To Keep Citizens Informed, Involved on Local Pollution Issues
April 22, 1997

"People do have a right to know that their air and their water are safe."

- President Clinton
State of the Union Address, 1/23/96

Community right-to-know information is vital to citizens who want to be informed and involved in issues related to local pollution. The Clinton Administration believes that putting environmental and public health information into the hands of the American people is one of the most effective ways to reduce local pollution and prevent it from occurring in the future. With this action, the Clinton Administration is strengthening and expanding the Toxics Release Inventory -- an annual database of chemicals released in local communities and reported by industrial facilities nationwide, and the centerpiece of community right-to-know.

Individuals and more than 1,500 citizens groups across the country use the right-to-know information to work directly with companies releasing the chemicals, as well as state and local officials. Together, they work to reduce the toxic releases that go into the air, land, and water. Use of community right-to-know information is one of the most effective non-regulatory tools against harmful pollution: Since the program began in 1986, facilities required to report toxic releases have reduced their emissions by 43%.

Today's Action Requires More Industries to Report Right-to-Know Data

Today, the Clinton Administration finalized a requirement, announced in June 1996 by Vice President Gore, that -- for the first time ever -- increases by about 30 percent the number of industrial facilities required to make public the levels of toxic chemicals they release into the air, water and land in communities across America. Today's action delivers on President Clinton's commitment to expand every citizen's right to know about local pollution in several ways. The action:

A Long Record of Expanding the Public's Right-to-Know About Local Pollution

To ensure that current right-to-know reporting continues to give Americans a more complete picture of all the toxic pollution released into our communities, the Clinton Administration has:

The Clinton Administration is Taking Bold Steps to Expand Right-to-Know to Other Important Areas

To further enhance Americans' right-to-know about information concerning our food, our drinking water, our homes and our communities, the Clinton Administration has: