Round-up: Environment

  • The Environmental Protection Agency is illegally negotiating secret agreements with industry lobbyists over pesticide regulation, according to a lawsuit filed today by NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). The lawsuit specifically cites private agreements between the agency and chemical companies over the regulation of atrazine, one of the most heavily used weed-killers in the country, and DDVP, a highly toxic insecticide. NRDC contends the agreements have undermined public health safeguards by failing to restrict the use of these dangerous chemicals. Learn more.
  • Another major legal action, this time from Earthjustice, challenging the Bush administration's new rules for managing the nation's 192 million acre National Forest System. The challenged regulations are supposed to govern activities on all national forests and ensure the protection of wildlife and the environment, but the Bush administration has watered them down to the point that they are virtually meaningless. Environmental groups charge that the Bush administration rules reverse more than 20 years of protection for wildlife and other resources without any scientific basis; requirements to use quantitative measurements of wildlife populations and mandatory duties to conserve wildlife on national forests have been eliminated or made discretionary. Learn more.
  • Mercury rising, redux: the latest development in the contentious effort to regulate emissions from coal-fired power plants of the powerful neurotoxin mercury. EPA has agreed to decide by this summer whether there will be mandatory mercury emissions reductions for a 13-state non-attainment area. Learn more.
  • How much pollution is in your body? California legislators are promoting a state bill that would establish a statewide, voluntary and confidential program to measure chemical contaminants in people. If enacted, the legislation would make California the first state in the nation to conduct a biomonitoring program, joining Canada and a number of European countries that already have national breast milk monitoring programs. Biomonitoring data would allow the state to begin to study the relationship between exposure to harmful chemicals and its effects on human health. Learn more.
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