RegsTalk: The CSS Blog

Most blogs are authored by CSS affiliated policy experts and have been reprinted with permission. If you would like us to share your blog entry with our readers, please email David Rosen at drosen@citizen.org. To find older blogs, please use our site’s search engine.

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Automakers Seek to Shirk Environmental Responsibilities, and Senators Oblige

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By Dave Cooke, Union of Concerned Scientists Today, automakers yearning to weaken environmental regulations found an ear on Capitol Hill—Senator Blunt (R-MO) introduced a bill with support of a few auto-state senators which would undermine the federal fuel economy regulations in...
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An Unprecedented Attack on Your Clean Water

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By Amy Souers Kober, American Rivers Saturday, May 27th marks the second anniversary for the Clean Water Rule advanced by the Obama Administration which took a vital step towards safeguarding our nation’s clean water supply. Unfortunately, right now the Trump Administration is...
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Michigan, Missouri Support Strong Fuel Efficiency Standards

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By Luke Tonachel, Natural Resources Defense Council New polling shows that any effort to weaken successful clean car standards would be unpopular in car country. Residents of Michigan and Missouri support strong federal standards that require large improvements in the fuel...
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New Amicus Supports Challenge to Trump’s ‘Two-for-One’ Order

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By James Goodwin, Center for Progressive Reform Yesterday, ten distinguished law professors, all of them CPR Member Scholars writing in their individual capacities, filed an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit brought by Public Citizen, the Natural Resources Defense Council...
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NRDC Demands Trump Administration Regulate “Bomb Trains”

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By Kimberly Ong, Natural Resources Defense Council NRDC, along with over 40 environmental and community groups, is pushing the Trump Administration to protect the 25 million Americans living near train tracks by regulating crude-by-rail trains. Currently, there is no limit to the...
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Lamar Smith and Selective Transparency: Why I’ll Be Livetweeting the EPA Scientific Integrity Stakeholder Meeting

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By Michael Halpern, Union of Concerned Scientists For the past few years, the Environmental Protection Agency has held a meeting with outside groups to discuss its annual scientific integrity report. All kinds of organizations have attended in the past, from the American...
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Clean Car and Fuel Economy Standards Are Good for Jobs

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By Luke Tonachel, Natural Resources Defense Council There are 288,000 American workers building technologies that reduce pollution from cars and trucks, and improve their gas mileage. A new report, “Supplying Ingenuity II: U.S. Suppliers of Key Clean, Fuel-Efficient Vehicle...
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FCC Chairman Pai Doesn’t Know How to Measure Investment

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By Dana Floberg, Free Press FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is trying to gut Net Neutrality protections at the agency by claiming they’ve stifled broadband investment. Last week, Free Press released the comprehensive report It’s Working: How the Internet Access and Online Video Markets Are...
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EIA Analysis: Fuel Economy Improvements to Cut U.S. Gasoline Consumption by 25% by 2040

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By Jason Kuruvilla, Consumers Union The Energy Information Administration is out with its latest fuel use projection and finds that if automakers meet the 2025 fuel economy standards, overall fuel consumption will decline significantly, even as more cars are on the road and miles...
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American Workers Lose $1.2 Billion in 2017 Due to Delay in Update of Overtime Rules

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By Ross Eisenbrey, Economic Policy Institute One year ago, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule to update the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime rules. The old rules—written by the Bush administration in 2004—have a loophole that leaves millions of salaried employees...
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Congress: To Poison Our Water With Pesticides or Not

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By Mae Wu, Natural Resources Defense Council Pesticide manufacturers are back in Congress, using misinformation to try to roll back important environmental protections for our lakes, rivers, and streams. Using a combination of imagined hardships and misinterpretation of the law,...
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Good News for Retirement Savers—The Fiduciary Rule Will Become Applicable June 9th

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By Heidi Shierholz, Economic Policy Institute Every year, retirement savers lose $17 billion because they receive bad advice from financial advisers—like being steered into investments that provide larger payments to the adviser but lower returns for the saver. Currently, that...
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Dangerous Dyes: Let’s Get Lead Out of Our Hair

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By Tyler Smith, Earthjustice Dads, you wouldn’t knowingly bring poison into your home, and you certainly wouldn’t expose your kids. But you may not realize that if you use at-home hair dyes like Grecian Formula, whenever your children play with your hair, they could be getting a...
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Republican Antiregulatory Agenda Continues Despite Losing the CRA

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By Celine McNicholas, Economic Policy Institute This week was the first week in which the Congressional Review Act could no longer be used to block regulations issued in the final months of the Obama administration. But congressional Republicans were undeterred, and continued to...
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Net Neutrality Activists Rally Against Trump FCC’s Plan to Destroy the Internet

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By Amy Kroin, Free Press Today at Trump’s FCC, Chairman Ajit Pai — a former Verizon lawyer — pushed forward his destructive plan to kill Net Neutrality. People from across the country have already generated more than 1 million comments and signatures opposing Chairman Pai’s...
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An Administration That Devalues Science is a Huge Problem

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By Laura Craig, American Rivers Science is critical to environmental decision-making, yet it is continually and shamelessly marginalized by the current administration. Several recent actions send a clear message that the administration does not value the objective science that...
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The Endangered Species Act works — Just Ask These Whales

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By Amy McDermott, Oceana North Atlantic right whales are not built for the modern world. They’re lumbering swimmers that hang out at the surface, close to shore, along some of the busiest ports on the Eastern Seaboard. Slow whales around lots of fast boats and fishing gea...
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#KickTheCan: BPA Still Found in Many Grocery Stores’ Canned Foods

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By Dev Gowda, U.S. PIRG We’re all told to watch out for BPA in drinking bottles and baby products. But how about BPA in the cans that contain our food? A recent study by Center for Environmental Health (CEH) reveals that the toxic chemical BPA is readily found in canned...
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What Do These Regulatory Rollback Champions Have in Common? Anti-Consumer Donors.

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By Scott Faber and Jared Hayes, Environmental Working Group Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., have two things in common: They both support legislation that would make it harder for federal agencies to adopt new consumer and worker protections. In fact,...
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LCV Defends Clean Water Rule at OMB

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By Madeleine Foote, League of Conservation Voters On May 17, LCV Legislative Representative Madeleine Foote testified at OMB in strong opposition of repealing the Clean Water Rule, a widely supported protection that was implemented by the Obama administration to help protect the...
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Trump’s EPA Hears From People—Protect Our Air and Water

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By Andrew Wetzler, Natural Resources Defense Council Monday marked the end of a public comment period, initiated by the political leadership of the Environmental Protection Agency, to identify regulations for possible modification and repeal. But a funny thing happened – it turns...
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Why the Senate Should Reject the ‘License to Kill’ Bill

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By Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group Most Americans think asbestos was banned decades ago. But asbestos-caused diseases still kill up to 15,000 Americans a year. Here’s why the U.S. is one of the few nations in the world where asbestos is still legal: In the 1970s Congress...
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Ahead of Markup, CPR Member Scholars Voice Concerns Over the Senate Regulatory Accountability Act

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By James Goodwin, Center for Progressive Reform Today, 27 Member Scholars of the Center for Progressive Reform, leading academics who specialize in administrative law and regulatory policy, submitted a letter to Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman...
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One of Many Risks of the Regulatory Accountability Act: Flawed Risk Assessment Guidelines

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By Genna Reed, Union of Concerned Scientists Tomorrow, the Senate will begin marking up Senator Rob Portman’s version of the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA), which my colleague Yogin wrote a primer about last week. This bill is an attempt to impose excessive burdens on every...
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Quick Take: Americans Want EPA to Keep Protecting Health

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By Juanita Constible, Natural Resources Defense Council Americans just delivered a clear message to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Keep your hands off our clean air and water. Yesterday marked the end of a formal comment period in which EPA Administrator Scott...
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Corporate Lobbyists Finance Senate Leader of ‘License to Kill’ Bill

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By Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group One out of every five political donations made to Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc. – chair of a Senate committee expected to vote this week to effectively block new consumer protection rules – came from corporate political action committees,...
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Clean Power Plan Litigation’s Latest Turn

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By David Doniger, Natural Resources Defense Council NRDC and other health and environmental organizations, together with forward-leaning states and cities and leading companies, filed briefs this afternoon addressing the next steps in litigation over the Clean Power Plan, the...
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A Day to Savor: Beating Big Oil on Capitol Hill

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By Jessica Ennis, Earthjustice Environmental advocates went toe-to-toe with the oil and gas industry in the halls of Congress this week. And in the face of stiff odds, we managed to chalk up a big win in the U.S. Senate, keeping an important regulation on the books that protects...
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Congress Blocks 14 Obama-Era Rules in an Unprecedented Blitz of CRA Votes

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By Celine McNicholas, Economic Policy Institute Yesterday was the final day congressional Republicans could use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block regulations issued in the final months of the Obama administration. The CRA is a controversial law that gives Congress the...
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The Regulatory Accountability Act Would Spread the Asbestos Problem

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By Alison Cassady and Sam Berger, Center for American Progress On April 26, 2017, the Senate quietly introduced President Donald Trump’s Regulatory Accountability Act, or RAA. The bill has an innocuous name but would have profound consequences for the nation’s ability to protect...
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Attack on Food Safety Rules Is Life or Death Issue for Allergy Sufferers

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By Nneka Leiba, Environmental Working Group Food allergies don’t just cause hives or breathing problems – they can also kill. That’s why the so-called Regulatory Accountability Act, or RAA, moving through Congress should be called the License to Kill bill. Researchers...
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Can the CFPB Help Me With My Student Loan Problem?

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By Gideon Weissman, U.S. PIRG More than 44 million Americans have student loan debt, in total owing more than $1.4 trillion. Finding the right student loan and deciding on the right payment plan can be complicated. Many borrowers also have trouble paying – more than 10 percent of...
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Trump and Pruitt Aim to Roll Back Air and Water Protections With Little to No Public Input

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By Matthew Gravatt, Sierra Club In case you missed it, many of the things that we love and value–like clean air, clean water, good clean energy jobs, and the health of our families–are coming under attack with Donald Trump as president and his polluting ally, Scott...
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What Is the CFPB’s Role in Protecting Consumers?

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By Gideon Weissman, U.S. PIRG The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis with one mission: to protect consumers in the financial marketplace. Consumers face a wide variety of complex problems, along with tricks and traps,...
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What Does Scott Gottlieb’s Leadership Mean for Scientific Integrity at the FDA?

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By Genna Reed, Union of Concerned Scientists Later this afternoon the Senate will vote to confirm Scott Gottlieb as the next U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner. What does this mean for scientists and science-based policymaking at the FDA? His conflicts of...
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Trump Picks Two for FERC—Will Bipartisanship Continue?

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By John Moore, Natural Resources Defense Council President Trump has finally announced his intent to nominate candidates for two of the three open seats on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and send their names to the U.S. Senate for approval. Assuming they are...
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Under New Mismanagement: Polluters Asked How to Destroy EPA

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By Daniel Rosenberg, Natural Resources Defense Council “’Listening Sessions’: Excellent!” Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency held “listening sessions” to hear public comment on Executive Order 13777, which requires an EPA Task Force to recommend “specific...
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5 Reasons Why the Regulatory Accountability Act is Bad for Science

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By Yogin Kothari, Union of Concerned Scientists Last week, Senator Rob Portman introduced his version of the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA), a bill that would significantly disrupt our science-based rulemaking process. A version of this inherently flawed, impractical...
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25 Percent of the Senate Speaks Out for Real Net Neutrality

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By Dana Floberg, Free Press It’s been a good couple of days for Net Neutrality. Trump and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai have been ramping up their attack on the open internet, but we’ve been ramping up our defense. Activists around the country are mobilizing, pro-Net Neutrality comments...
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Net Neutrality Activists Picket Pai

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By Brandon Forester, Free Press Last Thursday we printed our chant sheets, bought a couple of dollar-store ponchos, had a sign-making party and picked up a bullhorn we’d borrowed from the Washington Peace Center. We had work to do. On Friday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was continuing...
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Trump’s Regulatory Accountability Act Is a License to Kill

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By Sam Berger, Center for American Progress Don’t let the innocuous name fool you: The Regulatory Accountability Act recently introduced in the Senate is nothing less than President Donald Trump’s License to Kill Bill. Described as the means of realizing Steve Bannon’s dream to...
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Advisory Committee Shakeup Targets Independent Science and Scientists

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By Genna Reed, Union of Concerned Scientists Right now, the Trump administration is taking a backdoor approach to putting politics over science. There is a full-on assault afoot to strip away the independence of advisory committees at several government agencies. The reason? A...
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What Did the CFPB Do About Wells Fargo Opening Unauthorized Accounts?

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By Gideon Weissman, U.S. PIRG The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is the first federal agency devoted to protecting consumers in the financial marketplace. In 2016, the CFPB held Wells Fargo accountable for unfair treatment of its customers. From at least 2011 to...
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Facing Scrutiny on Pruitt’s Climate Denial, EPA Seeks to Bury Climate Science

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By Elena Saxonhouse, Sierra Club On the eve of the People’s Climate March, which drew many thousands of people to Washington, D.C., to demand stronger action on climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it was “updating” web pages that had formerly...
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The CMS’ Marketplace Stabilization Rule – What You Need to Know to Help Farmworkers Access Health Insurance

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By Virginia Ruiz, Farmworker Justice On April 13, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule regarding market stabilization within the health insurance marketplace.[i] The rule makes several changes to current ACA provisions, including open...
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John Oliver Broke the FCC’s Website … Again

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By Candace Clement, Free Press Last night John Oliver broke the FCC’s website … again. The comedian spent the bulk of his show on Net Neutrality — and laid into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for his plan to destroy the open internet. Seconds after Oliver urged viewers to file comments......
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How the CFPB Helps Protect Older Americans

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By Elizabeth Ridlington, U.S. PIRG In the 1990s, my grandmother lost $60,000 to a financial scammer who took advantage of her age and vulnerability. A lucky, and perhaps illegal, phone call from her bank flagged the problem to the family. Today, thanks to the Consumer Financial...
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Trump Wants to Weaken Clean Air Protections, But He Will Fail

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By Andrea Issod, Sierra Club Last week, Trump’s EPA convinced the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to put a hold on a case brought by industrial polluters and their state allies that challenged a 2015 Clean Air Act rule eliminating “startup, shutdown, or malfunction” (SSM) loopholes...
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Internet Users Score Another Victory in Court

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By Gaurav Laroia, Free Press Internet users and Net Neutrality advocates won again in court this week. A majority of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit refused to grant a motion, filed by the ISPs suing to overturn the FCC rules, that asked the court to reexamine......
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Please Stand Up for Clean Water Now!

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By Jon Devine, Natural Resources Defense Council The Environmental Protection Agency implements the Clean Water Act, the Nation’s primary tool to prevent pollution of our waterways and to clean up ones that are too polluted. Consequently, those of us who swim, fish, drink water,...
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