Coal ash no worse than everyday trash, EPA rules

The EPA announced what it called a "milestone" rule for toxic coal ash, but critics says it doesn't go far enough.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… acks on our nation's abundant and affordable energy resources.” …"

"… prevent the pollution of air and water and protect our public health.” Environmentalists -- who’d hoped the waste, which contains harmful metals such as ar …"

"… nd 10 other groups over the slow pace of the agency’s regulatory action Environmental advocates have long pushed for the “hazardous” designation. They voi …"

"… es. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), the likely incoming chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, issued a joint statement with Senator-elect Sh …"

'I Can't Breathe' now a federal super PAC

By Liz Essley Whyte

A New York activist wants to honor Eric Garner, who died in police custody, though a new political committee.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… a visual communications strategist for Outfront Media and a volunteer for Barack Obama's 2012 presidential campaign, filed paperwork registering the group. The …"

American Future Fund: No election, little cash

By Carrie Levine

American Future Fund's income plummeted in 2013 — a non-election year — after massive haul in 2012.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… t, according to campaign finance data tracked by the Center for Responsive Politics. The group also spent more than $360,000 on broadcast TV ads to boost Rep …"

Tennessee GOP leader drafts bill to ensure accused truants get attorneys

By Susan Ferriss

A Tennessee state legislator is concerned that accused truants can be prosecuted without having counsel to aid them in court

Excerpts from this story referencing "Tennessee":

"… tant priority and really to address these challenges head-on.” …"

"… in part by a Center for Public Integrity investigation into how truants in Tennessee’s Knox County were shackled and taken to juvenile hall to be confined in …"

"… ee.  A similar initiative proposal in 2012,  sponsored by former Tennessee legislator Andy Berke, now the Democratic mayor of Chattanooga, stalled af …"

"… ntation — especially with a child?” Norris said.   University of Tennessee law professor Dean Rivkin, who directs the Education Law Practicum on the …"

Urban League parrots telecom donors' net-neutrality stance

By Allan Holmes and John Dunbar

Civil rights group calls for lighter Internet regulation that would benefit telecommunications donors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "broadband":

"… tion because, they say, classifying the Internet as a utility would reduce broadband investment in underserved areas, which would disproportionately affect min …"

"… fewer rules for Internet providers have led to more rural residents having broadband connections in the U.S. compared with Europe, where Internet regulations a …"

"… s are stiffer, and has “created 945,000 jobs for workers of color in the broadband sector.” Comcast chooses the organizations it funds based on whether th …"

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 "National Academy of Sciences":

"… tighter chemical regulations. Its first effort was to address a 2009 National Academy of Sciences risk assessment report authored by Finkel, the Penn professor, and 14 …"

Secretive nonprofits flourished — and succeeded — in 2014 state elections

By Reity O'Brien

Nonprofits backed winning candidates, or bashed losers, in 63 percent of the state races in which they sponsored ads.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Arizona":

"… is story. …"

"… e’s airwaves with ads running nearly 1,400 times. “Times are tough in Arizona, but Sandra Kennedy voted to hurt Arizona families. Kennedy voted for high …"

"… 00 times. “Times are tough in Arizona, but Sandra Kennedy voted to hurt Arizona families. Kennedy voted for higher sales taxes, but she didn’t even pay …"

"… primary purpose.”  So it’s nearly impossible for Kennedy or other Arizonans to prove who funded the attack ads that helped lead to her loss in Novem …"

Florida homeowners catch a break in courts

By Alison Fitzgerald

The state Supreme Court revisited foreclosure court procedures after a Center report.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Supreme Court":

"… n find a more friendly reception in the state’s courtrooms after a state Supreme Court panel found that some judicial practices designed to speed up the cases ma …"

"… yond the judge’s authority. The committee referred the rule to the state Supreme Court for review. At issue is an order by the chief judge in Palm Beach County, …"

"… Thomas Ice, a Florida lawyer who took his opposition to the orders to the Supreme Court’s committee as well as to two state appeals courts. “I’m going to wa …"

"… blic Integrity reported earlier this year that Florida’s legislature and Supreme Court have instructed judges across the state to clear what they say is a critic …"

Koch group's income plummeted in non-election year

By Carrie Levine

Nonprofit Center to Protect Patient Rights raised in 2013 a tiny fraction of what it did during 2012, when federal political campaigns raged

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sean Noble":

"… campaign against solar and said it had given the money through consultant Sean Noble and his for-profit firm, DC London. The state’s energy regulator eventua …"

"… Plus Association and Prosper Inc., Brooks said, “That’s a question for Sean Noble.” Noble continued to not return messages seeking comment.    …"

Charities risked tax-exempt status with political ads

By Rachel Baye

The IRS bans charities from participating in elections, but some groups pushed the envelope in 2014.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internal Revenue Service":

"… e'll get to that in 2018, 2019, somewhere around there,’” he said. …"

'Revolving door' spins between AT&T, GSA

By Dave Levinthal

AT&T hires a top GSA official, then and scores a lucrative service contract with the agency.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… not involve a communication to or an appearance before an employee of the United States.” Coleman, whose official title is client executive vice president of A …"

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 "Health":

"… , an internal medicine specialist who sits on the Lubbock, Texas, Board of Health, reviewed the research herself and saw it as a call to action. “I think …"

"… ef-exposure guideline is even higher, at 180 parts per billion. The World Health Organization’s guidelines say “no safe level of exposure can …"

"… o effects. In 2012 the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences called for more low-dose testing to fill the void. The …"

"… logist working for the nonprofit Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, said his group’s measurements show emissions from wells and com …"

Smoke, odors and drifting foam in Fort Worth suburb stir frustration over fracking

By Jamie Smith Hopkins

Some residents of the Fort Worth suburb of Mansfield are arguing for stricter local regulation of hydraulically fractured wells.

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

"… , bringing the complex to the entire neighborhood’s attention. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, known as the TCEQ, sent investigators several times in response to compla …"

Plant expansions fueled by shale gas boom to boost greenhouse gas, toxic air emissions

By Talia Buford

At least 120 planned plant expansions driven by the fracking boom collectively could release 130 million tons per year of greenhouse gases.

Excerpts from this story referencing "executive director":

"… bama administration is cracking down on coal, said Eric Schaeffer, EIP’s executive director and the former head of civil enforcement for the EPA. “People talk abou …"

Koch-linked operative mum on mystery millions

By Michael Beckel

Sean Noble oversaw a seven-figure grant to American Commitment, which says it wasn't the beneficiary. So where did the money go?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Virginia":

"… otect Patient Rights, reported no income to the IRS in 2011. Meanwhile, a Virginia-based nonprofit named Free Enterprise America initially called itself Amer …"

Fired: Texas regulators say they tried to enforce rules, lost jobs

By David Hasemyer

Two former inspectors with the Texas Railroad Commission say they were fired for being too strict with the oil and gas industry.

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

"… tigation has found that the Railroad Commission and its sister agency, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, focus more on protecting the industry than the public, an approach tacitl …"

Scientist with deep industry ties being considered for key EPA job

By David Heath

Michael Dourson is one of two candidates to lead the EPA office that determines which chemicals make people sick, and in what doses.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… e chemical industry is one of two finalists to lead the office at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that determines which chemicals can make people sick, …"

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 "Georgia":

"… voice over anything.” Maryam Jameel contributed to this story. …"

"… achloride and 1,2-dichloroethane, sparking a state investigation. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) found benzene in the water of …"

"… a 1991 letter to the company states, and requested further action. Under Georgia law, the company was required to develop what the EPD calls a “correctiv …"

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 "Texas":

"… life building infrastructure for the petrochemical industry in his native Texas — synthetic rubber plants in Port Neches, chemical facilities in Orange. …"

"… court. There is the case, for example, of a contract worker for southeast Texas refineries and chemical plants who washed his tools in benzene and later d …"

"… this.” ‘He never complained’ To family and friends in Deweyville, Texas, a pine-shaded  town along the Louisiana border, John Thompson was …"

"… one subtype of AML, it likely causes all of them. Keith Hyde, a Beaumont, Texas, lawyer who represents plaintiffs in toxic-tort cases, including the Thomp …"

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 "Louisiana":

"… 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 decade-long …"

Mary Landrieu abandoned on airwaves

By Dave Levinthal

Republicans bombard Democratic senator ahead of U.S. Senate runoff vote.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee":

"… -La., is facing what's perhaps the end of her political career alone. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, super PACs and nonprofit groups, which together supported Landrieu's gene …"

GOP shelves FEC complaint against Van Hollen

By Dave Levinthal

Republicans had threatened a federal complaint against the Democratic congressman, but don't appear to be following through.

Excerpts from this story referencing "judge":

"… ursue FEC action against Van Hollen comes days after a U.S. District Court judge handed Van Hollen a legal victory — of sorts — by striking down FEC re …"

Peter Bale named new head of the Center for Public Integrity

By William Gray

Peter Bale, former Vice President and General Manager of Digital operations at CNN International, named Center's CEO.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… International, where he ran and other digital products outside the United States. The International edition of the CNN site recorded double-digit growth in …"

Election ads were about issues, says 'Carolina Rising' chief

By Carrie Levine

'Dark money' nonprofit spends millions backing candidate but says ads are about issues.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican governor":

"… face-to-face — with protestors critical of policies passed by the Republican governor and legislature. But it wasn’t long before the new group shifted focus …"

Pro-McConnell nonprofit hit with IRS complaint

By Michael Beckel

A watchdog organization wants the IRS to investigate a nonprofit that spent millions backing Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitch McConnell":

"… of dollars supplied by undisclosed donors to boost Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during his contentious 2014 re-election bid. The nonprofit is “nothing …"

Governors and oil industry work hand in hand in offshore drilling group

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Lobbying firm, advocacy organization did much of the work.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… r sector — more than $1.4 million over the past decade, according to the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Jindal’s office …"

Conservative group fumbles disclosure in new tax document

By Michael Beckel

Koch-linked nonprofit American Commitment to amend tax documents after questions from the Center for Public Integrity.

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

"… eturn with the Internal Revenue Service after questions this week from the Center for Public Integrity. The nonprofit — led by Phil Kerpen and receiving the majority of its f …"

"… to advocate against U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. Kerpen confirmed to the Center for Public Integrity that the money from American Commitment went to the 501(c)(4) arms of the …"

"… ey omitted information about their top vendors from recent filings, as the Center for Public Integrity previously reported. …"

Reporter's toolkit: Investigating sexual assault on your campus

By Kristen Lombardi

How to investigate the ways your school deals with sexual assault allegations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Education":

"… bsite or request a print copy from the university. The U.S. Department of Education also maintains a database of Clery Act statistics provided by schools:&nbs …"

"… ity/ Compare sexual assault numbers provided to the U.S. Department of Education against the numbers published in the school’s annual security report. So …"

"… years. Compare those numbers to Clery Act statistics submitted to the Education Department, as well as those published in the annual campus security repor …"

"… File a Freedom of Information Act request with the U.S. Department of Education to see if the school has ever been the subject of a Clery Act complaint. …"

Koch-linked organization uses ‘dark money’ to fight political disclosure

By Michael Beckel

Most of the $13 million raised by American Commitment has come three Koch-backed groups.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Robert Zirkelbach":

"… and unleashes “American ingenuity and creativity to cure diseases.” Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for PhRMA — which supported the passage of Obama’s Afford …"