The EPA Relaxes Rule on Mercury Pollution By Greatly Tipping Scales to Favor Polluters

The EPA Relaxes Rule on Mercury Pollution By Greatly Tipping Scales to Favor Polluters

On Thursday, the Trump Administration continued its environmental armageddon by changing the way costs and benefits of rules are calculated in favor of polluters and thus fundamentally weakening current regulatory protections from mercury and other toxic metals emitted by oil and coal-fired power plants.

Why This Matters:  The polluters win again – President Trump continues to deliver for his big donors.

Continue Reading 515 words
New Study Finds Shutting Down Coal Plants Saved 26,000 Lives

New Study Finds Shutting Down Coal Plants Saved 26,000 Lives

A new study published this week in the Journal Nature found that the switch from coal-fired power plants to natural gas plants during the 11 year period from 2005-16 coincided with a huge reduction of 26,000 deaths and a significant increase in agricultural productivity nearby the plants.  These changes in power plants (combined with advances […]

Continue Reading 380 words
Top Stories of 2019: PFAS Pollution Puts Drinking Water for Tens of Millions at Risk

Top Stories of 2019: PFAS Pollution Puts Drinking Water for Tens of Millions at Risk

The feature film “Dark Waters” exposed the scandal that Congress and the President are ignoring.  According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), PFAS contamination is now found at 1,361 locations in 49 states — and in a variety of sources including community water systems, groundwater sources, military bases, airports, and industrial sites. According to EWG’s analysis […]

Continue Reading 762 words
New Study Finds Toxic PFAS in Rainwater Across the U.S.

New Study Finds Toxic PFAS in Rainwater Across the U.S.

We have reported in ODP about widespread PFAS contamination in lakesrivers and groundwater reserves across the country, but this study shows that PFAS is also found in rainwater, according to The Guardian, and the likely sources are direct industrial emissions and evaporation from PFAS-laden fire-fighting foams.

Why This Matters:  PFAS has been shown to cause serious health issues such as cancer, and the immune system and thyroid problems.

Continue Reading 542 words
Disposing of Toxic Coal Ash Is About To Get Easier

Disposing of Toxic Coal Ash Is About To Get Easier

Yesterday, the Trump Administration announced that it will significantly weaken two Obama Administration rules on the disposal of coal ash and on the disposal of contaminated water from coal plant operations — loosening both the timeline for compliance and exempting some plants entirely.  Under the prior rule, coal plants had to clean up their coal ash ponds by April of 2020 but now they can get up to 8 years more time.  There are serious consequences such as toxic pollutants seeping into groundwater just below the unlined coal ash disposal “ponds.”

Why This Matters:  This rollback is unconscionable – it puts at risk the health of millions of Americans — particularly minorities — who live near these coal ash ponds.

Continue Reading 515 words
Trump Administration Makes Empty Promises on PFAS Pollution, Congress and States Taking Action

Trump Administration Makes Empty Promises on PFAS Pollution, Congress and States Taking Action

In 2018, then EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt promised to designate a toxic firefighting chemical called Per/Polyfluorinated Substances, also known as PFAS, as a hazardous substance that could be regulated, but since then has done nothing about the 610 sites in 43 states contaminated by PFAS, including 117 military sites, and the nearly 500 industrial sites that are potentially discharging PFAS into the air and water, according to a recent study by the Environmental Working Group.

Continue Reading 521 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.