Regs Talk: The CSS Blog

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Amid Pandemic, EPA Proposal Distorts the Benefits of Reducing Air Pollution

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By Natural Resources Defense Council The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new, dishonest way of weighing the costs and benefits of the Clean Air Act—a move intended to hamstring the agency’s ability to pass effective clean air protections in the future. “For the...

With New Manipulation of Benefit-Cost Analysis, the Trump EPA Attempts to Hide Bodies in the Fine Print

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By Julie McNamara, Union of Concerned Scientists Nobody reads the fine print. Or that’s the apparent thesis of the Trump administration’s EPA, anyway, in its newly proposed spin on benefit-cost analysis. Here, now, the agency with its mission to protect human health and the...

Trump Takes Moment of National Crisis to Give Polluters an Unprecedented Pass

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By Natural Resources Defense Council Declaring an “economic emergency,” President Trump signed an unprecedented executive order today that allows industry to skirt foundational environmental laws, such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, and the...

Federal District Court Rebuffs Trump Labor Board for Shirking Rulemaking Requirements

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By Michael C. Duff, Center for Progressive Reform For decades, commentators have complained about how long it can take for workers attempting to unionize to simply get an election in which workers make an up-or-down decision on whether to form a union. For many years, employers...

Clean Water Webinar Spotlight: Lessons Learned from the Supreme Court’s Maui Decision

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By Katlyn Schmitt, Center for Progressive Reform In April, the U.S. Supreme Court finally weighed in with an answer to a longstanding question about what kinds of pollution discharges rise to the level of a “point source” and require a permit under the Clean Water...

CFPB’s Effort to Redo All of Consumer Finance Law Is a “Task Farce”

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By Bartlett Naylor, Public Citizen On June 1, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) completed a 60-day comment period for public input to help its newly empaneled task force that Director Kathleen Kraninger directed to re-envision all of consumer financial...

I’m Reading the CFPB’s Mail About the Pandemic’s Effect on Family Finances

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By Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG I’ve been reading the CFPB’s mail. It’s okay, you can too. It’s public. Not surprisingly, the latest CFPB consumer complaints paint a grim picture of the pandemic’s effect on family finances. I ask: Why isn’t the CFPB doing more to help the struggling...

New Data: Consumers Are Already Struggling With COVID-19-Related Mortgage Servicing Problems

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By Gideon Weissman, Frontier Group Mortgage servicers failed Americans during the last recession. And if early data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is any indication, history may well be on its way to repeating. Last week, I published a blog post describing the...

The Trump Administration’s Hazy Plans to Weaken Car Pollution Standards Won’t Work. Here’s Why.

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By Paul Cort, Earthjustice The future of the nation’s clean car protections is on the table, and Andrew Wheeler, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is moving forward with a plan that will unleash tailpipe pollution across the country. The Trump administration would...

The Whittling Away of State Clean Water Act Authority

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By Katlyn Schmitt and Dave Owen, Center for Progressive Reform Sometime soon, EPA is expected to release its final rule limiting state and tribal authority to conduct water quality certifications under section 401 of the Clean Water Act. A water quality certification is the most...

Investing in Dietary Guidelines Will Leave Us Better Prepared for the Next Pandemic

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By Sarah Reinhardt, Union of Concerned Scientists As US cases of COVID-19 near 1.7 million, we continue to learn more about the nature of the disease, including the factors that influence susceptibility to COVID-19 and the severity of symptoms. Some of these risk factors, like...

EPA Adopts Trump’s Reckless Twitter Style

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By Adrian Shelley, Public Citizen President Trump is most in his element when on the defensive. Attacking his critics allows Trump’s insults, rants, and meandering interpretations of reality to flow more easily.   This has come to typify Trump’s tweetstorms: long string...

New Trump Executive Order Sells Off the Ocean and Fails Coastal Communities

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By Miriam Goldstein and Alexandra Carter, Center for American Progress The United States is in the midst of a health and economic crisis. Yet instead of taking critical action to help the millions of suffering Americans, the Trump administration continues to push forwar...

The Pentagon Should Address All Types of PFAS on Military Bases

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By Melanie Benesh, Environmental Working Group The toxic fluorinated compounds known as PFAS belong to a family with hundreds of different members. They are linked to an array of health risks, including cancer, thyroid disruption, reproductive and developmental harms, reduced...

A Snapshot of Clean Air Advocacy in America

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By American Lung Association During the industrial revolution, air pollution from booming industrial manufacturers and a growing network of train lines first became a significant public health issue.  People in urban areas became used to the sight of large plumes of smoke...

New Study Shows Heat Stress Protections Prevent Kidney Injury Among Farmworkers — and Save Lives

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By Marya Reiter, Farmworker Justice The lack of a federal standard to protect agricultural workers from heat stress endangers the health and lives of farmworkers across the U.S. Heat stress is a frequent risk to farmworkers, who often spend long periods doing physically-demanding...

Public Knocks Down Virtual Doors of EPA Hearing on Air Pollutant Linked to COVID-19

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By Mary Anne Hitt, Sierra Club This week, clean air supporters broke down the virtual doors of an EPA hearing on a Trump air pollution proposal, and I’m so here for it. They overwhelmed the EPA on the first and second days of online hearings on the Trump administration’s...

Trump Administration’s Order to Gut Protections in the Name of COVID Will Harm Communities for Polluter Profits

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By Abigail Dillen, Earthjustice The Trump administration never lets a crisis go to waste. This week, in the middle of a global pandemic that has killed more than 90,000 Americans and left 35 million unemployed, President Trump ordered federal agencies to seek out regulations to...

CPR Urges EPA to Abandon Unjustified and Harmful Censored Science Rulemaking

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By Darya Minovi and James Goodwin, Center for Progressive Reform Earlier this week, we submitted a public comment to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), criticizing the agency’s March 2020 supplemental proposal for its “censored science” rulemaking. This rule,...

Environmental Rollbacks Won’t Revive the Economy

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By Marc Yaggi, Waterkeeper Alliance Re: The Trump Administration Is Reversing 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s the Full List, The New York Times When Richard Nixon vetoed the Clean Water Act in 1972, he called the Act “budget-wrecking,” saying, “Legislation which would continue...

Not Worth the Risk: It’s Time to Get Talc Out of All Cosmetics, Not Just Baby Powder

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By Danielle Melgar, U.S. PIRG Johnson & Johnson announced on Tuesday that it has ended the sale of talc-based baby powders in the United States and Canada. That’s a big win for consumers, because talc is often contaminated with asbestos, which can cause cancer. As of March,...

Shocking the Markets: Excessive Speculation and Climate Change

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By Dr. Steve Suppan, Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy On May 13, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission) issued a warning to the trading platforms, clearing organizations (the back office processing of trades) and futures contract merchants: the...

With Trump Executive Order, Are Meat and Poultry Plants a COVID-19 Ticking Time Bomb?

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By Rebecca Boehm, Union of Concerned Scientists On April 28, President Trump issued an executive order directing slaughterhouses and meat and poultry processing plants to remain open as critical infrastructure. The order noted that these facilities should follow CDC guidelines to...

Wheeler’s Staff Shows the Clean Cars Rollback is a Disaster

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By Luke Tonachel, Natural Resources Defense Council According to two new bombshell articles this week, EPA staff experts had as many concerns about the Trump administration’s rollback of clean car standards as those of us on the outside have. The understated, factual criticisms...

It’s Time to End the Use of Talc in Loose Powders

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By Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group The news, announced Tuesday, that Johnson & Johnson will soon end the sale of baby powder with talc is long overdue. Because talc and asbestos can form in the same parent rock, cosmetics made with talc can become contaminated with...

Trump Tells Agencies to Slash Environmental and Health Protections

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By Natural Resources Defense Council Citing the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump issued a sweeping executive order that directs federal agencies, like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to roll back or fail to enforce a wide range of regulations...

New Analysis: Unlike Bush and Obama, the Trump Administration Is Muzzling CDC Scientists During Pandemic

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By Anita Desikan, Union of Concerned Scientists Despite the incredible efforts of Dr. Anthony Fauci and other scientists in the White House Coronavirus Task Force, the Trump White House has pushed aside CDC scientists from communicating with the public during the COVID-19...

Trump Judge’s Dissent Tries to Uphold EPA Rule Eliminating Restrictions on Dangerous Emissions: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears

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By Elliot Mincberg, People For the American Way Trump D.C. Circuit judge Neomi Rao argued in dissent that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should be allowed to completely scrap a previous rule that restricted industry use of dangerous hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) without...

NRDC Fights Dangerous Science Censorship Plan at EPA

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By Vijay Limaye, John Walke and Emily Davis, Natural Resources Defense Council As the coronavirus continues to impose significant health and economic hardship and disrupt daily life, it is becoming ever clearer that federal leaders should rely on the best available science to...

EPA Should Cancel Plans to Restrict Science Once and For All

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By Genna Reed, Union of Concerned Scientists Today, UCS submitted our comment on the Environmental Protection Agency’s flawed strengthening transparency rule. In our view, this is a proposal beyond fixing. It rests upon an erroneous assumption that the EPA’s regulatory science is...

Endangered Species Day: A Chance to Cherish Nature and Wildlife

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By Bonnie Rice, Sierra Club “We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals … We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be...

Now Is the Time to Improve SNAP for Food Insecure Families

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By Sara Imperiale and Margaret Brown, Natural Resources Defense Council As of January 2020, the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) served more than 37 million people. More than 80 percent of recipient households are families with children, seniors, or those...

The EPA Is Set to Ignore Science and Risk Your Health on Particulate Pollution: Your Voice Needed

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By Gretchen Goldman, Union of Concerned Scientists The Trump Administration is set to ignore science and risk your health on an air pollution rule that will affect millions of people in the US. EPA Administrator Wheeler is going against EPA scientists and against the...

EPA Refuses to Protect Children From Perchlorate-Contaminated Tap Water

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By Erik D. Olson, Natural Resources Defense Council In an extraordinary decision, President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Andrew Wheeler has decided to defy a court-ordered consent decree requiring the agency to issue a drinking water standard for...

How State and Local Governments Can Support Safe Workplaces and Protect Public Health During the Coronavirus Crisis

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By David Madland, Center for American Progress Action Fund In recent weeks, scores of essential workers across the country—from meatpackers and warehouse workers to transit employees and grocery clerks—have gone on strike to demand safer working conditions and higher wages that...

Investigation: Counties With Meatpacking Plants Report Twice the National Average Rate of COVID-19 Infections

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By Sarah Graddy, Soren Rundquist and Bill Walker, Environmental Working Group Counties with or near meatpacking plants have almost twice the rate of known COVID-19 infections as the national average, according to a geospatial analysis by the Environmental Working Group. Based on...

Put Workers First in COVID Response

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By Jeremy Richardson, Union of Concerned Scientists As I often say to friends and colleagues, the issues we face as a society are complex and simply cannot be reduced to bumper sticker slogans. Sometimes, however, the reality is strikingly simply—and staring us right in the face....

Endangered Species Day: More Vital Than Ever

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By Lucas Rhoads, Natural Resources Defense Council Friday, May 15th is Endangered Species Day, a time to cherish the world’s biodiversity and to celebrate the many conservation successes of the past fifty years. It’s also a time to recognize that fighting for these species...

Six Ways Nancy Beck Showed Us She Doesn’t Care About Us or Science

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By Genna Reed, Union of Concerned Scientists As I balance working from home and caring for my toddler, I spend a lot of time staring at the scores of products in my home that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is tasked with keeping safe. Cribs, highchairs, toys, arts...

Work Conditions Make Farmworkers Uniquely Vulnerable to COVID-19

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By Melanie Benesh and Jared Hayes, Environmental Working Group Depending on the season, an estimated 1 million to 2.7 million workers, mostly undocumented, toil on the nation’s farms. Without farmworkers, the American food system would collapse – and during the coronavirus...

On the Heels of Rollback, Auto Makers Seek Another Hand Out

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By Dave Cooke, Union of Concerned Scientists While the administration just finalized its reduction in vehicle efficiency from 5 percent per year to no better than a measly 1.5 percent per year (despite their own evidence showing how bad it is for the country), that hasn’t stopped...

Yet Another Reason Nancy Beck Should Not Run Consumer Agency

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By Daniel Rosenberg, Natural Resources Defense Council You may have heard recent reports about the White House burying detailed guidance by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to help safely re-open amid the pandemic. The White House and CDC have claimed that the head of the...

NRDC Sues After EPA Gives Industry a Pass on Leaks of HFCs, a Potent Climate Pollutant

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By Natural Resources Defense Council In our 112th lawsuit against the Trump administration, NRDC sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today after the agency reversed a rule that aims to prevent leaks of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)—potent chemicals used in commercial and...

The FDA’s Convoluted Stance on Abortion Pills Doesn’t Protect Patients — It Endangers Them

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By Sarah Christopherson and Olivia Snavely, National Women’s Health Network Under federal law, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can impose Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) on drugs that it believes could do more harm than good if not carefully...

The New Title IX Rule Is Dangerous for All Students. That’s Why We’re Suing Betsy DeVos (Again).

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By Elizabeth Tang, National Women’s Law Center It’s here. Betsy DeVos has released—in the middle of a global pandemic—a new Title IX rule that weakens protections against sexual harassment in school. DeVos finalizing this rule during the COVID-19 crisis instead of providing...

When ‘Essential’ Means ‘Expendable’: Connecting the Dots Between Back-to-Work Orders and Spread of the Coronavirus

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By Matthew Freeman, Center for Progressive Reform In the latest episode of CPR Board President Rob Verchick’s Connect the Dots podcast, he and CPR Member Scholars Michael Duff and Thomas McGarity explore worker safety issues in the era of the coronavirus. McGarity begins...

America Needs Good Information Before It Can Safely Lift Stay-at-Home Rules

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By Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG Public health experts have made it abundantly clear that to safely lift stay-at-home rules we must have four key things we don’t yet have. We need fast, accurate and widely available testing. We need a better plan for isolating and supporting people...

Timeline: 23 Years of Attempts to Restrict Public Health Science at EPA

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By Michael Halpern, Union of Concerned Scientists The Environmental Protection Agency is advancing a broad proposal to restrict the use of science at the agency with no official public hearings and a limited sixty-day comment period, which ends on May 18. The rule is the...

Coronavirus Relief Act Gives Drug Makers New Sway Over FDA

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By David S. Hilzenrath, Project on Government Oversight Last year, based on growing concerns about the safety of certain sunscreens, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a plan of action. It proposed concluding that, for two sunscreen ingredients, the risks outweigh...

Oral Arguments in Contraceptive Case Show Danger of Upholding Trump Rule

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By Elliot Mincberg, People For the American Way Today, the Supreme Court held oral arguments in the Supreme Court in two cases concerning the Trump administration rule that severely limits contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As always, it is difficult to...

Senate Plan to Protect Data in a Pandemic Is Mostly Bad News

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By Emily Peterson-Cassin, Public Citizen There’s good news, and there’s bad news. The good news is that a bill is about to be introduced in the U.S. Senate to offer some protections around the new data being collected by companies that are tracking our health and movement in the...

Responding to COVID-19 Doesn’t Have to Mean Sacrificing Frontline Communities

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By Genna Reed, Union of Concerned Scientists As the U.S. government responds to the COVID-19 crisis, it is imperative that frontline communities and essential workers are not saddled with the cost of hastily made decisions. On March 25, EPA announced that efforts were underway to...

We Need the Clean Air Act, Now More Than Ever

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By Vijay Limaye, Natural Resources Defense Council As the United States observes Air Quality Awareness Week, a new report commissioned by NRDC highlights the landmark achievements of the Clean Air Act to protect our health. Since its near-unanimous passage by Congress 50 years...

Congress Must Include Worker Protections in the Next Coronavirus Relief Bill

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By Celine McNicholas and Margaret Poydock, Economic Policy Institute In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Congress has now passed four separate relief and recovery measures allocating trillions of dollars in aid, but none have provided meaningful protections to working...

Clean Air Act: Tremendous Lifesaver and Economic Engine

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By Simon Mui and Amanda Levin, Natural Resources Defense Council Marking the 50th anniversary of the first ever Earth Day, a newly released study finds that air pollution programs implemented under the federal Clean Air Act are saving hundreds of thousands of lives and delivering...

A Pandemic Response That Puts Politics Before Science Is Doomed to Fail

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By Rebecca Jones, Project on Government Oversight As the world contends with the coronavirus pandemic, decision-makers cannot afford to kick objective science to the sidelines. Yet on April 21 the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) demoted Rick Bright, a career expert...

As COVID Barrels Down on Communities, EPA Offers Polluters a Pass

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By Patrice Simms and Hilton Kelley, Earthjustice The Trump administration is using the virus as cover to give industries a wink and a nod that it will let them off the hook when it comes to emissions releases and reporting. In the city of Port Arthur, Texas, people are used...

Trump Attempts to Shield Big Ag at the Expense of Workers

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By Valerie Baron, Natural Resources Defense Council On April 28, Workers’ Memorial Day, at the reported urging of Tyson Foods, President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) with the stated goal of keeping meat processing (slaughterhouses) open through the COVID-19...

The White House Scrapped the Science on Tricholorethylene — So We’re Urging the EPA to Investigate

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By Taryn MacKinney, Union of Concerned Scientists When Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scientists concluded that the chemical trichloroethylene (TCE) causes fetal heart defects, even at low doses, officials at the White House overrode their conclusions—an egregious example...

Cold Hard (Storage) Facts About Meatpacker Threats of Scarcity

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By Dr. Steve Suppan, Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy “It is impossible to keep our grocery stores stocked if our plants are not running,” said Smithfield Chief Executive Officer, Kenneth Sullivan when he announced the closing of its Sioux Falls, South Dakota...

We Need Cleaner Cars to Avoid Dangerous Climate Change

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By Luke Tonachel, Natural Resources Defense Council The Trump administration seems not to care that we are headed toward climate catastrophe with carbon dioxide pollution driving global average temperatures up some 6 degrees Fahrenheit (°F) and rendering places that hundreds of...

NRDC and Partners Sue to Stop the Dirty Water Rule

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By Jon Devine, Natural Resources Defense Council Today, a broad coalition of environmental groups filed a lawsuit to stop the Trump administration’s unlawful decision to gut federal protections for many of the nation’s streams and wetlands. We challenged a regulation from the...

EPA Advisory Board’s Restricted Science Advice Is Too Little, Too Late, and Comes During a National Crisis

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By Genna Reed, Union of Concerned Scientists In a strange turn of events, EPA issued a press release welcoming and quoting its Science Advisory Board’s (SAB’s) final recommendations report on the so-called Strengthening Transparency rule. The paragraph quoted in the press release...

Trump Judge Tries to Overturn NLRB Remedies for Company’s Unfair Labor Practices: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears

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By Elliot Mincberg, People For the American Way Trump Sixth Circuit judge Chad Readler dissented from a decision upholding penalties by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against a company that improperly fired several employees and committed unfair labor practices. The...

Numbers That Take Your Breath Away: COVID-19, Air Pollution and Equity

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By Maria Cecilia Pinto De Moura, Union of Concerned Scientists The pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has become a global public health calamity and has spurred the worst economic downturn since the 1930s.  Together, the novelty, the contagiousness and the severity of...

This Workers Memorial Day, We Honor Those Who Died at Work, Including From COVID-19

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By Pablo Ros, AFSCME Roxie Nelson remembers her father, Ed Nelson, as a caring and passionate man who often put the needs of others before his own. “When I was around him his phone was always busy, and he would take calls from people all the time,” she recalls. “He...

Oil Industry Ghostwrites Trump’s Deadly Anti-Environmental Policies

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By Elliott Negin, Union of Concerned Scientists In the midst of a pandemic that has brought the world to its knees, the Trump administration’s latest spate of anti-environmental actions is maddening—and seemingly inexplicable. Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection...

Workers Memorial Day 2020

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By Katie Tracy, Center for Progressive Reform Tomorrow, April 28, is Workers’ Memorial Day, a day the labor movement established to mourn workers killed on the job and to renew the fight for the living. This year, as the coronavirus pandemic grinds on, taking its toll on...

The EPA’s Dirty Water: New Rule Discards Science, Ignores Importance of Wetlands and Tributaries

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By Derrick Z. Jackson, Union of Concerned Scientists Water, water everywhere and hardly a drop is being protected by the Trump administration. In its latest act of abdication, the Environmental Protection Agency published its Navigable Waters Protection Rule in the Federal...

The Fox in the Henhouse

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By Tom Conway, United Steelworkers Thousands of workers across America begged the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to investigate when their employers failed to take steps to protect them from COVID-19. They reported a lack of face masks, gloves, soap and hand...

Trump Administration’s Hydroxychloroquine Misinformation Is Endangering People’s Lives

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By Anita Desikan, Union of Concerned Scientists The Trump administration’s claim that two anti-malarial drugs, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, should be regarded as treatment options for COVID-19 may be one of its most dangerous forms of misinformation yet. For weeks, the...

Our Lawyer Just Got a Big Win for Clean Water at the Supreme Court

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By Jessica A. Knoblauch, Earthjustice Thirty minutes. David Henkin knew that was all he would get to make his case. But he felt ready. On the morning of November 6, 2019, the Honolulu-based Earthjustice attorney swapped his customary Hawaiian shirt and khaki pants for a new,...

Mapping the PFAS Contamination Crisis

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By Phil Brown, Alissa Cordner,  Lauren Richter, David Andrews and Olga Naidenko, Environmental Working Group Research by the Environmental Working Group and the PFAS Project at Northeastern University’s Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute, or SSEHRI, has helped...

Coral Reefs, Sewage Injection and the Supreme Court

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By Pat Gallagher, Sierra Club Who even knew that sewer plants inject treated sewage into deep wells, a dystopian counterpoint to extracting drinking water from deep wells.  I guess if one manages sewage on an island like Maui, one needs to devise creative ways to get rid of the...

Trump’s Corporate First Agenda Has Weakened Worker Protections Needed to Combat the Coronavirus

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By Celine McNicholas and Margaret Poydock, Economic Policy Institute Using the COVID-19 pandemic as cover, the Trump administration is reportedly preparing to take executive action to repeal and suspend federal regulations. This should not be a surprise—one of Trump’s first...

A Coronavirus Hot Spot Gets More Air Pollution

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By Elly Benson, Sierra Club Happy Earth Day. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC (the company behind the 515-mile Sabal Trail Pipeline) are celebrating by starting up a polluting compressor station in an environmental justice...

Corporate-Owned Nursing Homes and Covid-19

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By Phil Mattera, Good Jobs First It was only a few days ago that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that nursing homes will be required to notify residents and their families when coronavirus cases have been discovered in a facility. This comes many weeks...

With All Eyes on COVID, Trump Continues His Environmental Assaults

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By Andy Sharpless and Antha Williams, Oceana As COVID-19 continues its deadly march across the United States, the public and the media are rightly captivated by the pandemic and this administration’s inadequate response. Unfortunately when it comes to President Trump’s...

Trump’s Farm Relief Won’t Protect Essential Farmworkers From COVID-19

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By Scott Faber and Jared Hayes, Environmental Working Group The Trump administration’s plan to spend billions to address the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on agriculture may help industrial-scale produce farms but does little to assist farmworkers threatened by COVID-19, a...

The Pandemic Polluter Loophole

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By John Rumpler, Environment America Like many people, I’m now working from home in isolation. But at least I can open the windows or go for a walk to get some fresh air. Not so for people who live in the shadow of massive refineries or other industrial facilities that...

FERC’s Power Grab

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By Tom Rutigliano, Natural Resources Defense Council A coalition of environmental groups is suing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in court to reverse FERC’s disastrous 2019 decision undermining state clean energy programs. On April 16th FERC issued a series of...

It’s Time to Switch to PFAS-Free Firefighting Foams

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By Melanie Benesh, Environmental Working Group Firefighting foam is one of the most significant sources of water contamination from the toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS. PFAS-based firefighting foams have been widely used by the military, fire training centers and...

Workers Memorial Day Highlights Secretary of Labor Scalia’s Failure to Protect Workers During the Coronavirus Crisis

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By Celine McNicholas, Economic Policy Institute April 28 is Workers Memorial Day, a day observed around the world to remember those workers killed or injured on the job and to fight for strong safety and health protections for all workers. This fight has never been more critical....

Weak Labor Protections Have Put Midwestern Food Processing Workers at Risk for Coronavirus

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By Colin Gordon, Hannah Halbert and Laura Dresser, Economic Policy Institute Earlier this year, our report Race in the Heartland detailed stark and pervasive racial disparities in Midwestern states—tracing these to longstanding patterns of discrimination and segregation in the...

I Investigated the Deepwater Horizon Disaster 10 Years Ago. When Will We Learn From Our Mistakes?

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By Sam Sankar, Earthjustice It has been 10 years since BP’s Macondo well blew out on April 20, 2010, claiming 11 lives, creating an underwater volcano of crude oil and destroying not only the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, but also any illusion that the oil industry can be trusted...

Revolving Door Ejects Offshore Drilling Standards

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By Matt Kent and Amit Narang, Public Citizen On this date 10 years ago, corporate greed caused the worst environmental disaster in American history: the BP oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven people were killed. Five million barrels of oil poured into the ocean. The...

Where Is OSHA?

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By Katie Tracy, Center for Progressive Reform As the coronavirus pandemic wears on, reports abound of essential frontline workers laboring without such basic protective gear as masks, gloves, soap, or water; with improper distancing between workstations and coworkers; and in...

10 Years After the BP Disaster, Still Fighting Offshore Drilling and Environmental Injustice

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By Julia Widmann, Waterkeeper Alliance Ten years ago today, on the evening of April 20, 2020, the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. This horrific catastrophe killed eleven workers and initiated one of the worst oil spills — and...

Censored Science Rule Lacks Legal Basis

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Matthew Freeman, Center for Progressive Reform Every four years, as presidential elections draw near, the political appointees driving the incumbent administration’s regulatory agenda put their feet on the gas, working to cover as much ground as they can before their...

Barreling in the Wrong Direction, a Decade After Deepwater

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By Valerie Cleland and Jacob Eisenberg, Natural Resources Defense Council Ten years ago, people all over the U.S. gasped in horror, glued to news broadcasts trained on the fallout from a massive oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Deepwater Horizon was America’s worst...

Do Any National Park Service Staff Have COVID-19? Interior Department Isn’t Saying

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By Maria Caffrey, Union of Concerned Scientists We are in the midst of a global health crisis like none other in recent history. If you are like me, then you are following stay-at-home orders. Perhaps you worry about how to limit your exposure to the virus while you are...

Trump Administration Muzzles Own Safety Experts on Offshore Drilling Rule

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By Chris Eaton, Earthjustice You’d think by now, almost 10 years after one of the worst manmade environmental disasters in American history—the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster—that we would’ve learned our lesson about the need for offshore drilling safety. But no. In its endless...

Trump Rolls Back Mercury Standards Amid Pandemic

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By Amit Narang, Public Citizen The middle of a pandemic is hardly the time for the Trump administration to be putting the finishing touches on its corrupt, partisan agenda of rolling back regulations that protect our health and environment. But that’s exactly what the...

What If Food and Farm Workers All Get Sick at the Same Time?

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By Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group More than 20 million people grow, harvest, pack, process, transport, serve and sell our food. The food and farm industry rivals the energy and health care sectors in terms of number of jobs. But many of the people who feed us are...

Danger in the Air

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By Jim Pew, Earthjustice WHEN COAL IS BURNED IN THE U.S., most of the mercury in the coal no longer spews into our air. This improvement is due to a 2011 federal rule that is now under attack by the Trump administration. The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards was widely adopted by...

Pandemic Endangers Slaughterhouse Workers and Supply Chains

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By Valerie Baron, Natural Resources Defense Council There is widespread fear as the COVID-19 pandemic illuminates longstanding injustices that leave “essential” workers unprotected and put our public health at risk. As the virus roils the food system and threatens supply chain...

The Trump Administration Has Weakened Crucial Worker Protections Needed to Combat the Coronavirus

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By Celine McNicholas and Margaret Poydock, Economic Policy Institute Key takeaways: The Department of Labor (DOL) issued a temporary rule that will exempt 96% of applicable firms from providing paid sick and paid family and medical leave to their staff. It could also exempt 9...

While Pandemic Unfolds, EPA Is Attempting to Sideline Science With Exclusionary New Policies

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By Ken Kimmell, Union of Concerned Scientists If COVID-19 can teach us anything, it is this: having the best science, data and analysis available to and used by government decisionmakers is not only important—it can be a matter of life and death. Unfortunately, the United States...

The Price We Will Pay for Suppressing CDC Scientists During Pandemic

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By Anita Desikan, Union of Concerned Scientists We are being forced to endure a chilling situation. The White Househas taken control over the voice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the COVID-19 pandemic and, at times, has used its own voice to...

Harvard Study: In Places With Dirty Air, COVID-19 Patients at Greater Risk of Death

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By Alex Formuzis, Environmental Working Group Coronavirus sufferers in places with dirtier air are far more likely to die than those in areas with cleaner air, according to the first nationwide study of the connection between fossil fuel pollution and deaths from COVID-19....