Fear and Loathing about the Public Right to Know: The Surprising Success of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act

Date Published: 
Mon, 01/01/1996

 By Sidney M. Wolf. Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law. 1996.

Wolf methodically documents at the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act  and its effects. He describes it as “likely the most comprehensive law journal article on EPCRA to date”. I have not yet found an article to challenge that description. Wolf describes EPRCA “has turned out to be one of the most significant pieces of environmental legislation in decades”, reserving special praise for the community right-to-know aspect of the law. He carefully documents industry reaction against the bill, and which of their claims can be supported in retrospect. “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,” Wolf writes.