Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Senate Committee Moves to Force Public Disclosure of Drinking Water Contamination

Politics
Senate Committee Moves to Force Public Disclosure of Drinking Water Contamination
Pexels

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a spending bill Thursday that includes report language requiring the Trump administration to release a key scientific study it buried. The study proposed safe levels for fluorinated, or PFAS, chemicals in drinking water at levels nearly six times lower than those the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends.


The amendment to the committee report, authored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. and approved in the Interior-Environmental spending bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services to publish the study within two weeks of the bill becoming law.

Internal emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request and reported by Politico revealed that the top aides to EPA head Scott Pruitt, as well as Department of Defense and White House officials, sought to block the study's release, fearing a "public relations nightmare" that could follow.

"Scott Pruitt and the White House clearly will do anything to hide information from the public on any number of issues, including the poisoned drinking water of 100 million Americans," said Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs at Environmental Working Group. "But lawmakers from both sides of the aisle understand full well how important clean drinking water is for their constituents and all Americans."

A technician inspects a bitcoin mining operation at Bitfarms in Saint Hyacinthe, Quebec on March 19, 2018. LARS HAGBERG / AFP via Getty Images

As bitcoin's fortunes and prominence rise, so do concerns about its environmental impact.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

OR-93 traveled hundreds of miles from Oregon to California. Austin Smith Jr. / Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs / California Department of Fish and Wildlife

An Oregon-born wolf named OR-93 has sparked conservation hopes with a historic journey into California.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A plume of exhaust extends from the Mitchell Power Station, a coal-fired power plant built along the Monongahela River, 20 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, on Sept. 24, 2013 in New Eagle, Pennsylvania. The plant, owned by FirstEnergy, was retired the following month. Jeff Swensen / Getty Images

By David Drake and Jeffrey York

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

The Big Idea

People often point to plunging natural gas prices as the reason U.S. coal-fired power plants have been shutting down at a faster pace in recent years. However, new research shows two other forces had a much larger effect: federal regulation and a well-funded activist campaign that launched in 2011 with the goal of ending coal power.

Read More Show Less
LumiNola / E+ / Getty Images

By Gwen Ranniger

Fertility issues are on the rise, and new literature points to ways that your environment may be part of the problem. We've rounded up some changes you can make in your life to promote a healthy reproductive system.

Read More Show Less
Seattle-based Community Loaves uses home bakers to help those facing food insecurity during the pandemic. Sol de Zuasnabar Brebbia / Getty Images

By Lynn Freehill-Maye

The irony hit Katherine Kehrli, the associate dean of Seattle Culinary Academy, when one of the COVID-19 pandemic's successive waves of closures flattened restaurants: Many of her culinary students were themselves food insecure. She saw cooks, bakers, and chefs-in-training lose the often-multiple jobs that they needed simply to eat.

Read More Show Less