Gore Threatens New Toxic Release Mandates

Vice President Gore has announced "a major expansion" of the EPA's "right-to-know" program that requires companies to report their release of certain toxic chemicals into the environment.

Speaking in Washington D.C.'s Rock Creek Park on the eve of Earth Day, Gore challenged U.S. industry to "come forward with complete data" on the health effects of some 3,000 widely used chemicals, most of which are not subject to mandatory reporting under EPA's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) because of inadequate data. If industry doesn't fill the data gaps voluntarily, Gore said, EPA will propose regulations forcing them to do so.

As if on cue, in another announcement tied to Earth Day, the Chemical Manufacturers Assn. pledged that the chemical industry will accelerate its testing on the health effects of chemicals not currently covered by TRI. The Washington-based trade group said its member companies will perform risk assessments on 100 chemicals a year -- at a cost of about $260,000 each.

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