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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Hundreds of Rules May Be Void after Agencies Miss Procedural Step

Regulatory agencies are routinely violating federal law by not submitting final regulations to Congress, according to a recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) report. Any rule agencies have not submitted to Congress could be susceptible to a lawsuit.

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OIRA Meetings Stir Controversy over Coal Ash Regulation

Industry representatives have repeatedly visited the White House to discuss pending regulation of coal ash, raising suspicions that industry may be influencing the rule. In December, amid these meetings, EPA announced it was backing away from its earlier pledge to propose coal ash regulations by the end of 2009.

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EPA Takes Aim at Past Air Pollution Screw Ups

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a revision to the national air quality standard for ozone, a.k.a. smog. EPA is proposing to tighten the primary standard to a level somewhere between 0.060 and 0.070 ppm (parts per million), down from the current standard of 0.075 ppm set in 2008. Under the Clean Air Act, EPA must set the primary standard at a level protective of public health.

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Whoops, Agencies Forget to Send Rules to Congress, Potentially Invalidating Them

Hundreds of regulations may not officially have the force and effect of law because rulemaking agencies have not performed a simple procedural task, according to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report issued last week.

Under the Congressional Review Act, a 1996 law that essentially gives Congress a window of opportunity to veto agency regulations, agencies must submit to Congress and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) copies of new final regulations.

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A Busy Year for EPA’s Air Office

As the Washington Post reports today, EPA is temporarily delaying a decision to regulate coal ash, a toxic byproduct formed when smokestack scrubbers capture pollutants otherwise destined for the air. Today is the one-year anniversary of a major coal ash spill that sent a billion gallons of toxic goo cascading across hundreds of acres of land in eastern Tennessee.

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In Drinking Water, What’s Legal Can Be Poisonous

In another of The New York Times’ startling articles on the state of U.S. waters, Charles Duhigg reports on the myriad chemicals polluting drinking water supplies and regulators’ inability to manage them.

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EPA Announces Endangerment Finding for Greenhouse Gases

Greenhouse gases are officially a threat to public health and the environment in the eyes of the federal government. Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its endangerment finding for greenhouse gases. The finding will now compel the agency to regulate emissions under the Clean Air Act.

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Midnight Regulations Roundup

The Obama administration continues to chip away at the Bush administration’s midnight regulations campaign. Obama agencies took action on two more Bush-era midnight regulations this week and a third last week.

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Interior Publishes Notice on Mountaintop Mining

The Department of the Interior published today an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking that lays out options for mitigating the environmental impact of mountaintop mining. Specifically, the notice discusses a Bush administration rule finalized in December 2008 which allows mining operations to dump waste in or near rivers and streams.

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More Flimflammery on Mountaintop Mining

In a Nov. 18 press release, the Interior Department trumpets “Initiatives to Better Protect Streams in Coal Country.”

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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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