Philadelphia Worker and Community Right-to-Know Act

Philadelphia Worker and Community Right-to-Know Act

The Philadelphia Worker and Community Right-to-Know Act requires employers that use any of 450 chemical substances to file Material Safety Data Sheets with various local government agencies. (An additional list of 99 chemicals will trigger the filing requirement if they are emitted from the workplace.) Material Safety Data Sheets must be made available to the public, upon request, through the governmental agencies where they are filed. Containers of these chemicals must be clearly labeled. (This was the first municipal right-to-know law.)

Cry Wolf Quotes

I think you know as well as I do that when you get legislation like this, you very often feel this is the nose of the camel. Okay, they start off with this and then they expand it a little further, and then the next thing you know they are taxing industry to pay for the cost of the regulatory apparatus that’s being established. And the first thing you know, you’re really being asked to preside at your own funeral.

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Thacher Longstreth, president of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

Adding another layer of government regulations onto these federal programs which provide substantially similar protection to employees and the public as those proposed in the bill is wasteful, inflationary and unnecessary.

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Robert Vogel, chief regulatory counsel of the Rohm and Haas Company.

[The right-to-know bill would be] a serious case of overkill….[and] would make it very difficult to maintain a business in the city of Philadelphia.

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Thacher Longstreth president of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and former Republican city councilman.

The bill produces no protection for legitimate industry trade secrets, the disclosure of which would not be necessary to protect health or the environment.

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Robert Vogel, chief regulatory counsel of the Rohm and Haas Company.

Backgrounders & Briefs

Dying To Know: A Historical Analysis of the Right-To-Know Movement

This survey provides a sweeping analysis of the right-to-know movement in America.