Texas weakens chemical exposure guidelines, opens door for polluters

By Lisa Song and Rosalind Adams

Amid a fracking boom, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has quietly weakened air pollution guidelines for toxic chemicals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… lth-protective, than the old one. The decision by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) was a boon for oil refineries, petrochemical plants and o …"

"… ott, the state’s governor-elect, has taken legal action against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 19 times since 2010, arguing that overly restrictive r …"

"… e emissions. Ron Melnick, a former scientist at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, analyzed the TCEQ’s 139-page description of …"

"… ental community tends to rely on a single expert—Elena Craft of the Environmental Defense Fund—to weigh in on risk assessment science. Air Alliance Hous …"

Health worries pervade North Texas fracking zone

By Jamie Smith Hopkins

Some residents of the heavily fracked Barnett Shale in North Texas blame their health problems on toxic oil and gas emissions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… uth Texas, where drilling has soared the past several years. The Center for Public Integrity and InsideClimate News have been reporting on air pollution in the Eagle F …"

"… w several people who’ve left. They all got better.” Jim Morris of the Center for Public Integrity and Lisa Song and David Hasemyer of InsideClimate News contributed to this …"

New air monitor planned for heavily fracked South Texas county

By Lisa Song and David Hasemyer

After a Center and InsideClimate News investigation, Texas regulators say they'll put an air monitor in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale.

Families sick from fracking turn to scientists

By Lisa Song

A Pennsylvania nonprofit provides free health consultations to people who live near gas drilling sites and complain of health effects.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… his gap by forming a nonprofit — apparently the first of its kind in the United States — that provides free health consultations to local families near drillin …"

"… ntional natural gas drilling goes, we are the public health service of the United States right now," said Michael Kelly, the media liaison for the EHP. David Brow …"

Foul air in heavily fracked Texas county has couple looking for a way out

By Lisa Song

After 23 years in once-placid Karnes County, Texas, Lynn and Shelby Buehring say they're moving to escape toxic fumes from a fracking boom.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas Commission on Environmental Quality":

"… Nobody's there to help." Buehring has filed numerous complaints with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which oversees air quality within the state. One of her first comp …"

Groups seek EPA action on toxic air emissions from fracking

By Jim Morris

Sixty-four environmental and community groups on Tuesday petitioned the EPA to clamp down on toxic air emissions from fracking operations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Earthjustice":

"… operations. The 112-page petition, filed by the public-interest law firm Earthjustice, asks the EPA to use its authority under the Clean Air Act to develop “r …"

"… s, and birth defects, among others,” the petition says. Emma Cheuse, an Earthjustice lawyer, said in a telephone interview that “people across the United Sta …"

"… 45,000 new wells are expected to be drilled each year through 2035,” the Earthjustice petition says. “The oil and gas expansion has brought drilling activiti …"

Texas freezes agency's funding after air pollution data released

By Lisa Song

The Alamo Area Council of Governments had its funding frozen after releasing data linking oil and gas drilling to worsening air pollution.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas Commission on Environmental Quality":

"… ry was released, the Austin American-Statesman reported that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which funded the study, had slashed AACOG’s air-quality planning …"

"… mously on April 23 to ask the state to restore $182,000 in grants that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is withholding from the San Antonio metropolitan region. The money is crit …"

Report offers grim predictions for South Texas air quality amid Eagle Ford oil boom

By Jim Morris, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer

State-funded study projects dramatic increase in emissions from oil and gas development by 2018.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas Commission on Environmental Quality":

"… amo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) in San Antonio and paid for by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The study was designed to determine the extent to which oil and ga …"

Air monitoring in fracking areas fails to detect spikes in toxic emissions, new study says

By Lisa Song and Jim Morris

A new study finds that common air monitoring methods are all but useless in capturing intense, short-term emissions from gas development.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas Commission on Environmental Quality":

"… articularly problematic because there's little monitoring of any kind. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) — the state's environmental regulator — operates just five perm …"

Natural gas boom advances with little study of public health effects, report finds

By Lisa Song and Jim Morris

As a drilling boom continues in Texas and beyond, a new study spotlights a missing ingredient: A full assessment of public health impact.

Excerpts from this story referencing "natural gas":

"… underscored just how little is known about the health consequences of the natural gas boom that began a decade ago, when advances in high-volume hydraulic fract …"

"… e population-based studies of the public health effects of [unconventional natural gas] operations exist," concluded the report published Monday in the peer-revi …"

"… r for such research when diseases begin to appear that are associated with natural gas drilling activities." This report is part of a joint project by The Cente …"

Clean Air case yields rare criminal convictions in New York

By Sam Pearson

A NY coke plant and its environmental manager, convicted of felony Clean Air violations, await sentencing — as residents push for relief.

Excerpts from this story referencing "DOJ":

"… irectly into the air, in violation of the TCC’s operating permit,” the DOJ said. Attorneys for Kamholz and Tonawanda Coke did not respond to intervi …"

Award-winning Center series looks at toxic, sometimes hidden chemical releases

By Bill Buzenberg

In case you missed it over the weekend, the Center environment team published another piece in its Poisoned Places series.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas Commission on Environmental Quality":

"… nt cloud of invisible spoliation. As a former official in Houston with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality told the Center, “A big dose of toxins [is] coming out of these faciliti …"

BP engulfed in lawsuit over 40-day Texas flare

By Kristen Lombardi

Two weeks before the Deepwater Horizon explosion, BP was involved in another major pollution case in Texas.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Gulf of Mexico":

"… ploded, killing 11 workers and spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP was spewing a different kind of pollution — in a major case that has …"

Federal report: Fewer kids are victims of violent crime, but more are poor

By Susan Ferriss

An annual report is a mixed bag, showing fewer teen pregnancies and less violent crime, but more poverty and exposure to air pollution.

Excerpts from this story referencing "America":

"… aging air pollution, according to a newly released federal report. “America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being,” is an ann …"

"… in 2010. A decline was registered for all ethnic groups.But the percent of American kids living in poverty was calculated at 22 percent in 2010, up one point …"

U.S. issues fines, orders upgrades at coal-fired power plants

By Alice Su

The EPA and Justice Department issue a $950,000 fine and order millions in pollution control technology at three coal-fired power plants.

Diesel engine exhaust earns 'carcinogenic' label

By Jim Morris

An international health body declared Tuesday that diesel engine exhaust is 'carcinogenic to humans.'

Excerpts from this story referencing "Air pollution":

"… reduced by 99 percent as a result of new technologies and cleaner fuels.“Air pollution is a critically important health issue and the diesel industry takes clean …"

IMPACT: Citizens sue Iowa plant over air pollution

By Chris Hamby

Those living in the shadow of an Iowa corn processing plant allege damage from years of air pollution.

Excerpts from this story referencing "state inspector":

"… a probable carcinogen — than almost any plant in the country in 2010. A state inspector has repeatedly noted a “blue haze” coming from some of the plant’s s …"

"… equipment, even as many of its competitors have modernized.For example, a state inspector unsuccessfully pushed his bosses to make GPC install a baghouse — a larg …"

"… ncy would not elaborate on the allegations, the Center has reported that a state inspector began raising concerns as early as 2008 that GPC appeared to be misusing e …"

Long-delayed diesel study published

By Jim Morris

Landmark study of miners shows elevated risk of cancer from engine exhaust

Excerpts from this story referencing "director":

"… an areas where diesel exhaust levels are elevated,” Joseph Fraumeni Jr., director of the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and G …"

"… vels similar to those observed in this study.”Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, a nonprofit organization in Maryland that …"

Landmark diesel exhaust study stalled amid industry and congressional objections

By Jim Morris

Publication of a landmark government study of lung cancer in miners is delayed by an industry group and its congressional allies

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican chairman":

"… fic process, especially when health and safety are at stake."The panel’s Republican chairman said there is no such agenda. "The committee's ongoing interest is to ensu …"

States slow to act against New England polluters

By Maggie Mulvihill, Alex Burris and James Robinson

Regulators in Maine and nearby states have taken months and even years to sanction facilities violating the Clean Air Act

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… the majority of the time we are operating within our parameters.”It took Massachusetts approximately 18 months to levy a fine against resin manufacturer Sol …"

"… a major polluter and I don’t even know the effect it will have on me.”Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Edmund Coletta said that …"

"… dermined, and unfair economic benefits being created.”Last year, another Massachusetts HPV, the Milford glass bottling factory for building materials conglomerat …"

EPA's Toxics Release Inventory doesn't offer full picture of pollution

By Corbin Hiar

Agency database shows emissions are down overall, but self-reporting makes the data suspect

Excerpts from this story referencing "Tonawanda Coke Corp.":

"… s and related health problems continued.When EPA inspectors finally raided Tonawanda Coke Corp. some five years later, they found benzene seeping out of the plant at a ra …"

Q&A: Former Bush official touts ‘market-based’ air toxics regulation

By Corbin Hiar

Q&A with the man some call "the next EPA administrator" if Romney wins the White House.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… speak on behalf of the campaign, he is a prominent supporter of the former Massachusetts governor and has been dubbed “the next EPA administrator” by some GOP …"

EPA releases long-awaited power plant air toxics rule

By Corbin Hiar

The EPA releases details of a landmark rule to cut air emissions of mercury and other toxics from coal- and oil-fired power plants.

Mercury falling: Groundbreaking power plant emissions rule imminent

By Corbin Hiar

The EPA is poised to issue a new regulation restricting toxic power plant emissions

Paper mill air pollution standards 25 years out of date, environmental groups sue EPA

By Rachael Marcus

Pulp mills emit hazardous pollutants that have been linked to heart and lung disease

Excerpts from this story referencing "Greenpeace":

"… ncerns that regulations for paper mills emissions are 25 years out of date.Greenpeace, the Center for Biological Diversity and Port Townsend AirWatchers fi …"

"… r paper mills have to breathe,” said Helen Kang, the lawyer representing Greenpeace and Port Townsend AirWatchers. “Why does it take a lawsuit from the citi …"

IMPACT: Day after story on weak enforcement, a state cracks down on polluter

By Chris Hamby

The day after an article highlighted weak enforcement, Iowa's attorney general takes on a source of toxic emissions.

Despite lone inspector’s efforts, persistent haze envelops Iowa town

By Chris Hamby

A polluter seemed to comply with the Clean Air Act while exposing citizens to toxics. An inspector tried for years to do something about it.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… communities are beset with chronic air pollution involving toxic chemicals Congress intended to rein in years ago. Here in the heart of the Corn Belt, people …"

"… board. Four years later, the rule still hasn’t taken effect, and some in Congress want to see it further delayed, saying it threatens jobs.Companies often c …"

Poisoned Places: By the numbers

By Sarah Whitmire

A few of iWatch News' most surprising findings from 'Poisoned Places' investigation

Limits on mercury and soot could save billions, improve public health, studies say

By Corbin Hiar

New studies say standards for mercury, particulates could save thousands of lives

Excerpts from this story referencing "Earthjustice":

"… ccording to a report released last week by the environmental organizations Earthjustice and the Clean Air Task Force, along with the American Lung Association, a …"

"… en these critical air quality standards,” said David Baron, attorney for Earthjustice, in a statement announcing the suit and report. “EPA's delay is inexcusa …"

"… was the least stringent recommended by scientists to protect public health.Earthjustice and a coalition of other environmental and public health groups also filed …"

5 questions for William Ruckelshaus

By Corbin Hiar

EPA chief under Nixon and Reagan on the bipartisan failure to curb air toxics

Excerpts from this story referencing "Indiana":

"… t. What does that say about state regulation of air toxics?A: I was in the Indiana Attorney General’s Office [in the 1960s]. When we would take an action a …"

"… Office [in the 1960s]. When we would take an action against an industry in Indiana, they would always complain and half the time threaten to go to some state …"