How oil and gas firms gained influence and transformed North Dakota

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Industry has transformed the state, but at what cost?

Excerpts from this story referencing "natural gas":

"… with virtual impunity. Drillers wastefully burn off nearly a third of the natural gas that’s produced with the oil without paying royalties or taxes because t …"

"… ecently announced a set of rules to limit flaring, the practice of burning natural gas at the well site. The rules should start reducing the amount of gas drille …"

"… ing megalopolis glowing in western North Dakota. The lights were flares of natural gas, many of which burn for months or years. The fossil-fuel rich rock formati …"

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 …"

Oil giant Citgo gets off easy in criminal case

By Priscila Mosqueda

Residents of Corpus Christi, Texas, who say they were sickened by emissions from the Citgo refinery decry a judge's denial of restitution.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Judge":

"… before the Judge in the case finally sentenced the company. U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey fined Citgo a little more than $2 million — a penalty pro …"

"… xic chemicals is harmful to human health. Following that line of thought, Judge Rainey initially denied 20 victims’ request to be granted restitution un …"

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 …"

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 …"

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 …"

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 …"

EPA to regulate coal ash amid court settlement

By Kristen Lombardi

Facing a legal challenge from Earthjustice and others, the EPA agrees to set a plan by year's end to regulate coal ash.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… toxic sludge on Feb. 2 after a storm pipe broke. For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency is agreeing to regulate the disposal of coal ash as part of a settlement i …"

EPA abandons major radiation cleanup in Florida, despite cancer concerns

By Douglas P. Guarino

Federal agency abandons phosphate-mining clean-up, leaving more than 100,000 residents at risk of exposure to cancer-causing radiation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… ent if I was on that side," said the source. "You'd be stupid not to." …"

"… but the agency took no action and residential development continued. The Environmental Protection Agency paid little attention to the Lakeland area sites until the new millennium, …"

Delay of long-awaited refinery accident report signals divisions at Chemical Safety Board

By Chris Hamby

A last-minute change to a public meeting on a 2010 explosion at the Tesoro refinery in Washington State has board members "embarrassed."

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… antially since 2006, a Center for Public Integrity analysis found, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general said in a report last August that the CSB’s growin …"

Top environment investigations from 2013

By The Center for Public Integrity

In case you missed it, here are some of our favorite environment and workers' rights investigations from 2013.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coal":

"… ears, helping to defeat the benefits claims of sick miners. Keep reading Coal's doctors of choice A surprising force has helped industry defeat black …"

Lauded public health researcher also worked for industry, revealing entanglements of science

By David Heath

A late UC Berkeley dean pushed public health reforms — while also working for industry, revealing the deep reach of corporate science.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… tion treats new drugs as unsafe until clinical trials prove otherwise, the Environmental Protection Agency does just the opposite with chemicals: By law, it presumes a chemical is s …"

High bladder cancer rate shrouds New York plant, exposing chemical hazards in the workplace

By Jim Morris

A decades-long spate of bladder cancer at a Goodyear plant in Niagara Falls, N.Y. spotlights limits of regulation over dangerous chemicals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "International Paper":

"… ehemoth. Factories lined Buffalo Avenue — B.F. Goodrich, Olin Mathieson, International Paper. By the 1950s, word was, you could quit a job in the morning and be workin …"

EPA under the gun to regulate coal ash

By Kristen Lombardi

Environmental Protection Agency faces new pressure to regulate disposal of the toxic waste for the first time after a judge's decision.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… d it seems this ruling will preserve that interest.”     …"

Facing lawsuits over deadly asbestos, paper giant launched secretive research program

By Jim Morris

Facing 60,000 asbestos claims over a product it once sold, Georgia-Pacific responded with a legal pushback — and secretive science.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Consumer Product Safety Commission":

"… — and is attempting to keep key information hidden from plaintiffs. The Consumer Product Safety Commission had banned all asbestos-containing joint compound as of 1978, and Georgia- …"

"… y of certain types of cancer, such as mesothelioma and lung cancer,” the Consumer Product Safety Commission said it intended to ban asbestos-containing joint compound. In a …"

California bypasses feds, presses ahead on regulation of toxic chemicals

By Ronnie Greene

The state formally adopts new rules that go well beyond the flimsy federal protection net weakened by decades of D.C. delay.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… ces. The federal Toxic Substances Control Act, passed in 1976, grants the Environmental Protection Agency power to require testing of dangerous compounds. Yet some four decades lat …"

EPA proposes crackdown on emissions from new gas, coal-fired power plants

By Kristen Lombardi

The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… public comment period, and the agency plans to hold a public hearing. …"

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 …"

Session for state officials "intended to educate," not influence, corporate sponsor says

By Ronnie Greene

A forum for state officials at Procter & Gamble headquarters raises questions about industry's role in shaping environmental health policy.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… Issues with Safety Science and Public Policy,” with a focus on the Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical policy program. “The purpose of the event was to provide a …"

How industry beats back environmental regulations

By Bill Buzenberg

Center investigations show the tactics, including lobbying and campaign donations, used to get around policies protecting the public.

Excerpts from this story referencing "legislator":

"… ; deploying hundreds of high-paid lobbyists (many of whom were former legislators themselves), and making use of well-targeted and generous campaign contri …"

"… targeted and generous campaign contributions to line up votes from sitting legislators. The result is often defeat of proposed new regulations or infinite delay …"

"… f all of these moves were permissible under the laws enacted by those same legislators. We are country “A”. This week’s example of how the system “work …"

"… CC playbook looks a lot like that of the coal and utility companies. If a legislator can be financially influenced, and new regulations can be quashed, the onl …"

Coal industry, Hill allies target fine print of Obama climate plan

By Kristen Lombardi

President Obama's climate plan, vital to his green agenda, is drawing close scrutiny — and sharp critiques — from powerful coal forces.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… country from the impacts of climate change.” The president directed the Environmental Protection Agency to “put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from our pow …"

"… on.” Referring to the carbon regulations, the spokesperson said, “The Environmental Protection Agency was directed by the President to issue a proposed rule … in a timely man …"

William Koch emerges from shadow of famous siblings

By Michael Beckel

William Koch's steadily increasing political activity has gotten relatively little notice compared to that of brothers Charles and David.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… ing to protect you from the coming storm.” The president has tasked the Environmental Protection Agency with completing new carbon pollution standards for both new and existing p …"

Industry muscle targets federal 'Report on Carcinogens'

By Jim Morris and Chris Hamby

Chemical industry groups are pursuing hearings and legal fights challenging a government cancer report — part of a growing rift with HHS.

Excerpts from this story referencing "ExxonMobil":

"… ouncil, a trade association that represents companies such as Dow and ExxonMobil, had 53 panels devoted to chemicals from acetone to vinyl chloride, the co …"

Battle brews over Obama renewable energy plan

By Sam Pearson

President Obama's renewable energy plan would expand large-scale solar and wind projects on public lands in the West.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… pact Statement, to consider generating power from less-pristine sites. The Environmental Protection Agency does have an initiative to site renewable energy on old industrial and was …"

Farmworker advocates press EPA to update pesticide rules

By Ronnie Greene

Worker rights and pesticide safety advocates are in Washington this week, urging updates to the EPA's Worker Protection Standard.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… of government regulation, farmworkers and their advocates are pressing the Environmental Protection Agency to update rules that are two decades old, and, critics say, dangerously da …"

Clean Air case yields rare criminal convictions in New York

By Sam Pearson

A NY coke plant and its environmental manager, convicted of felony Clean Air violations, await sentencing — as residents push for relief.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Health":

"… ng to a draft health outcomes review published in February by the New York Department of Health, residents living near the plant have been more likely to suffer lung and …"