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Showing 5 results

Jake Moore | May 19, 2022

Worker Safety Means Environmental Regulation

In 2001, an explosion at the Motiva Enterprises Delaware City Refinery caused a 1 million gallon sulfuric acid spill, killing one worker and severely injuring eight others. In 2008, an aboveground storage tank containing 2 million gallons of liquid fertilizer collapsed at the Allied Terminals facility in Chesapeake, Virginia, critically injuring two workers exposed to hazardous vapors. In 2021, the release of over 100,000 gallons of chemicals at a Texas plant killed two contractors and hospitalized 30 others. In addition to injury and death, workplace chemical spills and exposures contribute to an estimated 50,000 work-related diseases such as asthma and chronic lung disease each year, as well as nearly 200,000 hospitalizations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created to reduce risks and hazards to workers, and to prevent incidents like these. However, following through on this promise has been another matter.

Jake Moore | April 22, 2022

The Clean Water Act’s Midlife Crisis

In October 2022, the Clean Water Act will turn 50. Though heralded as a crowning environmental achievement, some argue it's a costly and ineffective law. Half a century later, what has it achieved, and what can policymakers improve?

Jake Moore | April 5, 2022

Virginia’s Youngkin Didn’t Major in Environmental Economics

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) recently made a statement bashing the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the East Coast's regional cap-and-trade program intended to reduce climate pollution and energy costs for low-income households. In attacking the program, Youngkin repeated questionable claims about its costs, impacts, and benefits and made clear his desire to move the Commonwealth backwards on climate policy and the clean energy transition.

Jake Moore | February 17, 2022

EPA’s Environmental Justice Plan Needs Improvement and Community Review

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Land and Emergency Management recently released its draft Environmental Justice Action (EJ) Plan. The office's EJ Action Plan lays out four goals to guide and motivate its push toward equity and climate justice. These include: strengthening compliance with cornerstone environmental statutes and civil rights laws, integrating environmental justice considerations into OLEM's regulatory process, improving communications and collaborations with communities in carrying out OLEM policies, and carrying out Biden's Justice 40 initiative to deliver 40 percent of clean energy and climate benefits to disadvantaged communities. While well-intentioned, these aspirational goals require filling out.

Jake Moore | February 1, 2022

Youngkin Threatens Virginia’s Climate Resilience and Environmental Justice Gains

Virginia's recent environmental and climate laws have been heralded as among the nation's most progressive. In recent years, Virginia passed landmark laws supporting renewable energy and environmental justice and joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, priming it to address the challenges posed by growing flood risks, climate-related disasters, and industry-related public health crises. However, Gov. Glenn Youngkin's election has shrouded Virginia's green future in gray.