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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rule that only would require companies to let EPA know if they planned to import or manufacture asbestos for a few very out-of-date uses like for roofing felt and floor tile.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.
by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer Farmworkers in Florida have to work in “dangerously hot” heat for 116 days of the year, Sam Bloch reported in The Counter. These farmworkers, according to the CDC, are 20 times more likely to die from heat than other US civilians. Despite the high levels of fatalities farmworkers face […]
The coronavirus pandemic has compounded food insecurity around the world and in the United States has placed great strain on foodbanks. As a result, faith groups have worked diligently to help feed their neighbors. As CNN reported, Gurpreet Singh and other members of the Sikh community in Riverside, California, started to organize efforts to […]
We asked Lori about Climate Power 2020’s work to stop the spread of climate misinformation on Facebook. ODP: Facebook promised it would fact check misinformation and even created an Oversight Board and fact-checking operation to make sure it was not spreading lies. But disinformation about climate change is still getting posted on Facebook. What happened? […]
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