WASHINGTON - Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.-supported language about the content and enforcement of the Toxic Release Inventory, stripped from a House-Senate conference bill that would fund the EPA, has surfaced in that bill's instructive report language. Congress adjourned Nov. 20 without acting on the conference committee compromise measure providing $5.7 billion to the Environmental Protection Agency, less than the $6.64 billion given the agency in 1995. The Clinton administration had wanted $7.5 billion in environmental funding. Both houses must accept the committee compromise before the measure is sent to President Clinton.
The administration had also called for expansion of the TRI to include reporting by more facilities, the addition of 300 new chemicals, and a requirement for companies to make known their chemical use data.
SPI, in Oct. 19 testimony before the EPA by Maureen Healy, director of federal environmental issues, objected to the expansion plans. Healy noted the expansion proposal ``works directly against the Clinton administration's professed commitment to ``regulatory reinvention'' and reform, and leaner, smarter regulation.''
The conference committee's language agrees with SPI and notes the EPA lacks authorization under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act to expand the TRI.
Gregory Wetstone, legislative director of the Washington-based Natural Resources Defense Council, said the NRDC ``remains very concerned'' about the report language.
Wetstone predicts a Clinton veto of the conference bill on EPA funding in its current form.