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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Industry Challenges Impede Cancer Research and Information, New Report Says

WASHINGTON, Aug. 28, 2007—Allegations of mismanagement, industry influence, and suppression of whistleblowers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) are being investigated by Congress, and the director has temporarily stepped down. Today, OMB Watch released a report that further documents industry's attempt to restrict access to health and safety information produced by NTP.

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OIRA Issues New Standards for Disseminating Statistical Information

Citing various sources of authority, including the Information Quality Act, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at the Office of Management and Budget published a new draft Statistical Policy Directive on Aug. 1, focusing on disclosure standards. OIRA uses Statistical Policy Directives to establish government-wide standards for statistical activities conducted by agencies.

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EPA Holds off Industry Attack on Health, Safety and Environmental Data

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rejected the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Data Quality Act (DQA) challenge and appeal of supposed inconsistencies across several EPA databases. While agreeing to make a few changes, the agency refused the Chamber's demands that all variations between the EPA databases on chemicals be eliminated, stating that they were not errors but acceptable differences based on different scientific models.

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Medical Marijuana Lawsuit Uses Data Quality Act

A new Data Quality Act (DQA) lawsuit was filed Feb. 22 in a federal court in California. The suit claims that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are disseminating false and misleading information regarding the health benefits of marijuana. The lawsuit is another test of the judicial reviewability of DQA, which enables groups and members of the public to challenge the data quality of federal government information.

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GAO Fails to Adequately Assess the Data Quality Act

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a report on how well major federal agencies are implementing and overseeing compliance with the Data Quality Act (DQA). The report is an excellent overview of DQA's use, but it fails to make recommendations necessary to improving the management of DQA impacts on the federal government, in particular to minimizing its potential abuse.

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Court Rejects Data Quality Act Case Brought by Industry

A recent appeals court decision has dealt a blow to what many consider frivolous challenges to sound science made under the Data Quality Act (DQA). On March 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Salt Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce under DQA, when judges found that the act does not allow for judicial review and that the plaintiffs had not show injury and thus lacked standing.

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Industry Derails Labor Safety Rule with Data Quality Challenge

A coalition of mining companies and trade associations appears to have used the Data Quality Act to derail a Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA) rule that would protect miners from harmful particulate matter in diesel exhaust. The challenge did not raise actual objections to data quality; instead it couched industry's disagreements with the rule in data quality language. The tactic, however, appears to have succeeded in impelling the agency to publish a modification to the rule that weakens the mine worker protections. The Issue

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Right-Wing Groups Challenge Link Between Carcinogens, Cancer

Two right-wing, industry-backed groups filed a data quality petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) challenging the agency's labeling of certain chemicals as "likely human carcinogens." Specifically, the Washington Legal Foundation (WLF) and the American Council on Health and Science (ACHS) want EPA to eliminate statements in its Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment that indicate that a substance may properly be labeled as "likely to be carcinogenic to humans" based solely or primarily on the results of animal studies. Background

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Industry Misuses Data Quality Act to Challenge EPA Choices

Two industry groups recently filed challenges, under the Data Quality Act, against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) methodological choices. Both challenges focus on evaluations of human health risks from specific chemicals. The petitions specifically question documents that address emissions of Metam Sodium, a pesticide, and Dioxin/Furan, used to produce cement. The petitions challenge EPA procedures, however, which are policy decisions made within the agency -- and not data -- and as such lie outside the scope of the Data Quality Act (DQA).

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Stakeholders Weigh In At First-Ever Congressional Hearings on Data Quality Act

The Government Reform Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs held the first congressional hearing on the Information Quality Act, also known as the Data Quality Act (DQA) on July 20. The hearing reviewed implementation of the DQA at three federal agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), and the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). The subcommittee also heard from interested stakeholders, including industry associations that have filed data quality challenges and public interest groups seeking the policy's repeal.

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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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