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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Offshore Drilling Poised to Expand, but Transparency Still Lags

As the Obama administration increases approvals of deepwater oil drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico, environmental advocates have seen little meaningful increase in the transparency of the permitting process. A lack of transparency in the regulatory process was identified as a contributing factor in BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster and the highly criticized response effort.

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EPA Making Good on Chemical Transparency, But More Is Needed

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is disclosing more information about hazardous chemicals while challenging industry claims that information should be concealed as trade secrets. With major reforms of the nation's chemical law held up in Congress, public health advocates are pushing EPA to take more aggressive action to make chemical health and safety information available to the public.

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House Votes to Stay Uninformed about Greenhouse Gases

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new program tracking the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution spewing from big facilities is among the victims of a long list of environmental programs attacked in the House this week. The House voted to slash funding for the EPA's new greenhouse gas registry, which requires the biggest GHG emitters to disclose how much planet-warming gas they spew every year, starting with 2010. The registry places no regulations on emissions, but it does collect vital information needed to take any meaningful steps toward reducing GHG pollution. The House clearly wants all of us to remain in the dark about where the pollution is coming from.

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Drinking Chrome – New Studies Expose Threats to Tap Water

A new health study found drinking water in 31 out of 35 U.S. cities contaminated by a dangerous form of chromium known as hexavalent chromium. Another study found that hexavalent chromium, a known carcinogen when inhaled and a suspected carcinogen when ingested, often contaminates water leaching from coal ash impoundments. The revelations expose the need for greater monitoring of public drinking water and stronger protections against contamination.

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EPA Analysis Shines New Light on Toxic Pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released an expanded and enhanced "National Analysis" of the 2009 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data. The National Analysis examines trends in toxic pollution and waste generation from thousands of facilities nationwide. This year, EPA has added several new features and new analyses that help the public track pollution and identify the biggest polluting companies. The improved National Analysis is another positive step in a series of actions EPA has taken to strengthen the TRI program.

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The Teas of Transparency

2010 was a banner year for government transparency, with many significant advances and only a few disappointments. However, there were other events outside the world of government openness that seeped into the collective consciousness, and one of the most notable was the rise of the Tea Party in American politics. For this year-in-review article, we decided to take a somewhat tongue-in-cheek approach to assessing and commenting on events in government openness, playing off the theme of tea. Thus, we present to you … the Teas of Transparency.

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EPA Expands Toxic Right-to-Know Program

For the first time since 1999, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added chemicals to the list of toxic substances that must be reported to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). The TRI program tracks toxic pollution from thousands of facilities nationwide. The move is an overdue step in the right direction for this crucial right-to-know program and represents a welcome break from the previous administration's attempts to weaken TRI.

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Three Months Later, Missing "Oil Budget" Methodology Released

The government responders to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill today released its report on the "oil budget" tool used to calculate what happened to the spilled oil. Unlike the version of the report released on Aug. 4, this one comes peer-reviewed and with methodology.

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Advocates Meet to Invigorate Environmental Right-to-Know Policies

Nearly 100 public interest advocates from around the country recently convened in Washington, DC, to build an agenda for improving the public's right to know about environmental and public health threats. Advocates for public health, safety, and the environment met to develop federal policy proposals that would enhance government engagement with communities and improve access to information crucial to protecting the public. The emerging agenda seeks to capitalize on recent openness initiatives by the federal government and the Obama administration's efforts to improve government transparency, participation, and collaboration.

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Lack of Plan for EPA Libraries Threatens Access to Environmental Information

After more than three years of development, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has yet to complete a strategic plan for its library network or to inventory the network’s holdings, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The Bush administration controversially moved to close several agency libraries, but opposition from Congress and the public pushed EPA to reverse course and reopen the libraries. However, the GAO report makes clear that additional steps are needed to ensure the library network's valuable holdings are genuinely accessible to the public.

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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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