Transocean, the offshore drilling company that operated, on BP’s behalf, the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon rig whose collapse resulted in multiple deaths and untold amounts of oil being released into the Gulf of Mexico, has agreed to plead guilty to violating the Clean Water Act and to pay a total of $1.4 billion in civil and criminal fines and penalties. [More]
Following last week’s announcement that Consumer Reports’ real-world fuel-economy testing of Ford’s C-Max and Fusion hybrid vehicles showed these cars are not getting the 47 mpg touted by the car maker, both Ford and the Environmental Protection Agency have said they are looking into the matter. [More]
Earlier today, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in a case that has been a hot-button topic for both environmentalists and advocates for the rights of land owners. In the end, the Supremes came down on the side of landowners, allowing them to take legal steps to void Environmental Protection Agency compliance orders. [More]
This morning, the Environmental Protection Agency announced its new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, a set of national regulations aimed at reducing power plant emissions of mercury and toxic air pollution like arsenic, acid gas, nickel, selenium, and cyanide. [More]
Earlier today, the White House — along with the EPA and DOT — formally announced their proposal to improve fuel economy over the next decade and a half, with the goal of achieving fuel efficiencies equivalent to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. [More]
Even though gasoline containing upward of 15% ethanol content (E15) hasn’t come on the consumer market, the government has already finalized the labels that will be affixed to pumps carrying the fuel, a sign of E15 will likely make it to your local gas station at some point. Now Bloomberg reports that nine automakers, including GM, Chrysler and Toyota have warned regulators that putting E15 in your tank may void your vehicle’s warranty. [More]
The U.S. Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency have rolled out the biggest redesign of the car window stickers that display a vehicle’s estimated fuel efficiency since the labels were introduced. The new stickers, designed to be easier to read and to provide more information about fuel savings and costs, will be required for all 2013 cars. [More]
Great, now kids have a new excuse for not drinking their milk: US milk samples from Spokane, Washington have tested positive for a radioactive iodine blown over from Japan, the EPA announced Wednesday. The amounts are small, only 0.8 pico-curies, according to tests taken March 25 by the agency, and are 5,000 times below the FDA’s “intervention level.” [More]
People have been wondering how the EPA would rate the Nissan Leaf. The normal “miles per gallon” didn’t make sense because the car uses electricity, not gas. The results are finally in, and the vehicle has scored a 99 MPGe. That stands for “Miles Per Gallon equivalent.” [More]
Last year the Department of Energy, which co-administers the Energy Star certification program with the EPA, admitted that it allows many companies to certify their goods themselves. That was somewhat worrying, but nothing like what happened earlier this year when government auditors successfully got ludicrously power-hungry designs approved for the Energy Star label. The EPA and Energy Department have responded by announcing a new, stricter certification process. [More]
A new report issued by the Dept. of Agriculture’s Office of the Inspector General says that tainted meat is making its way to your dinner plate because of a combination of inter-departmental squabbling and a lack of general oversight by the regulatory agencies involved. [More]
Your new washer, dryer, fridge, monitor, or TV set may have an Energy Star label on it, but it turns out that nobody is making sure that means anything, reports the New York Times. Our parent organization Consumer Reports pointed out that this was a problem a year ago.
Atrazine—a widely-used herbicide—is one of those chemicals for which there is no evidence it will kill you or give you cancer or make your eyes fall out. It’s true that it’s been linked to egg production in male frogs, but I think we can all agree that frogs pretty much want to mutate and will apparently do so at the slightest chemical nudge. The question for Americans is, should the EPA have notified affected citizens in the four states where atrazine has exceeded federal safety limits? Because it didn’t.
PREVIOUSLY: EPA Tweaks Official MPGs Prior To Cash4Clunkers, Shafting Some (Photo: morsteen)
Bottled water isn’t any safer than tap water, and could actually be more dangerous, according to a report from the Government Accounting Office. The big difference lies in the government regulator: tap water is covered by the Safe Water Drinking Act, administered by the aggressive and powerful Environmental Protection Agency, while bottled water falls under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act overseen by the powerless anything-goes industry-lovers over at the Food and Drug Administration.
Call it the Twilight phenomenon. The EPA held its first ever “bed bug summit” last week, to discuss the rise in infestations of the tiny nocturnal bloodsuckers. There was talk of more ‘bed bug task forces’ in big cities, possible federal research into new technology such as steaming or freezing the bugs, and lots of icky close-ups of parasites.