Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Court Orders EPA to Enforce Obama-Era Methane Pollution Rule

Popular
iStock

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ordered Scott Pruitt's U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Monday to enforce safeguards limiting methane pollution from new oil and gas operations.


Pruitt had attempted to stay implementation of the rule for 90 days, regardless of the impact such a delay would have on public health and the climate. A 3-judge panel of the court earlier ruled that Pruitt did not have the legal authority to stay the rule. In a 9-2 vote, the full court ordered that the mandate be issued, lifting the EPA stay, while the court considers industry's petition for rehearing. Industry now will be required to comply with the safeguards immediately. In the meantime, EPA is taking another shot at relieving industry of its obligations by preparing to issue a separate two-year stay of the same rule.

"The court's order is a victory for our communities' health and the safety of our climate," Joanne Spalding, Sierra Club's chief climate counsel, said. "Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt's attempt to delay the implementation of these crucial protections had no basis in law, and we are glad to see their effort to do the bidding of the fossil fuel industry fail once again.

"Trump and Pruitt have repeatedly overreached in their efforts to undermine environmental protections and prop up the oil and gas industry, and the Sierra Club will continue to fight to hold them accountable in court."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A man pushes his mother in a wheelchair down Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami on May 19, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. reported more than 55,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, in a sign that the outbreak is not letting up as the Fourth of July weekend kicks off.

Read More Show Less
To better understand how people influence the overall health of dolphins, Oklahoma State University's Unmanned Systems Research Institute is developing a drone to collect samples from the spray that comes from their blowholes. Ken Y. / CC by 2.0

By Jason Bruck

Human actions have taken a steep toll on whales and dolphins. Some studies estimate that small whale abundance, which includes dolphins, has fallen 87% since 1980 and thousands of whales die from rope entanglement annually. But humans also cause less obvious harm. Researchers have found changes in the stress levels, reproductive health and respiratory health of these animals, but this valuable data is extremely hard to collect.

Read More Show Less

Sunscreen pollution is accelerating the demise of coral reefs globally by causing permanent DNA damage to coral. gonzalo martinez / iStock / Getty Images Plus

On July 29, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a controversial bill prohibiting local governments from banning certain types of sunscreens.

Read More Show Less
Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks. jacqueline / CC by 2.0

By Kelli McGrane

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks.

Read More Show Less

"Emissions from pyrotechnic displays are composed of numerous organic compounds as well as metals," a new study reports. Nodar Chernishev / EyeEm / Getty Images

Fireworks have taken a lot of heat recently. In South Dakota, fire experts have said President Trump's plan to hold a fireworks show is dangerous and public health experts have criticized the lack of plans to enforce mask wearing or social distancing. Now, a new study shows that shooting off fireworks at home may expose you and your family to dangerous levels of lead, copper and other toxins.

Read More Show Less
Billions worth of valuable metals such as gold, silver and copper were dumped or burned last year as electronic waste produced globally jumped to a record 53.6 million tons. Curtis Palmer / CC by 2.0

By Ashutosh Pandey

Billions worth of valuable metals such as gold, silver and copper were dumped or burned last year as electronic waste produced globally jumped to a record 53.6 million tons (Mt), or 7.3 kilogram per person, a UN report showed on Thursday.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A women walks with COVID-19 care kits distributed by Boston's Office of Neighborhood Services in Boston, Massachusetts on May 28, 2020. The pandemic has led to a rise in single-use plastic items, but reusable bags and cloth masks can be two ways to reduce waste. JOSEPH PREZIOSO / AFP via Getty Images

This month is Plastic Free July, the 31 days every year when millions of people pledge to give up single-use plastics.

Read More Show Less