Purges of EPA science panels by Administrator Scott Pruitt are just one among many moves in an ongoing dispute over the integrity of the environmental sciences in government policymaking. The latest Issue Backgrounder takes a deep dive with a briefing on five likely battles ahead for the coming year.
"The military spends more than a billion dollars a year to clean up sites its operations have contaminated with toxic waste and explosives. These sites exist in every state in the country. Some are located near schools, residential neighborhoods, rivers and lakes."
"The National Mall will soon have something new: rats on birth control."
"The city of San Diego recently cleared a major legal hurdle in its effort to force chemical giant Monsanto to pay tens of millions to clean up local waterways polluted with a class of cancer-linked chemicals, known as polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs."
"Efforts to phase out a chemical used in nonstick coatings have resulted in fewer U.S. babies being born underweight in recent years, according to findings published in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health."
Trying to figure out the air quality in your coverage area? The EPA may not be much help. But this week's TipSheet suggests some effective work-arounds for your reporting. Get the backstory on ozone standards, tips on how to track ozone "nonattainment" for your area and learn why smog matters so much to public health.
"The European Union voted on Monday to extend its authorization for the world’s best-selling herbicide for an abbreviated period of five years, with France and Germany splitting over the move."
"In order to save glyphosate, the Monsanto corporation has undertaken an effort to destroy the United Nations' cancer agency by any means possible."
"The American Petroleum Institute, the nation's largest oil and gas trade organization, is dismissing the findings of a study on the risks facing African Americans who live near oil and gas facilities, saying that health disparities may be caused by other factors instead, including 'genetics.'"
The law and regulations make it hard for the U.S. EPA to regulate new chemicals in drinking water. A lot of testing is required to show the chemical is harmful and found widely in water. New analysis of existing data shows a family of chemicals that includes perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, may be doing much more harm than EPA admits.