BySamuel Trilling, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Covid-19 could hamper the EPA’s ability to inform communities of health risks, according to a report released this month from the agency’s Office of Inspector General. Specifically, the inspector general’s office worried the EPA might not be able to inform residents who live near facilities with emissions that could cause cancer. In a separate report from late March, the office urged EPA to take “prompt action” to inform communities. As of the March report, the EPA and state agencies had not met with or reached out to residents around 16 of the 25 “high-priority” facilities, which are located primarily around cities in the South and Midwest. The June report detailed other concerns, including personnel shortages and cutbacks to routine inspections.
And so the question must be asked. Is the planet headed down a path where the slashing of regulations on methane and greenhouse gas emissions, the dumbing down of coal plant regulations, the desire to significantly increase offshore drilling and fracking and the willingness to toss aside the Paris Accord result in long-term irreversible impacts on our climate?
ByJohnathan Hettinger, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defended its decision to allow farmers to continue to spray a recently banned herbicide through July 31 in a court filing on Tuesday evening. The agency argued that it has the power to regulate existing stocks of herbicides that have been canceled.
Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s Environmental Protection Agency has been eviscerated in a brutal takedown by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for its lack of oversight in registering the controversial herbicide dicamba.
ByJohnathan Hettinger/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
The Trump administration announced on Monday that farmers will be able to continue to spray dicamba through July 31, an apparent rejection of a federal court ruling issued last week that immediately banned the herbicide’s use over-the-top of soybean and cotton crops.
As U.S. soybean and cotton farmers work to get their 2020 crops planted, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Tuesday in a case that has the potential to disallow the spraying of dicamba this growing season.
The EPA’s failure to meet its own benchmark was unlawful and a decision to approve Monsanto's dicamba-based herbicide should be vacated, a federal lawsuit filed by a coalition of farmers and conservationists alleges. Documents included as part of the lawsuit show that the EPA ignored its own scientists’ recommendations for a larger buffer zone around fields to protect endangered species and that Monsanto had dozens of off-target incidents during its testing of the herbicide.