Five Texas refineries polluted above federal limit on cancer-causing benzene last year, report found – Houston Public Media
Benzene is a known human carcinogen, according to the EPA. The Texas refineries were among a dozen industrial plants in the U.S. that emitted the highest levels of the chemical in 2021.houstonpublicmedia.org
Commissioner Rodney Ellis, clean air advocates call on President Biden, EPA to enact strict safeguards on power plants in Texas
Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis and clean air advocates called on President Joe Biden and the Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday morning to enact safeguards to reduce pollution from the W.A. Parish Generating Station and other power plants in Texas.
Cleanup of the toxic San Jacinto waste pits faces another potential delay, frustrating residents – Houston Public Media
The waste pits were built in the 1960s to store hazardous waste from a nearby paper mill and contain dioxins, a group of chemicals known to cause cancer. Community advocates have been fighting for their cleanup for years.houstonpublicmedia.org
Landfill cleanup slowed after more nuclear waste found
Nuclear waste buried in a Missouri landfill that sits near an underground smolder is more extensive than first believed, and is part of the reason the $205 million Superfund project that began nearly four years ago has been delayed, an Environmental Protection Agency spokesman said Friday. The EPA announced a plan in September 2018 to remove some of the radioactive material at West Lake Landfill in the St. Louis suburb of Bridgeton, and cap the rest. The EPA originally estimated the project would take about four years but now offers no timetable.news.yahoo.com
Justice Department, EPA Propose Settlement to Resolve Federal Hazardous Waste and Oil Spill Prevention Violations on the North Slope of Alaska
Today, the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposed settlement with the North Slope Borough of Alaska to resolve federal hazardous waste and oil spill violations. The settlement requires the Borough to take comprehensive actions and make infrastructure investments to comply with solid and hazardous waste management rules and oil spill prevention rules. The violations contributed to at least two oil spills into wetlands near the Kasegaluk Lagoon, Kaktovik Lagoon and Pipsuk Bight. The Borough began making improvements to its hazardous waste management and oil storage programs during negotiations for the proposed settlement. EPA has taken two previous administrative enforcement actions against the Borough in 1998 and 2015 for RCRA hazardous waste management, storage and treatment violations.justice.gov
House Dems seek probe of USPS plan for new mail truck fleet
Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are seeking an investigation into a U.S. Postal Service plan to replace its aging mail trucks with mostly gasoline-powered vehicles. The plan largely ignores White House calls to replenish the mail-service fleet with electric vehicles and has drawn sharp criticism from the Biden administration, Democratic lawmakers and environmentalists, who say it falls far short of President Joe Biden’s goals to address climate change. In a letter Monday, Democrats on the oversight panel asked the agency's inspector general to investigate whether the Postal Service complied with the National Environmental Policy Act and other laws when awarding a 10-year contract to Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense to supply up to 165,000 new mail trucks.news.yahoo.com
Biden restores California's power to set car emissions rules
The Biden administration is restoring California’s authority to set its own tailpipe pollution standards for cars, reversing a Trump administration policy and likely ushering in stricter emissions standards for new passenger vehicles nationwide.
US officials reverse course on pesticide's harm to wildlife
U.S. wildlife officials reversed their previous finding that a widely used and highly toxic pesticide could jeopardize dozens of plants and animals with extinction, after receiving pledges from chemical manufacturers that they will change product labels for malathion so that it’s used more carefully by gardeners, farmers and other consumers. Federal rules for malathion are under review in response to longstanding concerns that the pesticide used on mosquitoes, grasshoppers and other insects also kills many rare plants and animals. A draft finding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last April said malathion could threaten 78 imperiled species with extinction and cause lesser harm to many more.news.yahoo.com
EPA rule would make heavy trucks cut smog, soot pollution
The Biden administration is proposing stronger pollution regulations for new tractor-trailer rigs that would clean up smoky diesel engines and encourage new technologies during the next two decades. The proposal released Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency would require the industry to cut smog-and-soot-forming nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 90% per truck over current standards by 2031. New rules would start in 2027 to limit the emissions from nearly 27 million heavy trucks and buses nationwide.news.yahoo.com
High court to weigh limits to EPA efforts on climate change
The Supreme Court is hearing a case its conservative majority could use to hobble Biden administration efforts to combat climate change. The administration already is dealing with congressional refusal to enact the climate change proposals in President Joe Biden's Build Better Back plan. Now the justices, in arguments Monday, are taking up an appeal from 19 mostly Republican-led states and coal companies over the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.news.yahoo.com
In EPA case before the Supreme Court, the agency’s power to combat climate change hangs in the balance
The Supreme Court next week will consider a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s power that could hobble President Biden’s ability to curtail U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, and restrict the ability of future presidential administrations to aggressively combat climate change.washingtonpost.com
USPS gets final signoff to order new delivery vehicles
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said the completion of an evaluation required by the National Environmental Policy Act is an important milestone for postal carriers who have soldiered on with overworked delivery trucks that went into service between 1987 to 1994. The U.S. Postal Service’s fleet comprises more than 230,000 vehicles, including 190,000 local delivery vehicles that are due to be replaced. “The men and women of the U.S. Postal Service have waited long enough for safer, cleaner vehicles,” DeJoy said in a statement.news.yahoo.com
EPA announced sweeping measures to improve the environmental health of communities in the south
The Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday announced sweeping measures meant to improve the environmental health of communities throughout the south, including parts of Fifth Ward and Kashmere Gardens, overwhelmed by a long-known cancer cluster.
Ex-EPA workers ask Virginia senators not to confirm Wheeler
More than 150 former Environmental Protection Agency employees are writing to the Virginia Senate, asking the Democrat-controlled chamber to oppose the nomination of former EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler to GOP Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin’s Cabinet.
EPA moves to crack down on dangerous coal ash storage ponds
The Environmental Protection Agency is taking its first major action to address toxic wastewater from coal-burning power plants, ordering utilities to stop dumping waste into unlined storage ponds and speed up plans to close leaking or otherwise dangerous coal ash sites.
Biden boosts fuel-economy standards to fight climate change
In a major step to fight climate change, the Biden administration is raising vehicle mileage standards to significantly reduce emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases. A final rule being issued Monday would raise mileage standards starting in the 2023 model year, reaching a projected industry-wide target of 40 miles per gallon by 2026 — 25% higher than a rule finalized by the Trump administration last year and 5% higher than a proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency in August. “We are setting robust and rigorous standards that will aggressively reduce the pollution that is harming people and our planet – and save families money at the same time,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.news.yahoo.com
EPA lowers ethanol requirements, citing reduced demand
At the same time, the administration moved to reject requests by small oil refineries to be exempted from ethanol requirements, saying they had failed to show exemptions were justified under the Clean Air Act. Taken together, the actions reflect the administration’s “commitment to reset and strengthen” the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS, “following years of mismanagement” by the Trump administration and disruptions to the gasoline market stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said. The actions announced Tuesday will enable officials “to get the RFS program back in growth mode by setting ambitious levels for 2022 and by reinforcing the foundation of the program so that it’s rooted in science and the law,” said Michael Regan, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, which sets ethanol requirements under the RFS.news.yahoo.com
Project Monitor and Abatement Company Owner Sentenced to Jail and Fined $399,000 for Conspiring to Violate Asbestos Regulations
Kristofer Landell and Stephanie Laskin were sentenced today before U.S. District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy sitting in Binghamton, New York, for conspiring to violate Clean Air Act regulations that control the safe removal, handling and disposal of asbestos. Co-defendants Roger Osterhoudt, Gunay Yakup and Madeline Alonge were all sentenced to three years’ probation in early November. According to court-filed documents, Landell, Laskin, Yakup, and Alonge engaged in a year-long conspiracy to violate federal and New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) regulations intended to prevent human exposure to asbestos. Conditions at the TechCity Property deteriorated until NYSDOL shut down operations in August 2016 and directed the defendants and their companies to cease all work. Notwithstanding this NYSDOL order, the defendants continued operations for a short time, prompting a criminal investigation.justice.gov
United States Proposes Modification to EPA Consent Decree to Reduce Sewer System Overflows for the Hampton Roads Sanitation District
The United States lodged with the U.S. District Court of Eastern Virginia today a proposed modification of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2010 consent decree with the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) to require implementation of a comprehensive set of improvements to the sewer system to resolve longstanding problems with sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs). SSOs are releases of untreated or partially-treated sewage from a municipal sanitary sewer. The HRSD sewer system serves 18 municipalities with 1.7 million residents. The projects are scattered throughout the Hampton Roads region in Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and York County. These projects focus on increasing the capacity of the regional sanitary sewer system.justice.gov
The Great Lakes are warmer than they’ve ever been in early November: Why that’s a problem in several ways
Some parts of the Northern Great Lakes region were greeted by their first significant snowfall of the season earlier this week, but not even the arrival of the fluffy white stuff could mask these historic times for the Great Lakes themselves.
As world leaders seek to rein in methane, Texas' oil and gas industry pressured to cut emissions
Cutting methane emissions is one of the most effective short-term tools humanity has to reduce immediate damage from climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule could require oil and gas companies to monitor and reduce emissions of methane in the field.
Fifth Ward residents demand answers from Union Pacific Railroad about cancer cluster found in neighborhood
The Environmental Protection Agency has given United Pacific Railroad until the end of the month to respond to a request for an action plan regarding the cleanup of a contaminated site in Houston’s Fifth Ward, which is believed to be the source of a cancer cluster.