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Showing 63 results

James Goodwin | September 29, 2022

The EPA Shows It Can Do Better Regulatory Analysis. Will Biden Follow?

Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released what is almost certainly the best regulatory analysis it has performed in over 40 years. (To be clear, though, the bar for these analyses is pretty low.) More importantly, it provides President Biden with new impetus to finally follow through with the long overdue implementation of his administration’s “Modernizing Regulatory Review” memorandum.

Katlyn Schmitt | September 12, 2022

EPA’s Chemical Disaster Rule: Small Steps Forward When Environmental Justice Demands Giant Leaps

At the end of August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a draft rule to better protect people who live near industrial facilities with hazardous chemicals on site. The rule would strengthen EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP), which regulates more than 12,000 facilities in the United States that store, use, and distribute significant amounts of dangerous chemicals.

Hannah Klaus | August 3, 2022

Environmental Justice for All Act Would Address Generations of Environmental Racism

Last week, the Center for Progressive Reform joined 90 organizations in expressing strong support for the Environmental Justice for All Act in a letter as the bill went before the House Committee on Natural Resources for markup. The coalition, led by Coming Clean, a collaborative of environmental health and environmental justice experts, and the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform, urged committee members to advance this important legislation to the House floor. The bill, introduced by Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona and Donald McEachin of Virginia, is the most significant effort by the federal government to address generations of environmental racism.

Grace DuBois | July 5, 2022

It’s Time for an Enforceable Timeline for Addressing Toxic PFAS Chemicals

Throughout the first half of 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced several actions in pursuit of the goals it laid out in its PFAS Strategic Roadmap -- the blueprint it released last October outlining plans for addressing widespread PFAS contamination in the United States. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are a group of more than 9,000 synthetic chemicals that pose serious risks to human health, including increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels, abnormal liver function, decreased birth weights, and certain cancers. Exposure to even extremely low levels of certain PFAS are unsafe for humans.

Alex Kupyna | May 23, 2022

Center Experts Lend Their Voices to Podcast on Environmental Justice and Chemical Disasters

While the Center for Progressive Reform staff advocate for stronger protections from toxic chemical spills, none of our experts assumed that one of our own would gain firsthand experience on the matter.

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.

M. Isabelle Chaudry | April 26, 2022

HBO Max Series Highlights Need for Stronger Regulation of Cosmetics Industry

Earlier this month, HBO Max aired an important series about toxic ingredients in cosmetic products. The series also examined the professional beauty industry and the health effects to workers exposed to toxic ingredients. Toxic ingredients are found in cosmetics and other personal care products. The toxic chemicals used in them have been linked to a wide range of health problems, including ovarian cancer, breast cancer, early-onset puberty, fibroids and endometriosis, miscarriage, poor maternal and infant health outcomes, diabetes and obesity, and more. As I noted in Not So Pretty, "There is a loophole in federal regulation that allows industry to use almost any ingredient and label it as 'fragrance.'"

Minor Sinclair | April 21, 2022

Protecting Future Generations, Just as Earlier Ones Sought to Protect Us

I'm hopeful the recent disco revival won't last but that other resurging movements of the 1960s and '70s will. That era saw the birth and explosive growth of the modern environmental movement alongside other sweeping actions for peace and equality. Public pressure led to critical environmental laws that continue to protect our natural resources and our health and safety. In 1970, Congress created the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and enacted the Clean Air Act, which authorizes the federal government to limit air pollution, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which established the first nationwide program to protect workers from on-the-job harm. Two years later came passage of the Clean Water Act, a landmark amendment to existing anti-pollution law that requires our government to restore and maintain clean and healthy waterways across the land. That was some era -- the last great upsurge of government protections.

Sidney A. Shapiro | February 14, 2022

A Wake-Up Call from Winston-Salem: EPA Must Act Now to Prevent Chemical Disasters

When the Wake Forest University emergency communications systems called me at 12:01 am on Tuesday, February 1, I could not have guessed that it was about a chemical bomb capable of wiping out blocks and blocks of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The call warned university students to heed the city’s voluntary evacuation of the 6,500 people living within in a one-mile radius of the Winston Weaver fertilizer plant that was on fire — and in danger of exploding. Thankfully, the fire did not injure anyone, and the bomb did not ignite.