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.
"WASHINGTON -- More than 4 out of 5 Americans want to prepare now for rising seas and stronger storms from climate change, a new national survey says. But most are unwilling to keep spending money to restore and protect stricken beaches."
"Most city governments on the mainland withheld vital information on pollution from the public last year, with many scaling back their disclosure to protect polluters as economic growth slowed, two major environmental organisations said in a study released in Beijing yesterday."
The story of hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen, in drinking water is not over, even though Erin Brockovich's legal victory was vaunted in a film 13 years ago. Groundwater near Hinkley, Calif., is still polluted. The story of how industry clout has kept EPA delaying regulation of chromium in drinking water is a tale of the chemical industry's ability to manipulate regulation by sowing doubt. But recent highly dramatized stories on chrome-6 in drinking water may not have helped much, to the extent that they downplayed natural background levels, the importance of dose, and the statistical problems in identifying cancer clusters. The whole saga raises key issues about public relations, lobbying, regulatory politics, the legal system, environmental journalism, and the protection of public health.
"Many pesticides used in consumer products and agriculture received federal approval through a loophole that doesn't require thorough testing, according to a study released Wednesday by an environmental group."
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in January proposed a food safety rule that lacked a requirement for food makers to actually test for germs. The requirement had been removed by a shadowy White House office known as OIRA -- where industry can lobby in secret to overturn science-based rules such as this one, meant to prevent one million illnesses per year.
"WASHINGTON -- The White House has endorsed a plan to relax long-held standards for cleaning up radioactive material released by a nuclear power plant disaster or act of terrorism, a group of federal officials say in a new draft report."
"When a Texas landowner took his fear that a gas driller had poisoned his well to federal regulators, the company, Range Resources Corp., turned around and sued him for conspiring 'to harm Range.'"
"President Barack Obama's plan to use federal agencies, and the Environmental Protection Agency in particular, to drive his second-term climate change agenda might be in peril if he cannot fill vacant seats on the federal court that has jurisdiction over major national regulations, legal experts say."
"A top expert who helped write the government's latest Keystone report previously consulted on three different TransCanada projects—a fact the State Department tried to hide."
"The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved Sally Jewell's nomination to become Interior Secretary by a vote of 19 to 3 on Thursday, after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar agreed to look again at whether to allow a road through Alaska's Izembek National Wildlife Refuge."
"Tucked inside a short-term funding measure that Congress approved Thursday is a provision that critics are denouncing as a 'Monsanto Protection Act.'"
"President Barack Obama’s nominee for energy secretary is drawing criticism for leading a study that minimized risks of natural gas while failing to disclose that some of its researchers had financial ties to the industry."
"The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that logging companies and forestry officials in Oregon were not required to obtain permits from the Environmental Protection Agency for storm-water runoff from logging roads."