Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement Resources

The safety standards on which we rely daily for our food, medicines and cars. The energy and climate policies needed to save our planet. The new financial regulations designed to prevent banks from gambling with our money and creating another crisis. These are policies that should be determined in open, democratic venues where we have a say. But a group of the largest U.S. and European banks and corporations want to rewrite these safeguards behind closed doors. For over a decade, they have pushed for a new U.S. "trade" deal with Europe – the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), which corporate proponents have branded the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – a deal that would roll back consumer protections on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Drinking Diesel? Fracking Companies Use Toxic Substance without Permits

When it comes to protecting drinking water, fracking companies have just one federal rule to follow – get a permit if they are using diesel. But a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) indicates that many drillers can’t even abide by this simple requirement.

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Replacing Toxic Chemicals in Consumer Products: Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire?

With the increased focus on removing toxic chemicals from consumer products, it’s logical to assume that alternative chemicals used in these products will be substantially less dangerous to our health and the environment. Unfortunately, due to the lack of safety information for the vast majority of chemicals currently used in manufacturing, these substitutes may not be any safer than the chemicals they replace. 

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Three and a Half Decades after Ban, PCBs Still Detected in Consumer Products

Consumer products and packaging ranging from newspapers to cereal boxes contain a category of toxic chemicals known as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), according to a report released Aug. 7 by the Washington State Department of Ecology. The chemicals were banned 35 years ago and are no longer used in manufacturing, but are still generated as a byproduct of certain chemical processes.

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Industry Allies in Congress Assault Public Protections Once Again

Not content with restricting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to protect public health and the environment (see http://www.foreffectivegov.org/blog/congresss-latest-assault-epa), anti-regulatory members of Congress have broadened their sights to encompass the entire scope of federal agencies that provide public protections and safeguard the American people.

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Energy Department Conditionally Approves Controversial Maryland Export Terminal

On Sept. 11, 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it has conditionally approved a Dominion Resources Inc. permit application to convert its existing liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility, located on the Chesapeake Bay, to an export terminal. The project must still receive final approval from several agencies, but if approved, the permit would allow the company to export up to 0.77 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas per day for 20 years to non-free trade countries like India and Japan. It could also increase the risk of catastrophic tanker accidents, air pollution, and water contamination.

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GAO Report Finds Problems with EPA Groundwater Protection Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not adequately monitoring more than 172,000 wells used to enhance oil and gas drilling and dispose of drilling wastewater, according to a July 28 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report, based on two years of research, identified several significant problems with EPA's program to protect groundwater from drilling chemicals and wastes.

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Toxic Toledo Water: Cities Nationwide Face Similar Risks

On Aug. 2, the City of Toledo, Ohio issued a water use ban for roughly 500,000 residents after chemists detected toxic levels of microcystin in the public water supply. Microcystin is a toxin produced by harmful algal blooms caused by the overuse of nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizers. Large amounts of excess fertilizers run off into waterways during rainstorms. Exposure to microcystin can cause diarrhea, nausea, liver dysfunction, and nervous system damage. Beyond the public health risks, harmful algal blooms also negatively impact ecosystems and burden the economy.

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Quick Action Needed on Federal Rules to Reduce Oil Train Dangers

On Aug. 1, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) published proposals in the Federal Register to address a recent string of accidents involving the shipment of crude oil by rail. Since 2010, there have been 10 major rail accidents in North Dakota, Alabama, and Virginia resulting in fireballs, major damage to the environment and, in the case of the Lac-Megantic, Quebec accident, the deaths of 47 people and destruction of a significant portion of a town.

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White House: Act Now or Pay More Later to Stem Climate Change

Acting now to address the impacts of climate change would produce far more benefits at a much lower cost than waiting until a later date, according to a new White House report, titled The Cost of Delaying Action to Stem Climate Change. Based on a rigorous analysis of existing studies, the report estimates a 40 percent increase in the cost of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas linked to climate change, for every decade of delay.

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