Original article written by David Halperin for the Huffington Post. Find the original version here.
Late last week, hundreds of organizations and people sent a letter to President Obamawarning that his administration is running of time to act on an issue long-identified by the president as essential to our national security and public safety: protecting our people from the dangers of accidents or deliberate attacks at U.S. chemical plants.
Written by KEF Outreach Coordinator Shelly Biesel as an op-editorial for the Courier-Journal, find the original version here.
Perhaps the most accurate statement regarding the 2015 Government Spending Bill came from Sen. John McCain, who was quoted saying "it's jammed full of sh--." The "cromnibus" bill appropriates $1.01 trillion, and will keep most government offices in operation through September. Though House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers called the bill "a win for Kentucky," it depends on how you look at it. Personally, the bill makes me uneasy. Here's why:
Written by KEF Health Coordinator Deborah Payne as an op-ed for the Lexington Herald-Leader; find the original op-ed here.
It was Christmas time in 2008 when the wall of a coal combustion waste impoundment pond collapsed, inundating Kingston, Tenn., with over 1 billion gallons of toxic sludge.
Last month, almost six years later, the Environmental Protection Agency released a long-awaited rule on the classification and management of coal combustion waste, or coal ash, the byproduct that results when coal is burned to produce electricity.
The development of the rule involved an extended series of public hearings, a comment period and then a long wait — over two years — to hear how new federal policies would impact the way we manage coal ash. Health advocates hoped for better storage practices, a classification as a toxic waste and federal oversight.
And the verdict is in: Industry will remain in charge of its own practices, which means, without much oversight things may roll on with "business as usual."
Article written by Gregory D. Squires and John Gilderbloom for the National Housing Institute's Rooftop Blog. Access the original version here.
How do you win an election in any red Southern state? If you are running as a senator the conventional wisdom is you condemn government as an enemy of working families rather than an institution for safeguarding health, safety and welfare of citizens. Senate candidates in Kentucky have run thousands of commercials attacking, “Obama’s war on coal” claiming it kills jobs and our “way of life.” When will the news media put these claims on a truth meter? Or, as Steven Colbert would say, what is their level of “truthiness?”
Article Written by Erica Peterson for WFPL. Find the original story here.
In the wake of a deadly explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant, President Obama has issued an executive order to improve the safety and security of chemical manufacturing facilities. The measure will likely have implications for Louisville’s Rubbertown.
Obama’s executive order tasks government officials with evaluating the feasibility of sharing information about dangerous chemicals among state, tribal and local emergency response commissions. It establishes a working group, and sets that within 45 days, the group will launch a pilot program to test best practices for sharing crucial information, improving collaboration and streamlining chemical plant inspections. Within nine months, the president wants a “unified federal approach to identify and respond to risks” in chemical plants.
Article by Erica Peterson for WFPL. Find the original story here.
The Environmental Protection Agency plans to assess 23 commonly-used chemicals—including 20 flame retardants—for their potential effects on human health and the environment.
The study will also include an analysis of how several of those flame retardants behave in the environment…like whether they bioaccumulate in humans or can be absorbed into the body with a certain type of exposure.
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