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 …"

PR firm busts disclosure deadline while representing Burkina Faso

By Carrie Levine

CD Global Strategies took months — instead of 10 days — to inform the Justice Department of its work for Burkina Faso.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington, D.C.":

"… tion, in the midst of civil unrest in her West African nation, traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress and other U.S. officials. Helping arran …"

Texas fracking verdict puts industry on notice about toxic air emissions

By David Hasemyer

A nearly $3 million jury verdict against a Texas oil and gas company highlights regulatory failures and health risks linked to fracking.

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

"… rrs’ victory especially unusual. A recent investigation by the Center for Public Integrity, InsideClimate News and The Weather Channel found that Texas politicians o …"

"… issions. According to scientists interviewed by InsideClimate News and the Center for Public Integrity, air monitoring in Texas, and across the nation, is so flawed that scienti …"

"… a reporter with InsideClimate News. Jim Morris, a managing editor with the Center for Public Integrity, and Lisa Song, a reporter with InsideClimate News contributed to this rep …"

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 "Clean Water Act":

"… s of hazardous pollutants.” It cited high-profile cases including a Clean Water Act prosecution of Wal-Mart in California, and a Clean Air Act crimi …"

Offshore shells helped tangle Chinese giant in Italian fraud scandal

Court records and secret offshore files shine light on Chinese green energy firm’s links to Italian criminal probe.

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Earth":

"… ows an earlier judicial order, issued last fall, partly ruling in favor of Earthjustice and 10 other groups in a lawsuit challenging the slow pace of EPA …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Earth":

"… lows an earlier judicial order, issued Sept. 30, partly ruling in favor of Earthjustice and 10 other groups in a lawsuit challenging the EPA over its slow …"

"… forward a schedule for making a final decision,’” said Lisa Evans, the Earthjustice lawyer handling the suit, explaining that the judge does not addres …"

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 "executive":

"… s long-standing fears. Charged in a 19-count indictment, the company and executive were convicted of 14 and 15 felonies, respectively. Each was convicted of …"

"… a natural gas processing plant in Crockett County, Texas, and three of its executives pleaded guilty in 2012 to a Clean Air Act violation for failing to correc …"

"… rious bodily injury,” the EPA said. The company was fined $500,000. The executives paid $50,000, $22,000 and $15,000 fines — and were ordered to spend eig …"

"… a year or two of jail time might be more realistic, said Erin Heaney, the executive director of the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York. Assessing the da …"

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 …"

Earth Day 2013

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Earth":

"… ich can be found below.     …"

"… — that triggered the environmental movement. Back in 1970, as the Earth Day Network notes, “Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V …"

Meteor strikes on lobbyists' minds

By Dave Levinthal

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Russia":

"… rs — could now accelerate, as a meteor explosion today over central Russia injured hundreds of people and has already reopened debate about governmen …"

EPA's 'Brownfields' program coming up short

By Gwyneth Shaw, Beverly Ford and Evelyn Larrubia

Thousands of polluted properties remain despite $1.5 billion in federal assistance

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michigan":

"… eady found mitigation will be necessary at more than 70 sites.Investors in Michigan were horrified to learn that trichloroethylene remained in the soil under …"

"… out to be seriously contaminated,” read an October 2011 ruling from the Michigan Court of Appeals. (Frank and Tonya Alfieri successfully sued their real es …"

About the 'Mystery in the Fields' project

By Ronnie Greene

About the Project: Mystery in the Fields

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sri Lanka":

"… crippling communities in three different regions, from Central America to Sri Lanka to India. As death tolls mount, researchers remain puzzled, unable to defi …"

"… in discovered that the disease had also developed in clusters in India and Sri Lanka. Over several months this year, he and video journalist Anna Barry-Jester …"

"… in news outlets including PRI’s The World, the BBC, The Sunday Times of Sri Lanka and The Week in India.Project staffReporter: Sasha ChavkinPhotographer/vid …"

IG: Afghan fuel records go missing

By Aaron Mehta

New IG report warns of missing data on $475 million in oil

Excerpts from this story referencing "John Sopko":

"… cords violate DOD and Department of the Army policies,” wrote SIGAR head John Sopko in a letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and others that accompani …"

Clean Water Case targets wetlands protection in North Carolina

By Alice Su

As part of a U.S. effort to protect wetlands, a federal court has ordered $1 million in preservation projects in North Carolina.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… swamps, marshes and bogs.This May, the EPA and Department of Justice fined California’s Wendt Construction $170,000 for dumping 200 truckloads of material int …"

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 "White House":

"… t risk of catastrophic chemical releases. But the plan was scuttled by the White House, which maintained that chemical hazards could be better addressed by legis …"

"… shback from industry and the chemical lobby. But Jackson at least has “a White House that is willing to move forward,” Whitman said. If Obama does not get re …"

Corruption still threatens U.S. efforts in Afghanistan

By Aaron Mehta

As U.S. heads for the door in Afghanistan, persistent corruption threatens to undermine development efforts there.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… lion the U.S. has spent on reconstruction efforts since 2002. U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction Steven Trent warned that deep corruption pe …"

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 "White House":

"… spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.‘Torpedoed’ by the White HouseIn the months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, then-EPA administrator …"

"… ernative was to pursue legislative action to achieve this goal.”The Bush White House chose not to back such legislation. The Office of Management and Budget …"

"… at the prospect of EPA regulation and had made their feelings known to the White House.In 2006, then-Sen. Barack Obama co-sponsored legislation that would have r …"

IMPACT: Environmental groups sue EPA over lack of coal ash regulation

By Emma Schwartz

Groups sue EPA over lack of coal ash regulation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "lawyer":

"… re delaying much needed health protections from coal ash,” Lisa Evans, a lawyer with Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm, said in a  …"

Illegal ocean dumping persists despite DOJ crackdown

By Ronnie Greene

Federal prosecutors target dumping on the high seas, which taints global waterways with oil and other contaminants.

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 "Environment":

"… some GOP insiders. Connaughton was chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality during both of George W. Bush’s terms. Since 2009, he has been …"

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 "Christmas":

"… ruggles with asthma. “Fifteen years ago, my youngest son spent his first Christmas in the hospital fighting to breathe. Like any parent of a child with asthm …"

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 "Environment":

"… t fish or use electricity. After more than two decades of delays, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is poised to issue a new regulation restricting some p …"

"… cury, according to a recently released report by the public interest group Environment America.The coal industry and its friends in Congress argue that the propo …"

EPA allowed unsafe handling of asbestos, IG says

By Jim Morris and Chris Hamby

Use of 'unapproved methods' by EPA put workers and public at risk of asbestos exposure, IG says

Excerpts from this story referencing "Natural Resources Defense Council":

"… hat really ticked us off.”Public Justice and an environmental group, the Natural Resources Defense Council, sought to expose the EPA’s own doubts about the so-called wet method of …"

Environmental injustice: EPA neglects discrimination claims from polluted communities

By Corbin Hiar

Agency’s dysfunctional Office of Civil Rights sits on complaints for years

Excerpts from this story referencing "Arizona":

"… aste and pesticides.Office adriftUnresolved air complaints filed in Texas, Arizona and Illinois obtained by iWatch News allege that by failing to p …"

"… up during the litigation.It took Steve Brittle, president of Don’t Waste Arizona, Inc., an environmental group in Phoenix, nearly a decade to get a respons …"

GOP assault on regulations could undermine air pollution protections

By Chris Hamby

House Republicans are expected to approve a bill that would allow Congress to block major regulations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… k assigned by Congress in the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act — the Environmental Protection Agency has been “grossly delinquent,” a federal judge wro …"

Hotter, drier, meaner: Trends point to a planet increasingly hostile to agriculture

By Douglas Fischer

A host of data point to one conclusion: Our increasingly hotter, drier planet is going to be a tough place to farm

Excerpts from this story referencing "Hudson River":

"… said. And shorter, more intense droughts have driven sea water far up the Hudson River, past towns such as Poughkeepsie that depend on the river for drinking sup …"

IMPACT: Day after story on weak enforcement, a state cracks down on polluter

By Chris Hamby

The day after an article highlighted weak enforcement, Iowa's attorney general takes on a source of toxic emissions.

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 "Environment":

"… ile the Clean Air Act delegated enforcement duties to the states, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency keeps tabs on state agencies and sometimes steps in. T …"

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 "Earth":

"… than the Clean Air Act requires,” said James Pew, a staff attorney with Earthjustice, a nonprofit public-interest law firm. “People in many communitie …"

"… s that can cause cancer, birth defects and other serious health effects.”Earthjustice has sued the EPA over air toxics rules perhaps a dozen times in the …"

"… to a final decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and Earthjustice prevailed in nine of them. In all nine, judges held that the rules …"