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 "Environment":

"… ad and do it,” Bostock said. …"

"… s nationwide.Whitman sent her letter just weeks after the EPA’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council also recommended that Jackson use the Clean Air …"

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 "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… egulation, 64 environmental and community groups on Tuesday petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to clamp down on toxic air emissions from oil and gas operations. The 112 …"

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 "Energy":

"… ly beholden to the industry.” Omar Garcia, president of the South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable, said Friday morning that he did not have the ti …"

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 "Tennessee":

"… resents — Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Virginia and Tennessee — ranks high in terms of adverse health effects from coal-fired plants. …"

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 …"

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 "Clean Air Act":

"… 00 dangerous chemicals in the air by passing a series of amendments to the Clean Air Act. That goal remains unfulfilled. Today, hundreds of communities are still e …"

"… emissions. Frequently, state regulators — the primary enforcers of the Clean Air Act — fail to investigate thousands of reports of accidental emissions. &nbs …"

"… ies can get away with releasing more pollution than allowed by the federal Clean Air Act — with few or no repercussions. These incidents skirt normal pollution c …"

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 "Environment":

"… her Kelly Haragan calls “a flat-out exemption” for such emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency offered similar immunity for those involving hazardous …"

"… Little has changed, enforcement data collected by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality suggests: Throughout fiscal year 2011, agency officials investig …"

"… , an Environmental-compliance administrator at the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, “Industry will have problems.” Earlier this year, the LDEQ …"

"… ind federal regulators problems continue. Eric Schaeffer, director of the Environmental Integrity Project and a former EPA enforcement chief, has sent letter af …"

Earth Day 2013

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… only accepted as the smell of prosperity.” Today, as officials with the Environmental Protection Agency are quick to point out, things are better. An EPA stud …"

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 "Justice":

"… Lois Gibbs, executive director of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, an advocacy group in Falls Church, Va., said the EPA too often defers to …"

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 "Obama":

"… ronmental and public health organizations signed a letter asking President Obama to “take executive action to ensure that high-risk chemical facilities f …"

"… eir obligation under the Clean Air Act … ” The letter quotes then-Sen. Obama’s own 2006 reference to chemical plants as “stationary weapons of mass …"

"… has “a White House that is willing to move forward,” Whitman said. If Obama does not get reelected, she said, it will be “even more difficult” to …"

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 "American Chemistry Council":

"… il, the plant won three Responsible Care Energy Efficiency Awards from the American Chemistry Council.SABIC said in a news release at the time that such recognition demonstrate …"

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 "Clean Air Act":

"… ates have taken months and even years to sanction facilities violating the Clean Air Act — even those the government itself has called HPVs, such as the Old Town …"

"… ease was part of a joint CPI/NPR investigation into lax enforcement of the Clean Air Act in hundreds of communities nationwide. Following last year’s investigati …"

"… ’s investigation, the EPA, for the first time, made the lists of alleged Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act violators avai …"

"… Recovery Act violators available on its website.The most recent available Clean Air Act list, from November 2011, includes nearly 250 government and industrial fa …"

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 "Clean Air Act":

"… d be lower, there’s a process for doing that. But the whole point of the Clean Air Act is to set a reasonable ceiling on allowable pollution and let the communit …"

"… .Q: To what extent does the political influence of large industries affect Clean Air Act enforcement at the state level?A: We are well past the point where that’ …"

"… s not optimal. At the end of the day, Congress has not taken a look at the Clean Air Act in 22 years. [Updating the law would diminish] the prospect of litigation …"

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 "Environment":

"… st-published reports – one from academic researchers, the other from the Environmental Protection Agency’s own inspector general – detail industry’s role …"

"… Monique Harden, co-director of the public interest law firm Advocates for Environmental Human Rights.“It’s been 15 years of evolving strategies,” Harden s …"

"… laints about the facility with the Tyler office of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, records show.That is not surprising, some say, in a region prou …"

"… complex – seem to be in perpetual conflict with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.One, Terry O’Rourke, called the agency “a lap dog for pollut …"

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 "oil-burning":

"… re flexibility for power plants seeking to add pollution controls. The 150 oil-burning and 1,500 coal-fired power plants in the U.S. will now have an additional …"

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 "Clean Air Act":

"… this to be a great community with quality air, too,” she said.While the Clean Air Act delegated enforcement duties to the states, the U.S. Environmental Protect …"

"… ernal “watch list,” which includes serious or chronic violators of the Clean Air Act that have faced no formal enforcement action for nine months or more. GPC …"

"… cles in Muscatine to avoid a designation by the EPA – nonattainment of a Clean Air Act standard – that could jeopardize the area’s economic future.Near the p …"

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 "Law":

"… pokeswoman. Environmental organizations questioned that rationale. “Law enforcement need not be a secret enterprise,” said NRDC’s Walke. “To …"

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 "putting control technologies":

"… is a major source and therefore needs to comply with the Clean Air Act by putting control technologies on.”Amparano and her older sister, Mary Corona, have inventoried what th …"

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 "Environment":

"… egin to take action. It’s public health. …"

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 "Philadelphia":

"… ld leave many communities vulnerable to airborne chemicals, among them the Philadelphia suburb of Chester, Pa., which has more than a dozen polluters within or ne …"

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 "Clean Air Act":

"… ironmental Protection Agency “watch list,” designed to track potential Clean Air Act violators that have faced no formal enforcement action for months if not y …"

"… it calls for no lead monitoring beyond what’s already required under the Clean Air Act: sampling once every six days by two, state-operated monitoring devices ou …"

"… rances aside, as of September the Laureldale plant remained on the EPA’s Clean Air Act watch list.A spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Protect …"

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 "Environment":

"… Act violators. The Justice Department, which prosecuted the case, and the Environmental Protection Agency, which investigated Citgo, said the verdict sent an im …"

"… historically,” said David Uhlmann, who headed the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section from 2000 to 2007 and is now a law professor at the Unive …"

"… field, who worked until 2005 as a prosecutor in the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section and now defends companies facing prosecution.A common def …"

"… aeffer, a former top EPA enforcement official who co-founded the nonprofit Environmental Integrity Project in March 2002. “And we’ve seen situations where [i …"

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 "Oklahoma":

"… of these facilities bombard communities in Texas, Iowa, New York, Arizona, Oklahoma and other states with solvents that can cause cancer, metals that can caus …"

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 "Clean Air Act":

"… f air pollution regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: the Clean Air Act watch list, the Air Facility System (AFS), the Toxics Release Inventory (T …"

"… ory (TRI) and the Risk Screening Environmental Indicators model (RSEI).The Clean Air Act watch listThe Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News and NPR obtained …"

"… tion. All major sources and some minor sources are required under the Clean Air Act to obtain operating permits that stipulate what they must do to control ai …"

"… t the EPA is required to control, as defined in the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act.Not all toxic chemicals or sources of pollution are included in the TRI, h …"

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 "Clean Air Act":

"… of 464 facilities on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s internal Clean Air Act “watch list.” The list includes serious or chronic violators of the ac …"

"… d be viewed as a “most-wanted list,” said Richard Alonso, a former top Clean Air Act enforcement official at the EPA who now represents corporations. Stat …"

"… ty’s iWatch News and NPR obtained the July and September versions of the Clean Air Act watch list through a Freedom of Information Act request.Not every facility …"

"… seven years, agency insiders have compiled such lists of violators of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Commo …"

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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