ICOG offers support for toxics disclosure bill

The Indiana Coalition for Open Government has signed on to efforts by OMB Watch and other organizations to restore an important source of public information on pollution discharges, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI).

According to OMB Watch: “This past December EPA finalized a rule that slashed reporting requirements for companies emitting toxins into the environment. On July 1, facilities will be able to pollute up to ten times more before they are required to submit detailed reporting.  Instead, they can get away with filing a simple form that literally only requires their name, the chemicals’ names, and a written affirmation that the amount of released chemicals are less than 5,000 pounds. This means we lose information vital to communities about how much and where the toxins are released.  TRI information is needed by communities to assess their own risk, identify existing problems and their causes, and strategically address environmental and health issues.”

The Toxic Right-to-Know Protection Act (S. 595), now working its way through Congress, would restore the TRI program. Citizens can help by surfing over to OMB Watch’s Web site and putting their names to an online letter-writing campaign in support of the bill.