EPA: Clean toxic data from Web site
- By Judi Hasson
- Apr 28, 2000
The Environmental Protection Agency proposed a regulation Thursday that
would prohibit information about toxic waste sites and dangerous chemicals
from being posted on its Internet site.
To keep sensitive information out of the hands of terrorists, the rule
would prohibit the posting of information such as the size of the population
in an area near a chemical plant and other information routinely filed with
the EPA by hazardous materials facilities.
"The risk of terrorists attempting in the foreseeable future to cause
a potentially catastrophic chemical release is both real and credible,"
the EPA said in its proposed rule. "Terrorists increasingly engineer their
attacks to cause mass casualties to the populace and/or large-scale damage
The EPA and the Justice Department prompted the rule, which has a 45-day
comment period, in the wake of their concerns that information filed by
chemical companies with the EPA could be misused by terrorists or other
"Although no criminal or terrorist has yet successfully caused a chemical
release from an industrial facility on U.S. soil, domestic terrorist groups
have, during the past two years, twice been caught by law enforcement plotting
to cause industrial chemical releases for terrorist purposes at U.S. facilities,"
the EPA said.