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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Hurricane Sandy Highlights Role of Government Information in Our Everyday Lives

As the country continues to recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, one lesson is already clear: government information plays a vital role in Americans' everyday lives whether they realize it or not. Information created, collected, and disseminated by government agencies alerted the nation to the storm, tracked its every move, and helped millions of Americans to prepare.

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Petition Seeks Information on Toxic Fracking Emissions

Today, OMB Watch and 16 local, regional, and national organizations filed a petition under the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to require the oil and gas industry – including companies engaged in fracking – to report their toxic emissions. Such reporting would provide EPA with more information on the identity, use, and quantity of chemicals used by the oil and gas industry and would help the agency evaluate their health and environmental risks.

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Fracking Continues to Expand Rapidly Despite New Evidence of Health Risks

Another public interest report has confirmed that shale gas extraction is creating new public health risks. However, the fracking boom grows unabated, and drilling is occurring near schools and other locations. This could lead to increased chemical exposures among children and other vulnerable populations.

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Protecting Safe Drinking Water and Your Right to Know

On Oct. 11, OMB Watch and 14 other organizations filed comments with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), highlighting ways to strengthen the drinking water quality reports that consumers receive from water utilities. EPA recently proposed changes in how the reports are delivered to consumers, which could actually reduce public access to the information.

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Agency Proposal Would Reduce the Public's Right to Know about the Fish Population

Our nation's ocean wildlife and fish are a public resource, and citizens should be able to track the impact of fishing on fish populations. But a new proposal from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will greatly reduce the public's access to essential fisheries data, including taxpayer-funded programs. Restricting public access to fisheries data could erode scientific integrity, transparency, and public participation in government decisions and eventually lead to poorer management of fisheries.

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Clear Standards Needed to Ensure Public Access to Water Quality Reports

On Oct. 1, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a public meeting on a new proposal that would allow water systems to electronically deliver drinking water quality reports to the public. Currently, these reports, required under the Safe Drinking Water Act, are mailed to customers, often with their water bills.

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State Enforcement Too Weak to Protect the Public from Violations by Oil and Gas Producers

States are failing to enforce oil and gas extraction rules, according to a report released Sept. 25 by Earthworks, an environmental group. The report, Breaking All the Rules, analyzes enforcement data, including well inspections, violations, enforcement actions, and penalties in six states: Colorado, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The report concluded that state inspection agencies are inadequately staffed, and inspections are arbitrarily conducted.

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EPA Proposal Missing Improvements to Water Quality Reports

Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, water utilities are required to provide annual drinking water quality reports to consumers. These reports, usually attached to a customer’s water bill, contain information on any contaminants in the water, any violations of water quality standards, and sources of public drinking water. But a new proposal being considered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could actually reduce public access to these water quality reports.

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Chevron Refinery Fire Highlights Need for Better Risk Management, Safer Chemical Alternatives

In August, a major fire at a Chevron oil refinery in California sent thousands of people to hospitals and forced local residents to hide in their homes with their doors and windows shut. The fire, which sent clouds of black smoke over the San Francisco Bay area, highlights the risks that refineries and chemical plants can pose to local communities and the need for ready access to information that residents can use to protect themselves and their families from chemical disasters.

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Americans Gather for First-Ever National Rally against Fracking

Americans from across the country – tired of waiting for state or federal protections – have been arriving in the nation’s capital this week to participate in the first-ever national anti-fracking rally on July 28. More than 3,000 people are expected to attend.

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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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