August 10, 2011–The draft "Scientific Integrity Policy" marks the first time that the EPA's previously unwritten minders-and-permissions policy for press interviews has been reduced to a publicly disclosed written policy applying to the entire agency. The Society of Environmental Journalists has previously opposed these restrictions and is likely to submit formal comments on this draft policy as well.
August 10, 2011–Five years after writing about polar bears drowning, apparently from lack of sea ice, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement was suspended without a reason. Later he was told it was due to charges of "scientific misconduct" from a party or parties not identified.
July 13, 2011–Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility petitioned NOAA to reverse its no-advocacy policy, saying it's inconsistent with the agency's official scientific integrity policy and the Obama administration's much-vaunted advocacy of more openness in federal government.
July 13, 2011–A U.S. District judge heard oral arguments July 8, 2011 on a DHS motion to dismiss the case, brought by the National Press Photographers Association, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
July 6, 2011–Project Amp, expected to lead to the installation of photovoltaic solar panels on about 750 industrial buildings in 28 states, would feed enough energy to the grid to power 90,000-100,000 homes. Taking a different approach, Google and a company called SolarCity are teaming up to spur installation of solar panels to power individual homes, committing $280 million to the project.
June 29, 2011–The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had gone through an open rulemaking process on the "Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Articles Exemption Clarification Rule" but withdrew a final rule it had sent to President Obama's Office of Management and Budget for approval after OMB met privately with chemical, wood, and other industry lobbyists.
June 29, 2011–Congress still forbids the Congressional Research Service to release publicly reports that taxpayers have paid for. Thanks to groups like the Federation of American Scientists, however, taxpayers can read the reports online despite the charade.
June 29, 2011–The Agriculture Department under President Obama has partly restored public access to the Agricultural Chemical Usage data by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. President Bush had cancelled the reports in 2008.
June 22, 2011–Thirteen new members join the ranks; 8 others are reappointed. The shift in members provides an opportunity to explore what each Council has been doing, whether the new people will shift its direction (and NOAA's), and what the fishing industry, the public, and various interest groups think about past decisions and future directions.
June 15, 2011–The chemicals, the identities of which had been withheld up till now based on companies' "confidential business information" claims, are used in products like oil dispersants, air fresheners, non-stick and stain-resistant materials, fire-resistant materials, nonylphenol compounds, perfluorinated compounds, and lead.