Take a look at toxins | AspenTimes.com

Take a look at toxins

To: Editor

From: Sven Alstrom, Aspen

Re: Environmental policy

Many things have changed since Dec. 11, 2000, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Bush v. Gore, that the Florida Supreme Court’s plan for recounting ballots was unconstitutional, which stopped the recount that was then occurring and allowed Katherine Harris’s previous certification of George W. Bush as the winner of Florida’s electoral votes to stand.

One thing that has not changed is the now president’s commitment to continually overturn environmental legislation and requirements as he did when he was governor of Texas further destroying water and air quality in Texas, the Gulf Coast, and since 2001 from coast to coast.

The EPA now employs 172 investigators in its Criminal Division, below the minimum of 200 agents required by the 1990 Pollution Prosecution Act, signed by former President George H. W. Bush.

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The number of civil lawsuits against defendants who refuse to settle environmental cases was down nearly 70 percent between 2002 and 2006.

Lawyers for 12 states filed suit last week to demand the Bush administration restore strict rules on disclosure of dangerous chemicals. The Toxic Release Inventory of 1984 had required companies to file reports if they stored or released more than 500 pounds of toxins. Now the EPA requires detailed reports only if the toxic release exceeds 500 pounds.

Maybe Pitkin County and the Western Slope should now re-enact those requirements for toxic releases below 500 pounds in order to protect our own environment.

Please ask your state and local representatives to locally re-enact this toxic inventory requirement.

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