PROTECTING ACCESS TO ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION

RTKnet: Pollution

Under right-to-know laws, industrial facilities report using and releasing billions of pounds of toxic chemicals. Still greater amounts pass unreported as products and pollution. Find information on tracking chemical use and releases, and on preventing industrial pollution at the source.

State Disclosure Policies, Oversight of Natural Gas Fracking Are Inadequate Protection for Water Supplies, Public Safety, New Report Finds (OMB Watch)

In a new report issued on July 9, OMB Watch finds that state oversight laws requiring disclosure of the chemicals used in natural gas fracking are in need of an overhaul. Disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," is spotty and incomplete, and essential safeguards are missing.

(11 Jul 2012)

EPA Launches New Mapping Tool to Improve Public Access to Enforcement Information

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of a new mapping feature in EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) database. As part of EPA’s ongoing effort to improve transparency, the EPA and State Enforcement Actions Map will allow the public to access federal and state enforcement information in an interactive format and to compare enforcement action information by state. The map will be refreshed monthly to include up to date information about the enforcement actions taken to address violations of air, water, and waste laws.

(12 Oct 2011)

More than 100 Organizations Make Environmental Right-to-Know Recommendations to Obama Administration (OMB Watch)

On May 10, on behalf of more than 100 public interest organizations, OMB Watch presented a set of detailed environmental right-to-know recommendations to the Obama administration.

(24 May 2011)

Congress Seeks to Reveal Toxic Drilling Chemicals (OMB Watch)

Congressional Democrats have reintroduced legislation that would disclose the hazardous chemicals used in drilling for natural gas. Cases of potential water contamination have been increasing as the nation experiences a boom in gas drilling. Secrecy surrounding the identities of the chemicals, many of which are known to be hazardous, has hampered efforts to protect public and environmental health.

(25 Mar 2011)

EPA Sued for Access to Texas Clean Air Records (Sierra Club)

The Sierra Club and the Environmental Integrity Project are suing the EPA for access to 350,000 pages of documents about coal-fired power plants blamed for making Texas' air pollution problems worse. "Right now, the EPA is simply following Luminant's bidding and unquestioningly parroting the corporation’s claim that almost 350,000 pages of documents are all 'trade secret' or 'confidential business information'."

(25 Feb 2011)

Drinking Chrome – New Studies Expose Threats to Tap Water (OMB Watch)

A new health study found drinking water in 31 out of 35 U.S. cities contaminated by hexavalent chromium. Another study found that hexavalent chromium, a known carcinogen when inhaled and a suspected carcinogen when ingested, often contaminates water leaching from coal ash impoundments. The revelations expose the need for greater monitoring of public drinking water and stronger protections against contamination.

(23 Feb 2011)

EPA Expands TRI Progam (OMB Watch)

For the first time since 1999, the EPA has added chemicals to the list of toxic substances that must be reported to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). The TRI program tracks toxic pollution from thousands of facilities nationwide. The move is an overdue step in the right direction for this crucial right-to-know program and represents a welcome break from the previous administration's attempts to weaken TRI.

(03 Dec 2010)

Tell EPA How It Can Serve Whole Communities (U.S. EPA)

EPA is asking the public: "What steps can EPA take to ensure that technical assistance to communities serves the needs of the whole community, and not just a small group?" Anyone can share their ideas with the agency on the EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response discussion forum. Let your voice be heard.

(08 Oct 2010)

Tell EPA How to Protect Drinking Water (U.S. EPA)

The EPA is launching a web-based discussion forum to gather public input on how the agency can improve protection of drinking water. The information will be used in implementing EPA’s new drinking water strategy announced by Administrator Lisa P. Jackson in March. To join the discussion: http://blog.epa.gov/dwstrat. There will also be a listening session August 19, in Rancho Cucamonga, CA

(17 Aug 2010)

Scientists Allege Federal Govt Tried to Muffle Plume Findings (ProPublica)

Behind-the-scenes reports from government scientists point to supression of scientific analyses of plumes of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

(13 Aug 2010)