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a blog on independent science + practical solutions

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    It was exciting to be part of the discussion in Paris this past December when countries came together to make a renewed commitment to limit climate warming to two degrees or less, with each country committing to what it felt it can deliver. The United States, for its part, has committed to cutting CO2 by […]

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    Today, Volkswagen came to a partial consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) over the diesel deception undertaken by the company. The deal lays out a path forward for consumers who bought the polluting vehicles, as well as a plan for mitigating the ensuing pollution—but a number of key […]

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    Imagine you live in a community surrounded by oil refineries, a large metal shredding facility, chemical and cement manufacturing facilities, as well as numerous other heavy industries that emit toxic pollution. Now add the stress and health impacts from frequent industrial facility incidents that result in the release of toxic chemicals into your community. For […]

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    As my dear friend Maria Jimenez often has stated, the story of the neighborhoods of Manchester and Galena Park in Houston are examples of environmental racism. And having read the recent report “Double Jeopardy in Houston” makes it perfectly clear that she is without a doubt correct in her remarks.

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    President-elect Trump’s nominee to serve as the head of the EPA, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, is well known for his attacks on the Obama administration’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the Clean Power Plan. But the EPA has a much broader responsibility to protect the health and safety of Americans. EPA was […]

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    Today, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) violated the Clean Air Act with sales of Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles powered by diesel engines.  This falls on the heels of the Volkswagen (VW) diesel scandal.  The engine at question is FCA’s 3.0-liter “EcoDiesel”—which could turn out to be anything but. What […]

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    When we think of locally undesirable land uses, we often think of large power plants, puffing single plumes of pollution. But many plumes of pollution from trucks traveling to and from warehouses can have equally large impacts on health. 40% of US imports enter through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Trucks travel […]

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    Remember dieselgate? The Volkswagen scandal that led to huge emissions of harmful air pollution from their cars, criminal charges, and a $30 billion mea culpa? Well, dieselgate may be small compared to the new emissions scandal that is playing out across the country. This time, however, the emissions cheating would be explicitly allowed by Congress. […]

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    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 […]

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    The EPA proposed to repeal part of the recent regulations on heavy-duty vehicles. The proposal would affect “glider vehicles” (trucks built from a refurbished engine and a brand-new chassis) and would reopen a loophole so big you could, well, drive a truck through it…leaving a ridiculously large cloud of pollution in its wake.

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    Today, I am speaking at a public hearing at EPA to push back on the agency reopening a “zombie truck” loophole. I wrote about the political motivations behind the attack on public health previously, but we now have even more information about exactly how dirty these trucks are from an interesting source: the EPA itself. […]

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    Today, we are releasing a report documenting the long, sordid past of the auto industry, who has fought regulation tooth and nail at every turn. From pollution control to seatbelts and air bags to fuel economy, the industry has spent the vast majority of the past 7 decades doing whatever it can to wriggle out […]

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    Public health officials are tasked with one of the most critical jobs in our modern risk society: to research, understand, educate, and help prevent the multiple and complex ways in which people are exposed to and suffer from disease. But when public health officials deflect attention away from significant sources of toxic pollutants that put people at risk (and instead blame the overexposed population’s race, lifestyle, or genetics), they do a disservice to the people they are supposed to protect.

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    Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency reversed long-standing guidance that helps limit hazardous pollution such as mercury and lead from major sources like power plants, large industrial facilities and vehicles. The end result? Potentially, the biggest increase in hazardous air pollution this country has seen in decades, and environmental justice communities are likely to bear […]

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    Glider vehicles have gone from being a niche issue to a major conversation piece both here in DC and now also in Tennessee.  The villains are still Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, Fitzgerald Glider Kits, and Congresswoman Diane Black.  The new heroes are the Tennessee Tech University (TTU) faculty and students.

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    Last month, the Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers submitted a report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration/Department of Transportation calling into question impacts of climate change and tailpipe pollutants in an effort to undercut the need for fuel economy regulation.  The Alliance is the trade group for Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, and Toyota, among others.  […]

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    The president’s order is bad news for anyone that breathes air in this country.

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    Yesterday, the EPA unveiled a long-awaited policy changing how the EPA can use science in its decision making. Ostensibly about “transparency”, the policy will actually restrict the agency’s ability to use the best available science—and thereby weaken protections for public health and the environment.

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