Tag: EPA

Chemical Industry’s Years of Deadly Malfeasance Revealed in “Poison Papers”

SHARON LERNER – For decades, some of the dirtiest, darkest secrets of the chemical industry have been kept in Carol Van Strum’s barn. Creaky, damp, and prowled by the occasional black bear, the listing, 80-year-old structure in rural Oregon housed more than 100,000 pages of documents obtained through legal discovery in lawsuits against Dow, Monsanto, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, the Air Force, and pulp and paper companies, among others. As of today, those documents and others that have been collected by environmental activists will be publicly available through a project called the Poison Papers.

Keep Your Eye on Trump’s Main Agenda

PETER BERGEL – Not so fast, fellow progressives! We’ve underestimated Donald Trump a couple of times now. Let’s not do it again. He may be all the things we think he is – racist, xenophobic, narcissistic, homophobic, anti-Muslim, power-mad. At the same time, though, he’s also getting away with a deadly distraction game – one which threatens life on this planet. If you think he’s dumb, think again.

Fukushima Radiation in Pacific Reaches West Coast

JOHN LAFORGE – “We should be carefully monitoring the oceans after what is certainly the largest accidental release of radioactive contaminants to the oceans in history,” marine chemist Ken Buesseler said last spring. Instead, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency halted its emergency radiation monitoring of Fukushima’s radioactive plume in May 2011, three months after the disaster began. Japan isn’t even monitoring seawater near Fukushima, according to a Sept. 28 story in “The Ecologist.”

GOP Attempting to Kill Environmental Regulations Across the Board With Sneaky Budget Riders

EMERSON URRY – It seems like we, at EnviroNews, have been reporting on this type of thing all year. That is, sketchy environmental riders being attached to totally unrelated appropriations bills in backdoor efforts to kill environmental and wildlife protections. Yes, this year’s spending bills are littered with Republican-stamped provisions seeking to gut current regulations, while rolling back what little painstaking progress the government has made on the climate issue – this, in an attempt to open the door for limitless carbon pollution, and myriad other industrial plunders.

Why Corporate America is Reluctant to Take a Stand on Climate Action

MARC GUNTHER – The EPA’s Clean Power Plan might be the only hope the US has to make a real dent in the climate change battle. So why aren’t more companies onboard? Many environmental groups consider the Obama administration’s plan to regulate carbon-spewing coal plants, which aims to cut carbon pollution by 30%, as one of our last chances to win the fight against climate change. But the vast majority of their top corporate partners – companies like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, FedEx, UPS, Target and Walmart, which have worked with environmental NGOs for years – aren’t backing them up, according to a Guardian survey.

Militarism in the Air We Breathe

DAVID SWANSON – If there is a group of Americans to whom Iraqis struggling with the health effects of depleted uranium, cluster bombs, white phosphorous, and all the various poisons of war can relate, it might be the mostly black and largely poor residents of Gibsland, in northern Louisiana.

Nuclear Harbinger: Vermont Yankee Plant Shuttered

JOHN LAFORGE – On December 29, the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor was shut down for good, cancelled 18 years before its license expired. The shutdown comes after thousands of protest actions; widespread uncontrolled leaks of radioactive tritium; the shocking collapse of a cooling tower; operator mismanagement; lying and cover-ups; and the state legislature’s 2010 passage of a “shut-down by 2012” law, a statute later voided by a federal court. Entergy Corp.’s surrender announcement mentioned only “economic concerns.”

Nuclear Power’s Dangers Are Not Banished by Denial

JOHN LAFORGE – Weakening radiation standards, a cap on accident liability, reactor propaganda vs improvements, old units running past expiration dates, revving the engines beyond design specs …. You’d think we were itching for a meltdown. The Environmental Protection Agency has recommended increased radiation exposure limits following major releases. It would save the industry a bundle to permit large human exposures, rather than shut down rickety reactors.

No, EPA’s New Regulations Are Not Going To Make The Poor Poorer

JEFF SPROSS – “The notion that we’re going to have poor people suffering because this measure is pushing up their electric bill is just nonsense. There’s literally nothing to support that.” That’s Dean Baker, a prominent Washington, D.C. economist and the co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, reacting to the argument that new federal regulations to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants will drive up energy costs for lower-income Americans.

Encouraging News from Oregon’s Junior Senator

JEFF MERKLEY – As a new member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ve fought to invest in, rather than undermine, our environment. And I have some good news: in the compromise spending bill that passed Congress (in late January), we secured renewed support for our Northwest environment, and succeeded in pushing back on several policy riders that could have devastated our air, our water, and our efforts to combat climate change.

Will 2013 Be the Year Coal Died?

ANGUS DUNCAN – What was the biggest energy story of 2013 in the United States? Most observers would point to the vast, unlooked-for quantities of natural gas and oil released by new “fracking” recovery techniques. National oil production has surged by 30 percent just since 2011. Five yearsago the natural gas industry was looking for sites to import liquefied natural gas (LNG); today it’s flipping those sites around to export the stuff. But, the real energy story of 2013 may turn out to be the death of coal.

Obama Approves Raising Permissible Levels of Nuclear Radiation in Drinking Water

PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY – The White House has given final approval for dramatically raising permissible radioactive levels in drinking water and soil following “radiological incidents,” such as nuclear power-plant accidents and dirty bombs. The final version, slated for Federal Register publication, is a win for the nuclear industry which seeks what its proponents call a “new normal” for radiation exposure among the U.S population, according Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

Something in the Air: Lead Poisoning from Aircraft Fuel

MICHAEL BEHAR – The health risks of leaded gasoline are a thing of the past, right? Wrong. While jets and turboprops run on kerosene-based fuels, the majority of general aviation aircraft are piston-powered and consume aviation gasoline, or avgas. Populations close to “general aviation” airports (a term that covers nearly all types of flight activity except scheduled commercial passenger service) suffer the consequences of exposure to the lead in avgas.

Yes, Coal is Dying, but No, EPA is Not the Main Reason

DAVID ROBERTS – I know lots of websites (including Grist!) allow “guest bloggers” to repost stuff. But I think of The Christian Science Monitor as something of an institution. It’s disappointing to find misleading dreck on its site. Do I have to squint at the small print before I can trust an article on CSM now? Is there no editing? You kids get off my lawn!

Act to Prevent Honey Bee Extinction

ADAM KLAUS – Since 2006, U.S. honey bee populations have been in precipitous decline, with some estimates suggesting losses as high as 30% per year.1 While that’s terrible, the problem is far greater than just the loss of a species. Without bees, a big piece of our food supply is in serious danger. Pollination by honey bees is key in cultivating the crops that produce a full one-third of our food.