Tag Archives | EPA

VW Emissions Cheat Increases Overall NOx Emissions Quite Negligibly


VW made a brazen move after it realized in 2008 that its small diesel engine could not realistically meet pollution standards in the United States as well as consumer expectation for performance and fuel economy. Someone in the company came up with the idea to design the computer software to only turn on the pollution controls (that greatly reduce engine power) when the front wheels are moving but the back wheels are stationary, cheating a typical emissions test that takes place on a dyno. Other car companies were baffled as to how VW was accomplishing these emission standards. Mazda and Honda for example had not exported their diesel engines to the United States because they were incapable of profitably meeting the emissions standards. Many consumer diesel engine,s for example BMW, meet the standards by actually using a reservoir of urea to reduce engine emissions of NOx gasses at substantial expense to the cost of the car.… Read the rest

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EPA Study of Fracking Finds ‘No Widespread, Systemic’ Pollution

So whose side is the EPA on, ours or the frackers? Bloomberg Business report on the EPA’s study showing that fracking hasn’t polluted our water supply in a “widespread, systemic” way:

Hydraulic fracturing has contaminated some drinking water sources but the damage is not widespread, according to a landmark U.S. study of water pollution risks that has supporters of the drilling method declaring victory and foes saying it revealed reason for concern.

Fracking the Bakken Formation in North Dakota. Photo: Joshua Doubek (CC)

Fracking the Bakken Formation in North Dakota. Photo: Joshua Doubek (CC)


The draft analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency, released Thursday after three years of study, looked at possible ways fracking could contaminate drinking water, from spills of fracking fluids to wastewater disposal.

“We conclude there are above and below ground mechanisms by which hydraulic fracturing activities have the potential to impact drinking water resources,” the EPA said in the report. But, “we did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources.”

The study was commissioned by Congress and represents the most comprehensive assessment yet of the safety of fracking, a technique that has led to a boom in domestic oil and gas production but also spawned persistent complaints about pollution.

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Suit Demands EPA Show Documents Related to Big Oil Influence over Fuel Standards

"The renewable fuel standards are one of EPA's most important tools for promoting clean air," Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) says. (Photo: Mike Mozart/flickr/cc)

“The renewable fuel standards are one of EPA’s most important tools for promoting clean air,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) says. (Photo: Mike Mozart/flickr/cc)

Deirdre Fulton writes at Common Dreams:

A leading Washington, D.C. ethics organization filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday for failing to provide documents regarding oil industry efforts to influence the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Each year, the EPA sets the RFS for how much renewable fuel must be blended into transportation fuel supplies. “The renewable fuel standards are one of EPA’s most important tools for promoting clean air,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) states in its lawsuit (pdf).

CREW claims the EPA has yet to hand over all relevant communications—requested in May 2014 under the Freedom of Information Act—related to the EPA’s most recent RFS proposal, put forth in November 2013. At that point, for the first time since the standards were established, the EPA proposed reducing the amount of renewable fuel required to be blended into transportation fuel.

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EPA to Host Four Public Hearings on Climate Change Reduction

mokestack of Greater Detroit Resource Recovery Facility waste-to-energy plant.

Smokestack of Greater Detroit Resource Recovery Facility waste-to-energy plant.

And yet another battle in the climate change arena.

via EcoWatch:

This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host four public hearings on its plan to reduce climate change pollution from power plants. The speakers list is already filling up. Physicians will outline the health hazards linked to climate change. Farmers will talk about the challenges of raising crops in the face of extreme weather. And governors and mayors will describe the benefits of attracting clean energy investment to their communities.

Many people will testify in favor of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. This should come as no surprise considering 7 in 10 Americans view global warming as a serious problem and want the federal government to reduce the pollution that causes it, according to a recent ABC News poll.

But the hearings will also attract another group of speakers: representatives from the American Coal Council, Americans for Prosperity and other dirty industries.  

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EPA Publishes Chemical Risk Assessment After 28 Years

500px-Environmental_Protection_Agency_logo.svgIn other environmental news: the EPA, in an unprecedented act, has failed to publish a chemical risk assessment in over 28 years. They finally broke this shockingly long duration last month with their assessment of trichloroethylene (TCE).

via Al Jazeera America:

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hit a major milestone that some people, including leaders at the agency itself, think shouldn’t be celebrated.

On Wednesday, the agency released a final risk assessment for trichloroethylene (TCE), an industrial solvent used by artists, car mechanics, dry cleaners and others. The EPA’s in-depth report, released after a two-year analysis, shows that long-term exposure to TCE can cause cancer and other health issues, and recommends that workers take serious precautions if they must use TCE.

But in its press release, the EPA acknowledged there was something wrong — not with the risk assessment itself — but with its timeline: It was the first final risk assessment for a chemical issued by the EPA since 1986.

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How is this Fake Charity Getting Away with Subverting US Democracy?

Abby Martin speaks with Brendan Fischer, Staff Council of the Center for Media and Democracy, on American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) leaked internal documents revealing its plans to hijack the EPA’s authority and undermine environmental standards in the US.

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EPA Declares More Than Half Of U.S. Rivers Unfit For Aquatic Life


Our world is so gross right now. Via Inhabitat:

The EPA has declared that an astounding 55 percent of rivers and streams in the country are in “poor condition for aquatic life.”

The results of their first comprehensive survey of waterway health reveal shrinking vegetation cover, high levels of phosphorous and nitrogen, and pollution from mercury and bacteria—none of which are all that great for human health either. Additionally, as the EPA emphasizes, the polluted, unhealthy waterways include vital sources of drinking water.

So where are these contaminants coming from? Phosphorous and nitrogen, both key ingredients in fertilizer, have long been recognized as a problem in US water health. 40 percent of waterways surveyed had high levels of phosophorous, while high levels of nitrogen were found in 27 percent of waterways.

Over 13,144 miles of waterways featured levels of mercury that similarly exceed safe levels for human health, making it ill-advised to consume fish from those areas.

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How Obama Defanged the EPA

606px-Environmental_Protection_Agency_logo.svgJoshua Frank writes at Counterpunch:

It was a tumultuous tenure, productive by some accounts, lackluster by most, but one thing is for certain, Lisa Jackson’s short time as administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency was anything but dull. On December 27, 2012 the often-fiery Jackson announced she was not going to return for a second term, and it is surely not difficult to see why she’s fleeing her post.

Since President Obama was ushered into office in 2008, the EPA has consistently faced ridicule and criticism from corporate polluters and their greedy allies in Washington. On virtually every occasion Obama refused to side with Jackson’s more rationale, often science-based positions, whether it was cleaning up the air or forcing the natural resource industries to abide by existing regulations. Ultimately, the EPA is only as formidable as the White House allows it to be, and on Obama’s watch the agency has not received the support it has desired or deserved.

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EPA Accused Of Blocking Scientific Advancement of Corexit In BP Cleanup

Picture: Jim W. Murphy (CC)

Yeah, the free market would fix this.  Farron Cousins writes at DeSmogBlog:

Oil Spill Eater International (OSEI), through the Gulf Oil Spill Remediation Conference group, issued a press release this week saying that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) effectively blocked or otherwise delayed scientific advancement in the cleanup of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster by refusing to acknowledge the toxicity of the oil dispersant Corexit.

According to OSEI, the EPA is guilty of violations to the Clean Water Act because they knowingly used the toxic dispersant instead of opting for cleaner, less toxic methods of oil spill cleanup.

OSEI is actually not off base with their accusations.  Reports from late 2012 revealed that using oil dispersants like Corexit make oil spills less visible, but when combined with the oil, create a mixture that is 52 times more toxic than the oil itself. 

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