When it comes to the wildfires that now regularly threaten life and property, it’s not just the flames that create risk. Wildfire smoke itself can cause harm, even a long way from the fire. This week’s TipSheet explains the health threats of wildfire smoke and how to monitor the risk for your own area.
Anything related to air quality, air pollution, or the atmosphere
The EPA turns to friendly media to share its news, while limiting access to mainstream reporters. And the agency moves to “weaponize” transparency. Those stories, plus, a new way to map political influence on environmental policy, and key reports made public, in the latest WatchDog TipSheet.
"A number of environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday challenging a recent administrative decision to allow certain major power plants to turn off some pollution controls."
"An enforcement breakthrough a decade in the making was unveiled in December: Three manufacturers of a sooty oil-based product known as carbon black had agreed to slash air pollution by thousands of tons each year. But there was a twist."
"Seven Democratic states on Friday threatened to sue the Trump administration for its delay in enforcing an Obama administration rule on air pollution from landfills."
"The EPA has taken at least 15 major actions on air pollution—all to delay, weaken or repeal protections, and all opposed by leading public health groups."
"Three required scientific reviews for federally regulated air pollutants are on hold due to EPA delays and Administrator Scott Pruitt’s November shake-up of the external air quality science board that advises the agency."
"Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Tuesday that EPA is not planning to set stricter fuel economy standards beyond 2025 and questioned whether states such as California should be able to enact their own tougher emissions rules for cars and light trucks."
While environmental themes were less prominent at the Sundance Film Festival this year, our correspondent JoAnn Valenti unearthed ecological messages from documentaries that explore the emergence of climate change refugees in the face of sea level rise, the escape from modernity into wilderness and the confrontation of environmental threats by young innovators.
"Despite evidence that southeast Wisconsin is violating new and tougher emissions standards for smog, state officials are asking the Trump administration to set aside a recent federal finding and conclude the state is complying with the law."