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Sixteen State Attorneys General have formed a coalition and petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to issue new rules that would require the reporting of asbestos uses, The Hill reported. The coalition, led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, believes that inadequate reporting and tracking systems on imported and domestic asbestos make it impossible for EPA to comply with its mandate to prevent risks to the health and environment posed by the widespread use of asbestos. Healey said, “Each year, tens of thousands die from exposure to asbestos. We urge Acting Administrator [Andrew] Wheeler to issue a rule that will protect the lives of thousands of workers, families, and children in Massachusetts and across the country.”
Only a few uses of asbestos are banned in the U.S., but a law passed in 2016 gives Congress more authority to ban uses of this deadly substance.
According to The Hill, last summer the EPA proposed an ineffectual rule that only would require companies to let EPA know if they planned to import or manufacture asbestos for a few very out-of-date uses like for roofing felt and floor tile. Many argued at the time that the EPA, by proposing such a narrow list of obsolete uses for reporting, then companies could use asbestos in other ways and no one would know.
Why This Matters: This is yet another example of the Trump Administration’s EPA turning its back on its mission to protect people from harmful chemicals in the environment. Assuming the best — that EPA was not covering for the industry — then the proposed EPA rule appears to have been a half-hearted effort to regulate a toxic substance that is widely known as a harmful carcinogen. It is good that the Attorneys General are working hard to protect their constituents. With more information about asbestos uses, it is likely that lives can be saved.
The Colorado River is drying up, millions are at risk of losing their water supply, and Indigenous communities are fighting to keep their water rights. The Western megadrought is taking its toll on American communities, but how did we get here? In his new film, River’s End: California’s Latest Water War, Jacob Morrison delves […]
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and HP just announced that they’re taking their friendship to the next level. The odd couple is teaming up and expanding their partnership to restore, protect, and improve the management of almost one million acres of forest. HP is pledging $80 million to forest conservation and restoration, and not stopping there […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer This week, the medical journal Lancet published their annual report on health in relation to climate change, subtitling it: “code red for a healthy future.” The report delves beyond the obvious effects of wildfires, hurricanes, and extreme weather events — looking at food security; livelihoods; human physical and mental […]
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