Bush Leaves Alone Lead Reporting Requirements
by Guest Blogger, 2/25/2002
The Bush Administration today annouced it will let stand new reporting requirements on lead emmissions. Today was the deadline for Bush to step in and block the new rule from going into effect. The Administration's decision marks a departure from its recent actions to kill or delay important regulations protecting the environment, consumers, and worker health and safety. "We've lost so much lately in the way of environmental protections, we're forced to cheer when we maintain the status quo," said Gary Bass, executive director of OMB Watch, a public interest organization that promotes government transparency and the public's right to know. "While the global climate is warming, the climate for environmental protections in Washington remains chilly indeed." The rule requires facilities that manufacture, process or use more than 100 pounds of lead to report lead releases into the air, land and water under EPA's Toxics Release Inventory program. Previous reporting thresholds were too high to capture significant amounts of lead releases. Lead is high toxic, persists in the environment and accumulates up the food chain. "Today's decision by the White House to leave the lead standard alone allows the public to begin to see the scope of lead pollution problem in this country," said Bass. "It's staggering how little we know about human health threats. Right now, chemicals are innocent until proven guilty, and most often we're simply in the dark. This is one of many steps we must take to fulfill the public's right to know."