MAC: Mines and Communities

Major Victory for TRI

Published by MAC on 2006-05-23

Major Victory for TRI

OPMB Watch

23rd May 2006

As everyone knows, we have been in a long battle with EPA over their proposed rollbacks to the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI). Today, the House of Representatives made a giant stride in the effort to preserve the public's right to know about toxic pollution. The House passed the Pallone-Solis Toxic Right-To-Know Amendment to the Interior Appropriations ill by a wide margin of 231 to 187. The amendment protects public health and safety by preventing the EPA from rolling back reporting requirements to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program.

The vote saw 48 Republicans cross the line to vote with 183 Democrats in supporting the amendment. 172 Republicans and 15 Democrats voted against the amendment.

The day saw many ups and downs. After Chairman Charles Taylor offered his support of the Pallone-Solis Toxic Right-to-Know amendment, a strong opposition was made from Congressmen Tiahrt and Pence. Congressman Tiahrt argued that small businesses need relief from reporting toxic pollution under TRI, but his statements were riddled with incorrect and misleading claims. The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) had clearly launched a last minute campaign to kill the amendment.

OMB Watch along with US PIRG, LCV and many other groups around the country including public health officials, state agencies, emergency responders, workers, environmentalists, and American citizens all rallied hard throughout the day to support the amendment. They called offices to inform them that small businesses are completely exempt from reporting and that this was just another attempt by the radical right to prioritize business interests over the public health and safety.

Thankfully, in the end, the House saw this vote for what it was < an opportunity to protect the public¹s right to know and to stand up against the irresponsible planning by EPA.

We want to thank everyone for all your support and efforts to protect the Toxics Release Inventory. We may have additional fights ahead of us in the Senate and with the EPA, but we can mark today as a victory.

Sean Moulton
Director, Federal Information Policy
OMB Watch
1742 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 234-8494
Fax: (202) 234-8584

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