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 "legislator":

"… hes deep into the fine print of state rules, the Center found. In Iowa, a legislator proposed a resolution urging Congress to crack down on dangerous chemicals …"

"… me to fight that. You go into a committee and they’re out here grabbing legislators one after another.” In Washington State, the ACC helped kill the Toxic …"

"… ;Washington Toxics Coalition. Opponents are “able to sow enough doubt in legislators’ minds that some put the brakes on this type of legislation.” “The …"

"… ught it tooth and nail,” the representative said. In other states, some legislators are finding it hard to muster enthusiasm reforms will ever take root. In …"

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 "Buffalo":

"… ted a woman who, growing up in Grand Island, N.Y., 15 minutes upstate from Buffalo, busied herself sewing draperies and aspiring to be a housewife. In Love C …"

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 …"

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 "natural gas":

"… But because there are no comprehensive studies about the health impacts of natural gas drilling, it's hard to determine if their problems are linked to the gas w …"

"… cience to help people deal with their ailments. "As far as unconventional natural gas drilling goes, we are the public health service of the United States right …"

"… s of shale gas development. provide tips on how to reduce exposure to natural gas activities, perhaps by using indoor air filters or keeping daily logs of s …"

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 "director":

"… humans might be exposed,” Michael Waalkes, lead author on the paper and director of the National Toxicology Program Laboratory, said in a press release. …"

"… ossibility that no level of arsenic appears to be safe,” Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Nationa …"

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 "president":

"… esticide companies countered with a unique argument. Michal Eldan, a vice president at Luxembourg-Pamol, said her company had the scientific literature scoure …"

"… — was the same technique once used for earmarks. Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonprofit group that closely monitors the …"

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 "president":

"… . She added, “The most important thing to do today is celebrate that the president has taken this tremendously courageous action.”   The EPA proposa …"

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 "Judge":

"… and policy makers may be sorting through them for years. Aruba has asked Judge Mark Greenberg, who presided over the Parrs’ case, to reverse the jury …"

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 "Lindsey Graham":

"… ’s Congressional delegation has long championed the project, led by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. The United States and Russia first signed a deal to each dispose …"

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 "Energy":

"… ly beholden to the industry.” Omar Garcia, president of the South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable, said Friday morning that he did not have the ti …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… ment auditors reached in 2012, answering demands for a study by members of Congress concerned about the rule. And it’s the conclusion the auditors reached a …"

"… d to a request for comment about the study released this week. Members of Congress also have raised concerns about the rule, echoing industry complaints. In …"

"… laims of miners sick and dying of black lung. Since the report, members of Congress and the Labor Department have pushed for reforms to better protect workers …"

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 "South Carolina":

"… t each of the six states his group represents — Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Virginia and Tennessee — ranks high in terms of adverse health …"

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 "Congress":

"… t from the muddled environmental politicking of Washington, D.C. In 1976, Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act, a federal framework intended to s …"

"… way to go.” Yet in his state, as in others, the argument of waiting for Congress to act has grown stale. “I’ve been personally to the statehouse here …"

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 "natural gas":

"… of regulation can effectively mitigate the health problems associated with natural gas drilling. "What we need is no fracking," she said. But Louis Allstadt, a …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "director":

"… lutonium,” a material initially created for use in nuclear weapons. Its director Satoshi Morimoto, who was briefly the country’s defense minister in 2012 …"

"… ured, carefully and secretly, by Washington. A 1954 cable to the director of the CIA — declassified only eight years ago — called for an “atom …"

"… executives, $3,300 for executive vice presidents, and $1,700 for managing directors, the newspaper said. Kono alleged contributions such as these had purchas …"

"… s hung over the program from the start. Kumao Kaneko, a 76-year-old former director of the Nuclear Energy Division of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, t …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Lindsey Graham":

"… by South Carolina’s congressional delegation. South Carolina Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, both Republicans, did not immediately respond to requests f …"

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 "natural gas":

"… underscored just how little is known about the health consequences of the natural gas boom that began a decade ago, when advances in high-volume hydraulic fract …"

"… e population-based studies of the public health effects of [unconventional natural gas] operations exist," concluded the report published Monday in the peer-revi …"

"… r for such research when diseases begin to appear that are associated with natural gas drilling activities." This report is part of a joint project by The Cente …"

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 …"

Nuclear Waste: Auditors find continuing mismanagement at nuclear fuel plant

By Douglas Birch

The GAO complains anew about DOE's unwillingness to investigate cost increases at the MOX plant, and learn from its mistakes there

Excerpts from this story referencing "South Carolina":

"… nt has repeatedly and substantially underestimated the costs of building a South Carolina plant meant to turn surplus plutonium from nuclear weapons into fuel for p …"

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