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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Bush environmental record: Broken record of broken promises

NRDC has released its comprehensive report on the Bush administration's environmental record during the first term.

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Making sure that nothing sticks: EPA and DuPont

EPA is rigging the game for a Bush administration industry ally, this time DuPont. The Environmental Working Group has analyzed EPA's draft risk assessment on perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a key ingredient of Teflon, and found that EPA has rigged the risk assessment in order to make its own brand of regulatory Teflon. The essence of the charge is that EPA "ignored its own science panel's guidance and internal industry research":

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EPA Releases Status Report on Chemical Information Program

Health and environmental data on thousands of highly produced chemicals will be publicly available as early as next year, according to a status report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The agency has enlisted industry and environmental organizations to help collect the data as part of the High Production Volume (HPV) Challenge.

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Hit and Run: Environment

  • What a way to leave EPA: outgoing EPA Administration Mike Leavitt released regulations allowing U.S. farmers who grow certain crops to continue using methyl bromide, a farm chemical that depletes the ozone and causes cancer. The chemical was scheduled for world-wide phase-out under the Montreal Protocol, but the new EPA regs mean a 2 million pound increase in 2005. [AP, NRDC]
  • The LA Times reports on the Pentagon's efforts to exempt itself from environmental laws:

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Endangered species in danger from Bush

Apparently both rightwing Congressmen and the Bush administration want to gut the Endangered Species Act. Maybe the administration plans to kill it with the classic death by a thousand cuts. Step one: The Bush administration said Friday it will allow developers to complete construction and other projects even after belated discoveries that the work could endanger protected species.

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Who needs this "environment" after all?

The AP is reporting that USDA Undersecretary Mark Rey is touting some anti-environmental plans to come:
  • cutting down more trees in the national forests ("thinning" them);
  • doing something to the Endangered Species Act (strengthening it? yeah, that's it);
  • abandoning the still-wild "roadless" lands (that is, giving states more control over them).

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Hit and run: Reg policy news briefs

  • Over the past several months, a divided NLRB has issued decisions that strip workers of legal protections. In November, employees of temp agencies were barred from organizing with regular employees without both employer and agency permission. Prohibitions on communications between workers expressing displeasure or anger over working conditions were ruled lawful last month, and are no longer assumed to interfere with employee free speech around union activity.

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Hit and run

  • Oh, Crap: The Environmental Protection Agency is close to issuing new guidelines making it easier for sewage authorities to dump partially treated wastewater during heavy rainfalls, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.

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Regs Around the Web

  • A coalition of conservation and outdoor industry groups has formally asked the Forest Service to withdraw plans to lease over 20,000 acres for oil and gas drilling in Utah's Uinta National Forest. The leasing would allow industrial development in roadless areas along the Wasatch Front that provide valuable opportunities for hiking, fishing, and hunting, as well as habitat for wildlife such as the Bonneville cutthroat trout and northern goshawk.

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Environment at risk: no joke

The headline may seem alarmist at first, but in light of the Bush administration's record it's actually quite understated: Bush Sets Out Plan to Dismantle 30 Years of Environmental Laws. The Independent has connected the dots -- and the picture that emerges is pretty dystopic: George Bush's new administration, and its supporters controlling Congress, are setting out to dismantle three decades of US environmental protection.

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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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more resources