Competitive Enterprise Institute | 1899 L ST NW Floor 12, Washington, DC 20036 | Phone: 202-331-1010 | Fax: 202-331-0640
Washington, D.C., June 4, 2002 — The Competitive Enterprise Institute expressed hope that a new Senate proposal would finally address national security risks created by a 1990 “Right to Know” law. Sen. Christopher Bond (R-MO) is expected to introduce this legislation, which would limit access to sensitive information about the nation’s industrial facilities.
Part of the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act, the law obliged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make public “risk management plans.” The plans provide details about industrial plants that security experts say could assist terrorists in selecting targets and planning attacks. Congress attempted to reform the law in 1999 at the urging of the FBI, CIA and others, but that effort failed to prevent the wide release of the information.
“Since September 11, the case for reforming the ‘Right to Know’ law is stronger than ever,” said Angela Logomasini, director of risk and environmental policy at CEI. “The administration has taken some steps in this area, but it has not gone far enough,” she said. The Bush Administration removed the information from the EPA website last October, but it continues to make it easily accessible at federal libraries.
“While CEI will reserve judgment on the bill until details are available, Sen. Bond deserves praise for taking up a very important issue. Hopefully, his bill will remedy this problem,” said Logomasini. CEI has long maintained that instead of making this kind of information available to anyone, it should be provided to local emergency planners to use the for emergency response and community education.
CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information about CEI, visit our website at www.cei.org/ .