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 "American Chemistry Council":

"… What happened this year in Hartford shows how industry — fueled by the American Chemistry Council, a $100-million-a-year advocacy group glittered with Fortune 500 partners …"

"… alth. I don’t think we ever got the opportunity to see that.” For the American Chemistry Council, it was another in a string of victories in state houses from Maine to Was …"

"… re feeling threatened.” Big money, big connections — and results The American Chemistry Council has resources to push back, representing members such as Dow, Pr …"

"… uman health.” “The toxics resolution in particular was opposed by the American Chemistry Council,” Isenhart wrote the Center. When his resolution came out of Iowa’s C …"

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 "Love Canal":

"… al, because New York is more aggressive,” said Gibbs, who lived near the Love Canal toxic waste dump in Niagara Falls, N.Y., in the late 1970s and led efforts …"

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 …"

Obama's EPA breaks pledge to divorce politics from science on toxic chemicals

By David Heath

To the delight of industry, the EPA is completing fewer chemical assessments than ever before.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… sound arcane as a presidential priority, but it was a big deal at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Political interference from the Bush White House had delayed or derailed …"

Yellowstone spill contaminates drinking water with carcinogen benzene

By Jim Morris

Authorities found the chemical, a component of crude oil, in drinking water downstream of an oil spill in Montana's Yellowstone River.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Benzene":

"… agency recommends as the maximum chronic exposure level for the chemical. …"

Leaked report says World Bank violated own rules in Ethiopia

By Sasha Chavkin

Leaked report links World Bank project to mass resettlement campaign that is alleged to include beatings, rape and death.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ethiopia":

"… epeatedly violated its own rules while funding a development initiative in Ethiopia that has been dogged by complaints that it sponsored forced evictions of t …"

"… k funding over the last decade. Members of the indigenous Anuak people in Ethiopia’s Gambella province charged that Ethiopian authorities used some of the …"

"… the indigenous Anuak people in Ethiopia’s Gambella province charged that Ethiopian authorities used some of the bank’s money to support a massive forced r …"

"… as an “operational link” between the World Bank-funded program and the Ethiopian government’s relocation push, which was known as “villagization.” …"

Groups sue to force EPA's hand on oil and gas emissions

By Jamie Smith Hopkins

Nine groups sue to force the EPA to decide whether emissions from oil and gas extraction should be publicly reported.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Law":

"… , as you know, political forces that discourage action,” Dillen said. “Lawsuits can be one way to give the agency cover to do what it actually needs …"

By the numbers: a 2014 money-in-politics index

We crunch a lot of numbers at the Center for Public Integrity. These are some from 2014 that stand out.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Carrie Levine":

"… achel Baye, Michael Beckel, Jared Bennett, Liz Essley Whyte, Allan Holmes, Carrie Levine, Dave Levinthal and Daniel Wagner contributed to this report. …"

Environment stories you may have missed

By The Center for Public Integrity

We spent 2014 combing through legislation, documents and emissions data to investigate how big companies put people at risk.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Benzene":

"… eading 2. The $36 million 'research strategy' behind Benzene regulations Benzene, a known human carcinogen, has been the subject of scientific studies for …"

Coal ash no worse than everyday trash, EPA rules

The EPA announced what it called a "milestone" rule for toxic coal ash, but critics say it doesn't go far enough.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jim Inhofe":

"… islation to fight coal ash rules in each of the last two Congresses. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), the likely incoming chairman of the Senate Environment and Publ …"

Texas weakens chemical exposure guidelines, opens door for polluters

By Lisa Song and Rosalind Adams

Amid a fracking boom, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has quietly weakened air pollution guidelines for toxic chemicals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ozone":

"… PA’s handling of Ozone, one of six compounds with federal air standards. Ozone is created primarily by fossil fuel emissions and is known to exacerbate r …"

Citing health risks, New York State bans fracking

By Talia Buford

"The potential risks are too great," says the state's acting health commissioner. "In fact, they are not fully known."

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… nd gas infrastructure could pose health risks. New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will issue a legally binding statement to ban frackin …"

"… inding statement to ban fracking early in 2015, the Journal News reported. Environmentalists praised the New York ban while many in the industry decried it as ir …"

Plant expansions fueled by shale gas boom to boost greenhouse gas, toxic air emissions

By Talia Buford

At least 120 planned plant expansions driven by the fracking boom collectively could release 130 million tons per year of greenhouse gases.

Excerpts from this story referencing "China":

"… e initiatives, as well as the  recently announced emissions deal with China, 130 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) may seem like a drop …"

Scientist with deep industry ties being considered for key EPA job

By David Heath

Michael Dourson is one of two candidates to lead the EPA office that determines which chemicals make people sick, and in what doses.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… e chemical industry is one of two finalists to lead the office at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that determines which chemicals can make people sick, and in what doses. …"

A dozen dirty documents

By Kristen Lombardi and Jared Bennett

Twelve documents that stand out from the Center's new archive

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 "oil and gas industry":

"… mical Manufacturers and America’s Natural Gas Alliance, each a prominent oil and gas industry group. More than $1 million of that revenue goes as a management fee to H …"

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 "American Petroleum Institute":

"… o the development of natural gas in a safe and responsible manner.” The American Petroleum Institute did not respond to repeated requests for comment. But McCawley, with …"

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 "chemicals":

"… ght have to fill." Fracking, the process of blasting a cocktail of water, chemicals and sand down a well to crack open shale bedrock to extract fossil fuel re …"

"… staff report of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It identified 29 chemicals found in fracking waste that are possible human carcinogens, and are regul …"

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 "executive":

"… in the Eagle Ford. Karnes County Judge Richard Butler, the county’s top executive, said TCEQ officials told him in March that they were considerin …"

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 "Vermont":

"… astewater ponds, and Pennsylvania is trying to ban them. In 2012 Vermont became the first state to indefinitely prohibit the collection, stora …"

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 "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention":

"… rom the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote in a letter published Monday in the American Journal of Respiratory …"

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 "Pennsylvania":

"… ta, the Upper Green River Basin of Wyoming and the Marcellus Shale of Pennsylvania. Our first attempt at an on-the-record interview was with Ron Curry, the …"

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 "Pennsylvania":

"… ions transformed by the shale energy boom, residents of Washington County, Pennsylvania, have complained of headaches, nosebleeds and skin rashes. But because the …"

"… on facilities that have sprung up around them. A group of scientists from Pennsylvania and neighboring states has stepped in to fill this gap by forming a nonpro …"

"… iting years or even decades for long-term studies to emerge, the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (SWPA-EHP) is using the best available scienc …"

"… h to study, analyze and mitigate the risks people face from drilling. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection — which oversees the oil and gas …"

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 and gas":

"… 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 boom in l …"

"… 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 struck me …"

"… t.' Why should people outside of North Dakota care about this story? The oil and gas boom going on in North Dakota is arguably the biggest thing going on in th …"

"… They are few and far between. A lot of people in the state do support the oil and gas industry and drilling, and that’s worth noting. But more and more people …"

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 "Environmental Protection Agency":

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

Pages