Toxics Right To Know
The principle of a Toxics Right-To-Know represents the foundation for true environmental justice. Government transparency and access to information is essential for the vibrancy of all communities.
Environmental justice communities lack adequate access to accurate information needed to improve laws and regulations to reduce and eliminate toxics emitted into air, water and waste streams. Community Toxics Right to Know (RTK) is a foundation of environmental justice. Toxics Right to Know brings critical information to residents about local air and water pollution.
Why Toxics Right to Know is Important
Public health protections require accurate data. Community Toxics Reporting is a basic component of public health policy because environmental pollution can have a lasting and profound impact on health and the livability of neighborhoods. Access to accurate data is a tremendous benefit to neighbors and communities, who are better able to participate in critical decisions to improve laws that will benefit their health and well-being.
What we are doing
Beyond Toxics was launched from the 1996 Eugene effort to establish Oregon’s first Toxics Right to Know law. The ordinance, adopted by a citywide vote, provided first responders and the public with information about federally listed hazardous substances in their response areas and neighborhoods.
Beyond Toxics has defended Eugene’s Toxics Right to Know law from relentless attacks from industrial polluters who seek to defund and destroy the program. The program remains strong and fully funded. Learn more.
Beyond Toxics has used the air toxics emissions data derived from the Eugene Toxics Right to Know database to plan our Environmental Justice Bus Tours, educate the community, report back to the community on the relationship between air toxics in their community and documented health issues, inform our testimony on air toxics permits and influence land use planning in frontline neighborhoods. Learn more
In 2017 Beyond Toxics worked with key Oregon senators to champion HB 2669 to make it easier for local governments to require polluters to report air and water emissions within their jurisdictions and to manage the data via a publicly-accessible website where manufacturers post their air and water emissions based on an accurate system of materials balancing.
Beyond Toxics was selected by Governor Kate Brown to represent the voice of environmental organizations on the Cleaner Air Oregon Rules Advisory Work Group. We played a significant role in the adoption of a new and high standard of air toxics regulations that prioritizes public health in air quality laws. Part of the Cleaner Air Oregon work was the adoption of a toxic air emissions reporting requirement framed upon some of the recommendations in HB 2669.