Community Right to Know


Philadelphia’s Right-To-Know Ordinance

The Law Center drafted a Community Right-to-Know ordinance, the first of its kind, which granted citizens the right to know what toxic chemicals were being used in businesses in their neighborhoods.

Though numerous industry and business leaders opposed the bill, citizen pressure was unstoppable. We entered into negotiations with the City of Philadelphia and industry leaders to seek a compromise, and finally secured passage of the Philadelphia Right-to-Know ordinance in January of 1981. For the first time in our country’s history, workers and community members gained the legal right to know about toxic substances in every workplace and community in their city.