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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Forest Service Challenged on Categorical Exclusions for Small Timber Harvesting

In March 2003 the John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute, Sierra Club and Heartwood filed a data quality challenge with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The groups sought a correction of information related to January 8, 2003 Federal Register notice for the "National Environmental Policy Act Documentation Needed for Limited Timber Harvest." The Forest Service used information from monitoring timber sales in order to develop new criteria on limited tree removal Categorical Exclusions (CEs), under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Background Information

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Environmental Groups File Data Quality Challenge on Forest Service Proposed Rule

A request filed recently to the U.S. Department of Agriculture challenges the data quality of information supporting a Forest Service Federal Register Notice for Proposed Rulemaking, specifically information referred to in the National Forest System Land and Resource Management Planning (LRMP) proposed rulemaking. The request was jointly filed by Sierra Club, John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute, Gifford Pinchot Task Force, National Forest Protection Alliance and Heartwood.

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Sodium Consumption Data Quality Challenge

On May 14, 2003 the U.S Chamber of Commerce (USCC) and the Salt Institute filed a data quality petition with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The petition challenges the objectivity, transparency and reproducibility of NHLBI information that claims or suggests that reduced sodium consumption will result in lower blood pressure in all individuals.

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FAA Receives Data Quality Challenge

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) received a request Jan. 15 under the Data Quality Act challenging six studies that FAA uses to justify its Age 60 rule; this rule does not allow service pilots to fly after the age of 60. The 61-page challenge asserts that the studies are false and misleading in the information and statistics they disseminate due to flawed methodologies and biased investigations. Several pilots and the Israeli Association of General Aviation filed comments in support of the challenge. FAA

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DOT Inundated With Data Quality Requests

Since October 2002, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has been inundated with 99 requests under the Data Quality Act (DQA), while only a handful of requests have been submitted to other agencies. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) within DOT has received all but six of the requests. The DQA requires that federal agencies develop guidelines to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility and integrity of information disseminated by the agency.

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BMW Challenges Compliance Listings

The BMW Manufacturing Corporation has submitted a petition to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) compliance data for the company's Spartanburg, South Carolina plant. Currently, EPA lists the BMW facility as being in Significant Non-Compliance (SNC) with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The information is listed online in EPA's Enforcement Compliance History Online (ECHO) database and Sector Facility Indexing Project (SFIP) database.

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EPA Perchlorate Challenge

A Massachusetts citizen has now filed two data quality challenges with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), questioning EPA decisions and statements on perchlorate.

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Ohio EPA Data Quality Challenges

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied the two earliest data quality requests, stating the information did not fall under the scope of the Information Quality Guidelines. An individual with the Ohio EPA submitted both requests. The first request called for corrections in the format of online documents. The second letter asked for technical clarifications of a document related to surface coatings of plastic parts.

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Data Quality Counter-Challenge

Recently, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service received their first challenge under the Data Quality Act. Soon after, they also received a precedent-setting counter-challenge. While several agencies have received a variety of challenges under the Data Quality Act, none have received a counter-petition.

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Data Quality Links

Agency Online Dockets for Data Quality Challenges Department of Agriculture Department of Transportation (DOT) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Forest Service Challengers' Websites American Chemistry Council American Forest & Paper Association Animal Health Institute BMW The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness Chemical Products Corporation Coalition of Arizona/New Mexico Counties College Sports Council Competitive Enterprise Institute Dow Chemical Company Environmental Working Group Fjord Seafood GDT Water Processes Corporation Georgia Pacif

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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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