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Companies To Provide more Safety Information Requires Law

A measure, which was just signed onto law by President Obama, would prohibit the chemical companies from classifying safety information as “sensitive” in an effort to keep it from becoming public. This new law is in response to explosion at workplace that caused two fatalities.

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) drafted The American Communities Right to Public Information Act as a separate part of legislation. It was passed into law as a part of an appropriations bill for the department of Homeland Security.

The amendment makes it clear that the Sensitive Security Information designation that created by recent homeland security laws can’t be used to withhold the information that government should share with the public.

The legislation was drafted in response to Bayer CorpScience explosion in August, 2008 that killed two workers in Institute, WV.

Bayer was accused by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee of using a “campaign of secrecy” regarding the explosion.

The committee said that Bayer withheld some critical information from emergency responders and the investigators from the U.S Chemical Safety Board.

The appropriations bill says that the information may not be designated as security sensitive “to conceal a violation of law, inefficiency, or administrative error, to prevent embarrassment to a person, organization or agency, to restrain competition, or to prevent or delay the release of information that doesn’t require protection in the interest of transportation security, including basic scientific research information.”