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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SEC Guidance Addresses Disclosure of Climate Change Impacts

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took a significant step last month toward expanding the scope and quality of corporate disclosures as they pertain to the environment. On Jan. 27, the SEC voted to provide guidance "clarify[ing] what publicly-traded companies need to disclose to investors in terms of climate-related 'material' effects on business operations, whether from new emissions management policies, the physical impacts of changing weather or business opportunities associated with the growing clean energy economy."

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Public Speaks on Ideas to Open Up Environmental Agencies

Agencies, including those dealing with environmental and public health issues, are seeking ideas on how to improve transparency, public participation, collaboration, and innovation, and the agencies are receiving numerous suggestions. The challenge for individual agencies is to shape the diverse ideas into the strategies and goals that will comprise their Open Government Plans.

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EPA Seeking Citizen Watchdogs

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established a new telephone hotline for citizens to report suspicious or unusual activities involving natural gas drilling. The "Eyes on Drilling Tipline" allows anyone to report activities such as dumping and other "illegal or suspicious hauling and/or disposal activities." Vigilant citizens can call the new toll-free number, 1-877-919-4EPA, or email

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Bite Taken Out of Chemical Secrecy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Jan. 21 a new practice that will prevent chemical manufacturers from hiding the identities of chemicals that have been found to pose a significant risk to environmental or public health. The policy is a small step to increase the transparency of the nation's chemical laws, and it highlights both the problem of excessive secrecy and the power of the executive branch to make government more open – even without action by Congress or the courts.

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Chemical Secrecy Increasing Risks to Public

Excessive secrecy prevents the public from knowing what chemicals are used in their communities and what health impacts might be associated with those substances, according to a recent analysis of government data by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG). The growing practice of concealing data alleged to be trade secrets has seemingly hobbled regulators' ability to protect the public from potential risks from thousands of chemicals.

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EPA Seeking Comment on Disclosing Pesticide Ingredients

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it will begin accepting public comments on its proposal to require pesticide manufacturers to label pesticide ingredients. Currently, pesticide makers must label the "active" ingredients in a pesticide, but they are not required to identify the so called inert ingredients. "Inerts" often are toxic or otherwise harmful substances in their own right.

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More Public Participation at EPA

The EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) is expanding public participation this month, launching a new online discussion forum on the EPA's blog and planning a "videotown hall discussion" to discuss the Superfund.

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Study Shows Infants Exposed to Hundreds of Harmful Chemicals before Birth

A new study has found up to 232 industrial chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of infants born in 2007 and 2008. The identified chemicals include known carcinogens, neurotoxins, endocrine disruptors, and numerous other compounds toxic to various organs and systems. The study, commissioned by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Rachel's Network, reveals the extent of exposure to harmful substances faced by pregnant mothers and underscores the need to create public policies to prevent future exposures.

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Lessons of Bhopal: 25 Years Later, U.S. Chemical Laws Need Strengthening

Dec. 3 marks the 25th anniversary of the most catastrophic industrial accident in history: the leak of poisonous gas from a chemical plant in the Indian city of Bhopal. A similar accident some months later in West Virginia drove Congress to pass legislation intended to protect citizens from such disasters by requiring emergency planning and public disclosure of chemical releases. Twenty-five years after the Bhopal tragedy, much progress has been made, but much remains to be done to provide a minimum level of protection against chemical releases.

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New Web Tools Help Public Track Pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a new feature on its website that uses several new interactive Web technologies that let users track the emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) from coal-fired power plants. SO2 is a pollutant that causes acid rain and harm to public health. EPA's Acid Rain Program (ARP) has been tracking quarterly SO2 emissions from covered power plants since 1995. The new features are a welcome tool for helping the public and government officials track pollution, hold polluting facilities accountable, and ensure that policies to reduce pollution are working.

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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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