FEAR AND LOATHING ABOUT THE PUBLIC RIGHT TO KNOW: THE SURPRISING SUCCESS OF THE EMERGENCY PLANNING AND COMMUNITY RIGHT-TO-KNOW ACT

Sidney M. Wolf

This article is likely the most comprehensive law journal article to date on the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA). Part II describes the legislative provisions in detail. Part III examines the initial worries about EPCRA from those who had the most to fear from it: governmental officials and industry. Part IV discusses whether these fears were justified. One such fear that did prove valid was industry's concern that publicly-provided information on toxic chemical releases would lead to a backlash against toxic polluters and stronger efforts to uncover and control toxic pollution. Part V discusses the profound effect the TRI has had on environmental organizations, the press, legislators, regulatory agencies, and most importantly, industry. And finally, Part VI describes recent threats to the very existence of the TRI program by the so-called "regulatory reform" pursued by the Republican-led Congress as part of that party's "Contract with America" campaign.

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