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.
The EPA is collecting ideas from the public on what its enforcement and compliance priorities should be for the next three years (FY 2011-2013). These priorities address the most pressing environmental problems. The public may comment on an online forum on the EPA's blog until Sept. 30.
The USA Today reports on the fallout to date from its expose on the risks of toxic air pollution near schools. EPA and local officials expanded air monitoring around schools, and legal challenges continue.
Comprehensive research by the New York Times reveals major problems with enforcement of water pollution laws, with 500,000 violations in the last five years - most going unpunished. The Times created a national database of water pollution violations.
Greater reporting requirements are needed for nanomaterials, according to a new report and an EPA official. The reporting would collect more environmental, health, and safety data on the growing nanotechnologies industry.
Pennsylvania inspectors use isotopic data to link natural gas contamination of drinking water to flaws in the construction of hydraulic fracturing wells. The state's complex geology and weak regulations complicate its gas drilling boom.
Inorganic mercury was detected in the blood of 30 percent of women studied in 2005-2006, a steep rise from the two percent of women found to have inorganic mercury in their blood in a 1999-2000 study. The findings also suggest increased risks of mercury-related diseases.
Thanks in large part to cooler temperatures and more rain, the number of days smog levels nationwide exceeded standards dropped almost 50% in 2009 compared to last year, according to a survey by Clean Air Watch.
According to the Washington Post, the EPA "informed BP officials...that the company has 24 hours to choose a less-toxic form of chemical dispersants to break up its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico...and must apply the new form of dispersants within 72 hours of submitting the list of alternatives." Of course, there's still a lot of information we don't know about these chemicals...
The EPA launched a new "Rulemaking Gateway" to improve the public's ability to search, understand, and comment on the rules being considered by the agency. This new website complements the government-wide www.regulations.gov, which recently was redesigned.
A report released in November 2008 by the NRDC Health Program documents many examples of Bush Administration budget cuts to key data collection programs that monitor hazardous pollutants in our air, water, food, and even our bodies.