science-based decision making


Ozone in Houston: Combatting Misinformation and Protecting Public Health

, lead analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

As I’ve been following, the Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of updating the national ambient air quality standard for ozone pollution. The standard is likely to be strengthened below the current standard of 75 ppb, due to the compelling scientific evidence linking ozone to adverse health impacts at this concentration. The EPA has proposed a standard between 65 and 70 ppb, narrowing the range advised by its independent science committee of 60-70 ppb, and the agency will issue a final rule by October. Read more >

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Fracking in Colorado: Did the Oil and Gas Taskforce Finish Its Tasks?

, lead analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

When Colorado officials announced that they would set up a blue-ribbon taskforce charged with making informed recommendations on oil and gas development in the state, there were high hopes. In fact, I commended the state for establishing a strong procedure and promising mechanism for informed decision-making for fracking in Colorado. What an opportunity, I thought, for a science-informed decision in an otherwise science-lacking debate. Now that the commission has issued recommendations, it’s worth revisiting what happened. Did the taskforce succeed? Let’s walk through its moves. Read more >

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Five Reasons the Ozone Standard Should Be Strengthened

, lead analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

I’ve talked here, here, and here about the EPA National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) update to the ozone standard.  Today is the last day of the EPA’s public comment period (to which I have submitted a comment). So I thought it would be a good time to do a quick review of the top five reasons the ozone standard should be strengthened in order to provide an adequate margin of safety for the most vulnerable populations—including the elderly, children, and those with lung diseases. Read more >

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Baltimore against the Measles: A Victory for Science, but for How Long?

, democracy analyst, Center for Science & Democracy

When I was an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University, I had only a dim awareness of the measles outbreak then raging through Baltimore. I was fully vaccinated, spent most of my time on campus, and lived in university housing among mostly white, middle and upper-middle class students, who were also fully vaccinated. Measles, for me, was a remote thing, despite its proximity. It didn’t happen to anyone I knew. Read more >

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A Science-Based Ozone Standard At Last? The Obama Administration Releases Long-Awaited Draft Rules

, lead analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

The regulation of ozone pollution has had a complicated history in recent years, but today marks a potential turning point toward an ozone standard that protects public health. Read more >

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