One Year after the West, Texas Explosion: Has Safety Improved?

A year ago today, 15 Americans were killed and 200 injured in a fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas that also destroyed surrounding schools, a nursing home, and residential buildings. The disaster raised serious questions about managing the risks that facilities can pose to local communities. A year later, we ask ourselves, are we any safer?

read in full

OIRA Makes Much-Needed Improvements to Online Meetings Database

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), within the White House Office of Management and Budget, recently updated its online database for disclosing meetings with non-government officials, such as lobbyists, trade associations, public interest groups, and other private stakeholders. 

read in full

Preventing Chemical Disasters and Protecting Your Right to Know

On March 31, the Center for Effective Government filed comments with the Interagency Working Group established under President Barack Obama's Executive Order 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security. Our comments provide key recommendations to the Working Group that will help prevent chemical disasters and ensure that the public has information about the risks that chemical facilities pose to their communities.

read in full

EPA Moves Ahead to Limit Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Existing Power Plants

On March 31, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitted its draft proposed rule to limit greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review. 

read in full

White House Finalizes Long-Overdue Rule to Prevent Kids from Being Hurt, Killed in Back-Over Accidents

UPDATE (3/31/14): NHTSA today issued a final rule requiring rear visibility technology in all new passenger vehicles and light truck and buses under 10,000 pounds by May 2018 to reduce the risk of death and serious injuries caused by backover accidents.

read in full

Food Industry to Americans: It's Safe to Eat (or Drink). Trust Us.

What does it mean when a food ingredient is labeled "safe"? The question seems straightforward, but the answer proves to be disorienting. Recently, the biotechnology company Senomyx, Inc. was in the news following confusion over a safety determination for one of its products.

read in full

Federal Methane Control Strategy Essential for Addressing Climate Change Threat

The White House today unveiled a federal interagency strategy to reduce methane pollution from oil and gas production, coal mines, agriculture and landfills.

read in full

GM Recall Prompts Investigations and Legislation, but More Is Needed to Prevent Future Incidents

At least 31 vehicle crashes involving 13 fatalities have been linked to faulty ignition switches in multiple models of General Motors (GM) vehicles, according to the company's website

read in full

EPA’s Farmworker Protection Standard Proposal -- An (Insufficient) Step Forward

On March 19, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its proposal to revise the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS), which was first announced by the agency on Feb. 20.

read in full

The "Best" Regulatory System Money Can Buy: Lessons from North Carolina's "Regulatory Reform" Movement

by James Goodwin (originally posted on the Center for Progressive Reform's blog on March 19, 2014)

For years, Duke Energy has enjoyed virtual free rein to contaminate North Carolina's surface and ground waters with arsenic, lead, selenium, and all of the other toxic ingredients in its coal ash waste in clear violation of the Clean Water Act and other federal environmental laws. And it seems that both North Carolina's regulators and state legislators are determined to keep it that way.

read in full