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Court opts for public disclosure

In a victory for workers and consumers, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the White House may not block regulations intended to warn employees about the dangers of hazardous chemicals in their workplace. Public interest lawyers said it could lead to more public disclosures on everything from the dangers of tampons to the benefits of certain nutrients in foods. Business officials predicted the decision would foster more costly and unnecessary warning labels. In its decision, the court said the president's Office of Management and Budget has been overstepping its bounds by forcing federal agencies to withdraw regulations that were seen as too burdensome for business."Rails-to-trails' act is upheld

A federal law aimed at creating new hiking and biking trails along unused rail lines was upheld Wednesday by the Supreme Court. The justices unanimously rejected an appeal by a Vermont couple who said their property rights were being trampled to satisfy the nation's back-to-nature and physical-fitness boom. The court upheld a 1983 law known as the "rails-to-trails" act. The ruling could affect a large number of property owners. The nation's railway system, at its peak in 1920 with 272,000 miles of track, is now down to 141,000 miles and 3,000 more miles are abandoned each year. The '83 law allows for railroad rights-of-way to be maintained for possible future railroad use while the land is converted at least temporarily to nature trails.

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