GAO Report Rejects McConnell’s Latest Attack on Public Safeguards

On May 29, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report rejecting Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) latest ploy to stop EPA from moving forward with a proposed rule that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants.

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$3 Million Awarded to Texas Family Harmed by Fracking Toxins

A recent court decision out of Dallas County, Texas has made national headlines after a jury awarded $2.925 million in damages to a family harmed by Aruba Petroleum's intentional release of air toxins from fracking wells located near the family's home.

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Spring 2014 Unified Agenda: Agencies Expect Lengthy Delays of Critical Safeguards in Year Ahead

On May 23, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) quietly published its semi-annual agenda of federal agencies’ regulatory plans for significant actions expected during the upcoming year. Unfortunately, the Spring 2014 Unified Agenda does not send a strong message that the administration expects to finalize many critical safeguards, some pending for years, over the next 12 months.

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Minnesota Bans Common Antibacterial Chemical

Minnesota recently went on record as the first state to ban triclosan, a chemical commonly found in antibacterial soaps and body washes. A bill signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton will take effect Jan. 1, 2017, prohibiting the use of triclosan in products "used by consumers for sanitizing or hand and body cleansing."

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Transparency Will Help Air Travelers Choose the Right Flight

On May 23, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed a new rule meant to better protect air travelers from hidden fees. The proposed rule would require airlines and ticket agents to disclose any baggage or other ancillary fees along with ticket prices in order to help customers compare the real cost of flights.

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Happy 5th Birthday, CARD Act!

Millions of credit card holders have benefited both from the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act), and the regulatory and enforcement authority of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which administers the law. This important safeguard, which turns 5 today, has protected and benefited consumers in significant ways.

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Spotlight on the CDC as Deadly Virus Emerges in U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently confirmed a second case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus on U.S. soil. Americans have turned once again to the agency to diagnose, treat, monitor, and prevent the spread of this deadly virus.

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EPA Proposes New Air Pollution Standards for Oil Refineries

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new proposals on May 15 to limit air pollution from petroleum refineries, a major source of air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and benzene that cause respiratory problems and other serious health issues, including cancer. The proposed standards are intended to reduce the levels of toxic air pollution for fenceline communities (those living in close proximity to refineries) who suffer the highest air pollution exposures and related health risks. Minority and low-income populations are disproportionately represented in these fenceline communities.

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Is California Keeping People Safe at Work? Labor Advocates Say No

by Elizabeth Grossman (originally posted on The Pump Handle on May 14, 2014)

In 2012, the most recent year for which US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures are available, 375 people died on the job in California  – an average occupational fatality rate of more than one person every day. At the same time, research by Worksafe and other California labor advocates shows that while California’s workforce has grown by about 22 percent in the last 20 years, the number of safety inspectors for the 17 million people employed in the state’s 1.34 million workplaces has decreased by about 11 percent. 

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Cruise Ship Passengers Deserve Safety Information

Cruise ships are among the most popular vacation destinations for American travelers, with an estimated 22 million passengers embarking this year. But a series of high-profile cruise ship incidents, at home and abroad, have heightened safety concerns among the public. 

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