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Citizens Have a Right to Know

January 9, 1997

Particulate Air Pollution: Citizens Have a Right to Know

The public has a fundamental right to know about pollution in the air they breathe. EWG's experience in gathering emissions and monitoring data from the AIRS database shows that the public often has no practical way to find out about pollutant releases in their communities.

We recommend, therefore, that the EPA renew it's efforts to maintain the AIRS database, or a similar up-to-date national database of emissions and ambient air quality, and that these data be available to the public in a manner similar to that used for the Toxic Release Inventory.

We further recommend that citizens in polluted communities be given the right to petition for and receive in their communities the monitoring equipment needed to detect particulate and other air pollution. Where monitors are operated, the public should be given timely notification of monitoring results.