On Thursday, the U.S Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals gave the federal government 60 days to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which is widely used in agriculture but criticized as a risk to children and farmworkers.
President Trump announced the resignation of scandal-plagued Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator on Thursday but said that the agency’s No. 2 official, Andrew Wheeler, “will continue with our great and lasting EPA agenda.”
The on-again, off-again Pebble Mine venture in Alaska is facing a day of reckoning, with the future of the nation’s largest salmon run, which can exceed 40 million fish, hanging in the balance, according to FERN’s latest story by Paul Greenberg, in collaboration with Mother Jones. Both sport and commercial fishermen depend on the Bristol Bay fishery, valued at more than half a billion dollars, and for years they have been fighting a proposed mining venture that would develop a deposit containing billions of tons of copper, gold, and molybdenum in the same headwaters where all those salmon get their start.
The Environmental Protection Agency barred reporters from a national summit on water contaminants, which was convened Tuesday by EPA administrator Scott Pruitt. Reporters from the AP, CNN, and E&E News were blocked from attending the meeting, and one reporter was shoved from the building.
The Trump administration improperly and repeatedly delayed the pesticide applicator rule issued by the EPA in early 2017, decided U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White, who declared the rule to be in effect.
For nearly a year, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt pushed for a public debate on the science of climate change that would be structured like the "red team-blue team" exercises of the military. White House chief of staff John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, squashed the idea as ill-conceived, reports the New York Times.
The Environmental Protection Network, a group of former employees of the Environmental Protection Agency, released a report slamming President Trump’s 2019 budget. The group says that if the budget is approved by Congress, its effects on the EPA “would be more punishing than for any other federal agency.”
President Trump set out to erase the Obama-era Waters of the United States rule in his first weeks in office. Now the EPA has finalized an action that should keep the so-called WOTUS rule from ever taking effect.
President Trump, a staunch supporter of corn ethanol, told nine senators from oil-producing states to take their complaints about federal biofuel mandates to their farm-state colleagues and find a mutually acceptable solution.
The inspector general’s office at the EPA will investigate an April meeting between EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and the National Mining Association, said The Hill newspaper.
Some leading university researchers "are being purged" from key EPA advisory panels under a rule announced by Administrator Scott Pruitt that bars membership by scientists at the same time they receive EPA grant money, says Science magazine. "It marks a major change in who can serve on the committees, which help steer EPA research and regulations by providing input on scientific questions."
Farm-state officials played their Trump card six weeks ago, calling in White House support to quash potential cuts in the Renewable Fuel Standard, which sets U.S. targets for biofuel consumption.
On the heels of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s eleventh-hour reversal last March of an Obama-era ban on chlorpyrifos — an insecticide that can permanently damage a child’s developing brain, according to the EPA’s own scientists — the agency is evaluating yet another family of controversial pesticides possibly linked to attention deficit disorders, cognitive problems, and autism.
Climate change will come with a serious price tag, says a report by the Government Accountability Office, urging President Trump to take the phenomenon seriously. The study “says that different sectors of the economy and different parts of the country will be harmed in ways that are difficult to predict,” according to The New York Times.
EPA administrator Scott Pruitt quelled midwestern protests over a potential change in course by the Trump administration, saying there would be no additional cuts in the biofuels mandate proposed for 2018. But two groups, the National Biodiesel Board and the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, said the government ought to raise the target for biodiesel.
The EPA will soon cut the wait time for permit requests to six months or less, in an effort to trim regulations generally for industry, says Reuters.
The winner of the 2016 Iowa presidential caucuses, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said he will block a confirmation vote on a key USDA nominee until President Trump convenes a meeting to hash out oil-state complaints about the Renewable Fuel Standard.
EPA chief Scott Pruitt says the agency will no longer settle lawsuits with environmental groups behind closed doors, arguing that the Obama administration regularly excluded industry and state governments from those conversations while pandering to green activists.
Although EPA administrator Scott Pruitt favors elimination of tax credits for wind and solar power, he isn't calling the shots for the administration, said Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the No. 2 state in wind-generated electricity. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin "will be in the room when these agreements are made," said Grassley, a member of the tax-writing Finance Committee, and Mnuchin backs an ongoing phase-down of wind and solar tax credits."