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RTK letter to Clinton

>Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 20:12:55 -0800 (PST)
>X-Sender: [email protected]
>To: (Recipient list suppressed)
>From: Jeremiah Baumann  (by way of Sanford
Lewis )
>Subject: RTK letter to Clinton
>Please join the list of 1,000 groups -- environmental groups, labor groups,
>emergency response workers, and other citizen groups -- calling on
>President Clinton to follow through on his promises to expand the public's
>right to know about toxic chemicals.
>Loopholes in reporting laws mean that we can't find out about environmental
>releases of dangerous substances like lead, dioxin, and mercury -- these
>are substances that are not only toxic to human health, but that persist in
>the environment for months, years, or decades, and accumulate in the tissue
>of wildlife and humans.  Thirty-nine states are now issuing mercury
>advisories for contaminated bodies of water, and in 13 of those states,
>advisories cover every lake and river in the state.  Industries can dump
>these toxic chemicals into our environment legally and don't even have to
>report it!
>The EPA is expected to propose a rule next month requiring increased
>reporting on these dangerous substances, so help us send a message to the
>Administration right now:  protect the public from toxic threats to our
>health and the health of our ecosystem!
>To sign the letter, please provide:
>1) your name
>2) the name of your group/affiliation
>3) your address
>4) your phone number and email
>The letter has been written by the State PIRGs and adresses the threat of
>persistent and bioaccumulating substances, as well as the need for chemical
>use reporting on the dangers of toxics to workers, communities, and
>consumers.  Please pass the action alert on to other groups and encourage
>them to join us in sending a message to the Clinton administration.
>President William Jefferson Clinton 
>The White House
>1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
>Washington, D.C. 20500
>Dear President Clinton:
>We, the undersigned organizations, are writing to urge you to expand the
>public's right to know about the use and release of toxic chemicals. Your
>Administration has played a leading role in championing Right to Know, but
>there are several major holes in the program that keep vital information
>from the public--information about some of the most toxic substances known
>to science, and information that would let communities know which toxic
>chemicals are used in their neighborhoods and help businesses take steps to
>prevent pollution.
>First, the federal Right to Know program should require industries to
>report all uses and releases of substances that are highly toxic, persist
>in the environment for long periods of time and build up or bioaccumulate
>in plants and animals. Many of these substances are extremely toxic in
>small quantities and escape public reporting because existing thresholds
>are too high. The International Joint Commission on Great Lakes Water
>Quality, upon the advice of  dozens of leading scientists, found that
>"persistent toxic substances are too dangerous to the biosphere and to
>humans to permit their release in any quantity." Given this threat, at a
>minimum EPA should require industries to report all use and release of
>toxics that meet these criteria.  This demands that EPA set a reporting
>threshold of zero for these substances. 
>Second, Right to Know  should include information on toxic chemicals used
>in the workplace, transported through communities and placed in consumer
>products, in addition to current reporting on releases to air, land and
>water. Tens of millions of Americans are exposed to toxic chemicals on a
>daily basis in their homes, workplaces and communities, but are kept in the
>dark about these exposures.  Chemical use reporting gives the public
>greater access to information and encourages companies to voluntarily
>reduce their use of toxics and generation of hazardous wastes, helping
>companies save millions of dollars in the process.  New Jersey and
>Massachusetts industries already collect this data and have reaped the
>Since 1992 you have made repeated commitments to expand the public's right
>to know to include toxic chemical use information.  While your
>Administration has taken important steps to expand Right to Know, there is
>critical work to be done to give Americans more information about toxic
>chemicals that directly affect their lives and the environment.  As Vice
>President Gore states in his forward to Our Stolen Future, "For the sake of
>our children and grandchildren, we must urgently seek the answers.  All of
>us have the right to know and the obligation to learn."  Please use all
>administrative authorities to complete these crucial Right to Know expansions.

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