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 "Congress":

"… e hijacked by corporate interests.” The bill failed.What did emerge from Congress was a law that exempts thousands of facilities from DHS rules and requires …"

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 "Alabama":

"… e the aquifer that feeds their drinking water. In southeastern states from Alabama to Virginia, residents fear a cluster of coal-powered plants will impact t …"

"… x states his group represents — Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Virginia and Tennessee — ranks high in terms of adverse health effects …"

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 "Judge":

"… tim impact statements. The hope, James-Creedon said, is that U.S. District Judge William Skretny will order fine money allocated for community improvement …"

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 …"

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 "Clean Air Act":

"… nce Assurance. The watch lists include allegedly chronic violators of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which …"

"… orts found that there were some 1,600 “high priority violators” of the Clean Air Act – nearly 400 of which were on the EPA’s watch list – and that federa …"

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 "spokeswoman":

"… n an email to the Center for Public Integrity Tuesday evening, an EPA spokeswoman wrote, "We're not going to comment on internal discussions, but no decisio …"

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 "Clean Air Act":

"… as issued a $1 million fine against a global plastics producer for alleged Clean Air Act violations at its plants in two small, polluted communities seven hours ap …"

"… thernmost tip of Indiana.The EPA’s 15-count complaint said SABIC skirted Clean Air Act rules on monitoring and repairing equipment leaks, complying with chemical …"

"… ssions by up to 137 tons per year.The EPA has brought several other recent Clean Air Act cases. Last November, for instance, Dow Chemical in Midland, Mich., agreed …"

"… d, working to “ensure full compliance going forward.”Under the EPA’s Clean Air Act Stationary Source Compliance Monitoring Strategy, any facility identified …"

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":

"… 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 …"

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 "Sunflower Electric Power Corp.":

"… cted its bid to build two new power units in 2007, citing health concerns, Sunflower Electric Power Corp. refused to take no for an answer. When the governor vetoed bills that woul …"

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 "Clean Air Act":

"… e EPA to reduce emissions from the power industry since the passage of the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990. While the standard was issued last Friday, interest gr …"

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 "spokeswoman":

"… ors “to allege that an unproved violation has in fact occurred.”An EPA spokeswoman, citing the original Freedom of Information Act request from iWatch News f …"

"… y and effectiveness of enforcement actions are not undermined,” said the spokeswoman. Environmental organizations questioned that rationale. “Law enforc …"

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 "lawyer":

"… laws.”Brittle connected the Amparanos and other Hayden residents with a lawyer in Tempe, Ariz., Howard Shanker, who began pulling together a class-action …"

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 "Environment":

"… bit of a hit-or-miss approach,” said William K. Reilly, who led the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the first Bush administration and is now a seni …"

"… ;In another, involving brick kilns, the court opined tartly that “If the Environmental Protection Agency disagrees with the Clean Air Act's requirements for se …"

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 "spokeswoman":

"… er the Laureldale plant remained on the EPA’s Clean Air Act watch list.A spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Protection would not comment on …"

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 "Clean Air Act":

"… er, Citgo Petroleum Corp., guilty of two felony criminal violations of the Clean Air Act for failing to control emissions of benzene, a carcinogen, from two massiv …"

"… t seemed a major victory for the federal government in its quest to punish Clean Air Act violators. The Justice Department, which prosecuted the case, and the Envi …"

"… triking symbol of the federal government’s tepid level of prosecution of Clean Air Act violators.In policing the nation’s polluters, criminal prosecution is th …"

"… ince 1990, among thousands of criminal environmental cases, fewer than 800 Clean Air Act cases have led to fines or prison time — the fewest of any of the three …"

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 "Toxics Release Inventory":

"… n Agency: the Clean Air Act watch list, the Air Facility System (AFS), the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and the Risk Screening Environmental Indicators model (RSEI).The Cle …"

"… ulated by the states and the EPA, not all facilities report to the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI); certain criteria must be met. Further research indicated that …"

"… iders "high priority violators" across the country.Read more about AFS.The Toxics Release InventoryThe TRI, authorized under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Kno …"

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 "Huntsman Corp.":

"… me 34 million pounds of hazardous air pollutants in 2009.Among them is the Huntsman Corp.’s chemical plant in Port Neches, Texas, owned by the family of Republica …"

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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