The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Trump Plan to Protect Kids From Lead Falls Far Short
The long-awaited plan by the Trump administration to "wage a war against lead" and protect children from exposure to the potent neurotoxin is a woefully unacceptable response to this public health crisis, said Environmental Working Group.
The administration's Lead Action Plan—announced Wednesday by Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—is nothing but a series of broad and lofty goals, including reducing children's exposure to lead sources and communicating more effectively with stakeholders. It provides no details, enforcement deadlines or additional resources with which to achieve them.
"The goals laid out in the Trump administration's plan aren't worth the paper they're printed on," said EWG President Ken Cook. "If you're going to claim to be waging war against lead exposure among children, it will require a serious investment of money, enforcement and leadership from the top at both the White House and the EPA. Everything we know about where children's environmental health falls on the priority list of Andrew Wheeler and President Trump indicates it's near the bottom."
Earlier this year, Wheeler abruptly and with no reason dismissed the official at the agency in charge of children's health.
Dr. Ruth Etzel, a leader in children's environmental health for 30 years, was tapped in 2015 by President Obama to run the Office of Children's Health Protection, whose stated goal is to "ensure that all EPA actions and programs address the unique vulnerabilities of children."
In his first budget proposal, in 2017, President Trump pushed to cut $16.6 million and at least 70 staff from two EPA programs put in place to tackle lead exposure, including eliminating more than $14 million in grants to help states eradicate lead-based paint hazards in housing.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
On Wednesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the first 20 chemicals it plans to prioritize as "high priority" for assessment under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Given the EPA's record of malfeasance on chemicals policy over the past two years, it is clear that these are chemicals that EPA is prioritizing to ensure that they are not properly evaluated or regulated.
Which conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables in the U.S. are most contaminated with pesticides? That's the question that the Environmental Working Group answers every year with its "Dirty Dozen" list of produce with the highest concentration of pesticides after being washed or peeled.
Judge Blocks Oil and Gas Drilling on 300,000 Acres in Wyoming Until Government Considers Climate Impacts
Global Banks, Led by JPMorgan Chase, Invested $1.9 Trillion in Fossil Fuels Since Paris Climate Pact
By Sharon Kelly
A report published Wednesday names the banks that have played the biggest recent role in funding fossil fuel projects, finding that since 2016, immediately following the Paris agreement's adoption, 33 global banks have poured $1.9 trillion into financing climate-changing projects worldwide.
By Patti Lynn
2018 was a groundbreaking year in the public conversation about climate change. Last February, The New York Times reported that a record percentage of Americans now believe that climate change is caused by humans, and there was a 20 percentage point rise in "the number of Americans who say they worry 'a great deal' about climate change."
England faces an "existential threat" if it does not change how it manages its water, the head of the country's Environment Agency warned Tuesday.
By Jessica Corbett
A new analysis revealed Tuesday that over the past two decades heat records across the U.S. have been broken twice as often as cold ones—underscoring experts' warnings about the increasingly dangerous consequences of failing to dramatically curb planet-warming emissions.