We've made quite a mess of our planet since the industrial age. In the U.S. alone, there currently are 1,236 sites on what EPA calls the National Priorities List. But it was the deadly cloud of methyl isocyanate, which killed thousands of people in Bhopal, India, that made us realize that much more needed to be done.
After the Bhopal incident, public interest and environmental organizations around the country accelerated demands for information on toxic chemicals being released "beyond the fence line," or outside of the facility. Against this background, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) was enacted.