Over the past decade, public information regarding potential environmental hazards has been restricted due to national security concerns over terrorism. Citizens across the country are now hampered in their ability to assess the danger of local chemical facilities—and take proper precautionary measures—due to changing laws that limit or deny access to information about these facilities. This Note explains how states can enhance access to public environmental information while respecting legitimate security concerns. By decreasing reporting thresholds and making information accessible on the internet, states can strike a more proper balance between security concerns and a community’s right to know about chemical and environmental dangers. This Note discusses this balance, and suggests that information regarding chemical plant facilities should remain public because it poses a low security risk and offers a high public benefit.
Balancing National Security with a Community's Right-to-Know: Maintaining Public Access to Environmental Information Through EPCRA's Non-Preemption Clause,
B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev.