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The EPA plans on doing away with detailed reporting for companies unless they generate 5,000 pounds of a particular toxic chemical instead of 500. Here is what this is all about! Since Congress passed the Emergency Management and Community Right-To-Know Act in 1986 the EPA has required companies to report Toxic Release Inventory and has made this information available to the public. There are 650 chemicals on the toxic list that are monitored, and the information is available for workers and residents according to the zip code for their residence. For instance in Canton zip code 21214 which is a part of Baltimore there are 10 industrial companies reporting and the figures are available thru TRI by the EPA. By the way this area was in the 80th percentile for cancer in 2002.
The EPA calls the changes that it has proposed a "burden reduction" for reporting companies,and in its September announcement it noted that a third of the 24,000 facilities currently reporting would have to file less paperwork to report virtually the same information. The changes do not require Congess' approval before they can be put into effect, but the EPA is soliciting public comment on the matter.
Environmentalist see the proposal as more watering down of EPA standards by the White House because some companies will no longer have to make any reports. Just recently they wanted to lower the Water Quality Standards for the Chesapeake Bay, I wonder what their next proposal will be.

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