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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Rules to Watch (and Wait) for in 2014

Just before Thanksgiving, the White House quietly released the 2013 Unified Agenda, which contains information on a broad range of upcoming regulatory actions, as well as agencies’ regulatory plans detailing the most important significant regulatory and deregulatory actions they expect to propose or finalize during the coming year. On Jan. 7, agencies published in the Federal Register their regulatory flexibility agendas describing a subset of regulatory actions under development that may have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. While some important health and safety rules are slated to move forward, the Unified Agenda indicates that many long-awaited actions will not advance as proposed or final rules this year.

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Standards and Safeguards in 2013

Agencies rolled out few health, safety, or environmental standards in the first quarter of 2013, despite hopes that President Obama would commit more attention to agencies' regulatory agendas after winning reelection. But in the spring, the gears began to move as the administration focused on implementing crucial public protections and the new director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Howard Shelanski, made good on his promise to cut the backlog of rules waiting for review at OIRA. With the gridlock on legislation in Congress, many are looking for the administration to be more active in moving rules and action through the executive branch.

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Toxic Arsenic May Be in Your Thanksgiving Turkey

In a previous blog post on health concerns from the extensive use of antibiotics in the large-scale livestock industry, I noted that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had finally withdrawn their approval for the use of three arsenic-based drugs used in feed for chickens, turkeys, and pigs to prevent disease, increase animal weight, and imp

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ALEC’s Latest Trojan Horse: The Attack on Standards and Safeguards Moves to the States

In recent years, special interests and their allies in Congress have pushed a number of dangerous proposals to "reform" the rulemaking process to undermine the standards and safeguards that guarantee clean air and water, safe workplaces, healthy food, and safe medicines. Now, these same special interests are pushing similar proposals in the states. Many of these so-called "reforms" expand or institutionalize requirements that delay and weaken important regulations and increase the already outsized influence of corporations in setting environmental, food, consumer, and worker safety policies.

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ALEC Takes Attacks on Health, Safety Standards to the States

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2013—A study released today by the Center for Effective Government calls on states to reject a push by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and others to undermine public standards and safeguards set at the state level.

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Senate Briefing Highlights Causes of Regulatory Delays

On Oct. 25, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Federal Rights and Agency Action, chaired by Sen.

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Little Progress Seen in Reducing Risks from Overuse of Antibiotics in Livestock Industry

A recent report from the Johns Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future on public health, environmental, and animal welfare concerns in the large-scale livestock industry (sometimes called 'industrial food animal production') provides a distressing picture of the limited progress made in addressing a key public health concern – the use of antibiotics for nontherapeutic uses such as speeding up growth, bulking up livestock weight,

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States Taking the Lead to Curb Toxic Chemical Exposure

A new state law addressing toxic flame retardants recently enacted in California is the latest in a string of successful state efforts to improve chemical safety. In response to insufficient federal controls on toxic chemicals, many states have passed or proposed their own policies to protect residents from the risks posed by hazardous chemicals. In the absence of comprehensive national protections, it is imperative that states take the lead in addressing risks to health and safety.

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Even More Health and Safety Impacts of the Government Shutdown: Why You Should Care

Because the scope of health and safety protections provided by the federal government is vast, it’s easy to not fully appreciate the impacts of a government shutdown on our daily lives. Early into the current shutdown, I blogged about some of the less obvious potential health and safety impacts that could be affected by lack of government oversight. An Oct.

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New California Regulations Lead the Way in Protecting Consumers from Toxic Chemicals

The nation's federal toxic chemicals law, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), has a number of significant shortcomings. Among other things, it does not generally require companies to test chemicals for possible health effects before using them in consumer products. And though the federal Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act limits the amount of lead and bans certain chemicals known as phthalates in children's products, it doesn’t restrict the use of other toxic substances in consumer goods. To respond to this gap in addressing the use of toxic substances in consumer products, California adopted new regulations on Oct. 1 designed to create safer substitutes for hazardous ingredients in products sold in the state.

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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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