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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Congressional Bills Seek to Cut Public Scrutiny and Participation Out of Keystone XL Decision

The Keystone XL pipeline is a controversial project that would transport tar sands oil (which is more corrosive than crude oil) from Canada through America's heartland to Texas, creating air, water, and public health risks in its wake. In the past two weeks, lawmakers have introduced bills in both the House and Senate to strip the decision on the Keystone XL pipeline away from the Obama administration. The bills, if passed, would short-circuit the regulatory permitting process and prevent the public from voicing their concerns about the public health and environmental risks of the pipeline.

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Illinois Introduces Strongest Fracking Disclosure Bill in the Country

Illinois would have the strongest protective oversight rules on fracking in the country under legislation introduced on Feb. 21 in the General Assembly. The bill includes nearly all the key elements for an effective chemical disclosure policy identified in a previous Center for Effective Government report. The bill represents stronger model legislation for states that want to protect the public from the health and environmental risks of fracking.

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Fracking Projected to Continue for Decades in Texas

The significant size of natural gas reserves in Texas could mean at least another two decades of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) in the state, according to a recent study. This means that communities will have to deal with air and drinking water contamination from the toxic chemicals used in fracking for some time to come unless greater protections are put in place by the state or federal government.

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State Department Ignores the Environmental Impacts of Keystone XL

On Friday, the U.S. Department of State published a revised draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the Keystone XL pipeline, which essentially ignores the substantial environmental impacts associated with building the pipeline. If approved, the pipeline would transport tar sands (which are more corrosive than crude oil) from Canada through America's heartland to Texas and create air, water, and public health problems.

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Leaked BLM Draft May Hinder Public Access to Chemical Information

On Feb. 8, EnergyWire released a leaked draft proposal from the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management on natural gas drilling and extraction on federal public lands. If finalized, the proposal could greatly reduce the public's ability to protect our resources and communities. The new draft indicates a disappointing capitulation to industry recommendations.

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Oil and Gas Production a Major Source of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, EPA Data Reveals

On Feb. 5, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released new data indicating that in 2011, the oil and natural gas sector was the second-highest contributor of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. A method of natural gas drilling, known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking, is a major component of this industry. Given this data and its stated commitment to addressing climate change, the Obama administration will have to reconsider its strong support of natural gas production.

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Amount of Toxics Released in the U.S. Increased for the Second Year in 2011

Total releases of toxic chemicals in the U.S. increased for the second year in a row according to Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data reported to and analyzed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The TRI program, established as a part of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986, requires the EPA to make information on the release and transfer of toxic chemicals (above a certain threshold) available to the public in order to provide Americans with a better understanding about toxic pollution in their communities.

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Water Quality Reports Go Online but Access for Many Likely to Decline

After months of waiting, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a disappointing memorandum allowing water companies to switch from mail to all-electronic delivery of annual drinking water quality reports. The memo fails to set clear standards for electronic notification and delivery and makes it likely that segments of the public will have less access to these reports.

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Toxic Release from Train Derailment Highlights the Need for Safer Chemicals

A train derailment in southern New Jersey last Friday released thousands of pounds of a cancer-causing chemical into the air, sent over a dozen people to hospitals, and forced local residents to hide in their homes with their doors and windows shut. A week after the incident, 200 homes have been evacuated and area schools remain closed. The derailment highlights the risks that hazardous chemicals can pose to communities and the urgent need to shift to safer chemicals.

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Another Need in the Aftermath of Sandy: Toxic Soup Testing

In Hurricane Sandy's aftermath, government agencies have acted quickly to save lives and restore power and other basic essentials for those impacted by the storm. As recovery continues, federal and state agencies will be addressing another growing problem: the noxious materials such as oil, toxic chemicals, and raw sewage that the storm has released into waterways. The health of residents and first responders will depend on knowing what's around them so they can take proper precautions and mitigate risks.

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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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