EPA Scientists Deem Benzo(a)pyrene a Cancer-causing Chemical

On Aug. 21, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a draft revised health assessment of the toxic chemical benzo(a)pyrene (BaP). This chemical is widely found in the environment and in a number of workplaces, and in its assessment, EPA declared that BaP causes cancer.

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E-Gov Spotlight: EPA's Climate Change Tool

Climate change has become the largest environmental concern in decades, and transparency and accountability will be critical in providing an effective response to combating it. As we move forward in making new policies related to climate change, it is critical that the public be well informed about the issue. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has an online tool offering users a means to explore the sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

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New Clean Water Initiatives Welcome but Highlight Need for More Oversight and Enforcement

August is National Water Quality Month, and efforts to clean and protect water resources have never been more important. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced new initiatives to reduce water pollution and modernize existing clean water programs. In addition, the agency expects to propose improved drinking water standards within the year, according to the latest Unified Regulatory Agenda. Still, EPA has yet to address a number of serious health and safety risks related to water quality.

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House Subpoenas Personal Medical Information in Continued Assault on Clean Air Policies

On Aug. 2, the House Science Committee issued a subpoena demanding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) release all underlying data and personal medical information from two crucial studies the agency has relied on in setting air quality standards since 1997.

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Public Protections Take Center Stage at Committee Hearing on Toxic Substances Bill

Did you know that nearly 80,000 chemicals are currently used in the United States, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has only performed a safety assessment of 200 and has only issued partial restrictions for five of these substances? This illustrates how the nation's primary environmental law on toxic substances, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), has failed to protect Americans from exposure to dangerous chemicals. On July 31, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hosted a hearing to discuss the law's failures and hear from witnesses about the strengths and weaknesses of proposed legislation introduced by the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) this past May.

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House Votes to Ban EPA from Considering Benefits of Climate, Energy Rules

Yesterday, the House passed a bill, the Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013, that would allow the Department of Energy to veto any U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules that cost over $1 billion to implement, weakening the EPA’s ability to perform its statutorily required duties and violating the spirit and intention of the Clean Air Act.

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Updated Database Reveals Significant Chemical Risks Are Distributed Across the Country

The latest data on chemical storage risks shows that over 50 billion pounds of toxic and flammable chemicals are stored at 12,761 facilities nationwide. As the tragic explosions at the West, TX fertilizer plant and a Geismar, LA chemical plant have demonstrated, these facilities pose serious threats to workers and communities throughout the country. The distribution of high-risk chemical facilities – i.e., those that handle significant quantities of 140 dangerous chemicals – are available at a website the Center for Effective Government created and maintains through the Right-to-Know Network (RTKNET.org).

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With New Leader in Place, EPA Can Recommit to Its Environmental Agenda

On July 18, the Senate confirmed Gina McCarthy to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ending a 136-day delay. Nominated by President Obama in March, McCarthy was finally cleared by a bipartisan vote of 59-40.

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Success of EPA Climate Standards Will Depend on White House Support

Back in June, President Obama announced a bold plan to address climate change. Now that Gina McCarthy has finally been confirmed as the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), advocates are counting on the agency to move quickly on the president's promises.

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Obama Vows to Finalize Carbon Standards, Other Safeguards in Climate Change Plan

In a press conference on June 25, President Obama revealed his plan to address climate change. Delivering on a promise he made nearly four months ago during his State of the Union address, the president said that if Congress failed to protect future generations from the impacts of climate change, he would.

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