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Friday, Aug 29th

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EPA veils hazardous substances

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency routinely allows companies to keep new information about their chemicals secret, including compounds that have been shown to cause cancer and respiratory problems, the Journal Sentinel has found.

The newspaper examined more than 2,000 filings in the EPA's registry of dangerous chemicals for the past three years. In more than half the cases, the EPA agreed to keep the chemical name a secret. In hundreds of other cases, it allowed the company filing the report to keep its name and address confidential.

This is despite a federal law calling for public notice of any new information through the EPA's program monitoring chemicals that pose substantial risk. The whole idea of the program is to warn the public of newfound dangers.

The EPA's rules are supposed to allow confidentiality only "under very limited circumstances."

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Groups sue to stop Utah oil and gas drilling

Conservation groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday to block the Bush administration's last-minute sale of oil-and-gas drilling leases in Utah near national parks and ancient rock art panels.

The Bureau of Land Management has scheduled an auction Friday to sell drilling leases covering more than 100,000 acres of wild land in eastern Utah.

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Report Finds Meddling in Interior Dept. Actions

The inspector general of the Interior Department has found that agency officials often interfered with scientific work in order to limit protections for species at risk of becoming extinct, reviving attention to years of disputes over the Bush administration’s science policies.

In a report delivered to Congress on Monday, the inspector general, Earl E. Devaney, found serious flaws in the process that led to 15 decisions related to policies on endangered species. 

“The results of this investigation paint a picture of something akin to a secret society residing within the Interior Department that was colluding to undermine the protection of endangered wildlife and covering for one another’s misdeeds,” said the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Representative Nick J. Rahall II, Democrat of West Virginia.

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Bush-appointed official twisted species data, report says

A disgraced Bush administration appointee known for twisting science and altering key endangered species decisions interfered with far more findings than earlier revealed, according to a federal probe released Monday.

The investigation, requested by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., showed that Julie MacDonald, former assistant secretary of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, manipulated decisions involving about a dozen additional species. In the Northwest, they included the northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet and bull trout.

"MacDonald's overreaching, and the actions of those who enabled and assisted her, have caused the unnecessary expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars to re-issue decisions and litigation costs to defend decisions" that turned out to be illegal, said the report from the Interior Department's inspector general.

TVNL Comment: Yet another example of the vile conduct of the Bush cabal. Lies, deception, and right direct harm to us and to our planet. These people are the most horrible lying bastards to ever control our government!

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Administration Loosens Species Protections

The Interior Department yesterday finalized rules changing the way it administers the Endangered Species Act, enabling other government agencies to decide on their own whether a project would harm an imperiled species without an independent scientific review.

The agency received nearly 235,000 comments on the endangered species proposal, at least 208,000 of which were form letters decrying the rule.

"As the Bush administration fades off into the sunset, it continues to take brazen pot shots at everything in sight, including America's landmark conservation law, the Endangered Species Act," said House Resources Committee Chairman  Nick J. Rahall II (D-W.Va.), who said he would introduce legislation seeking to overturn the rule next year. 

TVNL Comment: The Bush administration's legacy of death and destruction will continue to have a negative impact on this planet for a long, long time.

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California Rules to Cut Diesel Truck Pollution Called Most Sweeping in U.S.

The California Air Resources Board today approved two diesel truck regulations that will dramatically cut the largest source of diesel pollution in the state and are the first of their kind in the United States, according to Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The Air Resource Board estimates that the truck regulations are expected to save 9,400 lives between 2010 and 2025 and greatly reduce health care costs.

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EPA Drops Rules Easing Controls on Power Plants

Six weeks before leaving office, the Bush administration is giving up on an effort to ease restrictions on pollution from coal-burning power plants, a key plank of its original energy agenda and one that put the president at odds with environmentalists his entire eight years in the White House.

President George W. Bush had hoped to make both changes to air pollution regulations final before leaving office on Jan. 20. In the midst of a coal-fired power plant construction boom, the rules would have made it easier for energy companies to expand existing facilities and to erect new power plants in areas of the country that meet air quality standards.

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