In new battleground over toxic reform, American Chemistry Council targets the states

By Ronnie Greene

The fight between industry and activists over regulation of toxic chemicals has shifted from Washington, D.C., to state venues.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Maine":

"… stry Council, it was another in a string of victories in state houses from Maine to Washington State — and part of a vigorous campaign to smother toxics …"

"… nd containers, the mayor officiated at the wedding of an ACC lobbyist. In Maine, the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, Patricia …"

"… gns, the D.C.-based group retains statehouse lobbyists to fight bills from Maine to Connecticut, from Iowa to Minnesota, Oregon to Washington State. In th …"

"… nbsp;Alissa Keny-Guyer, a co-sponsor. “I was really disappointed.” In Maine, the bill Aho’s office fought — An Act To Further Strengthen the …"

From homemaker to hell-raiser in Love Canal

By Ronnie Greene

In 1978, Lois Gibbs was a mom with sick kids. Her fight prompted a president to free 900 families -- and paved the way for U.S. buyouts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Austin":

"… eries in Corpus Christi and discuss children’s school health concerns in Austin. Later she was in Annapolis fighting hydraulic fracturing. In February 20 …"

Louisiana sinkhole shatters calm, prompts buyouts on the bayou

By Ronnie Greene

A massive sinkhole roils a Louisiana bayou community — forcing many to seek buyouts, part of a U.S. trend of communities fighting to leave.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… wing and growing,” said Marylee Orr, executive director of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, an advocacy organization based in Baton Rouge. “Myster …"

"… olitics,” said Lois Gibbs, executive director of Center for Health, Environment and Justice, a nonprofit based in Falls Church, Va., that works with commu …"

"… heavy metals from an abandoned former wood treating facility. By 1992, the Environmental Protection Agency said it excavated 225,000 cubic yards of con …"

"… around the sinkhole. So far, tests results by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality show “no harmful Environmental releases,” the state said. Y …"

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 "Cynthia Giles":

"… laws and cleaning up communities,” the IG’s office wrote last month to Cynthia Giles, the EPA’s assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Com …"

Obama administration signals higher gas royalties on public lands — and anticipated industry resistance

By Evan Bush

Big Oil underpays on royalties - and may resist attempts to collect more

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… for both parties?Frank Rusco, a director of GAO’s Natural Resources and Environment team, told iWatch News royalty rate changes are just one part of the puzzl …"

Wealthy ‘farmers’ snag federal dollars

By Joe Eaton

Forget stimulus checks; wealthy farmers raked in more than $49 million in federal funds between 2003 and 2006 that they may have been inelig

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… ayments quality for them. Lisa Shames, director of Natural Resources and Environment at the GAO, said her office does not have the authorization to release nam …"

Governors and oil industry work hand in hand in offshore drilling group

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Lobbying firm, advocacy organization did much of the work.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… $1.4 million over the past decade, according to the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Jindal’s office …"

"… enter for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Jindal’s office did not respond to an interview request or to question …"

Five-state study finds high levels of airborne chemicals near oil and gas sites

By Jamie Smith Hopkins

A study of air emissions near oil and gas wells found strikingly high levels of benzene and other dangerous chemicals in some locations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… monitored for the peer-reviewed study, published today in the journal Environmental Health — is “potentially dangerous compounds and chemical mixtu …"

"… and director of the University at Albany’s Institute for Health and the Environment. In 40 percent of the air samples, laboratory tests found benzene, formal …"

"… terim chair of West Virginia University’s Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences and author of the study for that state. “Part of the …"

"… , a faculty emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh who served as an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official during the Reagan administration. The beginn …"

Pennsylvania congressman launches frack waste investigation

By David Hasemyer and Zahra Hirji

Congressman Matt Cartwright, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, is asking state officials to review environmental exemptions for fracking waste.

Excerpts from this story referencing "House Energy and Commerce Committee":

"… rborne contaminants. Cartwright cites a 2011 minority staff report of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It identified 29 chemicals found in fracking waste that are possible huma …"

New air monitor planned for heavily fracked South Texas county

By Lisa Song and David Hasemyer

After a Center and InsideClimate News investigation, Texas regulators say they'll put an air monitor in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… air monitor in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will install the monitor in Karnes County, the epice …"

"… ired air monitoring expert with more than 30 years' experience at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said the new monitor is "a very general thing that's …"

Open pits offer cheap disposal for fracking sludge, but health worries mount

By David Hasemyer and Zahra Hirji

Air emissions from oil and gas waste are among the least regulated, least monitored and least understood components of the fracking boom.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Matthew Cartwright":

"… y the people elected to set those standards.”  Last year, U.S. Rep. Matthew Cartwright, a first-term Democrat from Pennsylvania, drafted a bill that would remove …"

Black lung disease surges to highs not seen since the '70s, research shows

By Chris Hamby

The likely culprit: a failure by coal mining companies to use readily available tools to control the dust that lodges in miners' lungs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… the researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote in a letter …"

"… to improve miners’ Health.” Back in 1969, the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act limited the amount of dust allowed in mines with the e …"

"… 1, parts of a long-awaited rule from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration took effect, and regulators say it should close these looph …"

National Academy of Sciences agrees with EPA that formaldehyde causes cancer

By David Heath

To the chemical industry's chagrin, a National Academy of Sciences review found that formaldehyde causes cancer.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Chemistry Council":

"… eing declared a known carcinogen. The industry’s chief lobby group, the American Chemistry Council, has persuaded members of Congress that the findings of both the Environme …"

"… e 2011” report, Cal Dooley, president and chief executive officer of the American Chemistry Council, said in a statement titled “The Safety of Formaldehyde is Well-Studied …"

"… fer Sass, a scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, called the American Chemistry Council’s efforts “a vicious attack on government scientific assessments [mean …"

"… f the 2011 formaldehyde review. Forty-seven assessments are affected. The American Chemistry Council said in its statement that the academy “misses an opportunity to advance …"

Center honored for revealing chemical industry influence over science

"Toxic Clout" investigation into chemical industry wins an award from the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… s questionable influence over science has won an award from the Society of Environmental Journalists. The series won the Kevin Carmody Award for outstanding in- …"

"… he writers were David Heath, Ronnie Greene and Jim Morris. The Society of Environmental Journalists received 313 entries for seven categories of awards.  …"

"… , the Miami Herald and Chemical & Engineering News for beat reporting, Environmental Health Perspectives for feature reporting, National Geographic …"

EPA: No comment on fracking air pollution

By Jim Morris and Lisa Song

No one at the Environmental Protection Agency has been willing to talk on the record about air pollution associated with fracking in Texas.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… If a state regulatory agency — in this case the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality — isn’t doing much to curb the industry's air pollution, why …"

"… ’t doing much to curb the industry's air pollution, why isn’t the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stepping in? The EPA, after all, is ultimately respons …"

"… ation in federal agencies.” The letter came shortly after the Society of Environmental Journalists protested the EPA's refusal to release the names of the tech …"

Families sick from fracking turn to scientists

By Lisa Song

A Pennsylvania nonprofit provides free health consultations to people who live near gas drilling sites and complain of health effects.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency":

"… the Pennsylvania medical society, the Pennsylvania health department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "There's no one doing …"

Energy influence in North Dakota is expanding — so what?

By Nicholas Kusnetz and Jared Bennett

A Q & A with reporter Nicholas Kusnetz about the oil and gas industries growing influence in North Dakota.

Excerpts from this story referencing "oil":

"… lar, how did you come up with this story, about the expanding influence of oil and gas in state politics? I actually did my first reporting on the oil b …"

"… f oil and gas in state politics? I actually did my first reporting on the oil boom in late 2011. I have continued to keep an eye on the state and during …"

"… ts and infrastructure of development. But the one thing I noticed is that oil and gas were able to basically operate how they wanted. What really s …"

"… ms in the past. In the 1970s it was coal mining and in the 1980s it was an oil boom. How do those periods compare to what is going on now?  Critics …"

Even low doses of arsenic trigger cancer in mice, study finds

By David Heath

Study by the National Institutes of Health found levels of arsenic similar to what some people consume caused cancer in mice.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… rs in history. Extrapolating from those studies, scientists with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have tentatively concluded that arsenic is a serious p …"

"… pears to be safe,” Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program, said in a statement …"

How politics derailed EPA science on arsenic, endangering public health

By David Heath

A ban on arsenic-containing pesticides was lifted after a lawmaker disrupted a scientific assessment by the EPA.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Rio Tinto":

"… National Mining Association, including the mining companies Arch Coal and Rio Tinto. Grizzle began making donations to Simpson’s re-election campaign in Ja …"

Leadership at Chemical Safety Board questioned amid investigation backlog

By Rosalind Adams

Evidence of ongoing management failures and a toxic work environment at the Chemical Safety Board was presented at a hearing Thursday.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… to several new safety regulations, Moure-Eraso said. A report by the Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general last year, however, found that the …"

EPA plan would slash climate-damaging carbon emissions from 1,000 existing power plants

The EPA on Monday proposed the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "oil":

"… limit carbon dioxide emissions from roughly 1,000 existing coal, gas, and oil plants nationwide — the largest source of carbon pollution in the United …"

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 "Environment":

"… s. Sometimes they had trouble breathing, they told the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). They also experienced nausea, nosebleeds, ringing ears a …"

"… ourts,” said Robert Percival, director of the University of Maryland’s Environmental Law Program. There are no assurances the verdict against Aruba will sur …"

"… gulations, he said during a brief interview earlier this month at the TCEQ Environmental Trade Fair and Conference in Austin. The agency’s business-as-usual a …"

"… remely pro-business,” said Percival, with the University of Maryland’s Environmental Law Program. “The message from all parts of the state, including the r …"

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 "Environment":

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

Energy Dept. confirms it's been on the wrong path since 2007

By Douglas Birch

A newly-released DOE study concludes the department can save billions by shelving a costly South Carolina nuclear fuel factory.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New Mexico":

"… der to use in a nuclear weapon and then burying it in deep salt caverns in New Mexico — would cost just $8.78 billion in new spending, according to MacWi …"

"… ah River and disposed of the mixture at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, the Center reported in 2013. Downblending faces legal, regulatory and po …"

Texas freezes agency's funding after air pollution data released

By Lisa Song

The Alamo Area Council of Governments had its funding frozen after releasing data linking oil and gas drilling to worsening air pollution.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… t of smog. If that happens, it could be subject to sanctions from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including increased EPA oversight for new development …"

"…  Austin American-Statesman reported that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which funded the study, had slashed AACOG’s air-qualit …"

"… ere was an ill intent” on Bella’s part. Craft is a toxicologist at the Environmental Defense Fund, a green group that often works with industry partners to r …"

"… o ask the state to restore $182,000 in grants that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is withholding from the San Antonio metropolitan region. The mon …"

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 "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency":

"… umbers for emissions from pump engines were higher than estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, while AACOG's emission calculations from oil and condensate tanks were lo …"

Japan reaffirms its plan to produce plutonium

By Douglas Birch and Jake Adelstein

The Abe government’s new energy plan calls for completing the Rokkasho plutonium fuel factory despite U.S. concern it poses terrorism risks

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… weeks after Japan pledged to return hundreds of pounds of plutonium to the United States for disposal, the Japanese government on April 11 formally endor …"

GAO report again finds black lung proposal supported by science

By Chris Hamby

A new government study supports reducing the dust limit workers encounter in mines; the industry is pushing back against stronger rules.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United Mine Workers of America":

"… ’s given us any reason for that,” said Phil Smith, a spokesman for the United Mine Workers of America. At the heart of the rule are provisions cutting in half the amount of du …"

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 "Georgia":

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

"… igh in terms of adverse health effects from coal-fired plants. “Atlanta, Georgia, and Richmond, Virginia, experience some of the worst health effects from …"

ICIJ offshore project wins IRE award, two environmental projects recognized

The Center for Public Integrity and its ICIJ receive four reporting honors from Investigative Reporters & Editors, the IRE announced.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Marina Walker Guevara":

"… ored 22 contributors to the offshore money project, including Gerard Ryle, Marina Walker Guevara, Michael Hudson, Kimberley Porteous and David Donald from ICIJ and the Cen …"

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