Media Advisory: CPR and the University of Maryland Carey School of Law to Co-Host a Luncheon with Maryland Attorney General-Elect Brian Frosh on Environmental Enforcement

by Erin Kesler | December 10, 2014

Contact: Erin Kesler                                    
Telephone: (202) 747-0698 X4

What: CPR and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law will host a luncheon and Q&A session with MD Attorney General-elect Brian Frosh on the state of environmental enforcement in the Chesapeake Bay. Mr. Frosh will speak to a group of Bay advocates, University of Maryland faculty, attorneys at firms that represent Maryland businesses, and interested citizens and students, and take questions from the audience, including media.

BackgroundYesterday, the Center for Progressive Reform and Chesapeake Commons released an interactive map detailing the extent of pollution caused by Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) along Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  The map, released concurrently with a report from the Environmental Integrity Project drawn from its data, relies on farmer-reported information to find that all but one of the sixty CAFOS examined has excessive phosphorus levels caused by over-application of manure. The pollution that results from the farms strains Maryland’s efforts to enforce its pollution-control limits as mandated by federal and ...

CPR's Steinzor Reacts to Maryland Governor-Elect Larry Hogan's Vow to Fight the PMT

by Erin Kesler | December 08, 2014
At the Maryland Farm Bureau's Annual Convention today, Maryland Governor-Elect Larry Hogan vowed to fight against the state's proposed phosphorus management tool (PMT) regulations. CPR President and University of Maryland law professor Rena Steinzor reacted to Hogan's comments, "It’s truly a shame that Governor-elect Hogan is indicating so early that he is willing to jeopardize the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay by rejecting pollution controls out of hand rather than working with scientists to improve them.  As the Governor-elect will soon discover, ...

New Map Plots Farmer-Reported Data to Show “Excessive” Soil Phosphorus Levels at All But One of 60 Large Poultry Farms in Six Eastern Shore Counties Due to Manure Usage

by Anne Havemann | December 08, 2014
Without Better Phosphorus Management on Farms, Maryland Will Not Meet its Responsibility Under the Chesapeake Bay Pollution Diet A new interactive map from the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) and the Chesapeake Commons demonstrates that all but one industrial-scale chicken farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore reported having at least one field saturated with “excessive” soil phosphorus from the spreading of manure. The data on the 60 concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in six counties was obtained from public planning documents from the ...

Victor Flatt in the Houston Chronicle: Pollution trading could allow more efficient water cleanup

by Erin Kesler | December 08, 2014
Recent stories about "dead zones" in the Gulf of Mexico and the Chesapeake Bay are a reminder that despite progress on some water pollution fronts, we still have a serious problem to address. One politically popular approach to addressing the problem is a market-based solution, in which hard-to-regulate "non-point" pollution sources (farming, run-off, other sources without a "pollution pipe") and point sources engage in pollution-credit trades. So, for example, an industrial polluter might pay farmers to control run-off of fertilizer, ...

Obama’s Path to Progress: Protecting our Nation’s Lakes and Streams from Pollutant-Laden Stormwater Runoff

by Anne Havemann | December 05, 2014
This week and next, CPR is using this space to highlight several key regulatory safeguards meant to ensure that the nation’s rivers, lakes, and streams are protected from damaging pollution—rules that are currently under development by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and included in our recent Issue Alert, Barack Obama’s Path to Progress in 2015-16: Thirteen Essential Regulatory Actions. Today’s post will highlight the pressing need to rein in stormwater pollution, while also examining some of the challenges the EPA must overcome ...

Baltimore Sun Op-ed by Rena Steinzor and Sally Dworak-Fisher: Maryland's Whistleblower Laws Need Teeth

by Erin Kesler | December 05, 2014
Today, the Baltimore Sun published an op-ed by CPR President Rena Steinzor and Public Justice Center attorney Sally Dworak-Fisher entitled, "Maryland's whistleblower laws need teeth." According to the piece: Whistleblowers can help identify and put a stop to all sorts of illegal activity, if they're properly protected. Dozens of state and federal laws include provisions intended to shield whistleblowers from retaliatory actions by employers who have been outed. But this piecemeal approach, with different laws enforced by different agencies, is too complicated and ...

CPR Executive Director Matt Shudtz on the President's Comments on Regulation

by Erin Kesler | December 03, 2014
Today the President addressed the Business Roundtable on the subject of regulation. When speaking about revising current regulations, he spoke about the need to keep child labor laws. According to CPR Executive Director Matt Shudtz: The President was right to start his remarks with the clear examples of how strong (or to the business lobby, “costly”) regulations save lives and improve the environment. There are hundreds more where they came from, including our labor laws. That’s what makes his later statement ...

Obama’s Path to Progress: Protecting America’s Wetlands and Other Fragile Water Resources

by James Goodwin | December 03, 2014
Over the next two weeks, CPR will publish a series of blog posts highlighting several key regulatory safeguards for protecting the integrity and health of U.S. water bodies against damaging pollution—rules that are currently under development by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and included in our recent Issue Alert, Barack Obama’s Path to Progress in 2015-16: Thirteen Essential Regulatory Actions.  Today’s post will examine the clean water safeguard that has attracted perhaps the most vociferous opposition from industrial and agricultural ...

Support CPR this Giving Tuesday

by Matt Shudtz | December 02, 2014
This Giving Tuesday, I hope you'll consider donating to the Center for Progressive Reform. We've had a banner year and are looking forward to many great things in 2015. Above all, CPR's staff and Member Scholars promote a positive and progressive vision for environmental policy and workers' rights. We need your support to continue that work. Two days after the midterm elections, we released "Barack Obama's Path to Progress," an Issue Alert laying out an affirmative and politically realistic vision for ...

CPR's Victor Flatt Submits Comments on EPA's Rule to Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions

by Erin Kesler | December 01, 2014
Today is the deadline for comments from the public on EPA's proposed rule to limit carbon emission from existing power plants. CPR Member Scholar and University of North Carolina School of Law professor Victor Flatt submitted a comment on the rule. According to his comments: What I would like to focus on is suggesting that the agency definitively interpret Section 111(d) to allow states to utilize a greenhouse gas market reduction strategy that allows greenhouse gas reductions to come from any source. ...

The Death of Deference?

by Daniel Farber | November 26, 2014
Yesterday, the Supreme Court granted cert. in several cases to hear the following question: “Whether the Environmental Protection Agency unreasonably refused to consider costs in determining whether it is appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities.” The fundamental issue is whether it was unreasonable for EPA to interpret section 112 to preclude consideration of cost at this particular stage of the regulatory process — not only different from what the Court thinks is the best interpretation, but a position ...

EPA's Long-Delayed Ozone Proposal

by Rena Steinzor | November 26, 2014
How much is it worth to save the life of a grandfather with lung disease or to keep an asthmatic child out of the hospital?  The ozone rule, which EPA proposes today after years of politically motivated delay and while staring down the barrel of a court order, responds to the urgent calls of a gold-standard panel of scientists, who have been pleading with the agency to lower the existing standard of 75 parts per billion to the lower end of ...

Obama’s Path to Progress: Protecting Families and Children Against Dangerous Food Imports

by James Goodwin | November 26, 2014
As I noted in an earlier post, families and friends all across the United States will gather to observe the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow.   Compared to many other countries, we are lucky that during such occasions we are able to focus on the celebrations enjoyed in the company of our loved ones—and not have to worry so much about whether the meal might cause a foodborne illness.  This is because, while far from perfect, the United States has one of the ...

Rena Steinzor: Supreme Court Agrees to Review Challenge to EPA's Mercury Pollution Rule

by Erin Kesler | November 25, 2014
Today, the Supreme Court agreed to review a challenge to an EPA rule to reduce mercury pollution.  The Utility Air Regulatory Group and the National Mining Association, and twenty-one states, appealed an April 2-1 federal appeals court ruling that upheld EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. According to Center for Progressive Reform President and University of Maryland School of Law professor Rena Steinzor: The Supreme Court’s decision to grant review is lamentable. It’s no surprise that the coal-fired power plants want to overturn ...

Center for Progressive Reform Announces New Executive Director Matthew Shudtz

by Erin Kesler | November 25, 2014
The Board of Directors of the Center for Progressive Reform today announced the selection of Matthew Shudtz as Executive Director of the 12-year-old organization. Shudtz, who succeeds Jake Caldwell, has been Acting Executive Director of CPR since July of this year. Shudtz joined CPR’s staff in 2006 as a Policy Analyst, and was subsequently promoted to Senior Policy Analyst. His work has focused on OSHA and related workplace health and safety regulations and toxic chemical control and reform. He has ...

CPR is Hiring a Chesapeake Bay Policy Analyst

by Rena Steinzor | November 25, 2014
CPR is on the hunt for an energetic, organized, and dedicated advocate to join our staff as a Policy Analyst. The focus of this position is restoring the Chesapeake Bay through strong implementation of the Bay TMDL. We are especially interested in candidates who have a background in the legal and policy issues related to both clean water and climate change adaptation. Expertise in GIS and other mapping software is a plus. For a full job description, please see our ...

Obama’s Path to Progress: Safeguarding Families Against Tainted Processed Foods and Produce

by James Goodwin | November 24, 2014
Later this week, most of us in the United States will gather together for the simple but meaningful act of sharing a meal as a way to celebrate and reflect upon the relationships and blessings that enrich our lives.  The menus will differ from table to table, and family to family, of course.  But very few of us will give much thought to whether the food is safe to eat whether it’s been tainted with bacteria or other pathogens. All ...

New Legislation: How the House of Representatives Would Use Scientific Uncertainty to Stop Environmental Legislation

by Sidney Shapiro | November 20, 2014
The House of Representatives has passed legislation (H.R. 1422) that prohibits academic scientists on EPA’s Scientific Advisory committee from participating in “activities that directly or indirectly involve review of evaluation of their own work,” but allows scientists who work for industry to serve on the Board as long as they reveal their respective conflicts of interest. To understand the House’s real motives, it is necessary to appreciate how industry seeks to use scientific uncertainty as an excuse not to act ...

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