RTKnet: Advocacy Center

Citizens have a right to participate in government decision making about public information access policies and strategies. Citizens also have a right to hold the government accountable for enforcing policies requiring public dissemination of information. This section of RTK NET provides citizens with additional tools with which to influence decisions made by the government regarding your health and safety.

"Split Estate" Exposes Damage From Gas Drilling (Split Estate)

The new documentary, Split Estate, maps a tragedy in the making, as citizens in the path of a new drilling boom in the Rocky Mountain West struggle against the erosion of their civil liberties, their communities, and their health. The film will air again on Planet Green on January 16 and 17, 2010.

(08 Dec 2009)

New Standard of Openness Set by Obama's Open Government Directive (OMB Watch)

The Obama administration announced its latest effort to create a more open and accountable government: the release of the Open Government Directive. The directive has been in development since the first day of the Obama administration, when the president issued a memo ordering it.

(08 Dec 2009)

Registration Open For EPA Environmental Justice Conference (U.S. EPA)

Registration ends January 15, 2010 for the 2010 Conference on Environmental Justice, Air Quality, Goods Movement, and Green Jobs: Evolution and Innovation, sponsored by U.S. EPA, January 25-27, 2010, New Orleans, LA.


(04 Dec 2009)

Groups Sue EPA for Coal Ash Data (Sierra Club)

"People living near these coal ash sites have a right to know if the sites have failed inspections or have a history of safety violations," said Mary Anne Hitt, Deputy Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. "We’re talking about some of the largest dump sites in the nation here where the risks aren’t being made public."

(04 Dec 2009)

25 Years After Bhopal, Senator Seeks Stronger Chemical Rules (Sen. Frank Lautenberg)

Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) marked the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal gas leak disaster by calling for stronger security measures at chemical plants across the country. Lautenberg is currently working on a bill to ensure strong protections are in place to secure chemical facilities and to prevent chemical disasters or attacks within the United States.


(03 Dec 2009)

BPA, Toxic Chemicals Found in Infant Cord Blood (Environmental Working Group)

Laboratory tests commissioned by EWG have, for the first time, detected bisphenol A (BPA), a plastic component and synthetic estrogen, in umbilical cord blood of American infants. The report's findings constitute hard evidence that each child was exposed to a host of dangerous substances while still in its mother’s womb.

(02 Dec 2009)

EU Requires Labeling of Nanomaterials in Cosmetics (Royal Society of Chemistry)

A new European regulation will require cosmetics manufacturers to list any nanoparticles contained in products marketed within the European Union. The regulation states that all nanomaterial ingredients should be clearly indicated in the list of ingredients by inserting the word 'nano' in brackets after the ingredient listing.

(01 Dec 2009)

Lessons of Bhopal: 25 Years Later, U.S. Chemical Laws Need Strengthening (OMB Watch)

Dec. 3 marks the 25th anniversary of the most catastrophic industrial accident in history: the leak of poisonous gas from a pesticide plant in the Indian city of Bhopal. Twenty-five years after the tragedy, much progress has been made, but much remains to be done to provide a minimum level of protection against chemical releases.

(01 Dec 2009)

Public Pressure, Policies Drive Innovation, Safer Products (Green Chemistry & Commerce Council)

Public demand for information on product ingredients helps drive development of greener products, according to three case studies of Nike, S.C. Johnson, and Hewlett-Packard, conducted by the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production.

(01 Dec 2009)

Congress, GAO Scrutinize Superfund Monitoring Agency (New York Times)

"It seems to have gotten into their culture to do quick and dirty studies and to be too willing to say there are no public health consequences," said Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC), "People should be able to count on the government to tell them the truth."

(30 Nov 2009)