PROTECTING ACCESS TO ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION

RTKnet: Trade Secrets

Ingredients of Controversial Dispersants Used on Gulf Spill Are Secrets No More (The New York Times)

The EPA disclosed a full list of ingredients in Corexit 9500 and 9527, the dispersants used in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Sen. Gillibrand (D-NY) commented, "In order to hold BP accountable and to protect our citizens, we must provide all the information to the public and independent researchers so that they can verify the unfolding situation and long-term impact."

(09 Jun 2010)

Wyoming Approves Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Rules (The Associated Press)

The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved a regulation requiring energy companies to reveal the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing. Energy companies were concerned that disclosing the chemicals in fracking fluid would hurt their competitiveness. However, Steven Jones of the Wyoming Outdoor Council affirmed, "It's going to be important for landowners and the public to get access to that information, to know what fluids they are using," particularly in the event of groundwater contamination.

(09 Jun 2010)

How Toxic Are Dispersants Being Used In Gulf Oil Spill? (USA Today)

The two "dispersants" now being dumped onto the Gulf oil spill are banned in the UK; and more effective and less toxic alternatives exist. Information on the toxicitiy, ingredients, and health impacts of the dispersants is either unkown or being kept secret.

(20 May 2010)

Fragrance Companies Withhold Chemical Information (CNN)

"Perfumes commonly list 'fragrance' as an ingredient, rather than naming the specific chemicals involved, withholding information that could cause allergic reactions and other health effects, a report released Wednesday asserts."

(13 May 2010)

BP Won't Say What Toxics It's Dumping Onto Its Oil Spill (OMB Watch)

BP refuses to disclose the identities of the chemical "dispersants" it is dumping onto its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The chemical identities are considered trade secrets. Without knowing the chemical identities, we may never know what additional insults BP has left us to clean up for years to come.

(06 May 2010)

Energy Industry Fights Chemical Disclosure (Center for American Progress)

"The oil and natural gas lobby is working hard to prevent the EPA from establishing safeguards to protect the public from chemicals used to produce shale gas through hydraulic fracturing, also called 'fracking.'" The industry is hoping to add language to a Senate climate bill exempting the dangerous practice from regulation and hide chemical risks.

(06 Apr 2010)

EPA Initiates Hydraulic Fracturing Study: Agency Seeks Input From SAB (U.S. EPA)

The EPA is beginning a study of the dangers posed by the natural gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, which has been linked to the contamination of surface and drinking water nationwide. A committee of the agency's Science Advisory Board (SAB) will hold a public meeting to consider the design of the study April 7 and 8 in Washington, DC.

(18 Mar 2010)

Bit by Bit, EPA Opening Up Toxics Program (OMB Watch)

The EPA has announced it is taking another small step increasing transparency by providing free access to a key database that lists every chemical in commerce. Well…almost every chemical.

(15 Mar 2010)

States Push EPA, Congress to Curb Business Confidentiality Claims for Chemicals (NY Times)

States are demanding greater disclosure of alleged trade secrets related to chemicals regulated by EPA. According to one state official, "We're talking about a very basic right to know, which is needed by consumers, regulators, workers. ... If [a chemical] is in products we're going to use, we feel like people ought to have access to robust information."

(02 Mar 2010)

More Time to Comment on Disclosure of Pesticide Ingredients (U.S. EPA)

In response to industry requests, the EPA has extended the public comment period on its proposal to require disclosure of pesticide ingredients, including so-called inert ingredients, until April 23, 2010. "Inert" ingredients can be extremely dangerous but are usually not dislosed on pesticide labels. Submit your comments here.

(25 Feb 2010)