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U.S. Backs Out of Pollution Register Treaty Group
GENEVA, Switzerland, November 25, 2002 (ENS) –
The United States
today pulled out of a United Nations conference to finalize an
international agreement that will provide the public with greater
access to information about sources of pollution. The treaty will
require participating countries to collect and publish information on
the quantities of pollutants released from certain industrial
sources.

Michael Meuser wrote:
“No big surprise I guess given our recent history.”
In this case, though, it appears on closer read that the shoe may be on the OTHER foot:
“A source familiar with the U.S. position said the United States believes the proposals for pollution release and transfer registers do not go far enough.
“One of the primary U.S. concerns is that that several European countries favor a system that reports waste without specifying specific pollutants, rather than one that details individual pollutants….
“Environmentalists are upset with the U.S. withdrawal because it is one of a few nations that already has a well established system of pollution reporting….
“‘This is very disappointing news. The U.S. departure increases the likelihood that this new right-to-know law will be a weak instrument, and unfortunately strengthens the EU [European Union] countries’ hand,’ said Friends of the Earth pollution researcher Mary Taylor, speaking on behalf of the coalition of nongovernmental organizations European ECO Forum.”
I realize that we’re so used to the US being wrong, and the Euro’s being right, that it’s easy to react automatically. But things are so complex these days, it’s generally worth digging deeper.