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Fw: Protect the Public's Right-to-Know about Transportation Hazards

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  • Richard Risemberg
    ... From: Environmental Defense Sent: Jul 15, 2004 1:13 PM To: Richard Risemberg Subject:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 15, 2004
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      -----Forwarded Message-----
      From: Environmental Defense <TakeAction@...>
      Sent: Jul 15, 2004 1:13 PM
      To: Richard Risemberg <rickrise@...>
      Subject: Protect the Public's Right-to-Know about Transportation Hazards

      Dear Richard,
      *Protect the Public's Right-to-Know about Transportation

      In an alarming attack on public access to information, language
      buried deep in the Senate transportation bill would allow the
      government to conceal important information from the public on
      serious environment, health, and public safety issues. This bill
      is now before Congress; send a message today supporting your
      right-to-know about hazards in your community.

      Take Action:

      Spread the Word:

      Take action by August 13, 2004
      *Protect the Public's Right-to-Know about Transportation
      This new secrecy language is part of the Transportation Equity
      Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) which shapes the nation's
      transportation investments. Examples of environmental
      information that could be stamped secret are:

      - Environmental impacts of oil spills
      - Whether nuclear waste shipments are routed by local elementary
      - Withholding air pollution impacts of new roads and limiting
      public comment on new road projects.
      - Criminal records of transportation workers such as drunk or
      unsafe driving records for hazardous materials truckers;
      - Whether routes for dangerous shipments are transported through
      heavily populated areas;

      Send a message to your Senators and Representatives today to
      preserve your right-to-know about transportation hazards in your


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      Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

      I urge you to protect my right-to-know about transportation
      safety by rejecting secrecy provisions buried in the Senate
      version of the transportation bill. I would prefer no
      transportation bill this year to one that cuts my right to know
      about the effects of transportation on public health and the
      environment, as both Senate and House bills do.

      Without public hearings, the Senate bill (S.1072) would grant
      the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) broad new
      authority to withhold information it deems to be "sensitive
      security information." Section 3029 of the bill allows TSA to
      stamp as secret information on any "transportation facilities,
      infrastructure, or transportation employees" and overrides state
      or local open records laws. It would also restrict public input
      on transportation projects.

      If implemented, these secrecy provisions are a threat to the
      public's right-to-know about hazards in their community and sets
      a dangerous precedent. Without mechanisms to hold TSA
      accountable, security problems could go uncorrected and cause
      public harm.

      I urge you to drop the secrecy language from the transportation
      bill, and reject other provisions that would sharply weaken
      accountability and public information on the effects of
      transportation on public health and the environment.

      ----END OF LETTER TO BE SENT----

      Richard Risemberg

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