The EPA Can’t Stop Polluters When the Trump Administration Cuts Enforcement Staff

, director, Center for Science & Democracy

The primary task of the US Environmental Protection Agency is to protect public health and the environment. To do so, the agency must ensure that everyone, whether in the private sector or in government, complies with our nation’s laws and regulations. These safeguards are in place to protect health and safety for everyone anywhere in the country. Their enforcement safeguards are also a matter of fairness—all entities that might adversely impact our health and environment are supposed to follow the rules. So, it is particularly disturbing that the EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) has taken a major hit in staffing over the past 19 months in the Trump Administration. Read more >

Photo: EPA
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Photo: Steve Tatum/Flickr

A Power Plan No More: Trump Team Slaps Down Progress, Clears Way for Dirty Air

, Energy analyst

Today, with the legal system pinning its back on the ropes, the Trump Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new proposed rule for power plant carbon pollution standards.

Or perhaps more accurately, EPA proposed a new version of an old rule, as the content retreads that which the agency already finalized three years ago, previewed four years ago, was directed to pursue five years ago, and solidified the obligation to create nearly ten years ago.

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Photo: Steve Tatum/Flickr
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An X-ray showing the affected lungs from acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which can be triggered by air pollution. Photo: Wikimeda

Science Alert to EPA Chief Pruitt: Pollution Kills People

, executive director

The science is clear—pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world today. This is not the time to roll back efforts to control pollution. Read more >

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Refineries, such as the Delaware City Refinery shown here, can emit toxic chemicals that can increase risks for cancer and respiratory disease.

New UCS Report Finds High Health Risks in Delaware Communities from Toxic Pollution

Ron White, , UCS

For decades residents of communities in Wilmington, Delaware’s industrial corridor have dealt with high levels of pollution. People in these communities, which have higher percentages of people of color and/or higher poverty levels than the Delaware average, are also grappling with health challenges that are linked to, or worsened by, exposure to pollution, such as strokes, heart diseases, sudden infant death syndrome, and chronic childhood illnesses such as asthma, learning disabilities, and neurological diseases. These are some of Delaware’s environmental justice communities. Read more >

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Indonesia on Track to Have the Worst Fire Season Since 1997

Miriam Marlier, Columbia University and University of California, Los Angeles; Guido van der Werf, VU University Amsterdam; David Gaveau, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR); Robert Field, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; Allan Spessa, The Open University
, , UCS

Much of western Indonesia is currently undergoing massive fires, producing enormous amounts of smoke-haze, and disrupting large parts of society in the region. This is unlikely to be ‘normal’ seasonal burning; it could rank among the worst fire seasons on record in Indonesia, with frequent and larger fires this year than in previous years. The burning will likely last for at least another month.

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