Right to Know
People should be made aware of the environmental hazards and risks present in their communities. This concept is supported by laws and regulations collectively termed "Right to Know."
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has about 25 different Right to Know initiatives underway, one of which will allow community groups to calculate the health risks that specific industrial plants represent. Many parts of the model will use estimated values with large uncertainties, so obviously this model will greatly overestimate risks. The challenge to the industry, and to CITGO in particular, is to ensure accurate information and then to provide a complete explanation to the public.
Where CITGO Stands
People living near CITGO facilities have a right to know what we are doing, and if we are doing it safely. We have built a high level of trust simply by meeting regularly and notifying our neighbors of increased construction activity and advising them on emergency response precautions. All CITGO facilities have community information programs, and we revisit them frequently to ensure that our neighbors are getting the information they want and need.
Several new Internet sites are focusing more public attention on the environmental records of industrial facilities. CITGO furnishes environmental and safety information to government agencies, which the EPA and others then post on their Web sites. Unfortunately, the government databases are sometimes inaccurate and tell only part of the story.
CITGO supports the concept of "transparency," an idea that facility operating and environmental data should be transparent to the public. Through this Right to Know initiative, more information is provided to the public with better integration and explanations of what it means. CITGO is committed to meeting this challenge and maintaining our neighbors' trust.