Former Bush EPA chief sounds alarm on chemical security

By Jim Morris

Former EPA chief Whitman urges administrator Jackson to seal security gaps 'before a tragedy of historic proportions occurs.'

Excerpts from this story referencing "dangerous chemicals":

"… general duty” clause “obligates chemical facilities handling the most dangerous chemicals to prevent potentially catastrophic releases to surrounding communities. …"

"… through its Risk Management Program, which requires makers and users of dangerous chemicals — such as hydrofluoric acid, found at about 50 U.S. oil refineries — t …"

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 "Clean Air Act":

"… nterest law firm Earthjustice, asks the EPA to use its authority under the Clean Air Act to develop “robust emission standards” limiting the amounts of benzene …"

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 "Clean Air Act":

"… dards since August 2012, making the city vulnerable to sanctions under the Clean Air Act. The study’s findings also have implications beyond San Antonio. In Fe …"

Residents of polluted U.S. communities fear planned cuts in EPA enforcement

By Ronnie Greene and Chris Hamby

The EPA's "Next Generation Compliance" plan would lead to fewer inspections of, and enforcement actions against, polluters.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… tes. “I think it’s a really dangerous situation.” Suttles, based in North Carolina, points to recent environmental incidents in the state including the Duke …"

"… state including the Duke Energy coal ash spill into the Dan River. In North Carolina, Gov. Pat McCrory worked for Duke Energy for 29 years before taking office …"

"… told the EPA that each of the six states his group represents — Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Virginia and Tennessee — ranks high in terms o …"

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 "untreated gas":

"… plant also opened an emergency valve every 20 to 30 minutes that released untreated gas laced with chemicals. Now, residents say money is needed to continue the …"

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 "dangerous chemicals":

"… crats and Republicans together sought to protect Americans from nearly 200 dangerous chemicals in the air by passing a series of amendments to the Clean Air Act. That go …"

Clean Air Act law, reality collide

By Kristen Lombardi

Over the years, the Clean Air Act has carved out loopholes involving 'upset' emissions from industry — leaving residents at risk.

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

"… blic Citizen found. Little has changed, enforcement data collected by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality suggests: Throughout fiscal year 2011, agency officials investigated 36 pe …"

Earth Day 2013

A look at some of the Center's award-winning environmental reporting.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Clean Air Act":

"… e better. An EPA study predicts, for instance, that 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act will prevent some 230,000 premature deaths by 2020. In a speech last year, …"

Inspector General to review EPA's 'Watch Lists'

By Jim Morris

The EPA’s inspector general has begun a review of the agency's use of internal watch lists of alleged chronic polluters nationwide.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance":

"… e last month to Cynthia Giles, the EPA’s assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. The watch lists include allegedly chronic violators of the Clean Air Act …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Clean Air Act":

"… d spend $5 million on environmental mitigation projects, the EPA said in a Clean Air Act pact announced June 29.“This settlement will improve air quality in Wisc …"

"… nts in Alma and Genoa, Wis. The Sierra Club filed a civil lawsuit alleging Clean Air Act violations in 2010. Those same allegations were repeated in an EPA notice …"

"… d New Source Review and New Source Performance Standards provisions of the Clean Air Act.Shahla Werner, Wisconsin chapter director of the Sierra Club, told the Cen …"

Bush EPA chief urges action on chemical hazards

By Alice Su

Former EPA administrator says agency should use Clean Air Act to impose stricter safety standards on chemical facilities.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Clean Air Act":

"… under George W. Bush, urged the EPA Tuesday to use its authority under the Clean Air Act to impose stricter safety standards on American chemical facilities vulner …"

"… chemical plants to use safer processes in the months after 9/11. Under the Clean Air Act’s general duty clause, Whitman said, the EPA had the authority to requir …"

"… sure that high-risk chemical facilities fulfill their obligation under the Clean Air Act … ” The letter quotes then-Sen. Obama’s own 2006 reference to chemic …"

"… said, it will be “even more difficult” to convince the EPA to use its Clean Air Act authority. Although Whitman never received an official response to her Apr …"

Clean Air Act case brings $1 million penalty

By Alice Su

The EPA issues a $1 million fine against a global plastics producer for alleged Clean Air Act violations in Alabama and Indiana.

Excerpts from this story referencing "chemical releases":

"… on pounds per year, until a 2010 increase to 2.2 million pounds of on-site chemical releases.The chemicals include highly corrosive phenol and ethylbenzene, which can …"

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 "Conservation Law Foundation":

"… udget records show.Sean Mahoney, vice-president of the Maine office of the Conservation Law Foundation, a network of environmental advocacy groups, said he and his colleagues tr …"

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 "chemical releases":

"… pounds of disposal or other releases do not account for potential risk of chemical releases,” the EPA wrote. “Risks can vary depending on chemical toxicity, how c …"

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 "Texas":

"… re aggressive aspirational goal? If you think of the incredible steps that Texas has [taken] – or Ohio – to achieve federal air quality standards, how …"

"… ties included on the EPA’s air pollution “watch list” are located in Texas and Ohio. Why do you praise their regulatory records?A: In Texas or Ohio, …"

"… ocated in Texas and Ohio. Why do you praise their regulatory records?A: In Texas or Ohio, they have a higher number of industrial facilities, where in Sout …"

"… re diverse and people-centered, not industrial-centered. The fact is that [Texas and Ohio] have large emitters, but the states [are] making tradeoffs somew …"

Industry wields sway over air pollution rules, enforcement

By Ronnie Greene, Chris Hamby and Jim Morris

As communities battle toxic air, industry shapes EPA and state regulation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "renewable energy policies":

"… al plant in the tiny city of Holcomb, so long as Kansas legislators backed renewable energy policies at the same time. The state regulator who initially denied Sunflower’s p …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mercury":

"… the landmark rule could have the spotlight.“Last week, we finalized the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or MATS, a rule that will protect millions of fa …"

"… s power plants across the country could release into the air we breathe.”Mercury, a coal combustion byproduct, is a potent neurotoxin linked to decreased m …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Clean Air Act":

"… tility regulations.Regulation of power plant emissions was required by the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990 but has languished for years. “I think from day one e …"

"… nd several of them have timelines more stringent than those imposed by the Clean Air Act.”If nothing else, environmentalists and coal executives can agree that t …"

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 "Robert Howard":

"… alled, “it was as if I had stuck a stick in a beehive.”City Councilman Robert Howard sent a seething complaint to Iowa’s environmental agency. “Eastern Iow …"

IMPACT: EPA posts secret 'watch list' that includes chronic polluters

By Corbin Hiar

Days after 'Poisoned Places' stories and disclosure of internal polluter 'watch list,' EPA starts naming names — and divulges no details

Excerpts from this story referencing "Clean Air Act":

"… force existing environmental laws sufficiently to protect all of us.” …"

"… olving hazardous waste disposal.The EPA cited iWatch News' request for the Clean Air Act watch list, later published for the first time as part of a series on air …"

"… g hydraulic fracturing — "might be especially prone to inclusion" on the Clean Air Act watch list.As iWatch News reported, the Clean Air Act watch list illustrat …"

"… to inclusion" on the Clean Air Act watch list.As iWatch News reported, the Clean Air Act watch list illustrates the extent to which Washington is aware of the fail …"

In smelter town, decades of dirty air, disease — and bureaucratic dawdling

By Jim Morris and Emma Schwartz

In smelter town, decades of dirty air, disease — and bureaucratic dawdling

Excerpts from this story referencing "air pollutants":

"… ncurs — that the Hayden smelter is not a “major source” of hazardous air pollutants, a designation that could force the company to install costly controls. Th …"

"… s say they plan to affirm Asarco’s status as a minor source of hazardous air pollutants.Asarco insists that it doesn’t meet the legal threshold for a major sour …"

"… vidually, and 25 [tons per year] or greater of a combination of [hazardous air pollutants].”Understating emissions can enable companies to avoid expensive fixes. …"

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 "Clean Air Act":

"… ut “there were hardly any dissents in the Congress to the passage of the Clean Air Act,” he recalls. Since then, episodes of what he once described as rhetoric …"

"… ondensed for clarity.)Q: Regulation of air toxics was required by the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments. Why hasn’t more progress been made?A: The sources of air pol …"

"… states are home to more than half the 400 or so facilities on the EPA’s Clean Air Act watch list. What does that say about state regulation of air toxics?A: I w …"

Why Americans still breathe known hazards decades after ‘clean air’ law

By Jim Morris and Corbin Hiar

Air toxics crackdown stymied by politics, industry resistance and ‘hopelessly irrational’ EPA

Excerpts from this story referencing "senior advisor":

"… mental Protection Agency during the first Bush administration and is now a senior advisor to TPG Capital LP, an international private equity fund. “It sometimes s …"

In polluted Pennsylvania suburb, a Republican takes on state regulators

By Jim Morris

Despite years of citizen complaints, factory on EPA ‘watch list’ gets new license to foul the air

Excerpts from this story referencing "metal":

"… es, Exide and the plant’s previous owners showered the area with lead, a metal that even at low levels can impair brain function and development, especia …"

Few criminal cases target big air polluters

By Chris Hamby and Ronnie Greene

Prosecution level at its lowest among environmental cases

Excerpts from this story referencing "Air pollution":

"… n Air Act criminal cases under investigation in these other areas, he said.Air pollution cases present unique challenges, lawyers and enforcement officials told iW …"

"… r or disgruntled former employee or an observation by a vigilant inspector.Air pollution cases are perhaps hardest to identify. If a company violates water polluti …"

Many Americans left behind in the quest for cleaner air

By Jim Morris, Chris Hamby and Elizabeth Lucas

Secret government 'watch list' reveals failure to curb dangerous emissions

Excerpts from this story referencing "official":

"… licing authority from the states. Eric Schaeffer, a former top enforcement official at the agency, recalls hearing “bitter, bitter complaints” from state …"

"… at the agency, recalls hearing “bitter, bitter complaints” from state officials resentful of planned federal enforcement actions. “It can get pretty te …"

"… Michigan beset by six high priority violators within a 15-mile radius.EPA officials say that while substantial progress has been made under the 1990 Clean Ai …"

"… r of 10 or more.While illegal acts get more attention — and, enforcement officials say, are easier to prosecute — much of the toxic pollution that’s dis …"

Methodology

By Elizabeth Lucas, Robert Benincasa and David Donald

About the data collection and analysis for the Poisoned Places project

Excerpts from this story referencing "chemical releases":

"… atorsRSEI was created by the EPA to assess chronic human health risks from chemical releases reported in the TRI. For each release, the model takes into account the to …"

EPA's internal Clear Air Act 'watch list'

By Jim Morris

Regulators feared disclosure would make it seem like a ‘most wanted’ list

Excerpts from this story referencing "official":

"… anted list,” said Richard Alonso, a former top Clean Air Act enforcement official at the EPA who now represents corporations. State officials don’t l …"

"… nforcement official at the EPA who now represents corporations. State officials don’t like the list because it can make them look like laggards.The Cen …"

"… other reasons, EPA spokesman Larry Jackson said. For instance, enforcement officials may be tracking a polluter’s compliance with a court order. A company i …"

Before Obama retreat on ozone, EPA chief fretted over likely illnesses and deaths

By Corbin Hiar

Before Obama retreat on smog, EPA head fretted over illnesses and deaths

Excerpts from this story referencing "Clean Air Act":

"… dministration’s standard, now embraced by the Democratic White House.The Clean Air Act requires the EPA administrator to set standards for pollutants that “cau …"

"… one’s adverse impacts on plants and animals, the EPA limits it under the Clean Air Act. Ground-level ozone , commonly known as smog, is expensive to reduce becau …"

"… his standard will yield.” That, together with “the requirements of the Clean Air Act itself – make this a challenge we must meet,” it stated.The agency, in …"

"… from saying it would “revisit the ozone standard, in compliance with the Clean Air Act” to deciding to implement the Bush-era standard.In a terse statement at …"

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