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Earthworks comments to the EPA

Cover Letter Text:

October 10, 2011

Lisa Jackson
EPA Administrator
Ariel Ross Building
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington DC 20460

Re: Expansion of TRI requirements to include phosphate mines.

Dear Administrator Jackson,

On behalf of Earthworks, we urge the EPA to initiate a rule-making to expand the list of sectors subject to the requirements of the TRI program to include phosphate mining. Earthworks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment against the adverse impacts of mineral development.  Earthworks has 40,000 members nation-wide, and we have offices in Washington DC, Montana, Colorado, Texas, New York, and California.

Phosphate mining releases significant amounts of selenium into the environment.  These releases have adversely affected water quality, fish, wildlife and livestock, and it poses a threat to public health. 

It is vital that the public have access to information about the amount of selenium released into the environment in and around their communities via the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA).  This type of information allows community members to understand the risks associated with releases of hazardous pollutants, and to make more informed decisions. 

Bonnie Gestring, Earthworks