U.S. Industrial Facilities Reported Fewer Toxic Releases in 2014

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data for 2014 is now available. The good news: total toxic releases by reporting facilities decreased by nearly six percent from 2013 levels. However, several states saw a spike in emissions, including Rhode Island and Alaska

The Center for Effective Government has updated our Right-to-Know Network database, where you can find the 2014 TRI data and search for toxic emitters in your community.

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New Report, Interactive Map Show that People of Color and the Poor Are More Likely to Live Near Chemical Hazards

The Center for Effective Government released a new report and interactive map to coincide with the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The report demonstrates that the struggle for social justice is far from over. Across the country people of color and the poor are disproportionately impacted by chemical facility hazards, and in many areas, the amount of inequality is profound.

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One Year After Deadly Texas Chemical Leak, Has Safety Improved?

One year ago, a toxic chemical leak at a DuPont plant in La Porte, Texas killed four workers, including grandmother Crystle Wise. A massive leak of 23,000 pounds of methyl mercaptan erupted in the plant’s pesticide manufacturing building in the early morning hours of Nov. 15, 2014, and Wise and other co-workers died when they were overcome trying to stop the leak.

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In Major Victory, President Obama Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline

In a major victory for public health and the environment, President Obama took final action on the Keystone XL pipeline and rejected the risky project on Nov. 6. The move comes after pipeline company TransCanada tried to game the system earlier in the week by asking the Obama administration to suspend the company's permit application. The administration denied that request, which was seen as an attempt to delay a final decision on Keystone XL until after Obama was out of office.

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Natural Gas Plants May Soon Start Reporting Toxic Releases, Thanks to Citizen Petition

Natural gas processing plants – which convert raw natural gas into useable fuel – have long avoided reporting their toxic pollution releases to federal agencies. This may soon change following a civil suit brought by the Center for Effective Government (CEG) and other public interest and environmental organizations.

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UPDATE: Freedom Industries Executives Plead Guilty to Criminal Charges for West Virginia Chemical Leak

Former Freedom Industries President Gary Southern and another former Freedom president and owner Dennis Farrell entered guilty pleas at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia today over their roles in the January 2014 chemical spill. Southern could face up to three years in federal prison and is scheduled to be sentenced in December. In addition to Southern and Farrell, four other former Freedom Industries former owners and senior officials have plead guilty to criminal charges and will also be sentenced in December to up to one year in prison.

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New White House Initiative on FOIA Expands Government Transparency

In the days following the 49th anniversary of the nation’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on July 4, the White House announced a new FOIA-related pilot program involving seven federal agencies. Under the new policy, dubbed “release to one is release to all,” agencies would post information released in response to any FOIA request on its website for all to see. This is a big win for the transparency community, which has been asking for this for years.

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Justice Shouldn’t Be Blind to the Importance of Financial Disclosure

Our nation’s court system depends on trust and impartiality. Judges are supposed to recuse themselves from cases in which they have a conflict of interest. But because of outdated disclosure standards in our nation’s court system, the public too often lacks the information necessary to make sure that potential conflicts are appropriately dealt with. As a result, confidence in our court system is less than it could or should be.

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Two Years After Deadly West, Texas Explosion, New Interactive Map and Report Identify Widespread Chemical Risks to Residents, First Responders

WASHINGTON, April 16, 2015—When the West, Texas fertilizer facility exploded on April 17, 2013, it prompted communities, advocates, and the president to call for stronger chemical safeguards. But two years after the fatal disaster, a new interactive map and report from the Center for Effective Government find significant chemical risks in several states – dangers that first responders and residents may not know about.

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The Administration's New Fracking Rule Has a Few Catches

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) just released a long-awaited rule that regulates fracking on federal and tribal lands, the first revision to federal fracking standards in almost 30 years. BLM currently manages over 100,000 oil and gas wells – over 90 percent of which are fracked. The rule establishes minimum safeguards that must be followed when drilling occurs on federal or tribal lands.

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