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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New Source Review rule hinders enforcement

EPA's own Inspector General has released a report revealing that the New Source Review regulations (a regulatory rollback, discussed here, that essentially trades our clean air for the economic gain of power companies) are weakening EPA's enforcement activities: According to key enforcement officials, the NSR rule change is so dramatic that it has impacted OECA’s ongoing litigation, out-of-court settlements, and ne

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Environmental enforcement declines, redux

We've mentioned before in this blog the reports from TRAC that quantify this administration's environmental enforcement record -- uneven and declining. Check out their latest report, which tracks the rates of declining enforcement with the specific environmental statutes that are decreasingly enforced; here's an excerpt: While the government's overall pollution enforcement effort is definitely down, the new data base shows that for last 12 years the government's enforcement trends have somewhat varied, depending on the particular statute under examination.

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This is a job for Superfund! Or it would be...

You make a mess, you clean it up: that's the classic principle behind Superfund, which forces polluters to pay for the clean-up of their messes. Forced, that is: Today, September 30th, marks the one year anniversary of the bankruptcy of the Superfund Trust Fund. The federal Superfund toxic waste program ran out of polluter-contributed funds exactly a year ago, leaving taxpayers with the entire bill. Once the Bush administration refused to honor the polluter pays principle, they stopped holding big oil and chemical companies accountable for the messes they made.

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Environmental enforcement declines, prosecutions spotty

According to TRAC (the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, which has compiled all manner of government data, including environmental enforcement data), environmental enforcement has declined across the board during the Bush administration, and prosecution of polluters has not been consistent nationwide. From the report on declining environmental enforcement: Federal prosecutors have filed environmental charges against substantially fewer defendants during the administration of President Bush than they did during either of President Clinton's two terms . . . .

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OMB Watch Submits Comments on EPA's Science Inventory

OMB Watch submit comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its recently launched Science Inventory (SI) located at OMB Watch applauds EPA in its efforts to heighten access to science information by providing it online. The inventory allows the public to better understand EPA activities and the importance of research and development efforts. While this is a step in the right direction, OMB Watch believes there are several opportunities to improve the inventory's organization, content, usability, and search functions. Read the Comments

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EPA Releases 2002 Toxic Release Inventory: Right-to-Know Compromised

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 2002 data for the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) shows a 5 percent increase in toxic releases to the environment. The agency's premier right-to-know program released the new data on June 23, one day after the Environmental Integrity Project published a report documenting levels of air toxins four to five times higher than previously reported.

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RTK NET Releases 2002 Toxic Release Inventory Data

The Right-to-Know Network (RTK NET) published the 2002 Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data today, providing public access to important Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data on the release and transfer of toxic chemicals in the U.S. The 2002 data shows an overall increase of 5 percent in toxic releases -- the first year in which this measurement increased since 1997.

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EPA Reviews TRI Burden Reduction Comments

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to review the hundreds of comments it received on burden reduction proposals for the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) program. EPA outlined the proposed changes in a 2003 white paper in Phase II of the TRI Stakeholder Dialogue.

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EPA Cancels Early TRI Release

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has apparently abandoned plans to provide an early release of the 2001 Toxic Release Inventory, as OMB Watch reported in a previous Watcher article.

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OMB Watch Urges EPA to Abandon TRI Burden Reduction Options

OMB Watch recently submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency concerning its Stakeholder Dialogue Phase II white paper that focuses on burden reduction options for the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program. OMB Watch strongly opposes the options proposed in EPA’s White Paper.

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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