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 "Environment":

"… to smother toxics reform bills filed in states fed up with logjams at the Environmental Protection Agency. Connecticut is just one snapshot of a larger picture …"

"… rk,” said Steve Lester, science director for the Center for Health, Environment & Justice, a nonprofit headquartered in Falls Church, Va., and founded …"

"… dding of an ACC lobbyist. In Maine, the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, Patricia Aho, was an ACC lobbyist before taking office in 20 …"

"… ildren's Products Are Free of Cadmium An Act To Provide the Department of Environmental Protection with Regulatory Flexibility Regarding the Listing of Priority …"

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 "Environment":

"… 21,000-ton toxic dump. Earlier that year, Gibbs and her neighbors held two Environmental Protection Agency officials captive in a ploy to get the president’s a …"

"… nment to create the Superfund cleanup program and earned Gibbs the Goldman Environmental Prize. Today she is still in the fight as executive director of the Cen …"

"… she is still in the fight as executive director of the Center for Health, Environment & Justice, a nonprofit squired in a third-floor corner office in a non …"

"… sickened by pollution but bereft of know-how, ring the Center for Health, Environment & Justice. “I see myself in the people who call,” Gibbs, 61, says …"

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 "Environment":

"… That’s when the EPA is supposed to step up to the plate.”   …"

"… A Watch List.” Lois Gibbs, executive director of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, an advocacy group in Falls Church, Va., said the EPA too ofte …"

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 …"

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 "Environment":

"… r even decades for long-term studies to emerge, the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (SWPA-EHP) is using the best available science to help pe …"

"… igate the risks people face from drilling. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection — which oversees the oil and gas industry — has no ongoin …"

"… Pennsylvania medical society, the Pennsylvania health department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. " …"

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 "Environment":

"… ome national Environmental organizations are starting to get involved, the Environmental Defense Fund hired a local lobbyist who I actually interviewed because h …"

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 "Environment":

"… e, beer and wine. Under orders from a Republican-controlled Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency in 2001 established a new drinking-water standard to t …"

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 "Environment":

"… ittsburgh, and Washington, D.C. A final rule is expected by June 2015. …"

"… achieve recognition of significant emission reductions" under it.   Environmental advocates welcomed the EPA proposal as a long time coming, applauding bo …"

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.

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 "Environment":

"… Governments (AACOG) in San Antonio and paid for by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The study was designed to determine the extent to which …"

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

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

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.

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 "Environment":

"… g industry, worry over failing health and pollution has intensified as the Environmental Protection Agency intends to significantly curtail the number of inspect …"

"… edent they set for performance of large facilities across the country.” Environmental advocates are not swayed. The planned reduction in federal enforcement c …"

"… perfect storm,” said John Suttles, senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center, a nonprofit handling Environmental cases in six states. “I …"

"… n before the spill, according to emails obtained by the Southern Environmental Law Center, state regulators consulted Duke Energy before seeking to exc …"

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.

Air monitoring in fracking areas fails to detect spikes in toxic emissions, new study says

By Lisa Song and Jim Morris

A new study finds that common air monitoring methods are all but useless in capturing intense, short-term emissions from gas development.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… tion, researchers reported Tuesday in the peer-reviewed journal Reviews on Environmental Health. The study was conducted by the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmen …"

"… nvironmental Health. The study was conducted by the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, a nonprofit based near Pittsburgh. A health survey the …"

"… r David Brown, who conducted the study with three of his colleagues at the Environmental Health Project. Stuart Batterman, an Environmental health sciences prof …"

"… nclusions they reached were almost identical to those in a recent study in Environmental Science & Technology that cited a lack of "comprehensive" public hea …"

States target toxic chemicals as Washington fails to act

By Ronnie Greene

In state capitols from Maine to Oregon, environmental advocates are filing bills to identify and ban noxious chemicals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… re than gather dust. Among tens of thousands of chemicals in commerce, the Environmental Protection Agency has “only been able to require testing on a little m …"

"… stry’s $100 million lobbying arm, the American Chemistry Council, to the Environmental Defense Fund, an advocacy group, to the EPA itself. Yet three years to …"

"… t’s wait and see what the feds do,’” said Johnson, who serves on the Environmental Council of the States, a nonpartisan association of state leaders. “It …"

"… State Sen. Doug Ericksen, chair of the Washington legislature’s Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee, said the bill as proposed was problema …"

Tough new fracking rules in Colorado drawing keen attention in Texas, where boom rages on

By Zahra Hirji, Lisa Song and Jim Morris

Air pollution rules adopted last month in Colorado may have an impact on oil and gas drilling in Texas.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… tightening air standards. Several companies have approached the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund and expressed interest in discussing whether Colorado’s r …"

"… tend we could have done it ourselves," he said. Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas, a citizen advocacy group, also found hope in Colorado’s actions. …"

"… Hickenlooper’s office and the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment led the process. “I’d love to think we could have the support of the g …"

"… zene, a known carcinogen. The rules exceed regulations issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2012, which won't fully be implemented until 2015. …"

ICIJ, Center win Scripps Howard honors for business, environmental reporting

The national Scripps Howard Awards recognize an ICIJ project exposing secret offshore accounts and a Center examination of Toxic Clout.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… Morris and Chris Hamby, was a finalist for the Edward J. Meeman Award for Environmental Reporting. The top Environmental reporting prize went to The Seatt …"

Plutonium fever blossoms in Japan

Cronyism, influence-buying and a stifling of dissenting voices have kept the Japanese nuclear industry going strong after Fukushima.

Nuclear Waste: Energy Department proposes to kill multi-billion dollar nuclear fuel plant

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

The costliest U.S. nonproliferation program has been undone by huge cost overruns.

Natural gas boom advances with little study of public health effects, report finds

By Lisa Song and Jim Morris

As a drilling boom continues in Texas and beyond, a new study spotlights a missing ingredient: A full assessment of public health impact.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… exist," concluded the report published Monday in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology. Last week, The Center for Public Integrity, I …"

"… g to fund independent research." Goldstein said the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences — part of the National Institutes of Health — has st …"

"… nization that studies vehicular air pollution. It is jointly funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and the auto industry. Goldstein, a doctor and toxico …"

"… unterproductive," he said in 2012 in testimony before the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee. "This is not a one-time event in a single location whose hea …"

Long-awaited EPA pesticide protections a 'mixed bag' for farmworkers

By Ronnie Greene

After more than two decades, the EPA revised rules to protect farmworkers from pesticides, but advocates say they don't go far enough.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… changes to better protect the nation’s farmworkers from pesticides, the Environmental Protection Agency this week proposed a slate of updates to its agricultu …"

"… o ask for that information,” said Jeannie Economos, Pesticide Safety and Environmental Health Project coordinator for the Farmworker Association of Florida. M …"

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