals like mercury, lead,
and dioxin. Please do not reduce the information about chemicals of
special concern that are highly toxic even when released in the
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