Working Paper Number
Public access to information can drive change more effectively than regulations alone. Some regulatory agencies are now taking such an approach to advance their objectives. Right-to-know legislation, such as the Emergency Planning and Community Right-toKnow Act of 1986 (EPCRA), provides the basis for many of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) information disclosure initiatives. By requiring that the public be informed about releases of toxic chemicals in their communities, EPCRA— through its Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) in particular—can help to empower community residents, heighten industry accountability to the citizenry, and support efforts to ensure environmental justice.