PROTECTING ACCESS TO ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION

RTKnet: Pollution

Under right-to-know laws, industrial facilities report using and releasing billions of pounds of toxic chemicals. Still greater amounts pass unreported as products and pollution. Find information on tracking chemical use and releases, and on preventing industrial pollution at the source.

CDC Report Tracks Human Exposure to Toxics (NY Times)

The CDC released its fourth biomonitoring report, the most extensive assessment to date of the exposure of Americans to environmental chemicals. The goal of the research is to determine which chemicals end up in people's bodies and at what concentrations. It is meant to help prioritize scientific work and for policymaking.

(14 Dec 2009)

More Public Participation at EPA (OMB Watch)

The EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) is expanding public participation this month, launching a new online discussion forum on the EPA's blog and planning a "video town hall discussion" to discuss the Superfund.

(08 Dec 2009)

EPA Releases Analysis of 2008 TRI Data (U.S. EPA)

The EPA released its "National Analysis" of Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data. This is the earliest release and analysis of the data in the history of the TRI program. The "National Analysis" replaces what used to be known as the Public Data Release (PDR). Both the number of facilities reporting and the amount of releases declined in 2008.

(08 Dec 2009)

"Split Estate" Exposes Damage From Gas Drilling (Split Estate)

The new documentary, Split Estate, maps a tragedy in the making, as citizens in the path of a new drilling boom in the Rocky Mountain West struggle against the erosion of their civil liberties, their communities, and their health. The film will air again on Planet Green on January 16 and 17, 2010.

(08 Dec 2009)

BPA, Toxic Chemicals Found in Infant Cord Blood (Environmental Working Group)

Laboratory tests commissioned by EWG have, for the first time, detected bisphenol A (BPA), a plastic component and synthetic estrogen, in umbilical cord blood of American infants. The report's findings constitute hard evidence that each child was exposed to a host of dangerous substances while still in its mother’s womb.

(02 Dec 2009)

New Web Tools Help Public Track Pollution (OMB Watch)

The EPA has launched a new feature on its website that uses several new interactive Web technologies that let users track the emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) from coal-fired power plants. SO2 is a pollutant that causes acid rain and harm to public health.

(20 Nov 2009)

Mercury at Unsafe Levels in Half of U.S. Lakes, Reservoirs (Environmental Protection Agency)

A new EPA study shows concentrations of toxic chemicals in fish from lakes and reservoirs in nearly all 50 U.S. states. This follows a USGS study that found similar widespread contamination.

(19 Nov 2009)

Pennsylvania Lawsuit Says Drilling Polluted Water (Reuters)

"Although communities as far apart as Pennsylvania and Wyoming complain that their water has become unusable, they have been unable to prove a link to gas drilling. Energy companies are not required to disclose the composition of the [drilling] fluid because of an exemption to a federal clean water law granted to the oil and gas industry in 2005."

(09 Nov 2009)

Toxic Chemicals on Tap: How Natural Gas Drilling Threatens Drinking Water (Environment America)

A new report lists actions needed to protect drinking water from natural gas drilling projects, including public disclosure of the toxic chemicals used in drilling; alerting citizens to the quantity and location of chemicals when drilling; and making polluters pay for their contamination and the clean-up of drilling sites.

(09 Nov 2009)

Cancer-Causing Toxin Found In Air Near Gas Facilities (WFAA (Dallas/Fort Worth))

Air monitoring found potentially dangerous levels of benzene leaking from natural gas wells. One researcher said, "What I don't think anybody really knows yet is are the levels of these compounds...high enough and have they been in the air long enough to be a potential cancer risk?"

(30 Oct 2009)