Health

Appeals Court Radically Expands FOIA 'Safety' Exemption

A federal appeals court created a sweeping and dangerous precedent January 22, 2014, when it ruled the U.S. public had no right to know whether it is endangered by failures of federal dam safety agencies to do their jobs. If the ruling stands, federal agencies could withhold from disclosure almost any information showing federal failure to protect the public from infrastructure dangers.

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EWG Database Helps Public, Journos Find Drinking Water Threats

While EPA and local utilities make much data available online, the Environmental Working Group has compiled a tap water database that is much easier to use. It gathers data from the states as well as from EPA, and compiles city-by-city rankings of the best and worst drinking water quality. It also explains the health significance of contaminants and lists contaminants not regulated by EPA.

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Ten Questions Ken Ward Jr. Is Waiting for EPA to Answer

  1. How is the 1 ppm "safe level" calculated? What was EPA's involvement, and how does this method match EPA's standard approach to such things?
  2. EXACTLY what is being done to contain and remediate the site? What is the process going forward for dealing with that?
  3. How is EPA's response to Sen Rockefeller's letter asking for a long-term study?
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SEJ, SPJ Urge EPA, CDC to End Press Office Obstacles in Public Health Crises

Reporters scrambling to inform the 300,000 citizens of Charleston, West Virginia, about why they could not drink their tap water, what health threats it presented, and who was responsible faced a stone wall from most of the responsible government agencies in the early days of the crisis.

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Senate GOPers Seek To Hide Silica Science Funding

OSHA's proposed silica rule "requests" (not requires) that commenters state clearly who paid for any research they cite and declare whether there may be possible conflicts of interest or whether the funder of the research may have influenced its findings. But 16 Senate Republicans have complained of OSHA's request for funding disclosure.

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Senate Panel: Health and Safety Regs Vanish in Black Hole of OMB

For a decade now, the WatchDog has been telling the story of how the Office of Management and Budget sandbags public health regs, at the behest of business groups who stand to profit, by short-circuiting open legal procedures meant to ensure government integrity. The next chapter was told October 25, 2013, before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Federal Rights and Agency Action.

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FDA Confirms All Routine Food Safety Inspections Stopped in Shutdown

"The Food and Drug Administration has been forced to suspend all routine food safety inspections for the duration of the government shutdown, FDA spokesman Steven Immergut confirmed to The Huffington Post on Friday afternoon. Until funding is restored, the FDA will be inspecting only those facilities that it has cause to believe 'present an immediate threat to public health.'"

Source: Huffington Post, 10/14/2013

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