Philadelphia Worker and Community Right-to-Know Act Quotes

When the City Council was considering the right-to-know law, lobbying was intense. Those opposed to it argued that the tough regulations would drive businesses from the city. That threatened exodus has not happened.

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“Expand ‘right-to-know’ effort", The Philadelphia Inquirer.

No jobs have left the city because of the toxic-disclosure law…. But whatever the figures for a statewide right-to-know law, it is hard conceive of them outstripping the astronomical costs—in tarnished corporate images, in legal expenses and in compensating and caring for sick employees—that await businesses without formal, accepted mechanism to warn workers about the health risks they face on the job.

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“Sniping at the right-to-know”, The Philadelphia Inquirer.

[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.

[The right-to-know law would be] harmful to the economy and not very helpful to the air.

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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.

Harassment and [a] nightmarish mountain of paperwork…would be caused by enactment of the bill in City Council.

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

I can assure you from my experience, it’s going to cost us jobs.

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

[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.

It would require us to mail out forms and get information on 450 or more chemicals from 7,500 firms. We think that would require another 15 people [and $300,000 more in costs].

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William Reilly, head of the Philadelphia Health Department’s Air Management Services. Argues the costs would outweigh the benefits.

We must all be aware of one very basic fact: all, absolutely all, chemicals are potentially toxic substances….The key, as I have previously stated, is the quantitative level, the concentration at which any chemical substance is present. Thus anything, I repeat anything, present in an excessive amount is a toxic substance. You cannot legislate against every conceivable chemical substance and therefore, the need for a truly meaningful definition for a toxic substance should be evident.

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Richard Kiefer Jr., corporate safety director of the McCloskey Varnish Company.

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