Today, while traveling in India (Mumbai), John Kerry praised New England Attorneys General for vowing to fight against the Bush Administration’s proposed changes to the annual Toxic Release Inventory that will eviscerate the public’s right to know about toxins in their environment:
“States need to fight back against a Bush Administration that seems to believe that Americans don’t have a right to know about poisons being pumped into our air and water and wants to give polluters a free pass.
“Congress passed the Community Right-to-Know Act after a chemical spill that killed more than 15,000 people. We’re better off as a country because that reform created a publicly accessible annual report on poisonous substances being pumped into the air, water and ground by refineries and chemical plants. By spotlighting where dangerous pollutants come from, it’s helped reduce toxic chemical releases in our communities by almost 65% over the past two decades.
“But now, the Bush EPA wants to give corporate polluters a free pass -- a pass that would allow polluters to withhold information on potentially deadly poisons such as lead and mercury that build up in people's bodies. That’s dead wrong. We all have a right to know what is in our environment. The Administration falsely claims they’re acting in the name of small business but small firms account for less than 1% of the nation's toxic emissions. The truth is the Administration is just helping big corporate polluters avoid public scrutiny.”