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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EPA Both Increases and Delays Public Access to Critical Greenhouse Gas Data

In August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made several changes to the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Mandatory Reporting Rule that will improve, but also delay, public access to critical air pollution data. The EPA will launch an electronic tool to collect and make public GHG pollution data from companies. However, the agency allowed firms in several industries to delay disclosing the factors used to calculate their GHG emissions.

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Commentary: Progress, Pitfalls in Addressing Government Secrecy 10 Years after 9/11

Sunday marked the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This is an appropriate time to look back on what happened to government openness and access to information in the aftermath of the attacks. It seems that after 9/11, government officials stopped believing that Americans could be trusted with information – about their communities, about risks and dangers they could face, and about government actions on their behalf. Withholding information from citizens is a slippery slope for any democracy, yet over the past decade, government secrecy has expanded under the misguided belief that sacrificing citizen access to government information would somehow make us more secure.

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Rio+20 is an Opportunity to Improve the Public’s Right to Know

On Sept. 2, 30 public interest organizations, including OMB Watch, presented the U.S. government with three requests to improve access to environmental and public health information and public participation in environmental policymaking. The requests aim to empower Americans to protect themselves, their families and communities from pollution and health risks through better access to data and decision-making.

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How to Strengthen Transparency in the U.S. Open Government Plan

Yesterday, OMB Watch submitted its recommendations for the Obama administration's national plan for the Open Government Partnership (OGP). The administration will unveil its plan, with new concrete commitments to increase transparency, at the international OGP meeting on Sept. 20.

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Obama Administration Issues Environmental Justice MOU

On Aug. 4, 17 federal agencies signed a memorandum of understanding that aims to address and reduce the disproportionate harm from environmental degradation that affects indigenous, low-income, and minority communities. The "Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Justice and Executive Order 12898" (MOU EJ) is the most recent step taken by the Obama administration to address the environmental burdens facing these communities and to encourage people from affected communities to participate in public processes designed to improve environmental health and safety.

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The Good and Not-So-Good of EPA’s Chemical Reporting Rule

In August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the chemical reporting rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This long-awaited rule not only provides Americans with the information they deserve about toxic chemicals affecting their communities, it also enables the government to strengthen democracy by proving its investment in the health of its people.

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In the Dark on Drinking Water Violations and Contaminants

In July, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released two reports that evaluated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) performance on protecting America’s drinking water. The reports highlight EPA’s long-standing problems with collecting accurate data on violations and identifying and regulating dangerous contaminants. Should EPA fail to address these issues, Americans' health could be in jeopardy.

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As Air Quality Worsens on the East Coast, Report Identifies "Toxic 20" States with Most Toxic Air Pollution from Power Plants

As the air quality in both Washington, DC and Maryland has hit code red (pollution levels are harmful to all) this week, a recent report, issued by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Physicians for Social Responsibility, reminds us of the danger of air pollution, in particular the risk to environmental and human health by dumping toxic poisons into our air.

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OMB Approves Chemical Reporting Rule

On July 7, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved a final rule modifying the Toxic Substances Control Act's (TSCA) Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) requirement. The rule should now enable the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to resume its collection of critical toxics data.

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EPA Proposes New Expansions to the Toxics Release Inventory Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced its plans to expand the industry sectors required to report to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program and to require electronic reporting for all TRI data. These steps are part of EPA's ongoing efforts to improve and reinvigorate the TRI program.

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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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