Tag: EPA

Chemical Industry Clout Delays EPA Regulation of Hexavalent Chromium

Contaminated Jug of Water at Hinkley Meeting (Source: PBS)

Contaminated Jug of Water at Hinkley Meeting (Source: PBS)

The hit 2000 film Erin Brockovich, which tells the story of how a novice legal clerk holds a huge corporation liable for contaminating a town’s drinking water with the carcinogenic chemical hexavalent chromium, or chromium (VI), ends in justice for those harmed. But as it turns out, Hinkley, California, the real-life town featured in the movie, is still contaminated. (more…)

1 Comment March 27, 2013

Death by Delay: Obama Team Stalls on Chemical Regulation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has drafted a “chemicals of concern” list to restrict the use of certain chemicals and alert the public to their possible dangers. But the list remains secret and dormant because it’s stuck at the Obama administration’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review.

OIRA is a division of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). According to Katie Greenhaw, Regulatory Policy Analyst at the government watch-dog group OMB Watch, OIRA has 90  – 120 days to review rules from a regulatory agency, before releasing the rule back to the agency to open it up for public comment. Rules then go back to OIRA for additional review before being published as final rules. This rule has been stuck at OIRA for almost two years. That means the public hasn’t even laid eyes on it. (more…)

Leave a Comment March 26, 2012

New Toxic Sludge PR and Lobbying Effort Gets Underway

- by Sara Jerving

A trade association known for using the terms “compost,” “organic,” and “biosolids” to describe sewage sludge is investing in a new public relations campaign to influence policymakers and the public. The US Composting Council (USCC), which was founded by the disposable diaper industry, will be expanding its long-standing efforts to “rebrand” sewage sludge, which is increasingly disposed of on agriculture crops and through garden centers without telling the public that their food is being grown in medical, industrial, and human waste.

Earlier this year, the USCC announced that it hired a PR firm, Colehour + Cohen, to help with the rebranding efforts and that it will also be increasing lobbying efforts. (more…)

4 Comments March 16, 2012

Food News You Can Use

  • Senator Feinstein Calls on FDA to Ban Bisphenol A (BPA) From Food and Drink Containers (E&E News (subscription only), 1/24): Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced S. 136, the “Ban Poisonous Additives Act of 2011,” last January, which would ban BPA from baby bottles, children’s sippy cups, baby food and infant formula. The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008 to ban BPA from all food containers. When the FDA didn’t respond, NRDC sued in 2010. A settlement reached in December requires the FDA to respond to the petition by March 31.
  • “Largest Corporate Dairy, Biotech Firm and USDA Accused of Conspiring to Corrupt Rulemaking and Pollute Organics”: According to a press release (1/23), the Cornucopia Institute “has formally requested the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) to investigate corruption at its National Organic Program (NOP) resulting in the use of illegal synthetics in organic food and then allowing powerful corporations to ‘game the system’ for approval ‘after the fact.’ The controversy surrounds products developed by Martek Biosciences Corporation. Martek, part of a $12 billion Dutch-based conglomerate, recently petitioned for approval of its genetically modified soil fungus and algae as nutritional supplements in organic food.” In a January 9 press release, the NOP announced a proposed rule “addressing the use of vitamins and minerals in organic foods and infant formula” to “increase consumer confidence that organic foods are consistent both with FDA rules and the principles of organic production.”
  • Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ) Asks EPA to Finalize Dioxin Study: CHEJ Executive Director Lois Gibbs sent a letter (1/20) to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson ”strongly urging EPA to finalize the Dioxin Reassessment once and for all” (CHEJ, 1/21). This reassessment of the risks of dioxin exposure has been delayed for over 25 years. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters also sent a letter, as it represents many of the workers likely to be exposed to dioxins on the job. Representative Ed Markey (D-MA), Ranking Member of the Natural Resources Committee and senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, also sent a letter urging EPA to finalize. The Washington Post recently reported that air releases of dioxins, rose 10 percent from 2009 to 2010 (1/5). Stay tuned for more on this from CMD’s Food Rights Network. (more…)

Leave a Comment January 24, 2012

Sewage Sludge in the News

  • Paragould Light, Water and Cable Required to Enclose Sewage Sludge Discharge Area (Arkansas) (Paragould Daily Press, 1/17/12)
  • Charlotte, North Carolina Spins Sludge Spreading as “Resource Recovery” and “Nutrient Recycling” (Charlotte, NC, 2011)
  • Union City, Indiana to Pay Fine for Arsenic Pollution from Spreading Sludge (Star Press, 1/14/12)
  • Culpeper County, Virginia Denies Permit for ReCyc Systems Storage Facility (more…)

Leave a Comment January 18, 2012

Chez Sludge: How the Sewage Sludge Industry Bedded Alice Waters

This report by Food Rights Network consultant John Stauber appeared on the Center for Media and Democracy website July 9, 2010:

The celebrity chef Alice Waters is probably the world’s most famous advocate of growing and eating local, Organic food. In February 2010 her Chez Panisse Foundation chose as its new Executive Director the wealthy “green socialite” and liberal political activist Francesca Vietor. Vietor’s hiring created a serious conflict of interest that has married Waters and her Foundation to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and its scam of disposing of toxic sewage sludge waste as free “organic biosolids compost” for gardens. (more…)

1 Comment April 8, 2011



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