Environmental Protection Agency

Epa To America: Your Life Is Worth Less
July 14, 2008

From the Associated Press (via FP): The EPA has decided that the average American life isn't worth as much as it once thought. The agency lowered the statistical value of a life from $7.8 million to $6.9 million--about a $1 million drop from five years ago. The calculation is important because it figures into the agency's cost-benefit analysis of proposed regulations: Consider, for example, a hypothetical regulation that costs $18 billion to enforce but will prevent 2,500 deaths.

Permission To Contaminate, Sir!
June 30, 2008

The Pentagon is resisting the EPA’s orders to clean up its contaminated military sites, the Washington Post reports today. The danger? The Defense Department owns more Superfund sites than anyone else, as well as more than 25,000 contaminated sites nationwide, where the department's toxic legacy could pose serious risks to public health and the environment.   While the Post calls its recent pushback against the EPA’s regulatory efforts “unprecedented,” the Pentagon has been trying to grant itself the license to pollute and contaminate during the entirety of the Bush administration.

Don't Like The News In Your Inbox? Don't Open It!
June 25, 2008

Never underestimate the Bush administration's ability to stick its fingers in its ears and sing "Doop dee doop de doop": The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened, senior E.P.A. officials said last week. The EPA was responding to last year's ruling in Massachusetts vs.

Johnson To Congress: Bugger Off
April 18, 2008

Following in the proud traditions of former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, EPA administrator Stephen Johnson has decided to blow off a subpoena from Rep. Ed Markey's Special Select Committee on Energy Independence and Climate Change. The committee is seeking papers verifying the EPA's compliance with a Supreme Court finding that the agency had no choice but to regulate greenhouse gases.

A New Breed Of Hack
April 15, 2008

Over at the Washington Independent, Matthew Blake takes stock of EPA head Steven Johnson's abysmal tenure, and offers up a theory: Johnson's biggest decisions, on issues like greenhouse gas emissions and ozone standards, appear dictated not by his scientific staff but by the political directives of President George W. Bush. ... Yet Johnson is not a political appointee lacking in scientific knowledge. Rather, he served as an EPA health scientist, specializing in pesticides, for 27 years. Johnson's background, however, can almost be said to be one of his weaknesses.

Agency Heads Lying? Who Would've Guessed?
January 24, 2008

Wow, EPA head Steven Johnson's appearance before Barbara Boxer's committee on Thursday ought to be... interesting. Here's the backstory: Last December, Johnson told California that it wasn't allowed to set its own stricter tailpipe emissions standards because… well, he didn't give any great reasons, just a lot of mumbo-jumbo.

The Devil's Advocate
September 24, 2007

The sleazy lobbyist who might save the world.

Epa Condemns Water Deal
August 30, 2007

Following up on Brad's post from earlier this week, today comes word that the EPA concurs that the proposed San Joaquin Valley water contract is a raw deal. When even the Bush administration's EPA isn't willing to sign off on an industry-backed scheme, you know it must be really nuts. --Josh Patashnik

American Collapse
August 27, 2007

Within fourteen days of each other, two rush-hour calamities: a bridge collapse and a steam-pipe explosion. In Minneapolis, a forty-year-old bridge along highway I-35W suddenly dropped sixty feet into the Mississippi River, killing at least five people and injuring approximately one hundred more. The federal government had deemed the bridge structurally deficient in 1990, which the Minnesota Department of Transportation acknowledged in separate reports issued in 2005, 2006, and 2007, after inspecting the bridge.

Waste Management
May 15, 2007

Tucked away on the westernmost edge of the Florida panhandle, Escambia County is a Republican stronghold whose beaches attract droves of tourists each year, earning it the cheery tagline: "The western gate to the Sunshine State, where thousands live like millions wish they could." But no paradise would be complete without a dirty little secret, and Escambia has that, too: For more than a decade, toxins from two of the county's now-defunct wood-preserving plants have gone largely untreated.