On June 6, EPA announced a new round of grants going to nearly 200 communities in some 40 states and 3 tribal areas. Most of them go to poor and minority areas with high unemployment rates.
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EPA has updated its Enforcement and Compliance History Online database so that federal standards violations through 2009 can be quickly identified. For example, pick a county and quickly get a customized listing of systems that fall into categories such as serial violators, or occasional violators of things such as health-based standards or monitoring requirements.
"Nonpoint" sources of water pollution worry officials. When rain falls or snow melts, the runoff can pick up fertilizers and pesticides from agricultural fields, sediments from construction sites, engine oil from city parking lots, germ-laden dog poop from curbside, etc.
ProPublica reporter Abrahm Lustgarten (left) revealed that some of the biggest fracking companies have been collecting extensive baseline data since 2008, keeping it concealed from public knowledge — including denying Duke University researchers the data when asked for it. The withheld data could either exonerate the companies or prove them responsible for pollution.
Denial of news media access to Gulf beaches has been an issue since the Deepwater Horizon disaster. There's tussling over access to (and interpretation of) scientific information on possible impacts of the spill on the Gulf ecosystem. And The Guardian obtained >30,000 pages of BP in-house memos FOIA'd by Greenpeace, which suggest BP was working hard to influence the results of the research it was paying for.
Every U.S. resident is at elevated risk of cancer from certain toxic substances in outdoor air, and about one-quarter of all residents are possibly at risk for noncancer health effects, according to EPA's update of the National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) released March 11, 2011.
As a quake-stricken Japanese nuclear plant continues to spew radiation into the environment, journalists and people across the world are getting an unwelcome lesson in how secrecy can threaten people's health and safety. A New York Times team finally on March 16 did the story on the withholding of information. Read their coverage, as well as others.Region:
EPA is conducting a study of fracking, no matter where it is used (e.g., gas shale, oil shale, coalbed methane, tight sands). Public comment is being allowed as the agency's Science Advisory Board meets March 7-8, 2011, to review the draft study plan. Initial study and research results are possible by the end of 2012, and a report may be published some time in 2014.
The consent decree that established the March 16 release date also mandates that a final rule be published by Nov. 16, 2011 (nine years later than the deadline dictated by the Clean Air Act). Here are several tools you can use to get a handle on the power plants and their emissions in your audience area prior to release of the rule.
As part of the continuing resolution (HR 1) the House approved largely along party lines an amendment sponsored by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) to cut an additional $8.5 million from the budget for EPA's Greenhouse Gas Registry.