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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Pollution and Justice 101

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be conducting a webinar to instruct the public on how to use the pollution information in the agency's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) to support environmental justice efforts. In addition to teaching the basics about TRI, the webinar will feature real life examples of how communities have used TRI to address environmental justice concerns. We have encouraged EPA to reach out to the public and publicize the data and tools the agency provides; this webinar is an excellent opportunity for any citizen or public interest group to learn about a very valuable advocacy tool at their disposal.

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EPA Plan Seeks to Instill Transparency into Agency DNA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its plan for improving the agency's transparency as part of the Obama administration's Open Government Directive (OGD). The EPA was an early proponent of the new openness agenda, with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson calling for the agency to operate "as if it were in a fishbowl." The agency's new Open Government Plan documents numerous ongoing and future actions that should continue the agency's advance toward transparency and accountability.

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EPA's Pollution Right-to-Know Program Revived From 10-year Coma

After more than ten years in deep freeze, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now proposing steps to revitalize the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) – the bedrock public right-to-know program that tracks toxic pollution from thousands of businesses. Two recent EPA proposals would expand the number of chemicals reported to the program. This would be the first expansion since 1999. The proposals are small but important steps forward. However, EPA must do much more to boost the usefulness of this vital program.

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Creating a 21st Century Environmental Right-to-Know Agenda

Political developments in recent years forced environmental right-to-know advocates into a constant state of defense. Despite these challenges, citizens have repeatedly exercised their right to know and achieved numerous successes, proving that access to environmental information and public engagement are vital democratic tools.

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EPA's New HERO Defends the Public's Right to Know

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently launched a new online database that provides access to the scientific studies used in making key regulatory decisions. The EPA released the Health and Environmental Research Online (HERO) database on March 24. According to the agency, this action "is part of the [Obama administration's] open government directive to conduct business with transparency, participation, and collaboration."

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EPA Moves to Expand Greenhouse Gas Registry

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed several changes to its greenhouse gas (GHG) registry, a new mandatory program requiring thousands of facilities economy-wide to monitor and report their emissions of global warming gases. EPA is proposing to add oil and natural gas facilities and facilities that inject carbon dioxide (CO2) underground for storage, along with other facilities. EPA also wants to collect additional data from all covered businesses to get a better understanding of emissions at the corporate level and within whole industry sectors, not just by facility. Overall the changes would strengthen the registry and provide the agency and the public with crucial additional information needed to design policies to mitigate climate change and hold polluters accountable.

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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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Bit by Bit, EPA Opening Up Toxics Program

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced it is taking another small step increasing transparency by providing free access to a key database that lists every chemical in commerce. Well…almost every chemical. Of the more than 84,000 chemicals on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Substance Inventory, the identities of almost 17,000 are kept secret because the manufacturers allege the information is confidential business information (CBI). Such CBI claims are widely abused by manufacturers, and with the EPA's acquiescence, large amounts of information are inappropriately withheld from the public. 

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White House Seeks More Transparent Environmental Reviews

The Obama administration has proposed new guidance intended to increase transparency and public involvement in the implementation of one of the nation's oldest and most important environmental laws. The 40-year-old National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) creates a process where federal agencies must review the environmental impacts of their actions and evaluate alternatives while working to include public participation in the process.

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Millions Protected From Toxic Terrorism, Congress Must Act to Protect More

More than 40 million Americans are no longer at risk from a poisonous cloud of gas released from a terrorist attack on water treatment plants thanks to process changes at the plants, according to data collected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The data, painstakingly compiled and analyzed by the Center for American Progress (CAP), reveal that 554 water treatment facilities across the country have converted to safer chemical processes since 1999. However, millions more remain at risk and the Senate is poised to take on this issue. 

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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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