Charise Johnson

Researcher, Center for Science & Democracy

Author image
Charise Johnson is a research associate in the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. She works primarily in partnership with justice-based groups, providing analysis that connects data-driven research with public health and community impacts. See Charise's full bio.

Subscribe to Charise's posts

Charise's Latest Posts

Oil and Gaslighting: The American Petroleum Institute Misses the Mark on Environmental Justice

Last month, the American Petroleum Institute (API) made a feeble attempt at refuting the findings of the latest report from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Clean Air Task Force, “Fumes Across the Fence-Line: The Health Impacts of Air Pollution from Oil & Gas Facilities on African American Communities.” The report highlights the disproportionate risk of health problems facing Black communities in proximity to oil and gas facilities. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

4 Ways to Discuss Congressional Budget Riders at the Dinner Table this Thanksgiving

Holiday gatherings with the family can be awkward, especially if you aren’t prepared for the inevitable table talk. Feeling like you don’t have enough fodder to sustain a conversation at the Thanksgiving dinner table this month?

Fret not! Every year around this time, my colleagues write about the budget process as the clock ticks for Congress to pass a clean budget – that is, a budget free from “poison pill” policy provisions and seemingly innocuous regulatory process riders that would hamper agencies from utilizing the best available science in rulemaking. These anti-science riders are extraneous special interest policies tacked onto a must-pass spending bill, a sort of parasitic mutualism, if you will. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Would Chemical Safety Measures Under Dourson Protect Military Families? Probably Not.

Update (December 14, 2017): Michael Dourson has withdrawn his nomination to head the EPA’s division of chemical safety. Read the statement from UCS President Ken Kimmell, Dourson’s Withdrawal a Victory for Science, Health.


Dr. Michael Dourson, a toxicologist with a history of providing consultation to the chemical industry, could become the head of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Dourson has consistently defended the use of several chemicals found to pose major adverse health effects, manipulating his research in favor of industry interests. This could spell trouble for public health and safety, particularly in low-income communities and communities where residents are predominately people of color—which often includes military bases. Read more >

Charise Johnson
Bookmark and Share

Post-Harvey, the Arkema Disaster Reveals Chemical Safety Risks Were Preventable

Halloween is right around the corner, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been a perpetual nightmare to public safety since Administrator Scott Pruitt arrived, sending long-awaited chemical safety amendments to an early grave this year. The Risk Management Plan (RMP) is a vital EPA chemical safety rule that “requires certain facilities to develop plans that identify potential effects of a chemical accident, and take certain actions to prevent harm to the public or the environment”—but delays to the effective date of the long-awaited updates are putting communities, workers, and first responders directly in the way of harm, as we have witnessed from recent events following Hurricane Harvey. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

The sage grouse's survival is entirely dependent on sagebrush. Photo: Jennifer Strickland, USFWS

Much to Grouse About: Interior Department Calls for Changes That Could Threaten Sage Grouse Protection

That the current administration places very little value on the merit of robust scientific evidence when considering its actions (or inactions) is no longer shocking, but it remains an intolerable practice. In this week’s episode of “How is the Trump Administration Dismantling Science-Based Protections?”, we visit the Interior Department’s decision to formally reconsider a widely heralded Obama-era agreement for protections of the greater sage grouse in the West.

Read more >

Jennifer Strickland, USFWS
Wikimedia Commons
Bookmark and Share