Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Hails Repeal Of Bush Administration Rule Undermining Chemical Emission Reporting

May 19, 2009

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today announced that his office is voluntarily withdrawing a lawsuit to block a Bush era rule crippling public reporting of toxic chemical emissions after Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently reversed the changes.

The lawsuit, filed in 2007 by Blumenthal and 11 other attorneys general, was officially withdrawn today.

"Our legal action helped achieve reversal of this appalling attempt to conceal release of toxic chemicals, including lead and mercury," Blumenthal said. "In this major victory, our lawsuit formed the first line of resistance, setting the stage for resistance leading to eventual repeal. I am pleased that my office fought this effort to hide toxic chemical releases. Crippling this vitally important program was a huge, horrific gift to the chemical industry at the expense of citizen health."

The Bush EPA sought to drastically scale back reporting required under the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), a program established by Congress after the deadly release of toxic chemicals in Bhopal, India in 1984.

Under the proposal, companies only had to report release of most chemicals when they exceed 5,000 pounds, ten times the current reporting threshold. The changes also slashed reporting of certain highly dangerous chemicals, such as lead and mercury.

Congress and the Obama administration recently repealed all the changes, restoring the program's earlier reporting rules and requirements.

Also suing were Arizona, California, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.