October 17, 2009 |
A program to test the effect of pesticides on the human hormonal system will be compromised by an Office of Management and Budget order allowing data from past studies by pesticide companies to substitute for new studies, according to some scientists involved in developing the new program. The OMB directive requires the Environmental Protection Agency to accept "to the greatest extent possible" existing toxicity data on pesticides in lieu of conducting new tests on the 67 chemicals selected for investigation.
October 16, 2009 |
Love 'em or hate 'em, hybrids have gone mainstream. Nine of the top 10 vehicles in the government's fuel economy rankings for the 2010 model year are hybrids. And they come from six automakers and carry nine nameplates. "There's now a hybrid for everyone," the government said in releasing the latest findings. "It's not either a [Toyota] Prius or a [Honda] Insight anymore." The Prius hybrid was once again the leader, with its fuel economy of 51 miles per gallon in city driving and 48 mpg on the highway, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's testing methodology.
October 1, 2009 |
The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a detailed proposal Wednesday for using the government's regulatory powers to curb greenhouse gas emissions -- reassuring foreign allies of the U.S. commitment to fight climate change and warning Congress that the administration will act on its own if lawmakers fail to address the issue. The proposed regulations would apply to large-scale industrial sources of heat-trapping gases, including power plants, factories and refineries, but not to smaller sources such as new schools, as some critics of EPA action had feared.
September 12, 2009 |
In an effort to protect endangered and threatened Pacific salmon, the Environmental Protection Agency announced new limits Friday on three pesticides that are commonly used on Western farms. The restrictions apply to the use of chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion near salmon waters in Washington, California, Oregon and Idaho. The chemicals have been found by the U.S. Geological Survey to interfere with salmon's sense of smell, making it harder for them to find food, avoid predators and return to native waters to spawn, according to federal biologists.
September 11, 2009 |
A federal lawsuit by two industry groups aims to halt the U.S. government and the state of California from moving ahead with new greenhouse gas emissions rules for cars and trucks -- an action that, if successful, could scuttle a key piece of the Obama administration's plans to set stricter nationwide standards for vehicles. The lawsuit may be the first of many legal challenges targeting President Obama's efforts to limit the heat-trapping emissions that scientists blame for global warming.
August 25, 2009 |
The nation's largest business lobby wants to put the science of global warming on trial. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, trying to ward off potentially sweeping federal emissions regulations, is pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to hold a rare public hearing on the scientific evidence for man-made climate change. Chamber officials say it would be "the Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century" -- complete with witnesses, cross-examinations and a judge who would rule, essentially, on whether humans are warming the planet to dangerous effect.
June 30, 2009 |
The Environmental Protection Agency will announce today that it is granting California's request to impose tough restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks -- reversing the Bush administration's position and opening the way for the state to take the lead on global-warming policy. California developed the standards in 2004 but was barred from implementing them.
June 18, 2009 |
The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday declared its first public health emergency, saying the federal government would funnel $6 million to provide medical care for people sickened by asbestos from a mine in Montana. The declaration applies to the towns of Libby and Troy, where for decades workers dug for vermiculite, a mineral used in insulation.
June 12, 2009 |
The Obama administration promised to end political meddling in scientific decisions, but some critics say the White House botched an early test on a key question of public health: how to assess the danger of industrial chemicals. At issue is a government catalog of toxic substances that guides regulators, industries and the public on the dangers posed by certain chemicals. Environmentalists think the hazards should be assessed solely by scientists free from political influence.
May 31, 2009 |
With the election of President Obama, environmentalists had expected to see the end of the "Appalachian apocalypse," their name for exposing coal deposits by blowing the tops off whole mountains. But in recent weeks, the administration has quietly made a decision to open the way for at least two dozen more mountaintop removals. In a letter this month to a coal ally, Rep. Nick J. Rahall II (D-W.Va.), the Environmental Protection Agency said it would not block dozens of "surface mining" projects.