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OMB Pressured On Toxic Release Rule
"A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report points out the EPA was pressured by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to rush through a rule-making process that would allow more than 3,500 facilities to not disclose the amount of toxic chemicals they produce, store and discharge.

The EPA hurried through a series of steps to finalize the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Burden Reduction Final Rule in order to meet OMB’s deadline in reducing “the reporting burden on industry” for small businesses, GAO said. The schedule did not allow the EPA to:

* Meet the guideline’s provisions to complete economic analyses;
* Evaluate the costs and benefits of the changes; or
* Seek adequate input from EPA program offices that rely heavily on TRI data.

The rule, which was issued by the EPA Dec. 22, 2006, raised the release threshold from 500 pounds to 2,000 pounds for any toxic chemical. This means that facilities – as many as 3,500 – discharging less than 2,000 pounds of toxic chemicals no longer need to provide detailed information about their chemical releases."

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