Toxics Release Inventory: Do Communities Have a Right to Know More? [October 26, 1997] [open pdf - 50KB]
"In 1986, Congress directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a national inventory of toxic releases to the environment by manufacturing facilities and to inform the public about toxic chemicals used and released in their communities. Recently, EPA has promulgated several rules expanding annual reporting requirements for industries covered by the 1986 law. Many affected businesses are concerned about an increase in paperwork and compliance costs. Some Members of Congress wonder whether the additional reporting burden is justified by benefits to public health that might result from the data collected. Others support EPA's expansion plans. The Clinton Administration strongly supports communities' right to know about toxics in their neighborhoods and has encouraged EPA's expansion efforts. This report reviews the issue of expanded reporting requirements to aid congressional deliberations about possible legislation. It describes the statutory framework and EPA implementation and summarizes key arguments for and against expansion of reporting requirements. It also raises broader questions about the role of the federal government in providing public access to information about private businesses."
CRS Report for Congress, 97-970
University of North Texas Libraries: http://digital.library.unt.edu/