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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OSHA Proposal Cuts Workers' Right to Know about Chemical Risks

A recent proposal by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would endanger workers by reducing the amount of information on chemical hazards provided to them, according to several public interest groups. OSHA's proposal is part of its effort to make its Hazard Communication Standard conform to a United Nations system for classifying chemicals. The effort has been criticized by several public interest groups who view portions of it as an unnecessary contraction of workers' right to know and as contrary to the rhetoric of transparency and movement toward greater disclosure seen elsewhere in the Obama administration.

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Modernizing the Occupational Safety and Health Act

On March 16, a House subcommittee held a hearing on proposed legislation to modernize the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). The House bill, the Protecting America's Workers Act (PAWA), would update civil and criminal penalties and provide enhanced protection to workers who report unsafe working conditions.

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A Look at Regulatory Agencies in Obama’s Frugal Budget

The Office of Management and Budget unveiled President Obama’s FY 2011 budget request on Monday. Obama has decided to propose a spending freeze for discretionary, non-defense budget items. (See OMB Watch’s statement here.) Because Obama has proposed an overall freeze and not a line-item-by-line-item freeze, spending could be transferred to other areas to reflect administration priorities.

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MSHA Outlines Policy, Regulatory Agenda

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) began outlining its agenda for protecting workers with the announcement of a comprehensive plan to end black lung disease and the publication of its regulatory plan. MSHA had been headed by acting administrators during the last years of the Bush administration and has been slow to address many safety issues after a series of mine accidents and increased incidence of debilitating disease.

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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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Senate Confirms Michaels for OSHA

Last night, the Senate confirmed David Michaels as head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). President Obama nominated Michaels on Aug. 5; the course of his nomination was rocky at times.

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OSHA Misses Injuries and Illnesses, GAO Says

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cannot adequately verify lost-time injury and illness cases reported by employers, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Although injury and illness rates for workers have been declining in recent years, critics say the improvement has more to do with OSHA data collection procedures than occupational safety and health policy.

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Food Safety Bill, OSHA Nominee Approved by Senate Panel

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee met this morning to mark up the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) and to vote on the nomination of David Michaels to serve as head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

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OSHA Levies a Record Fine against Oil Giant BP

On Oct. 30, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it was issuing a proposed $87.4 million fine against BP Products North America Inc. (BP) for failure to remedy workplace hazards. The proposed fine is the largest ever issued by the agency and results from a 2005 explosion at an oil refinery that killed 15 workers.

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Rule Allowing Truckers to Spend More Time behind the Wheel Will Be Revised

Check off another one of the Bush administration’s midnight regulations that will be changed by the Obama administration.

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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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