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One Year After Texas Disaster, Report Looks At Schools Located Near Chemical Facilities (4/16/14)

A new study released Wednesday finds there are almost 10,000 schools across the country located within a mile of a chemical facility. The research was released ahead of the April 17 anniversary of an explosion at a West, Texas, fertilizer plant, which killed 15 people and injured hundreds of others.... Read more...

Return to Normal in Parts of West Virginia Is Marred by Distrust (1/15/14)

Richard Denison of the Environmental Defense Fund, an advocacy group, said the government calculation of a safe level appeared to be based on a single study by the chemical’s manufacturer, never published, and that it included several leaps of reasoning that he called unfounded. Read more...

Spending bill halts Obama regulations (1/15/14)

“It’s not surprising to see the House try to enact their wish list gutting public health and safety protections through backroom dealings and anti-democratic channels, since their agenda is fundamentally unpopular with the public and has no chance of passage through transparent and democratic means,” said Amit Narang, a regulatory... Read more...

Budget deal puts squeeze on financial regulators (1/15/14)

Kelleher's biggest concern is the low funding levels that the $1.1 trillion fiscal 2014 spending bill allocates to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is tasked with overseeing derivatives that were at the center of the crisis. The bipartisan bill provides $215 million to the CFTC, $100 million less than... Read more...

GOP’s anti-regulations push hits snag (1/14/14)

Green groups say a series of high-profile environmental accidents are making the case for tougher safeguards on the nation’s energy infrastructure. The spill of a coal-cleaning chemical in West Virginia last week and a pair of recent North Dakota train wrecks involving crude oil expose the need for stronger federal protections,... Read more...

WSJ: West Virginia Chemical-Spill Site Avoided Broad Regulatory Scrutiny (1/13/14)

The site of a West Virginia chemical spill that contaminated the water supply for 300,000 people operated largely outside government oversight, highlighting gaps in regulations and prompting questions on whether local communities have a firm grasp on potential threats to drinking water. Read more...

Chemical Spill Leaves Thousands Without Water in West Virginia (1/11/14)

Nearly 200,000 people in Charleston, W.Va., and nine surrounding counties were without drinking water on Friday after a chemical spill contaminated supplies, the West Virginia governor’s office said. The spill was discovered Thursday at a storage facility about a mile north of a water treatment plant on the Elk River, where... Read more...

The Financial Crisis: Why Have No High-Level Executives Been Prosecuted? (1/9/14)

Jed S. Rakoff: If the Great Recession was in material part the product of intentional fraud, the failure to prosecute those responsible must be judged one of the more egregious failures of the criminal justice system in many years. Read more...

Small business hiring at an eight-year high (1/8/14)

Good news on jobs: Small businesses added more workers in December than in any other month in nearly eight years. That's according to the National Federation of Independent Business' monthly survey of small business owners. Read more...

JPMorgan Chase Nears a $2 Billion Deal in a Case Tied to Madoff (1/6/14)

The bank plans to reach as soon as this week roughly $2 billion in criminal and civil settlements with federal authorities who suspect that it ignored signs of Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, according to people briefed on the case. Read more...

A Roadblock to Brawny Bank Reform (1/5/14)

Gretchen Morgenson: Last month, Bloomberg News reported that unnamed Fed officials were suggesting that approval of the proposed leverage ratio be put off until overseas regulators agreed to a framework that would apply to their nations’ banks as well. Arguing for international agreement on regulations is a time-honored stall tactic... Read more...

Kerry Quietly Makes Priority of Climate Pact (1/3/14)

His goal is to become the lead broker of a global climate treaty in 2015 that will commit the United States and other nations to historic reductions in fossil fuel pollution. Read more...

FDA Crackdown on Antibiotics Relies on Unproven Steps (1/3/14)

“We are going to be able to continue the same practices and call them something different,” says Sasha Lyutse, a policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “These routine prevention uses are where the rubber hits the road. Unless you close those loopholes, you are not going to see... Read more...

Video: Business Behaving Badly (1/2/14)

Despite having to paying millions or even billions of dollars in fines, many companies look at the payments as just the cost of doing business. Read more...

NHTSA moves ahead on backup-camera regulation (1/2/14)

The reworked regulation, submitted to the White House on Dec. 25, would set new rear visibility standards for light vehicles sold in the United States. No details on the plan, submitted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, were made available. Read more...

The Fix Isn’t In: Why a Safety Device That Can Stop Overdoses by Kids Isn’t Widely Used (12/30/13)

To gauge their effectiveness, Consumer Reports – an independent, nonprofit testing organization – tested the devices found on 31 different products, duplicating the ways a child was most likely to squeeze, shake or suck medicine from the bottle. The results, which were shared with ProPublica, confirmed that all models of... Read more...

On-The-Job Deaths Spiking As Oil Drilling Quickly Expands (12/27/13)

The hiring spree has come with a terrible price: Last year, 138 workers were killed on the job — an increase of more than 100 percent since 2009. Read more...

New rules for power line workers in the offing (12/23/13)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards have been in the works for more than a decade and would update the more than 40-year-old safety rules for the industry, which is considered one of the country’s most dangerous. The White House’s regulations office, which puts new regulations through an interagency... Read more...

5 years after coal-ash spill, little has changed (12/22/13)

Five years later, coal ash remains largely unregulated. Read more...

40 Years of the Endangered Species Act " Facts, Stats, Stories and Photos (12/20/13)

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, the world’s most powerful law protecting plants and animals from extinction. Read more...

Fox News Accidentally Endorses Environmental Regulations In Frenzy Of Attacking Obama (12/20/13)

Fox News likes regulations. That is, Fox likes regulations that the Obama administration reportedly delayed ahead of the 2012 election. Read more...

Editorial: Keeping Shareholders in the Dark (12/4/13)

Last week, the S.E.C. unwisely removed from its regulatory agenda a plan to consider a rule to require public companies to disclose their political spending — even though the case for disclosure is undeniable. Read more...

Rail Crash Seen Thwarting Plea to Delay Automatic Braking (12/4/13)

The deadly train derailment in New York City may force railroads to install automatic brakes by 2015 and dash industry efforts to put off adding the technology by five years. The Metro-North Railroad wreck may persuade Congress to reject legislation postponing adoption of the braking technology -- which investigators say might... Read more...

Volcker Rule Set for Dec. 10 Approval by U.S. Regulators (12/3/13)

U.S. regulators will meet on Dec. 10 to adopt the final version of the Volcker rule banning banks from making speculative bets with their own money, the agencies said in statements Tuesday. Read more...

Hagen to Join Deloitte After Leaving USDA (12/2/13)

After stepping down from her post as Under Secretary for Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Dr. Elisabeth Hagen will join Deloitte as a food safety senior advisor for the consulting firm. Read more...

NYC train derailment airs queries about technology (12/2/13)

AP: The revelation that a New York City commuter train derailed while barreling around a sharp curve at nearly three times the speed limit is fueling questions about whether automated crash-avoidance technology could have prevented the carnage. Read more...

FDA moves on to menu labeling, nutrition facts, sodium (12/2/13)

The FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition’s 2013-14 plan outlines an almost dizzying list of priorities and, after the policy freeze that preceded the 2012 election, several of them are on the move. Many of the initiatives planned for 2013 have yet to arrive, including developing policy options for... Read more...

SEC drops disclosure of corporate political spending from its priority list (11/30/13)

Missing from the Security and Exchange Commission’s list of regulatory priorities for the coming year is any plan to consider whether public companies should disclose their political spending, a setback for investor advocates who rallied behind the cause. Read more...

$13 Billion, Yes, but What Took So Long? (11/24/13)

Gretchen Morgenson: Although it took the Justice Department more than five years to pursue a major bank for its role in the mortgage mania, the investigation seems to have unearthed material that, by and large, could have been dug up with a spoon. Read more...

OSHA no match for workplace dangers that kill thousands (11/23/13)

Many workers climb, rappel or reach into daily dangers but draw federal notice only by dying. Given limited budgets and frequent political attempts at reducing enforcement even more, inspectors might be absent until a calamity occurs. Read more...

Nuclear regulator predicts delays, cuts (11/19/13)

Budget cuts and financial challenges will likely cause the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to cut back and delay some of its services, Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane said on Tuesday. In remarks to a nuclear power conference in Atlanta, Ga., Macfarlane said that the 16-day government shutdown in October was only the “most recent... Read more...

$13 Billion Settlement With JPMorgan Is Announced (11/19/13)

JPMorgan Chase and the Justice Department finalized a $13 billion settlement on Tuesday, punctuating a long legal battle over the risky mortgage practices that became synonymous with the financial crisis. Read more...

The return of the senior death discount (11/18/13)

Lisa Heinzerling: The FDA estimates that the value of “each fatal heart attack” is “about $1.76 million.” Compare this to the Department of Transportation’s estimate of $9.1 million ($2012) for each life saved by its rules, or the Environmental Protection Agency’s estimate of $8.9 million ($2010) for this benefit. What... Read more...

Regulations Are Killed, and Kids Die (11/14/13)

Under pressure, the Obama administration withdrew rules barring young laborers from dangerous work—a decision with grave consequences for several families. Read more...

Sen. Tester asks USDA to postpone plans to finalize poultry inspection program (11/12/13)

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester wrote to the USDA secretary last week, asking that he postpone plans to finalize a new poultry inspection program, saying to move forward now is “misguided and premature.” Read more...

Editorial: Still Dangerous (11/10/13)

A strong Volcker Rule and international oversight could go a long way toward dismantling the global casino. That’s why banks have resisted them — and why the public needs them. Read more...

NSA Spying Scandal Roils US-EU Trade Negotiations (11/10/13)

Mary Bottari: There is one good thing coming out of the NSA embroglio. It is endangering the U.S.-EU trade agreement currently being negotiated behind closed doors with some 600 U.S. industry advisers. New revelations that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is one of the NSA's "clients" will further... Read more...

Court Sets Dec. 20 Date for FSMA ‘Adulteration’ Rule (11/5/13)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that FDA needs to release a proposed intentional adulteration rule under FSMA — one of the few remaining major rules to be released under the law — by Dec. 20, despite efforts by the agency to gain more time.... Read more...

Obama Agrees to Open Carbon-Cost Estimate to Outside Comment (11/4/13)

The administration of President Barack Obama said it would revise and open for public comment its estimate of the social cost of carbon, used by agencies to calculate the benefits of regulations to address climate change. Read more...

Street Cop (11/4/13)

Since 2008, the financial industry has changed the way it does business. Can the S.E.C.’s Mary Jo White control it? Read more...

Memo to SEC: Make corporations disclose political contributions! (11/3/13)

Susan Holmberg: Corporations are increasingly active in US politics, and their investors deserve to know where their money is going Read more...

12 Million People Turn To Predatory Payday Loans Every Year (11/1/13)

Nationwide, 12 million people make use of payday loans each year, turning to them for a desperate short-term cash infusion, and on average they spend $520 in interest to borrow $375, according to a report from The Pew Charitable Trusts. Read more...

Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement: Job Claims Are Pure Baloney (11/1/13)

The Senate Finance Committee held hearings this week on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The committee chair, Sen. Max Baucus, claimed that the TTIP could boost U.S. exports to the EU by a third, adding “more than one hundred billion dollars annually to U.S. GDP,” and that... Read more...

As experts recognize new form of black lung, coal industry follows familiar pattern of denial (11/1/13)

Yet, while other variants of black lung are defined explicitly in Labor Department regulations, Latusek’s form is not, and doctors paid by the coal industry continue to testify that there is no evidence of any connection between mining and this form of disease. This leaves the complex medical issue to... Read more...

EPA Cooling Water Rule Delayed Again (11/1/13)

EPA is "discussing a new deadline" with environmental litigants for finalizing its technology requirements for cooling water towers at large, existing power plants, EPA spokeswoman Alisha Johnson said today. The regulation was due to be finalized by Monday, according to a court settlement EPA has with environmentalists. The agency's proposed... Read more...

White House Will Focus on Climate Shifts While Trying to Cut Greenhouse Gases (11/1/13)

White House aides said President Obama would sign an executive order on Friday morning directing federal agencies to make it easier for states and communities to build resilience against storms, droughts and other weather extremes. Read more...

Johns Hopkins medical unit rarely finds black lung, helping coal industry defeat miners' claims (10/30/13)

More than a half-dozen doctors who have seen the X-ray and CT images of his chest agree he has the most severe form of black lung disease. Yet his claim for benefits was denied in 2011. The medical opinions primarily responsible for sinking his claim didn’t come from consultants-for-hire at a... Read more...

J.P. Morgan’s $5.1 Billion Settlement Is Tax Deductible (10/29/13)

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s $5.1 billion settlement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be entirely tax deductible for the bank, according to a person familiar with the situation—effectively lessening the bank’s true payout and shifting part of the settlement’s cost to taxpayers. Read more...

U.S. Says It Won’t Back New International Coal-Fired Power Plants (10/29/13)

In an aggressive move to impose President Obama’s environmental policies overseas, the Treasury Department on Tuesday largely declared an end to United States support for new coal-fired power plants around the world. The decision means that Mr. Obama’s administration will no longer contribute to coal projects financed by the World... Read more...

USDA plan to speed up poultry-processing lines could increase risk of bird abuse (10/29/13)

Nearly 1 million chickens and turkeys are unintentionally boiled alive each year in U.S. slaughterhouses, often because fast-moving lines fail to kill the birds before they are dropped into scalding water, U.S. Department of Agriculture records show. A USDA proposal would make the problem of inhumane treatment worse, according to government... Read more...

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