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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OSHA May Face Data Quality Complaints Soon

At a U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) public meeting held November 20, lawyers representing Georgia Pacific (GP) and the American Forest and Paper Association (AFPA) raised the possibility of questioning a CSB report’s compliance with the newly issued Data Quality Guidelines.

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Agencies Finalize Data Quality Guidelines

Most agencies successfully finalized their data quality guidelines on or about the Oct. 1, 2002 deadline, with few significant changes from draft guidelines produced months earlier. Nonetheless, there were some trends and overall similarities in the changes made from the draft guidelines to the final versions. . Generally, agencies:

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Data Quality Arrives

Tomorrow, October 1, is the deadline set by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for agencies to finalize and begin to implement data quality guidelines, which seek to establish criteria for information disseminated by government agencies. Concerns have been raised that these guidelines may be misused by the regulated community to slow down the regulatory process, de-publish information critical of industry and its impacts, and possibly overturn long established regulations.

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OMB Speaks on Data Quality, Again

September 5, 2002, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sent a memo to the President's Management Council concerning its review of agency draft data quality guidelines. OMB identifies three process issues that it believes require greater cross agency conformity, and provides specific language it wants incorporated into each agency's final guidelines. The 3 process issues and OMB’s recommendations are:

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EPA's Next Step in Data Quality

As part of its efforts to develop and implement Data Quality Guidelines, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced plans to develop “Assessment Factors” to assist the agency in evaluating the quality of information and data that it receives from external sources.

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Data Quality Guidelines Continue to Churn

Even though the deadline of May 1st for agencies to produce drafts of their Data Quality Guidelines has long past, several agencies and departments have only recently completed and published their drafts for public comment. Among the recent drafters were several major departments such as the Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Fish & Wildlife Service, Office of Surface Mining, National Parks Service, and U.S. Geological Survey.

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OMB Watch Data Quality Archive

This is a compilation of useful links relating to OMB Watch's work on Data Quality. Archive of Data Quality Resources OMB Watch letter to EPA on Data Quality Guidelines Citizens for Sensible Safeguards (CSS) Standard Letter to agencies on Data Quality List of agencies that received the CSS letter CSS Letter Requesting Extension of Deadline to Comment on Agency Data Quality Guidelines Comparison Chart of Agencies' Draft Data Quality Guidelines OMB Watch Sensible Principles on Data Quality Guidelines Background on Data Quality

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CSS Letter Requesting Extension of Data Quality Guidelines Comment Period

Citizens for Sensible Safeguards, a coalition of environmental, health, and safety organizations chaired by OMB Watch, sent a standard comment letter to over 50 federal agencies in response to requests for comment on agencies' data quality guidelines. For more on OMB Watch's work on the data quality guidelines click here.

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New Work on Data Quality

Data Quality Efforts OMB Watch has been extremely active on the Data Quality guidelines that have recently been drafted by most federal agencies. This article summarizes the main efforts OMB Watch has been involved in and the key documents and analysis we have produced. Background

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Principles for Agency Data Quality Guidelines

Federal agencies are currently seeking public input on their proposed data quality guidelines, which raise a number of significant concerns. Specifically, agencies should address the following areas as they finalize their guidelines:
  • Judicial Review. Agencies should clearly state that the guidelines do not provide any new adjudicatory authority. Nor are agencies legally bound by the guidelines and should reserve the right to depart from them when appropriate.
  • Administrative Mechanisms.

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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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