PROTECTING ACCESS TO ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION

Welcome to the Right-to-Know Network, helping advocates push for improved access to government-held information on the environment, health, and safety.

News In Brief

New RTKNet.org User Group & Discussion Forum (RTKNet.org)

RTKNet.org has started a user and discussion forum through Google Groups where users can discuss how to best use the RTKNet.org databases, connect with others protecting their communities from toxic hazards, share their personal stories, and more. The new user and discussion group will provide a good opportunity for our users to connect and help RTKNet.org grow and improve.

(27 Jun 2014)

National Response Center’s Database of Spills and Accidents “Down for Maintenance” (Center for Effective Government)

For almost a month, the National Response Center’s national database of spills and accidents of oil and hazardous substances has been offline “for maintenance,” but the public and companies can still submit reports of any spills and accidents by phone at 1-800-424-8802. The public can also receive the data via a Freedom of Information Act request.

(20 Mar 2014)

Registration is open for the 2014 National Training Conference on the Toxics Release Inventory (U.S. EPA)

Online registration is now open for the 2014 National Training Conference on the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and Environmental Conditions in Communities, which will be held May 7-9, 2014 in Arlington, VA. The conference aims to promote greater participation, collaboration, community awareness, and public involvement regarding data on toxic chemical releases and related environmental information. 

(07 Mar 2014)

Communities Continue to Call for Stronger Protections as Chemical Incidents Rise (Center for Effective Government)

As the number of chemical disasters and injuries continues to mount in 2014, evidence shows that the risks that chemical facilities present to the local communities in which they are located are greater than many residents previously understood. The Center for Effective Government has created a set of maps, showing how close many of these facilities are to schools and hospitals. The maps are helping communities press for new oversight, safer chemicals, and stronger enforcement of existing standards to prevent future disasters.

(25 Feb 2014)

E-Gov Spotlight: Informing the Public about Air Quality (Center for Effective Government)

During the week of Jan. 20, the air quality in Utah's Salt Lake City region and parts of California hit red-alert status – meaning that the air was unhealthy for everyone and was especially harmful to sensitive groups like children, the elderly, and those with chronic respiratory conditions like asthma. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) forecasts and posts air quality levels in an easy, color-coded format on a website called AIRNow. The site offers users a means to explore air quality levels in their area and ways to protect their health against the impacts of air pollution.

(28 Jan 2014)

Call for Abstracts: 2014 National Training Conference on the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Announcing the Call for Abstracts for the 2014 National Training Conference on the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and Environmental Conditions in Communities! Submit your proposal by December 13, 2013. The conference will be held May 7-9, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia and include sessions on pollution prevention, environmental justice, and environmental public health, along with TRI and other sources of environmental information.

(12 Nov 2013)

E-Gov Spotlight: EPA's Enforcement Database Gets Updated (Center for Effective Government)

On Oct. 23, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a beta 2.0 version of its enforcement and compliance web-based tool. The new version should make it easier for the public to find information on which facilities near their communities violate air, water, and pollution standards. The agency has requested user feedback as it continues to update and fine-tune the site, so we encourage readers to visit the website and provide comments on your experience to the agency.

(05 Nov 2013)

Americans Want Safer Chemical Facilities, but the Shutdown Stalled Reform Efforts (Center for Effective Government)

A new poll released Oct. 11 found that a majority of Americans want the federal government to require facilities to use safer chemicals and processes to prevent chemical disasters like the explosion in West, TX in April. However, an effort to better coordinate the work of three federal agencies was stalled thanks to the government shutdown. Now that the agencies are all functioning again, we hope they will meet their target deadlines for recommending new policies to improve the safety of facilities handling or storing large quantities of hazardous chemicals.

(22 Oct 2013)

Chlorine Gas Is a Major Risk across the Country, but Needn't Be (Center for Effective Government)

Currently, over 2,700 facilities nationwide store large amounts of toxic chlorine gas, putting millions of Americans at risk of serious harm in the event of an explosion or leak. In the past 15 years, over 600 accidents injuring almost 800 people have occurred at these facilities. However, safer alternatives are available, and many facilities have already turned to them, showing that these alternatives can be commercially successful. Check our new interactive map to see if there are facilities with chlorine gas in your community.

(08 Oct 2013)

Action Alerts and Campaigns

Help Strengthen America's Toxic Chemicals Standards

Please take action to support legislation to protect our families from dangerous toxic chemicals.

(19 Nov 2009)

TAKE ACTION – Tell Congress to Force Disclosure of Toxic Drilling Chemicals

A controversial natural gas drilling technique is suspected of contaminating drinking water across the country, but more research cannot be done because the drilling companies won't disclose what toxic chemicals they are pumping into the ground. Congress is now considering legislation that would force drillers to disclose what chemicals they are using, but it needs our support against Big Oil and Gas.

(17 Sep 2009)

Bush Administration Pushes for Secrecy in Transportation

A multi-billion dollar transportation bill (H.R. 3550) currently before Congress would grant the government new authority to withhold transportation information that it considers to be "sensitive security information."
(02 Jul 2004)