Minnesota, along with 11 other states, is filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over reporting standards for toxic chemicals.
In December 2006, the EPA adopted a rule that reduces the burden on businesses and companies to report toxic chemical releases and waste management information. This information is publicly available through a database called the Toxic Releases Inventory.
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson says the new rule backtracks on 20 years of progress to strengthen the public's right to know about toxic chemical uses, storage and releases in communities.
"In the event of a fire, it's important to know at a plant what chemicals are out there. And so it is a public safety issue, it's a natural resource issue, and it's a public health issue as well, in all three areas, it's really important that that information be publicly available," says Swanson. Eleven other states are on board with the lawsuit, including Illinois, New York and California.