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

Council Bill 270 sets up rules of the game which do not apply anywhere else. The members of this committee, as well as the many others in this room concerned with Philadelphia’s economic well-being, know that we already have a major problem in attracting industry to our city as well as a problem in maintaining our basic industrial job-base.

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Anthony F. Visco, Senior Vice President of the Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

[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.

We think the message here is that legislation that is punitive toward business and heedless of the impact on the economy of this City adds to the flight of business investment. The results of this are greater economic stagnation, fewer jobs, and deterioration in the public health and welfare.

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President of the W.N. Stevenson Company and representative of the Northeastern Chemical Distributors Council.

[The right-to-know law is] a sop to a small group of people that I would call ‘overreactors’ I know it’s going to cost a business a helluva lot of money.

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

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.