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

[S]mall business today is struggling to swim upstream against today the constantly increasing current of restriction and regulation. I suggest that adding to this burden should be only done with the greatest of considerations for the benefits to be achieved, since each addition to the pressure will result in some businesses either giving up or changing their location.

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

The moment you get either people or lawyers apprised of the fact that a company has a toxic material on their premises, they’re going to bring a lawsuit.

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

So that a bill like the Right to Know Bill is not in itself definitive; it would not drive all of these businesses away. It will bear more harshly on some than others, and may expedite their rate of closing or leaving or – and very often it’s not even a question of driving a company away, they just don’t expand here. They go and expand somewhere else.

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Thacher Longstreth, president of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

It is a bad bill based on undemonstrated premises. It will accomplish nothing constructive in Public Health value, but rather will do a great deal of harm to the City’s business and commerce, and most importantly, its economy.

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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.