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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Nuclear Commission Expands Secrecy Provisions

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proposing to expand the amount of information that can be withheld from the public as Safeguards Information (SGI). The new rule would amend existing SGI regulations to cover more types of information by inserting language and adding a new category of covered information — Safeguards Information-Modified Handling (SGI-M).

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NRC Censors Environmental Impact Statement

The public will not have access to health and safety data about a proposed uranium enrichment plant in New Mexico, despite a legal requirement that the public have ample access to such information.

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DHS Cancels Nondisclosure Agreements for Unclassified Information

The Homeland Security Department (DHS), under pressure from congressional offices, federal employee unions and the media modified it policies for “Sensitive But Unclassified” (SBU) information and stopped requiring nondisclosure agreements.

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Reclamation Officials Withhold Dam Safety Information

The Bureau of Reclamation refuses to disclose safety details about the Jackson Lake Dam to a county official trying to verify his county is out of harm’s way. The Teton County Commissioner, Bill Paddleford, wants the information as part of the area’s emergency planning, which includes the city of Jackson.

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Center Sues FERC Over Restricted Energy Information

The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) has filed a lawsuit against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), claiming the agency illegally blocked access to documents relating to liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities throughout the country.

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DHS Pushes Secrecy on the Hill

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which has been strongly criticized for its overuse of secrecy and lack of transparency, is now pushing to lock down information among congressional offices. DHS officials have asked congressional aides to sign nondisclosure agreements that would prohibit them from publicly disclosing information from DHS even though the information is unclassified.

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NRC Removes All Nuclear Information from Its Public Website

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) pulled its entire public reading room offline last week after stories broke about possibly sensitive material on the website. They agency defended its action by saying it is trying its best to balance security and right-to-know.

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Audit of Sensitive Security Information Requested

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) received a request from two House members last week, asking for an investigation into the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) use of the "sensitive security information" (SSI) provisions. SSI receives protected status, which shields it from public disclosure.

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Security Measures Invoked to End Safety Measures

A large sign in New York City, indicating the location of a natural gas pipeline to prevent accidents, was taken down after a website posted a photograph of the sign. John Young, the owner of www.cryptome.org, posts information on his site to draw attention to places needing increased security. Although federal regulations require that the location of natural gas lines be made as obvious as possible to the public for safety reasons, the company that owns the pipeline asserted that local laws allowed the sign's removal.

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Justice Dept. Asks for Destruction of Documents, Later Rescinds

The Department of Justice (DOJ) called for the destruction of all copies of five documents in library circulation, according to a July 20 message from the Superintendent of Documents. After public outcry from libraries and public interest groups, DOJ rescinded its request in a July 30 message. Although these training materials and other documents were already in the public domain, DOJ asserted that they were not appropriate for external use. One of the listed documents is a public law and law offices commonly use the others in assisting clients to reclaim assets from the government.

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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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