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 "New York":

"… ates on enforcement matters – a recipe for inaction. “In a state like New York that’s not such a bad deal, because New York is more aggressive,” said …"

"… action. “In a state like New York that’s not such a bad deal, because New York is more aggressive,” said Gibbs, who lived near the Love Canal toxic was …"

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 "Energy":

"… due in August, said Nicholas Pardi, a spokesperson for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, which oversees and sets rules for …"

"… anticipates unfair pricingThe American Petroleum Institute and the Western Energy Alliance, two of the biggest oil and gas lobbies, both said their organiza …"

"… HIS-CERA, also known as  Information Handling Services Cambridge Energy Research Associates. The well-respected firm, which does consulting for th …"

"… ng their whole system.”Amy Meyers Jaffe, director of the Baker Institute Energy forum at Rice University noted that the effort by the Interior Department …"

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 …"

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 "energy":

"… stry groups have pointed to the boom as an economic godsend: jobs, cheaper energy, payments to landowners and taxes for state coffers. Many public officials …"

"… ntative at the hearing, in written testimony to the House subcommittees on energy and the environment. “Yet this fact is lost in the public reaction to EP …"

"… ed the investigation over to the state. That work is funded by Encana, the energy company residents accused of contaminating the water. A spokesman for Enc …"

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 "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency":

"… e. This lack of understanding can be traced to decisions Congress and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made decades ago, when oil and gas producers successfully lobbied to get m …"

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 "Coal":

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

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 "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… y Council, has persuaded members of Congress that the findings of both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services were wrong and should be r …"

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 "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 "energy":

"… going to be effective or not. …"

"… oing on in North Dakota is arguably the biggest thing going on in the U.S. energy scene today, and to a large degree, is responsible for the record surge in …"

"… ay, and to a large degree, is responsible for the record surge in domestic energy. What was interesting to me is that this is happening in people's backyard …"

"… ually interviewed because he is a Republican who previously worked for the energy industry. He is one of those people who saw this flaring issue and felt he …"

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 "House Appropriations Committee":

"… ess to derail the EPA’s assessment. In July 2011, language appeared in a House Appropriations Committee report ordering the EPA to take no action on its arsenic assessment and tu …"

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 "Environmental Protection Agency":

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

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 "Campaign Legal Center":

"… lay the money game,” said Meredith McGehee, policy director for the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit that tracks money in politics and monit …"

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 "Obama administration":

"… “breeder” reactors that can produce more plutonium than they burn. The Obama administration in 2010 signed a revised agreement granting Russia the right to use breede …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama administration":

"… te…the completion of Rokkasho,” the energy plan states. Publicly, the Obama administration has said little about Rokkasho, located on the Pacific Coast about 1,000 m …"

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 "National Mining Association":

"… t level in 1995, but attempts to implement this change have faltered. The National Mining Association, a trade group, and many of the nation’s biggest coal companies have att …"

"… s week’s report. Rogers, who is up for re-election this year, counts the National Mining Association and other energy companies or trade groups among the donors to his campaig …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… wide over the next five years. Those cutbacks — continuing a trend, the Center for Public Integrity found, that began in 2006 and accelerated last year — mean the EPA will …"

"… ution triggered by the utility’s coal ash ponds. Beginning in 2009, the Center for Public Integrity exposed the environmental perils of coal ash ponds. Earlier this …"

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 …"

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