In the windowless room of an unmarked skyscraper here, persistent Texans who want to learn more about the risks posed by chemical plants in their communities receive their instructions: no photocopying or cellphone pictures of the provided documents, which sketch out the worst-case scenarios at individual facilities and the safety measures company officials have taken.
A sign warns those who enter the Environmental Protection Agency’s federal reading room, “You are being monitored.” The sign is superfluous: an EPA staffer remains in the room for the duration to ensure the strict rules are followed.
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