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 "Michael Dourson":

"… nel of outside scientists to review the new procedure. TERA was founded by Michael Dourson, a former EPA toxicologist and one of Honeycutt’s close friends. TERA of …"

"… ent, a spinoff of TERA—the consulting firm founded by Honeycutt's friend Michael Dourson. Both Dourson and Honeycutt sit on the alliance steering committee. Dourso …"

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 "Texas Commission on Environmental Quality":

"… Air-toxics data from 26 fixed stations around the region flow to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, known as the TCEQ. These monitors sample air either around the clock or o …"

New battlefront for petrochemical industry: benzene and childhood leukemia

By Kristen Lombardi

Jarrett McElheney grew up near a cluster of petroleum storage tanks. His parents believe benzene in drinking water gave him cancer.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ohio":

"… Control and Prevention, launched a seminal study of two Goodyear plants in Ohio that made Pliofilm, a thin rubber wrap. The research quantified for the fi …"

A dozen dirty documents

By Kristen Lombardi and Jared Bennett

Twelve documents that stand out from the Center's new archive

Excerpts from this story referencing "Benzene":

"… 0 summary of the API’s research strategy, drafted by the group’s  Benzene Task Force, explains that the research program “is designed to protect m …"

"… rs of “personal injury claims,” an email exchange among members of the Benzene Health Research Consortium urges deletion of  “the reference to leg …"

Benzene and worker cancers: 'An American tragedy'

By Kristen Lombardi

Previously secret documents illuminate a 10-year effort by petrochemical titans to counteract damning science on the carcinogen benzene.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… ican tragedy.” Five million Americans at risk Benzene emissions in the United States have declined sharply since 1987, when federal regulators set the occupati …"

"… ng block.” Benzene ranks 17th among the top 20 chemicals produced in the United States, according to the federal government. The petrochemical industry’s deca …"

Internal documents reveal industry 'pattern of behavior' on toxic chemicals

By David Heath and Jim Morris

A new archive created by the Center and two universities will feature a trove of previously secret industry documents on toxic chemicals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Lake Charles":

"… e else. Last year we reached out to William Baggett Jr., a lawyer in Lake Charles, Louisiana, who had acquired more than 400,000 pages of documents from a d …"

Five-state study finds high levels of airborne chemicals near oil and gas sites

By Jamie Smith Hopkins

A study of air emissions near oil and gas wells found strikingly high levels of benzene and other dangerous chemicals in some locations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… nvestigating this topic, mostly in the Eagle Ford Shale formation of South Texas, for the past 18 months. A Yale University study released in September fo …"

"… tor of ShaleTest, an environmental data-collection nonprofit based in Texas. “And so we decided we would start doing some testing ourselves.” She …"

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 "Clean Air Act":

"… cases since 2012.     …"

"… felonies, respectively. Each was convicted of five counts of violating the Clean Air Act by emitting coke oven gas from an unpermitted emission source, along with …"

"… d the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. They were acquitted of four Clean Air Act counts. Kamholz, but not the company, was convicted of obstruction of just …"

"… ase proved to be nearly unique: A rare criminal prosecution of the federal Clean Air Act. Prosecutors say the complexity of Clean Air Act cases makes them difficu …"

'Upset' emissions: Flares in the air, worry on the ground

By Kristen Lombardi and Andrea Fuller

Residents living along the chemical corridor of Texas and Louisiana often encounter 'upset' emissions -- triggering pollution, health fears.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Baytown, Texas":

"… , but has testified in pre-trial discovery. ‘An Invisible Poison’ In Baytown, Texas, about 250 miles from Baton Rouge, ExxonMobil operates the nation’s larg …"

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 "BP PLC":

"… defined the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history — and sealed BP PLC’s reputation as a corporate polluter.But two weeks before the Deepwater …"

In U.S. Steel town, fatal gas explosion goes unpunished by OSHA

By Jim Morris

The 2009 death of Nick Revetta exposes flaws in the system designed to protect American workers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mary":

"… isor in OSHA's Region 3 office, covering Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C., urged inspectors to st …"

"… $10 million,” Michaels testified. “How can we tell Jeff Davis’ wife Mary, and their five children, that the penalty for killing fish and crabs is m …"

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

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":

"… isoned Places series, an investigation of lax Clean Air Act enforcement.In Tonawanda, N.Y., a small town outside of Buffalo, citizens used buckets and hand-hel …"

"… 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 pl …"

Where regulators failed, citizens took action — testing their own air

Citizens concerned about toxic emissions near Buffalo tested the air themselves - forcing complacent regulators to act.

Excerpts from this story referencing "pollution control":

"… equipment that pumped untreated toxic gas into the air and failing to use pollution controls required by its permit that would have prevented releases of hazardous pa …"

"… quirements. Among other things, he told them the plant didn’t have basic pollution control devices called baffles, which are required by the state.Coke comes out of …"

"… icial notices of its many alleged violations and demanding that it install pollution controls, fix leaks, and clean up toxic wastes.The EPA said it proved the company …"

"… hould be classified as a “major” source of benzene, which toughens its pollution control requirements. EPA’s threshold for being a major source: 10 tons per year …"

Senate bill aims to tighten regulation of oil spill dispersants

By Chris Hamby and Jim Morris

Reacting to health worries about chemical dispersants used in the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg intro