A family of widely used fluorinated chemicals may be contaminating local drinking water supplies, causing uncertain health effects and with little clarity over federal regulations. But some states are starting to step in. This week’s TipSheet unwinds the confusion over PFAS, with some backstory and plenty of resources for your local coverage.
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.
"The Environmental Protection Agency is considering a major change to the way it assesses scientific work, a move that would severely restrict the research available to it when writing environmental regulations."
"A group of climate skeptics who weighed in on climate lawsuits in California revealed their recent funding, and court documents show their donors are a mix of fossil fuel companies and conservative think tanks."
"SAN FRANCISCO -- In an unprecedented “tutorial” before a federal judge Wednesday, a lawyer for a major U.S. oil company accepted the scientific consensus that humans are the primary cause of global climate change. But he also emphasized uncertainties about future impacts, while deflecting industry responsibility."
"A federal judge in San Francisco Wednesday will preside over the nation’s first-ever court hearing on the science of climate change, but don’t expect it to be a “Scopes Trial” for global warming research."
"The plan now being developed at U.S. EPA to restrict the science the agency uses could affect the crafting of regulations for years and become one of the most enduring parts of Administrator Scott Pruitt's legacy."
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the most surprising findings from a new survey of environmental journalists. It showed a range of challenges in covering local climate change stories. And see what the group behind the survey hopes to do to help reporters and editors address these obstacles.
"The Federal Emergency Management Agency, responsible for dealing with the effects of disasters like hurricanes and floods, has stripped the words “climate change” from the document meant to guide its actions over the next four years."
"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."