FOR RELEASE: WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 1996
EPA MOVES TOWARD MAJOR EXPANSION OF
COMMUNITY RIGHT-TO-KNOW INFORMATION
ABOUT CHEMICAL USE BY INDUSTRY
To provide American communities with a more complete picture of local pollution and public health risks, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced its first formal action toward giving communities the right to know how local industrial facilities use toxic chemicals. This is called chemical use reporting. EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner said, "Today's step to expand the Community Right-to-Know program would provide Americans with more information than ever before about toxic chemicals -- and how they are used by industrial facilities -- in communities all over the country. The expansion we are considering would give the public the right to know not just which chemicals come out of local industrial facilities, but which chemicals go into their neighborhoods and how they are used. Putting information about local pollution into the hands of the public is the single most effective, common-sense tool available for protecting public health and environment."
EPA today is issuing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to notify the public and take comment on consideration of new requirements for chemical use reporting under the Community Right-to-Know program. Reporting on chemical use (also referred to as materials accounting) would expand public information available on toxic chemicals that enter local industrial facilities; the amounts of chemicals transformed into products and waste; and toxic chemicals that leave the facility. This information on chemical use would provide the public with a more comprehensive picture of industrial environmental performance and toxic chemical releases in local communities.
Today's action responds to President Clinton's Aug. 8, 1995, commitment to expand Community Right-to-Know reporting. Proposals in the House of Representatives during the fiscal year 1996 and fiscal year 1997 appropriations process attempted to block this particular phase of Community Right-to-Know expansion by directing the Agency -- through budget riders and report language -- to expend no funds for this purpose.
Expanding the Community Right-to-Know program has been a Clinton Administration priority since 1993. In August 1993, President Clinton issued an Executive Order requiring federal facilities to report toxic emissions for the first time. In other actions to broaden public information about local pollution, in November 1994 the Clinton Administration nearly doubled the list of chemicals that industry is required to report and issued an August 1995 Pollution Disclosure Executive Order requiring companies doing business with the federal government to report on toxic emissions. In June 1996, the Clinton Administration proposed to expand by nearly one-third -- including seven additional industries -- the number of facilities that must report. EPA intends to finalize this action for reporting year 1997.
Paper copies of the ANPR and other information can be obtained from EPA's Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Hotline at 401 M St. S.W., Washington D.C. 20460 or by calling 1-800-535-0202, TDD 1-800-553-7672. Electronic copies are available at http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/tri.
Written and electronic comments must be received by EPA within 90 days of publication of the ANPR in the Federal Register the week of Sept. 30. Written comments should be submitted in triplicate to: OPPT Docket, TSCA Document Receipt Office (7407), Environmental Protection Agency, Rm. E-G099, 401 M St. S.W., Washington D.C. 20460. Comments may be submitted electronically via: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two public meetings will be scheduled. For more information contact Matt Gillen at 202-260-1801, or by e-mail: gillen.matthew @epamail.epa.gov; or Christine Lottes at 202-260-7258, or by e-mail: lottes.christine@epamail. epa.gov.
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