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A History Of Action In The Public Interest: The 1990's
1990: U.S. PIRG plays a key role in passing a strong new federal Clean Air Act, with tough provisions to cut acid rain emissions by nearly 10 million tons, control 191 air toxics, and strengthen anti-smog standards.
1990: PIRGIM wins the nation's toughest polluter pays legislation in Michigan. By 1995, this law had saved taxpayers $100 million by forcing polluters to pay for the cleanup of toxic waste.
Truth In Savings
1991: Relying on U.S. PIRG research showing that some banks were not paying interest on a customer's full deposited balance, Congress enacts a U.S. PIRG-backed Truth In Savings Law.
1992: U.S. PIRG helps kill a plan to allow nuclear waste such as radioactive metal to be used in everyday consumer products like frying pans and zippers.
1992: U.S. PIRG successfully defends consumers' right to sue for harmful products.
1993: U.S. PIRG helps lead a coalition effort winning the federal "Motor Voter" law, enabling citizens to register to vote when they apply for or renew their drivers' licenses.
1994: Culminating a multi-year effort, U.S. PIRG helps win a new law that requires toys containing small parts be labeled clearly as choking hazards.
1995: State PIRGs restore $20 billion in student aid.
1995: U.S. PIRG helps stop a 123-year-old government practice of selling public lands to the mining industry for $5 per acre.
1996: U.S. PIRG helps win a congressional vote to restore $36 million in funding for renewable energy.
1996: U.S. PIRG helps strengthen the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, and wins restoration of $1.25 billion in funding to upgrade drinking water purification systems.
1997: U.S. PIRG helps persuade the Clinton administration to expand the nation's toxics right-to-know program, adding seven major sources of toxic pollution to those required to report emissions.
1997: Working with a coalition of taxpayer and arms-control groups, U.S. PIRG helps cut two major nuclear reactor programs and ultimately persuades the Department of Energy to cut all commercial nuclear research and development in its 1998 budget request.
1997: Thanks in part to U.S. PIRG advocacy, President Clinton vetoes the spending bill for the Department of the Interior until Congress removes harmful provisions, including one that would have paved new roads in wilderness areas.
1997: After seven years of zero-funding for a new national panel to investigate chemical accidents, U.S. PIRG helps win the panel's first funding.
1997: U.S. PIRG wins toxic emissions disclosure from seven previously exempt industries.
1998: The state PIRGs help win an ombudsman in the Department of Education to help resolve problems with federal student loans.
1998: Congress approves a new, U.S. PIRG-backed law criminalizing "identity theft" and ensuring restitution for victims. Two years earlier, U.S. PIRG had released the first-ever nationwide study about the growing crime of identity theft.
1998: U.S. PIRG wins citizens' right to know more about emissions of dioxin and mercury. The two substances are toxic in extremely small quantities, and accumulate in the food supply and in human tissue over time.
1999: U.S. PIRG helps win a federal policy reducing auto emissions for cars, minivans, SUVs and light trucks by 90 percent. These clean-car requirements will prevent 2,400 premature deaths and tens of thousands of respiratory illnesses.
1999: U.S. PIRG and local citizens win the largest settlement of a Clean Air Act lawsuit in Louisiana history against Bayou Steel Corporation. The settlement requires the company spend $1.3 million for pollution controls and other environmental projects.
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