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Bush adminstration has been slowly dismantling environmental information tool

New OMB Watch Report on TRI: Dismantling the Public’s Right to Know

OMB watch released a new report in December, 2005, Dismantling the Public’s Right to Know: EPA’s systematic Weakening of the Toxic Release Inventory, stating that the “Bush administration and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are slowly dismantling its flagship environmental information tool: the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI).” The TRI database has been providing the public information about environmental risks in workplace and communities.

“The easy access to pollution information provided by TRI has empowered citizens to push for improvements, and facilities have acted to reduce releases. Since facilities began reporting in 1988, there has been a nearly 60 percent reduction in total releases of the 299 core chemicals that the program began tracking. This is a significant drop, one that was fueled by merely making information publicly available. As new chemicals have been added to the TRI program, those releases have also dropped. This year, EPA reported a 42 percent reduction in releases and disposal of the more than 650 chemicals now tracked under TRI over the 6 years between 1998 and 2003. TRI is EPA’s premier database of environmental information, and it demonstrates the power that information holds to promote change that benefits everyone’s environment, health and safety.”

The entire report is available in PDF, linked from OMB Watch’s site.

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