START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
 
 
This thread is archived. To reply to it you must re-activate it.
Earth Action, 11/21/05 November 21, 2005 3:47 PM

NRDC's EARTH ACTION:
The Bulletin for Environmental Activists

November 21, 2005
Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at NRDC!
========================================
In This Issue:

--Action Alerts--

1. Urge the EPA not to let industry hide toxic pollution from the public

2. Tell the Bush administration to insist GE clean up its toxic mess in the
Hudson River

--Updates on Previous Alerts--

Arctic drilling budget vote

======================================================
You will also find these alerts in NRDC'S Earth Action Center, which includes
tools for taking action easily online, at http://www.nrdc.org/action

(Please do not reply to this message; see the instructions below for how to
unsubscribe or contact NRDC with questions or comments.)

=============
Action Alerts
=============

1. Urge the EPA not to let industry hide toxic pollution from the public

The Toxics Release Inventory is an Environmental Protection Agency database
that contains information on toxic chemicals released by industries in the
United States. It is the most comprehensive and easily accessible source of
information about toxic releases available to citizens and community groups,
who have been using the inventory for more than 15 years to learn about toxic
releases in their communities and then pressure companies to cut their
pollution. From 1998 to 2003 alone, industrial pollution has been reduced by
about 2.8 billion pounds thanks in part to the Toxics Release Inventory.

The EPA is proposing to weaken the inventory's effectiveness, however, by
allowing polluters to report their chemical releases only every other year.
Other proposed changes could exempt about 4,000 industrial facilities from
providing detailed information about toxic chemical releases, and allow them to
report only minimal information about these pollutants. These changes could
seriously undermine communities' efforts to prevent and reduce harmful
pollution.

The EPA is accepting comments on its proposed changes to the Toxics Release
Inventory reporting rules through January 13th.

== What to do ==
Send a message, before the January 13th comment deadline, urging the EPA not to
weaken the reporting rules for the Toxics Release Inventory.

== Background information ==
The Working Group on Community Right-to-Know has prepared a fact sheet
on the Toxics Release Inventory program:
http://www.crtk.org/library_files/TRI.pdf

== Contact information ==
You can send a comment to the EPA directly from NRDC's Earth Action Center at
http://www.nrdc.org/action/. Or use the contact information and sample letter
below to send your own message.

Docket number TRI-2005-0073
Environmental Protection Agency
Mail Code 28221T
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20460
Fax:  202-566-0741
Email:  oei.docket@epa.gov

== Sample letter ==

Subject:  Don't weaken the Toxics Release Inventory

Dear Administrator Johnson and EPA staff,

I oppose the EPA's plans to change the reporting rules for the Toxics Release
Inventory by allowing alternate year reporting and increased thresholds for the
reporting of detailed chemical release information. The TRI is the most
comprehensive and easily accessible source of information about toxic releases
available to citizens and community groups, and it is a crucial tool in
community efforts to pressure companies to reduce pollution.

If the EPA changes the rules so that polluters report their chemical releases
every other year instead of annually, as they are now required to do, Americans
would have to wait two years to receive updates about pollutants released in or
near their communities. Companies could also use the rule change to pollute
more during years they do not have to report.

The EPA has also proposed allowing facilities that release up to 5,000 pounds
of certain toxic chemicals to provide only a minimal amount of information
about these releases. This is 10 times the current threshold of 500 pounds and
is a significant amount of pollution for communities located near a polluting
plant. Another proposed change would eliminate important information concerning
many facilities' waste management practices for chemicals such as lead and
mercury. If the EPA adopts these changes, Americans would lose detailed
information on chemical releases from about 4,000 facilities around the country.

I urge you to reject these changes to the TRI program, and to preserve the
public's right to know about dangerous chemicals in our communities.

Sincerely,

[Your name and address]

2. Tell the Bush administration to insist GE clean up its toxic mess in the
Hudson River

Over the course of 30 years, General Electric dumped more than 1.3 million
pounds of cancer-causing PCBs into the Hudson River, leading to the creation of
the nation's largest Superfund site. PCBs, which also increase the risk of
developmental problems and reproductive system damage, accumulate in fish, so
children and women of childbearing age have been advised not to eat fish from
the Hudson.

In 2002, GE agreed to design, under the supervision of the Environmental
Protection Agency, a six-year, $700 million effort to remove the PCB-laden
muck -- m  [ send green star]
 
 November 21, 2005 3:48 PM

-- more than 675 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth -- from the bottom of
the upper Hudson River. But now the EPA is letting GE walk away from completely
removing its pollution from the river. In October the EPA and GE signed a
sweetheart deal that would split the site cleanup into two phases, with GE
agreeing only to the first phase, which accounts for only 10 percent of the
work.

If GE doesn't participate in the full cleanup, taxpayers will have to cover for
the company or live with huge amounts of toxic chemicals in the ecosystem and a
long-term health hazard for the community. To make matters worse, the deal
would weaken many important environmental protections that were included in the
2002 agreement. And in the meantime, GE is suing the EPA to get off the hook
entirely.

The Department of Justice must accept the EPA's agreement with GE before it can
become final; public comments on the issue are being accepted through December
14th.

== What to do ==
Send a message urging the Justice Department not to sign off on the EPA's and
GE's sweetheart deal, and tell the EPA not to relieve GE of its responsibility
to completely clean up the toxic mess it created in the Hudson River.

== Contact information ==
You can send an official comment directly from NRDC's Earth Action Center at
http://www.nrdc.org/action/. Or use the contact information and sample letter
below to send your own message.

Sue Ellen Wooldridge
Assistant Attorney General
Environment & Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, DC  20530
Email:  tonia.fleetwood@usdoj.gov

Administrator Stephen L. Johnson
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460
Email:  johnson.stephen@epa.gov

== Sample letter ==

Subject: U.S. v. General Electric Co., Civil Action No. 05-CV-1270 (D.J. Ref.
90-11-2-529)

Dear Assistant Attorney General Wooldridge and Administrator Johnson,

I am concerned that the consent decree recently signed by the Environmental
Protection Agency and General Electric effectively lets GE off the hook from
its responsibility to clean up its Hudson River PCB pollution. The EPA should
not be allowed to let GE complete only a fraction of the PCB cleanup, and
should hold the company accountable to the cleanup standards set in its 2002
agreement and in EPA's Record of Decision.

By letting GE walk away without committing to a full cleanup, the EPA has given
GE no incentive to do a good job in Phase 1 of the cleanup, and left open the
question of how Phase 2 will be funded. The EPA does not have the financial
means to complete the PCB cleanup without GE. If GE doesn't participate in the
full cleanup, taxpayers will have to cover for the company or live with huge
amounts of toxic chemicals in the ecosystem and a long-term health hazard for
the community. The EPA also did not insist that GE drop its lawsuit against the
agency, a lawsuit that could absolve GE of any further responsibility for its
pollution should the company win.

I strongly encourage the Department of Justice to reject the current consent
decree, and advise the EPA to either negotiate a cleanup plan with GE, or
simply order GE to implement such a cleanup plan.

Sincerely,

[Your name and address]

==========================
Updates on Previous Alerts
==========================

ARCTIC DRILLING BUDGET VOTE
In our last alert we asked you to urge your representatives to vote against the
House version of the budget reconciliation bill if it included provisions for
either Arctic Refuge or coastal drilling. You sent more than 6,000 messages in
just a single day, and your representatives heard you loud and clear. On
November 9th, 29 Republican moderates joined Democrats in opposing the drilling
provisions, forcing House leaders to drop them from the final bill, which
passed a week later, 217-215. But the fight to protect the Arctic Refuge is not
over. The House bill must now be reconciled with the Senate version, which
would allow drilling in the refuge, and drilling proponents intend to insert
the drilling provision into the final bill during conference negotiations. Once
we determine when the conference committee will begin working on the bill,
we'll be calling on you once again to help stop this assault on the Arctic
Refuge; in the meantime thanks to all of you who contacted your representatives
on behalf of America's premier wildlife sanctuary.

========================
Subscription Information
========================

NRDC distributes a number of bulletins by email. To subscribe to any or all of
them, go to:
http://www.nrdcaction.org/join/subscribe.asp

If you already subscribe and want to change your subscriptions or update your
email address or other information, go to:
http://www.nrdcaction.org/profileeditor

You may also unsubscribe from Earth Action by sending an email message to
earthaction@nrdcaction.org with REMOVE in the subject line.

==========
About NRDC
==========

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a nonprofit environmental organization
with more than one million members and  [ send green star]
 
 November 21, 2005 3:48 PM

 online activists, and a staff of
scientists, attorneys and environmental experts. Our mission is to protect the
planet's wildlife and wild places and ensure a safe and healthy environment for
all living things.

For more information about NRDC or how to become a member of NRDC, please
contact us at:

Natural Resources Defense Council
40 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011
212-727-4511 (voice) / 212-727-1773 (fax)
Email: nrdcaction@nrdc.org
http://www.nrdc.org

Also visit:
BioGems -- Saving Endangered Wild Places
A project of the Natural Resources Defense Council
http://www.savebiogems.org

 [ send green star]
 
  New Topic              Back To Topics Read Code of Conduct

 

This group:
Global-Care-Network (circle of friends )
54 Members

View All Topics
New Topic

Track Topic
Mail Preferences