New Posts

Feb 8, 2016

Top 400 Taxpayers See Tax Rates Rise, But There’s More to the Story

As Americans were gathering party supplies to greet the New Year, the Internal Revenue Service released their annual report of cumulative tax data reported on the 400 tax r...

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Feb 4, 2016

Chlorine Bleach Plants Needlessly Endanger 63 Million Americans

Chlorine bleach plants across the U.S. put millions of Americans in danger of a chlorine gas release, a substance so toxic it has been used as a chemical weapon. Greenpeace’s new repo...

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Jan 25, 2016

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. Howe...

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Jan 22, 2016

Methane Causes Climate Change. Here's How the President Plans to Cut Emissions by 40-45 Percent.

  UPDATE (Jan. 22, 2016): Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its proposed rule to reduce methane emissions...

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Scientists Recommend Ways to Restore Scientific Integrity to Government

On March 3, the Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy (SKAPP) released the results of a two-year research effort to explore the working environment of federal scientists in the public health and environmental fields. The results showed that not only is there political interference in their work, but that scientists also faced a series of obstacles that delay the study and dissemination of scientific information that affects the public every day.

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Recovery Act Data Shows Recipients Are Learning

Earlier today, the Recovery Board released the list of Recovery Act recipients who did not file during the second reporting period.   According to the Board, recipients of 1,036 Recovery Act awards failed to file during this quarter, which was from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2009. That number represents a whopping 76 percent decline from the first reporting cycle, which saw 4,359 missing award reports, and is less than one percent of all the award reports. Equally good news is that of the 1,036 missing reports, only 389 were from "repeat offenders," or recipients who failed to file in both quarters.

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Transparency Community Voices Concerns over

Yesterday, a group of organizations, including OMB Watch, submitted concerns with the high-value datasets published on in compliance with the requirements of the Open Government Directive (OGD) issued on Dec. 8. The OGD required that agencies submit at least three high value datasets within 45 days through   These groups outlined the major problems with the site and its implementation thus far.  I have summarized these issues below.

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OMB Watch Suggests Improvements for Information Policy

wrapping paperThere’s no time like the holidays – when packages are wrapped up tight with paper only to be torn apart – to talk about paperwork. That’s why OMB Watch has submitted to the White House comments on improving implementation of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

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OSHA Misses Injuries and Illnesses, GAO Says

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cannot adequately verify lost-time injury and illness cases reported by employers, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Although injury and illness rates for workers have been declining in recent years, critics say the improvement has more to do with OSHA data collection procedures than occupational safety and health policy.

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NIH to Edit Wikipedia – A Slippery Slope?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has initiated a program to encourage its scientists to edit and create articles in the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, Wikipedia.  Wikipedia is a widely used free resource on the web often criticized for its lack of reliability that results from its open editing format.  

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OMB Watch Calls on Obama Administration to Improve Scientific Integrity

On May 13, OMB Watch submitted to the White House recommendations for improving scientific integrity in the federal government. From the comments:

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New White House Guidelines Fit into Broad Attack on Federal Protections

The White House has issued new guidelines for federal agencies in conducting risk analysis. Risk analysis, of which risk assessment is a central factor, is a process by which agencies identify and evaluate risks such as toxic exposure or structural failure. Risk analysis often lays the scientific or technical foundation for public health and safety rulemakings.

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OMB Risk Analysis Memorandum Continues Bush Administration Policy of Less Regulation

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2007—The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) today released a risk analysis memorandum, "Updated Principles for Risk Analysis," outlining principles that federal agencies must follow for risk assessment, management and communication. The memorandum reiterates a policy that has been in place since 1995. But that policy, taken in the context of other regulatory changes made by the Bush administration, continues a policy of less regulation even as the public demands more protections of our food, consumer products, environment and workplace.

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OMB Watch Releases 'An Attack on Cancer Research'

OMB Watch released a report in late August that further documents industry's attempt to restrict access to health and safety information produced by the National Toxicology Program (NTP). The report comes just as Congress is investigating allegations of mismanagement, industry influence, and suppression of whistleblowers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the NTP.

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Resources & Research

Living in the Shadow of Danger: Poverty, Race, and Unequal Chemical Facility Hazards

People of color and people living in poverty, especially poor children of color, are significantly more likely...

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A Tale of Two Retirements: One for CEOs and One for the Rest of Us

The 100 largest CEO retirement funds are worth a combined $4.9 billion, equal to the entire retirement account savings of 41 percent of American fam...

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