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 …"

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 …"

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 …"

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 …"

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 …"

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, …"

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 …"

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.”     …"

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 …"

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 …"

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 …"

Lautenberg chemical bill drawing skepticism

By Sam Pearson

A much-heralded bill to reform chemical safety is stirring concern among some state officials and environmental groups.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Louisiana":

"… Act, was the product of a compromise with Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana. Introduced May 22, it won the endorsement of nine Senate Republicans, alo …"

Award-winning Center series looks at toxic, sometimes hidden chemical releases

By Bill Buzenberg

In case you missed it over the weekend, the Center environment team published another piece in its Poisoned Places series.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Houston":

"… ving off a constant cloud of invisible spoliation. As a former official in Houston with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality told the Center, “A b …"

'Upset' emissions: Flares in the air, worry on the ground

By Kristen Lombardi and Andrea Fuller

Residents living along the chemical corridor of Texas and Louisiana often encounter 'upset' emissions -- triggering pollution, health fears.

Excerpts from this story referencing "ExxonMobil":

"… ” naphtha, a liquid mixture of volatile petrochemicals, occurring at the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge petrochemical complex a half mile away. Four hours earlier, E …"

"… s valve leak has played out again and again at the sprawling, 2,400-acre ExxonMobil Baton Rouge complex, which encompasses an oil refinery and a chemical plan …"

"… leases over these years; at its height, the facility averaged two a week. ExxonMobil Baton Rouge questions the Bucket Brigade’s analysis, calling it “likel …"

"… sions. Two facilities the Club sued rank among the state’s top emitters: ExxonMobil, whose petrochemical complex in Baytown has released 5.1 million pounds of …"

Clean Air Act law, reality collide

By Kristen Lombardi

Over the years, the Clean Air Act has carved out loopholes involving 'upset' emissions from industry — leaving residents at risk.

Excerpts from this story referencing "ExxonMobil":

"… blems.” Earlier this year, the LDEQ launched a voluntary workgroup with ExxonMobil Baton Rouge and 39 other petrochemical facilities to identify common cause …"

"… a flurry of lobbying activity by the group highlighting a benzene leak at ExxonMobil Baton Rouge, EPA inspectors showed up at the company’s refinery for four …"

'Chemicals of Concern' list still wrapped in OMB red tape

By Jim Morris

The EPA wants to release a list of 'chemicals of concern' for public comment, but the list remains locked up with the White House OMB.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chemistry":

"… What’s so threatening about the chemicals of concern list? The American Chemistry Council, a trade group, did not respond to requests for comment. In a sta …"

EPA adds safeguards to spotlight conflicts on scientific panels

By David Heath and Ronnie Greene

The Environmental Protection Agency announced new steps Friday to help reveal potential conflicts of interest in scientific review panels.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chemistry":

"… ts assessment of the compound in 2011, even as a trade group, the American Chemistry Council, urged the agency to wait for industry funded studies. Several mem …"

'Retail exemption' shields some fertilizer facilities from stringent safety inspections, rules

By Chris Hamby

An exemption carved out two decades ago allows some fertilizer and other chemical facilities to skirt stricter rules and inspections.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… said. “They’re in every small farming community in the country.” …"

"… -year-old regulation — applied. In the wake of the deadly blast in West, Texas, last month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investig …"

"… company-claimed exceptions has implications beyond a small town in Central Texas. Sites across a host of industries housing large amounts of dangerous …"

"… the proposal.” But the institute added, “While the cause of the West, Texas, explosion has yet to be determined, we will re-examine our stance if nece …"

Earth Day 2013

A look at some of the Center's award-winning environmental reporting.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Clean Air Act":

"… e better. An EPA study predicts, for instance, that 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act will prevent some 230,000 premature deaths by 2020. In a speech last year, …"

Fertilizer trade group opposed stricter security rules

By Jim Morris

The Fertilizer Institute has fought legislation that would require chemical facilities to consider using safer substances and processes

Excerpts from this story referencing "Government Accountability Office":

"… esn’t allow for unannounced inspections. A September 2012 report by the Government Accountability Office raised questions about the department’s management of CFATS, pointing to …"

Tackling the powerful chemical industry

By Bill Buzenberg

Investigation pushes EPA to change policies

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chromium":

"… all government action on Chromium worked on the studies delaying the EPA. Chromium (VI), you may recall, is the same chemical compound featured in the movie …"

How industry scientists stalled action on carcinogen

By David Heath

Tens of millions of Americans drink tap water tainted with chromium. But industry pushback has made it hard for the EPA to regulate.

Excerpts from this story referencing "correspondent":

"… on ABC News in 1996 to drink some of the yellow water, prompting correspondent Cynthia McFadden to say, “There are those who would say you drinking a g …"

"… irs. “You’re dealing with people’s lives.” Miles O'Brien, science correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, contributed to this story …"

Toxic clout: how Washington works (badly)

By Bill Buzenberg

How Washington works (badly)

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… public health.   In a new series of stories called Toxic Clout, The Center for Public Integrity is exploring how the chemical industry operates behind the scenes. We want …"

"… esday, March 6th, to see a special report produced in partnership with The Center for Public Integrity. This report features a chemical compound that more than 70 million Amer …"

"… rom illnesses. But in real life, that is not the end of the story. As the Center for Public Integrity has reported, the EPA was poised to cite evidence of cancer risks in hexav …"

As EPA delays new coal ash rules, residents turn to the courts for relief

By Kristen Lombardi

Across the country, residents are challenging the health impact of coal ash ponds -- bringing lawsuits as EPA delays new rules.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Colstrip":

"… mentalists filed two new suits over coal-ash ponds surrounding the town of Colstrip. There, the ponds have caused such widespread damage to aquifers that they …"