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Recommended Reading

The Community Plume, Spring 1991

The Spring 1991 issue of The Community Plume, published for Members of America's Local Emergency Planning Committees by Friends of the Earth, contains a number of valuable articles on the current state of the chemical industry and on the role of LEPCs in risk communication.

Not surprisingly, chemical accidents - and profits - are up, while public approval of the industry remains low despite industry efforts to restore public confidence. Plume editor Fred Millar assesses how well LEPCs are -- and are not -- meeting their obligations since the inception of EPCRA. He finds that LEPCs are not generally fulfilling their obligation to fully inform communities about the full extent of chemical risks and the possibilities for comunity-led risk-reduction efforts. Millar also finds that, TRI reporting notwithstanding, LEPCs are not pressuring industry to share with communities all they know about the full extent of risks posed by their operations (for instance, "worst case" scenarios that companies may have researched on their own). All in all, Millar feels that many of the high hopes initially held for the local emergency planning process have not been met; he discusses "Good Neighbor" agreements and other alternatives aimed at risk reduction rather than just emergency planning.

Results of an EPA survey on risk communication undertaken by LEPCs are also reviewed in the issue, and a mail-in survey/questionnaire on LEPC activities is included.

The Community Plume can be obtained from Friends of the Earth at 218 D Street, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20043 (tel. 202/544-2600).

Source: RTK Net, Washington, DC

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