EJToday: Top Headlines
EJToday is SEJ's selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat. SEJ members are subscribed automatically, but may opt out here. Non-members may subscribe here. EJToday is also available via RSS feed. Please see Editorial Guidelines for EJToday content.
"A little-noticed change in U.S. EPA air policy has turned a national pollution-monitoring network that has been providing data to researchers for 22 years into a regulatory tool, leaving states scrambling to figure out the implications."
"The Homeland Security Department program charged with the security of chemical facilities like the former West Fertilizer Co. plant has been riddled with problems so severe since its creation five years ago that federal investigators recently wondered publicly 'whether it can achieve its mission, given the challenges the program continues to face.'"
"At a glance, U.S. EPA's plan to cut an $11.5 million grant program in an effort to meet the sequestration mandate doesn't look like much given the agency's $8.5 billion budget. But that's a lot of money to state and local air regulators who have been counting on it."
"Decades ago, when a U.S. EPA administrator was on the brink of retirement, employees wheeled a giant cardboard box into his office. Inside: an employee known for his tendency to disparage the agency's decisions in the press."
"Energy subsidies cost governments from the U.S. to Egypt $1.9 trillion, discourage private investment and help wealthy consumers more than the poor, according to a study by International Monetary Fund staff."
"With government snow plows idled by federal budget cuts known as the 'sequester,' small Wyoming towns on the fringe of Yellowstone are organizing a private fund-raising drive for this year's spring road-clearing operation inside the national park."
"Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Tuesday released his budget proposal calling for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and slashing the discretionary spending that helps protect Americans from climate-related threats."
"The federal budget sequester took effect on March 1 with a number of likely environmental impacts. With $1.2 trillion in cuts over the next decade and $85 billion through the end of the fiscal year in September, layoffs and difficulties in enforcing the nation's environmental regulations are expected."
"The acting head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warned staff on Tuesday that it may place an unspecified number of jobs on temporary furlough if across-the-board federal budget cuts take effect at the end of this week."
"WASHINGTON -- A top environmental official is warning lawmakers that automatic spending cuts due next month would jeopardize EPA's ability to protect against oil spills, air pollution, and hazardous waste."
"A new report from the Government Accountability Office elevates the problem of looming gaps in satellite weather data to a 'high risk' concern for the federal government."
"SIMI VALLEY, Calif. -- NASA has agreed to an 'excessive and unnecessarily costly cleanup' of a former rocket test facility near Los Angeles that was the site of a partial nuclear meltdown in 1959, the space agency's watchdog said Thursday."
"This year, the Commerce Department will investigate the feasibility of a bicycle share program. The Agriculture Department's Risk Management Agency will redraw planting zone maps for the purposes of insuring nursery-grown plants. And the Department of Defense will scale down its fleet of gas-guzzling Humvees. These are all examples of steps federal agencies will take in 2013 in an effort to deal with the risks of future climate change. The Obama administration released its first climate change adaptation plans Thursday, as part of the annual sustainability reports."
"The United States will struggle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to promised levels by 2020, a report from a prominent think tank warned this week, but the federal government, states and industry already have the means at their disposal to achieve such goals."