Deadly Texas fertilizer plant explosion blamed on regulatory failures

By The Center for Public Integrity

A 2013 blast at West Fertilizer that killed 14 "never should have occurred," Chemical Safety Board chairman says.

EPA to regulate coal ash amid court settlement

By Kristen Lombardi

Facing a legal challenge from Earthjustice and others, the EPA agrees to set a plan by year's end to regulate coal ash.

Delay of long-awaited refinery accident report signals divisions at Chemical Safety Board

By Chris Hamby

A last-minute change to a public meeting on a 2010 explosion at the Tesoro refinery in Washington State has board members "embarrassed."

A small step towards food aid reform

By Sasha Chavkin

Buried in Congress' spending agreement: a small but notable step to reform a controversial program.

West Virginia chemical spill probe falls to overburdened Chemical Safety Board

By Chris Hamby and Ronnie Greene

Massive chemical spill in W.Va. adds to a growing backlog for the troubled Chemical Safety Board.

A century of denial on black lung

By Chris Hamby

A congressman's words 44 years ago, citing the coal industry's efforts to limit its liability for black lung, resonate anew.

EPA under the gun to regulate coal ash

By Kristen Lombardi

Environmental Protection Agency faces new pressure to regulate disposal of the toxic waste for the first time after a judge's decision.

Chemical board's unfinished investigations hinder agency mission, IG finds

By Chris Hamby

A backlog of Chemical Safety Board investigations hinders the agency's ability to help prevent future accidents, a new IG report concludes.

Tornado shelter firm lobbies up for federal tax relief

By Adam Wollner

Tornado shelter firm hires a lobbyist to press federal government for tax relief.

'Retail exemption' shields some fertilizer facilities from stringent safety inspections, rules

By Chris Hamby

An exemption carved out two decades ago allows some fertilizer and other chemical facilities to skirt stricter rules and inspections.

OSHA strengthens protections for temp workers

By Jim Morris

Amid reports of high injury rates for temporary workers, OSHA announces new measures aimed at training and safety.

Workplace deaths up slightly in 2011

By Jim Morris

Worker deaths rose slightly in 2011, though the jobsite fatality rate fell, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

Why strong regulatory agencies matter

By Bill Buzenberg

If the Center is doing its job right, then our work should anticipate the news. Unfortunately, that happened with an explosion in Texas.

As critics press for action, Chemical Safety Board investigations languish

By Jim Morris and Chris Hamby

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board, which probes chemical accidents, is under attack for its slow investigative pace.

Report urges phaseout of deadly acid

By Chris Hamby

A survey of refinery workers found deep concern about the handling of hydrofluoric acid and recommends safer alternatives

House bill targets deadly dust explosions

By Chris Hamby

House Democrats are pushing a bill requiring safety steps to curb combustible dust explosions -- a hazard examined in a 2012 Center report.

Meteor strikes on lobbyists' minds

By Dave Levinthal

Special interests have prodded U.S. government to fund tracking of killer space rocks.

Defense officials call Air Force F-22 probe sloppy and inadequate

By Douglas Birch

Critics of the Air Force's decision to blame a costly F-22 crash on its pilot have some ammunition

Labor secretary leaves legacy of worker protections and unfinished business

By Chris Hamby

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis leaves behind a department advocates say increased enforcement but left worker safety rules unfinished.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Solis":

"… nancial crisis.  …"

"… s.The first Hispanic woman to hold the top post at a Cabinet-level agency, Solis said in a letter to department employees that she planned to return to Cal …"

"… L-CIO. This inability to finalize new rules, she said, is not the fault of Solis, but of a White House reluctant to issue new regulations.Rep. George Mille …"

"… ho has long been an outspoken worker advocate, issued a statement praising Solis as “a tireless advocate for all hardworking Americans.” President Obam …"

IMPACT: Federal inspectors step up enforcement of rules to prevent black lung

By Chris Hamby

In a recent enforcement blitz, federal inspectors cited more than a dozen mines for problems that could expose workers to the disease.

Center environmental investigations honored nationally

By The Center for Public Integrity

Three separate Center environmental investigations have received national reporting prizes in recent weeks.

As Clean Air Act sentencing nears, Justice cites violations at Texas Citgo refinery

By Jim Morris

Justice Department alleges environmental and worker safety violations continue to plague Citgo's Texas refinery.

Fishing deaths mount, but government slow to cast safety net for deadliest industry

By Ronnie Greene

Commercial fishing is the deadliest industry in the U.S., but with federal reform moving slowly, some fishermen are stepping in.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Marine safety":

"… e safety laws, said government is too often “reactive to casualties.” Marine safety laws on the books, he said, “have been what I described as the little Du …"

IMPACT: OSHA's 'model workplace' program needs reform, report finds

By Chris Hamby

Companies exempt from some inspections under a special OSHA program should face tighter scrutiny, a report finds, echoing a Center series.

Landmark worker death case continues against UCLA chemistry professor

By Jim Morris

UCLA Professor Patrick Harran stands accused of a felony in the death of research associate Sheri Sangji after a lab fire.

Federal produce-testing program spared — for now

By The Associated Press

Federal food program that screens produce for contamination spared until end of 2012

Drought now grips more than half of the nation

By The Associated Press

New report shows drought gripping US has expanded to cover widest area since drought of 1956

IMPACT: Labor Dept. assembling expert team on mine dust enforcement after CPI-NPR investigation

By Chris Hamby

Government experts are considering ways to step up coal mine dust enforcement after a CPI-NPR investigation.

BP to pay $13 million for safety violations at Texas refinery

By Alice Su

Oil giant BP has agreed to pay $13 million to settle safety violations at a Texas refinery that blew up in 2005.

Ohio freight train derails, causing fiery blast

By The Associated Press

Freight train derails, causing fiery blast in Ohio; witness says looked like 'sun exploded'

Pages