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Right to Know bill

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From: Wayne Pferdehirt (
Date: Tue May 13 1997 - 13:34:16 CDT

For your info. This has been forwarded from the Natl Poll Prev.
Rdtable listserv.

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 12:19:53 -0400
From: Natalie Roy <>
Subject: Right to Know bill
To: NPPR list server <>

The following is a copy of a 'Dear Colleague'
letter sent by Congressman Waxman (D-CA) and Congressman Saxton (R-NJ)
regarding a bill entitled, "The Children's Environmental Protection
and Right to Know Act of 1997." Also included is a summary of the
legislation, that will be formally introduced Thursday. If you need
more information you can call the two contacts listed in the letter.
"Sunshine is the Greatest Disinfectant"

May 9, 1997

 Dear Colleague:

On Thursday, May 15, we will be introducing the "Children's
Environmental Protection and Right to Know Act of 1997." We are
writing to encourage you to become an original cosponsor of this
important legislation.

The "Children's Environmental Protection and Right to Know Act of
1997" will ensure citizens the right-to-know about their exposure to
toxic chemicals. It will give parents, communities and businesses the
right to know about toxic chemicals in their neighborhoods and the
toxic ingredients in household products with which their children may
come in contact.

This legislation will build upon the success of the Toxic Release
Inventory (TRI). Since 1988, manufacturers who found themselves
listed on the TRI voluntarily reduced their environmental release of
toxic chemicals by 40%--motivated largely by the power of information
disclosure. It will also build upon ten years of success of similar
legislation in New Jersey and California.

A summary of the "Children's Environmental Protection and Right to
Know Act of 1997" is attached. If you are interested in being an
original cosponsor of this legislation, please contact Nikki Roy of
Rep. Waxman's office (225-3976) or Sarah Bittleman of Rep. Saxton's
office (225-4756).


Henry A. Waxman
Member of Congress

Jim Saxton
Member of Congress

The Children's Environmental Protection and Right to Know Act of 1997
Bill Summary

Title I: Children's Environmental Protection

Subtitle A--Disclosure of Industrial Releases that Present a
Significant Risk to Children

Section 101, reporting requirements. Directs the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) to set reporting thresholds for the Toxics
Release Inventory (TRI), authorized by the Emergency Planning and
Community Right-To-Know Act of 1986. The new thresholds would apply
to toxic chemicals which present a significant environmental risk to
the health of children, including lead, mercury, dioxin, cadmium,
chromium, and certain bioaccumulative substances.
 Thresholds must be set to ensure that 80% of the total releases of
chemical are reported.

Subtitle B--Disclosure of High Health Risk Chemicals in Children's
Consumer Products

Section 111. Listing of Toxic Substances. Directs the Department of
Health and Human Dervices (HHS) to publish a list of substances which
are toxic due to their carcinogenic, neurotoxic, or reproductive toxic
effects. Draws from existing federal lists of toxic substances to
establish the core of this list. Authorizes HHS to gather additional
information needed to complet the list. Exempts products regulated by
the Food and Drug Administration.

Section 112. Reporting of Toxic Chemicals in Consumer Products.
Manufacturers and importers of products with toxic ingredients would
report the identity and concentrations of the products' ingredients to
the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Also manufacturers and
importers would provide information regarding how the products meet
the existing requirements of the Hazardous Substances Act. Directs
CPSC to publish selected information on the toxic ingredients of the
products, but provides for the protection of trade secrets.

Section 113. Exemptions. Allows CPSC to give exemptions to safe
products, as demonstrated by the manufacturers and importers.

Section 114. Private Citizen Enforcement. Gives private citizens the
right to sue any person violating existing provisions of the Hazardous
Substances Act, and the reporting provisions created by this act.
Penalties received through CPSC suits are deposited in a special fund
to finance compliance and enforcement activities under this act.

Section 115. Preemption. States that the subtitle does not preempt
State or local laws.

Title II. Public Right to Know About Toxic Chemical Use

Section 201. Disclosure of Toxic Chemical Use. Facilities would
report to TRI their "toxic chemical use"--the amount of toxic
chemicals produced, consumed, stored and shipped to and from the
facility as product and waste.
 Also, facilities would report the number of employees exposed to the
chemicals at the facility, as well as the reduction in toxic chemical
use and waste due to pollution prevention measures.

Section 202. Disclosure of Toxic Chemical Use by Comparable
Facilities. Codifies existing EPA regulation under which certain
non-manufacturers would report to TRI. Also adds to TRI industry
categories using and releasing TRI chemicals in quantities similar to
those of currently covered industries.

Section 203. Streamlining Environmental Reporting and Public Access
to Information. Directs EPA to integrate the agency's many data
systems, to consolidate annual environmental reporting requirements
for regulated entities, and to provide the public one point of access
for publicly available information.

Section 204 Trade Secret Protection. Allows facilities to withhold
materials accounting information that constitutes a legitimate trade

Section 205. Civil Actions. Clarifies citizens' right to sue for past
or ongoing violations of the Emergency Planning and Community
right-Know Act that created TRI.

Wayne P. Pferdehirt, P.E., AICP
U. of Wis., Solid & Hazardous Waste Education Center
610 Langdon Street, Room 529, Madison, WI 53703-1195
Phone: 608/265-2361 Fax: 608/262-6250

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