EPA Watch /epawatch EPA Watch - EPA Watchdog Tue, 10 Jan 2017 16:48:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Water crisis: Obama’s EPA to approve dramatic increase in limits on radiation exposure allowable in public drinking water /epawatch/2017-01-10-water-crisis-on-obamas-final-day-epa-plans-for-huge-spike-in-radiation-exposure-allowed-in-public-drinking-water.html /epawatch/2017-01-10-water-crisis-on-obamas-final-day-epa-plans-for-huge-spike-in-radiation-exposure-allowed-in-public-drinking-water.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Read More]]> As one of its closing acts before leaving the stage, the Obama administration plans to relax EPA guidelines regarding maximum allowable radiation levels in the nation’s drinking water, increasing them to levels thousands of times above current legal limits.

A federal lawsuit filed by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) led to the release of documents confirming details of the planned “Protective Action Guides” (PAGs) to be implemented, which include the new radically higher maximum allowable radiation levels.

PEER has accused the EPA of jeopardizing public health in favor of public relations.

From a PEER press release dated December 22, 2016:

“Following Japan’s Fukushima meltdown in 2011, EPA’s claims that no radioactivity could reach the U.S. at levels of concern were contradicted by its own rainwater measurements showing contamination from Fukushima throughout the U.S. well above Safe Drinking Water Act limits. In reaction, EPA prepared new limits 1000s of times higher than even the Fukushima rainwater because ‘EPA experienced major difficulties conveying to the public that the detected levels…were not of immediate concern for public health.’”

EPA kept details of new guidelines a secret

Although the EPA released its proposed PAGs for public comment, it conveniently neglected to include “all but four of the 110 radionuclides covered, and refused to reveal how much they were above Safe Drinking Water Act limits.”

Only after the PEER lawsuit forced the EPA to release the pertinent documents did it become clear how much the levels were to be increased. Even so, more than 60,000 people had already left comments in opposition of the proposed guidelines on the agency’s website.

Current drinking water radiation limits are defined under the Safe Drinking Water Act, established in the 1970s.

The documents obtained by PEER revealed that the EPA plans to raise maximum allowable limits of iodine-131, cobalt-60 and calcium-45 to more than 10,000 times the levels allowed under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Others would be hundreds or thousands of times higher under the new guidelines.

The agency’s justification for withholding the new proposed limits from the public until after the proposal had been adopted was that it wanted to “avoid confusion.”

The EPA deliberately hid the details not only from the public, but also from some of its own staff, according to PEER:

“The documents also reveal that EPA’s radiation division even hid the new concentrations from other divisions of EPA that were critical of the proposal, requiring repeated efforts to get them to even be disclosed internally.”

Even the George W. Bush administration’s attempt to introduce higher limits – a plan that was ultimately withdrawn – was modest in comparison to the levels proposed under the Obama EPA.

On December 1, outgoing EPA administrator Gina McCarthy gave final approval to all of the proposed PAGs – except for the drinking water standards. It’s unclear at this point whether she will actually approve the water section before leaving office, or whether she will leave the issue to the next administration to deal with.

Voice your opposition (before it’s too late)

There appears to be a good chance McCarthy will approve the rest of the PAGs before the changing of the guard, and there is still time to make your opposition to the proposals known.

It’s important to understand that higher allowable radiation limits will take pressure off the nuclear and fracking industries as well, which may be the real motivation for the establishment of the new guidelines – with Fukushima merely serving as an excuse to do so.

“The Dr. Strangelove wing of EPA does not want this information shared with many of its own experts, let alone the public,” said PEER executive director Jeff Ruch. “This is a matter of public health that should be promulgated in broad daylight rather than slimed through in the witching hours of a departing administration.”

If you would like to voice your opposition to the EPA plan, click here.





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EPA admits to Gold King Mine disaster but refuses to pay claims to Native Americans /epawatch/2017-01-09-epa-admits-to-gold-king-mine-disaster-but-refuses-to-pay-claims-to-native-americans-2.html /epawatch/2017-01-09-epa-admits-to-gold-king-mine-disaster-but-refuses-to-pay-claims-to-native-americans-2.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Read More]]> The Environmental Protection Agency is very likely the most abusive, over-regulatory, economy-killing bureaucracy within the federal government. Now, I’m adding irresponsible to that list.

Longtime readers of Natural News will recall the Gold King Mine spill in Colorado in August 2015, which saw more than 3 million gallons of contaminated water rife with mining chemicals and heavy metals leach into surrounding major waterways and tributaries. This disaster was created by a contracting crew working on behalf of the EPA.

It took legal action and over a year in court to force the agency to pony up for the damage caused by the spill. But as usual, the EPA continues to skirt is obligation to repay all the monies owed to interested parties as well as clean up after itself, like the agency would require any private company to do.

One of the injured and aggrieved parties is the Native American Navajo Nation, which is accusing the Obama administration of refusing to clean up the damage caused by the EPA, the Mexico Star is reporting.

The August 2015 spill saw contaminated water from the mine spill into the nearby Animas River, then leach into the San Juan River, which flows through about 200 miles of Navajo territory. In addition to tainting Navajo lands, the spill also tainted waterways in three states: Colorado, Utah and New Mexico.

Other states joining in suit against EPA

After being exposed to the air, iron sulfide in the contaminated water formed a sulfuric acid, which turned the water a bright mustard-orange color.

“The Navajo Nation’s water supply has been severely compromised as a result of the spill,” said Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch. “Tragically, we won’t know the full extent of the impacts the heavy metals released in the spill will have on our people for some time because those impacts generally only become observable in the long term.”

She added that the Navajo government has already spent millions of dollars responding to the crisis, adding that just to mitigate the damage to the nation’s water supply—and “not to mention long-term health needs and other impacts”—it is expected to cost in excess of $100 million to secure alternative water supplies, more water treatment and monitor the water well into the future.

But none of that matters much to Obama’s EPA.

Earlier in December, Navajo Nation attorneys submitted a claim to the agency for more than $160 million, in order to cover costs that the nation has spent in the aftermath of the spill. The amount requested also factored in cost estimates of long-term medical care, as well as monitoring of soil, groundwater, crops and livestock on Navajo Nation lands. In addition, the amount requested would also cover expected costs for the building and operation of an alternative water supply, as well as treatment systems for areas affected by the spill.

And while the EPA has already admitted responsibility for the spill, it has rejected all but  $602,000 of those claims on the grounds that, on Aug. 19—two weeks after the spill—the agency tested the waters in the San Juan River and allegedly found metal concentrations had gone back to “pre-event” levels.

‘Native lives don’t matter’

That, of course, says nothing about the long-term damage done to groundwater, soil and other natural resources. The immediate traces of heavy metals from the spill were gone, so as far as the EPA is concerned, that’s the end of it.

“The EPA’s evaluation of costs is consistent with the agency’s legal authorities and the requirements under the Superfund,” an EPA spokesperson told VOA, as cited by the Mexico Star. “The agency can only reimburse documented and allowable incurred response costs submitted by government partners.”

In May, New Mexico also filed suit against the EPA, alleging injuries from the spill, as well as the state of Colorado. Utah is also considering a suit against EPA.

Branch said that Navajo Nation plans to appeal the EPA’s rejection of its claims before the early January 2017 filing deadline. She also expressed her disappointment in President Obama.

“The Obama administration’s response has reinforced the message that Native lives don’t matter,” Branch said. “And the EPA has focused their energy on minimizing potential legal liability to themselves, rather than ensuring cleanup and protection of the environment.”

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for Natural News and News Target, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.





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Everyone BUT the EPA has to pay for polluting the environment /epawatch/2017-01-06-everyone-but-the-epa-has-to-pay-for-polluting-the-environment.html /epawatch/2017-01-06-everyone-but-the-epa-has-to-pay-for-polluting-the-environment.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Read More]]> When it comes to government regulatory agencies, you are never right and they are never wrong. That is especially true for the Environmental Protection Agency, a bureaucracy that has become weaponized, politically speaking, under Barack Obama.

In August 2015, the Animas River in the southern part of Colorado and northern New Mexico was turned a grotesque shade of yellow-orange after a contracting crew working for the EPA accidentally released some 3 million gallons of toxic water filled with mining byproducts into the water. It was the largest environmental disaster of the year, but thus far it appears as though the agency has managed to shirk its responsibility for the massive spill.

But now, because of the inaction of the Obama administration and the EPA itself, three states and a number of Native American tribes have filed suit in federal court seeking to force the agency to do something it should have done voluntarily: Pay for the clean-up, just like it forces private companies and individuals to do when they pollute.

As reported by Inside Sources and Natural News, the Navajo Tribe filed suit under Federal Tort claims seeking more than $160 million in damages. The tribe’s reservation runs adjacent to the river and suffered when the toxic heavy metals contained in the contaminated water from the Gold King Mine near Silverton, CO., were released during a botched EPA ‘cleanup’ project.

Spending money they don’t have—and can’t get back

“In particular, it has impaired our ability to maintain the cultural, ceremonial and spiritual practices that undergird the Navajo way of life,” said Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch, in a press release, as cited by the Farmington Daily Times. “Through this claim and our corresponding lawsuit, we are demanding that the U.S. government finally provide the Navajo Nation relief.”

The Navajo Tribe is not alone, by a long shot. It is one of several communities that are seeking relief from the Obama administration to help pay for the costs of cleaning up the EPA’s massive spill and detoxifying drinking water during the period of contamination.

Earlier in December, the agency did agree to pay $4.5 million to state, local and tribal governments to help cover the emergency response costs that were tied to the spill. But agency officials denied some $20.4 million more in additional requests for past and future expenses that would not have been if the spill hadn’t occurred. That decision affected two Native American tribes and more than a dozen state and local agencies.

In recent days a pair of Colorado lawmakers pressured the EPA to pay the remainder of the claims, noting that a piece of legislation passed earlier in the month removed any legal obstacles that the agency cited as reasons for the denial.

But most definitely many of the costs that were denied should certainly have been paid, such as the $250,000 spent by the Navajo Nation to haul in drinking water to replace supplies that had been taken from the San Juan River downstream from the spill. The agency said it would only pay for the transport of water through early September 2015, just a few weeks after the spill, arguing by then that water was no longer contaminated.

Why does it take a lawsuit to get the EPA to do the right thing?

In addition, Inside Sources reported, the agency has refused any and all expenses incurred after October 31, 2015, when it shuttered its incident command center. Nevertheless, area communities argue that cleanup costs and observational testing continued beyond that date.

Besides, the cleanup and treatment of water are just a sample of what it costs to mitigate such spills. The potentially harmful yellow waters halted watersports of all kinds and most tourism to the area, robbing communities of revenue. And as cities in the area, like Durango, CO., stopped pumping drinking water from the river, residential wells nearby suffered contamination as well. In a bid to stop the contamination from spreading even further, area farmers stopped using river water for irrigation of crops.

None of those lost revenues have been paid by the EPA.

What is so maddening about all of this is that when individuals or small businesses or corporations screw up and harm the environment—or just violate some inane agency rule—the EPA is all over them like a cheap suit. But when the agency is at fault and should make good on its mistake, it takes an expensive series of lawsuits just to be compensated for monies that communities and companies would not have spent, were it not for the EPA’s malpractice.

Maybe that will all change under President Trump.

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for Natural News and News Target, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.





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Four more government officials charged in Flint water crisis /epawatch/2017-01-06-four-more-government-officials-charged-in-flint-water-crisis.html /epawatch/2017-01-06-four-more-government-officials-charged-in-flint-water-crisis.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Read More]]> In an ongoing investigation, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has announced criminal charges against four more government officials in connection with the Flint water crisis, bringing the total number of former or current officials charged in the scandal that has made national headlines to 13.

The individuals charged this week face multiple charges including false pretenses, conspiracy to commit false pretenses, misconduct in office, and willful neglect of duty in office, all of which are felonies with the exception of the willful neglect count. If found guilty in a court of law under the more serious felony charges, the four officials could wind up in jail for up to 20 years and could be hit with thousands of dollars in fines.

To date, Schuette has filed a total of 43 criminal charges in the Flint water contamination investigation. The first round of criminal charges from the AG’s office occurred in April and the second in July. Some of the previously charged officials have already entered in plea bargains, while other cases are on the docket for a court trial.

This all got started when, in an effort to save money in the financially strapped city located about 70 miles north of Detroit with a population of about 100,000, the Flint water supply in April 2014 was switched from Detroit’s Lake Huron (after a 50-year relationship) to the Flint River by order of the state, as Natural News previously reported.

The more corrosive river water caused lead to leach from city pipes into the drinking water,” Reuters noted about what developed into a public health crisis.

Residents began noticing that the water had a different smell and taste and was brown in color. City and state officials insisted that the water was safe, however, even though Virginia Tech researchers determined that it contained dangerous lead levels. In October 2015, the city reverted back to getting its water from Lake Huron.

A class action lawsuit brought by several Flint families alleges that locals suffered lead poisoning and other medical conditions and that the state Department of Environmental Quality failed to treat Flint River water with an inexpensive anti-corrosive agent that federal law requires.

Two of those criminally charged this week were state-appointed emergency managers allegedly overseeing the switch to the Flint River for the city’s drinking water.

“Prosecutors allege that the emergency managers conspired with two Flint employees…to enter into a contract under false pretenses that bound the city to use the river for its drinking water, even though the local water plant was in no condition to properly deliver safe water to residents. Even after the officials were told repeatedly that the Flint water department wasn’t ready to make the switch in 2014 and that the city should keep getting its water from Detroit, investigators say [the emergency managers] pushed the change forward in a bid to save money. The decision ultimately exposed children and other residents to lead-tainted water and resulted in the death of a dozen people from Legionnaire’s disease,” the Washington Post explained.

“The crisis in Flint was a casualty of arrogance, disdain and a failure of management.  An absence of accountability. We will proceed to deliver justice and hold those accountable who broke the law,” Schuette, who also separately suing two water engineering firms in civil court for alleged professional negligence and fraud, declared.

Although Flint resumed piping in its water from Detroit as well as its citizens receiving bottled water, the results of this failure of multiple levels of government could be irreversible. Especially with children, toxicity could result in lower IQs, developmental delays, and learning difficulties, apparently some of the known symptoms of lead poisoning.











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Does the EPA have all of Monsanto’s hidden science regarding glyphosate and GMOs? /epawatch/2017-01-03-does-the-epa-have-all-of-monsantos-hidden-science-regarding-glyphosate-and-gmos.html /epawatch/2017-01-03-does-the-epa-have-all-of-monsantos-hidden-science-regarding-glyphosate-and-gmos.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Read More]]> As you sit down to your various holiday feasts during the next week or so, maybe you ought to think about what’s in your food.

Do you really know the chemicals and GMO ingredients, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) probably EVEN doesn’t know many of them due to Monsanto’s probable unreported and/or hidden ‘science’ not surrendered as part of the ‘approval’ process for either glyphosate, Roundup® and Roundup Ready seeds for soy, corn, canola, alfalfa, cotton, and sorghum—with wheat under development!

(Article by Catherine J Frompovich, republished from NaturalBlaze.com)

It’s bad enough that numerous crops are “staged” with glyphosate spraying several days before harvest, which impregnates them with glyphosate residues, and that could be a contributing factor and reason for “gluten intolerance.”  Genetically modifying wheat is NOT a good idea, since wheat is the western world’s grain, similar to rice being the eastern world’s grain.  And “Golden Rice” hasn’t been accepted very well either.

Monsanto’s lobbyist, Patrick Moore, refuses to drink some Roundup® after proclaiming it won’t hurt you because, as he says, “I’m not an idiot!”  What does it tell you about that herbicide and, especially, Monsanto’s own lobbyist, who was promoting GMO Golden Rice, and their products?

Here’s an interesting article from the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website titled “Why Roundup Ready Crops Have Lost Their Allure”.  Still, corporate interests are pushing federal approval agencies to inundate the human and animal food chains with many more GMOs. [1]

EcoWatch produced the article “15 Health Problems Linked to Monsanto’s Roundup,” which include: ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, Anencephaly (birth defects), Autism, Brain cancer, Cancer, Celiac disease and gluten intolerance, chronic Kidney disease, Colitis, Depression, Diabetes, Heart disease, Hypothyroidism, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS) and “Leaky Gut Syndrome”, Liver disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Parkinson disease, Pregnancy problems (infertility, miscarriages, stillbirths), Obesity, Reproductive problems, and Respiratory illnesses. [2]

There’s been a rather interesting rumor circulating around Monsanto and GMO foods for quite a while now and it is: In the Monsanto corporate dining room, only organically-grown foods must be served!  Can a whistleblower come forth to provide proof of that?  If that is factual, then that’s something not only the public must know, but all regulatory agencies dealing with approving their respective aspects of GMOs: the U.S. FDA, USDA and EPA!

In the meantime, Food Democracy NOW has a petition website going titled “Tell the EPA to Release ALL of Monsanto’s Hidden Data on Glyphosate and GMOs”.

I heartily recommend readers read and sign now.

Are you aware that “in 1985, the EPA’s own scientists declared glyphosate to be a Category C ‘possible human carcinogen’ after reviewing studies submitted by Monsanto during the original approval”?

However, there are photographs of two-year-old rats from GMO feed studies that resulted in massive tumors.  Monsanto’s studies presented for GMO approvals stopped at 90 DAYS, not the normal two-year-life-cycle of rats!

study mice

Relative to Monsanto’s 90-day study, EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) stated,

“With respect to the detection of potential unintended effects in whole GM food and feed, it is unlikely that substances present in small amounts and with a low toxic potential will result in any observable (unintended) effects in a 90-day rodent feeding study, as they would be below the no-observed-effect-level and thus of unlikely impact to human health at normal intake levels.

Laboratory animal feeding studies of 90-days duration appear to be sufficient to pick up adverse effects of diverse compounds that would also give adverse effects after chronic exposure.”

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.2903/j.efsa.2008.1057/epdf (Pg. S-4)

However, “Seralini’s long-term study linking glyphosate to rat tumors was unfortunately retracted from the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology due to pressure from Monsanto lobbyists. The results of the study have since been republished in Environmental Sciences Europe.” [3]

Look what’s happened to food in Europe, which previously was relatively clean of GMOs!

In June 2015, EFSA issued a new guidance document on the information that companies need to provide when applying for renewed authorisation to import GM plants for food and feed into the European Union. The European Commission grants authorizations to place GM food and feed on the European market for a period of ten years. [4]

Could that impact your food shopping and buying practices regarding foods produced in Europe?  It certainly ought to affect what previously was considered GMO-free foods coming from European countries.

What do you think?  

Aren’t consumers entitled to know what’s in the food we are eating, e.g., GMOs and how that food was grown or produced/manufactured?

Shouldn’t there be “reverse advertising” on all food labels, e.g., no GMOs or GMO-free?

Shouldn’t the PLU identity number “8” be mandatory for all foods containing GMOs or grown as GMOs? [5]

Currently, the PLU identity number “9” identifies organically-grown food.

Won’t you please tell the EPA what you think about GMOs and sign the petition?  Thanks!

Read more at: NaturalBlaze.com


[1] Harvard.edu

[2] EcoWatch.com

[3] GMO.news

[4] Elingreso.com

[5] EFSA.Europa.eu

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New EPA head appointed by Trump may finally begin dismantling the EPA’s overbearing, totalitarian ‘authority’ /epawatch/2016-12-26-new-epa-head-appointed-by-trump-may-finally-begin-to-dismantle-the-epas-overbearing-totalitarian-authority.html /epawatch/2016-12-26-new-epa-head-appointed-by-trump-may-finally-begin-to-dismantle-the-epas-overbearing-totalitarian-authority.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Read More]]> Donald Trump is no stranger to controversy, but his latest choice has been sending heads a-spinning. Trump has chosen Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to take charge of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Pruitt has not minced words when it comes to his feelings about Obama’s EPA, choosing instead to voice his criticisms openly, and has sued the federal agency several times over the years. Pruitt has filed lawsuits against the EPA for their water regulations and their contentious climate-control regulations for power plants. Having questioned the human role in climate change, and the existence of climate change entirely, Pruitt is perhaps the radical Left’s worst nightmare for anything environment-related.

Elected as Attorney General in 2010, Pruitt has primarily been focusing on returning regulatory power to the states, and reducing the power of the federal government. Seems reasonable, given that the entire point of the Constitution and Bill of Rights was actually to limit the power of the federal government. Many people seem to have gotten this confused with the notion that these documents are somehow intended to limit the power of the people in this country – which is simply incorrect, and is a testament to the crumbling of our educational system.

Pruitt has indeed been fighting for a just cause, even if the Left can’t grasp the concept and instead turns to dramatic headlines and the worn-out “climate-denier” and “anti-science” rhetoric. Regardless of the drivel they spew, the fact remains that many people will be quite pleased with Pruitt as head of the EPA, and feel that he will do a great job cleaning up the bloated and self-aggrandizing federal agency.

The primary focus of the EPA administrator is simply to implement and administer the environmental laws that are passed by Congress, and, as The Hill writer Benjamin Zycher explains, “to limit agency actions to those authorized in actual provisions of the laws promulgated by the representatives of the people and of the states.” The regulations used to bring those laws to life must also be consistent with the laws and the Constitution.

Pursuing policies to satiate the political preferences of special interest groups is certainly not in the job description. It was not too long ago that two watchdog organizations, the Energy and Environmental Legal Institute (E&E Legal) and Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FMELC), wrote a letter to the EPA inspector general to request an investigation on collusive deals in 2014. You see, the EPA had allowed two big industry players – the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and The Sierra Club – to actually help write regulatory policy for the war on coal.

At the time, E&E Legal’s attorney Chris Horner commented, “EPA’s hostility toward transparency is now well established.”

Regardless of whether it is the fossil fuel industry, environmentalists or any other group, it is emphatically not the job of the EPA to create policies for appeasement. As Zycher notes, only Congress is responsible for managing and balancing such conflicting demands. The goal of the EPA administrator is not, in fact, to”save the planet.”

While the Left may say that Pruitt is an “opponent of the EPA,” the truth is that he merely opposes EPA overreach. More specifically, he opposes the EPA’s regulatory efforts that are not supported by Congress. The EPA is not supposed to use its power to advance its own personal ideologies or to increase its own power; these are the kinds of actions that Pruitt reportedly stands against.

Zycher posits that Pruitt is likely to put an end to the games the EPA has grown to love to play, especially the cost/benefit analyses they use to justify their often ridiculous regulations. Hopefully, Pruitt sees that the EPA has grown into nothing more than a special interest group with too much power and too little integrity.





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Washington state suing Monsanto over toxic pollution from PCBs /epawatch/2016-12-26-washington-state-suing-monsanto-over-toxic-pollution-from-pcbs.html /epawatch/2016-12-26-washington-state-suing-monsanto-over-toxic-pollution-from-pcbs.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Read More]]> The state of Washington has joined the list of those who have filed lawsuits against Monsanto over lingering environmental pollution caused by PCBs – a group of now-banned and highly toxic chemicals that the company manufactured between 1935 and 1977.

Several West Coast cities, including San Diego, Portland and at least half a dozen others, have also filed PCB lawsuits against Monsanto, but the Washington case marks the first time an entire state has entered into such litigation.

The state is seeking damages from the agribusiness giant on grounds of negligence, failure to warn the public about the dangers of PCBs, and trespass and injury of Washington’s natural resources.

Before becoming an agrichemical company, Monsanto was the sole manufacturer of PCBs, which were used as insulation for electronics and for many other industrial and commercial applications.

After PCBs were linked to cancer, birth defects, liver damage and other serious health problems, their use was finally banned in 1979. But the chemicals remain in the environment, even several decades later.

In a statement, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said:

“PCBs have been found in bays, rivers, streams, sediment, soil and air throughout Washington state, with more than 600 suspected or confirmed contamination sites from Puget Sound to the Wenatchee River, Lake Spokane to Commencement Bay.”

Monsanto lied about the dangers of PCBs for decades

Ferguson accused Monsanto of manufacturing PCBs “for decades while hiding what they knew about the toxic chemicals’ harm to human health and the environment.”

His accusation was based on documents that showed Monsanto knew from the very beginning that PCBs were toxic.

From The Associated Press:

“Ferguson, a Democrat, pointed to internal Monsanto documents that show the company long knew about the danger the chemicals posed. In 1937, an internal memo said testing on animals showed ‘systemic toxic effects’ from prolonged exposure by inhaling PCB fumes or ingestion.”

Other committee memos from the following decades showed that the company was aware all along of the dangers associated with PCBs, but in 1969 Monsanto sent a letter to to the New Jersey Department of Conservation that said: “Based on available data, manufacturing and use experience, we do not believe PCBs to be seriously toxic.”

Ferguson said that there are PCBs “in every waterway in the state,” including the Skagit River, where Ferguson’s ancestors settled in the 19th century.

“That river, the Skagit River, which my family depended on to a great degree in the 19th century as they homesteaded here, is now contaminated by PCBs, as are the fish,” an infuriated Ferguson said. “That makes me mad.”

Seattle’s Duwamish River has been designated an EPA Superfund cleanup site – largely due to PCBs – and the state Department of Health has issued 13 fish consumption advisories for several lakes and waterways polluted by the toxic chemicals.

Not surprisingly, Monsanto has denied any wrongdoing, saying that PCBs were a “lawful and useful product,” and that any cleanup costs are the responsibility of “third parties” that used Monsanto’s PCBs to manufacture “other useful products.”

But if Monsanto lied about the dangers of PCBs – as the company’s own documents indicate – then the courts may rule in favor of the plaintiff, which in this case could mean damages amounting to millions or even billions of dollars.

Monsanto’s toxic legacy

It’s impossible to name another company that has played a bigger role in poisoning the planet than Monsanto. Between PCBs, glyphosate, DDT,  Agent Orange and other toxic products, the risk of the average person’s developing serious health issues has been multiplied beyond measure by a single, greedy corporation.

It appears that Monsanto can no longer hide behind its lies as easily as it once did – public awareness is increasing as new lawsuits continue to be filed and new information becomes available exposing the dangers of glyphosate, GMOs and the company’s deceptive practices in general.

It may take more than a single lawsuit to put Monsanto out of business for good, but it’s a step in the right direction.






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Four more officials charged in Flint water crisis /epawatch/2016-12-22-four-more-officials-charged-in-flint-water-crisis.html /epawatch/2016-12-22-four-more-officials-charged-in-flint-water-crisis.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Read More]]> (NaturalNews) Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed criminal charges against four more people in connection with the Flint water crisis, bringing the total number of people charged to 13. The office is also suing two engineering companies.

Those charged placed concern for finances over the health of Flint residents, Schuette said.

“All too prevalent and very evident during the course of this investigation has been a fixation on finances and balance sheets. This fixation has cost lives. This fixation came with the expense of protecting the health and safety of Flint. It’s all about numbers over people, money over health.”

Stolen money used to poison children

The new charges center around a conspiracy to get the city to stop purchasing water from the city of Detroit in order to save money. This led Flint to draw water from the heavily contaminated Flint River, poisoning hundreds of children with lead and other heavy metals.

Two former emergency managers of Flint, Jerry Ambrose and Darnell Earley, were charged with felonies for conspiracy and false pretenses, and misdemeanors for misconduct in office and willful neglect of duty.

Due to its years-long financial crisis, Flint had its finances placed under the control of emergency managers. Schuette said that Ambrose and Earley supported the construction of the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA) pipeline – which has yet to be completed – but knew the it could not be built without financial contributions from Flint. Because the city was millions of dollars in debt, they could not issue new bonds to pay for the pipeline. So, the men misused an emergency clause intended to deal with “fire, flood, or other calamity” to illicitly borrow tens of millions of dollars. Allegedly, the money was meant to clean up a contaminated lagoon; instead it was all diverted to the KWA.

With this money, the pipeline project moved forward, allowing Ambrose and Earley to push for Flint to disconnect from the Detroit water supply. The men had also concealed a provision in the bond application requiring Flint to get its drinking water from the Flint River while the KWA was under construction.

According to Schuette, the men knew that the Flint water plant was not properly equipped to treat water as heavily contaminated as that from the Flint River.

Ambrose and Earley, who reported directly to Governor Rick Snyder, are the highest level officials to be charged so far. Their indictment led U.S. Representative Elijah E. Cummings to demand once more that Snyder appear before the House Oversight Committee.

Investigation continues

The other men charged, Howard Croft and Daugherty Johnson, were officials at the city water plant during the switch. According to Schuette, they conspired with Ambrose and Earley to conceal signs that the water treatment plant wasn’t ready for the switch.

Croft also is accused of approving a decision to not use anti-corrosive agents in the water supply. The absence of these agents caused the water to dissolve lead pipes, leaching lead into the water.

Although Croft cited concern over bacterial growth as his reason for keeping the anti-corrosives out of the water, the corrosion itself led to one of the country’s largest outbreaks of Legionnaire’s disease, killing a dozen people. Ambrose was warned about a Legionnaire’s outbreak in March 2015, but two weeks later still publicly insisted that the water was safe.

Schuette reiterated that his investigation is ongoing, and that no individual is immune.

“There are voices out there that hope the poisoning of the water in Flint could be swept under the rug,” he said. “And they hope and wish that the 24-hour news cycle would move on to another subject. Flint deserves better, and the people of Flint are not expendable, so to move on is unacceptable.”

The people previously indicted are accused of concealing and tampering with reports showing high lead levels in city water and the blood of residents, and of lying to federal officials.

Sources for this article include:






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Water crisis in Corpus Christi, TX: ‘Unknown’ chemicals contaminate drinking water /epawatch/2016-12-22-water-crisis-in-corpus-christi-tx-unknown-chemicals-contaminated-drinking-water.html /epawatch/2016-12-22-water-crisis-in-corpus-christi-tx-unknown-chemicals-contaminated-drinking-water.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Read More]]> (NaturalNews) Tens of thousands of residents of Corpus Christi, Texas, are still being told not to use their tap water after an asphalt chemical leaked into the city water supply.

The city first issued warnings about the water on Wednesday, December 14. Some restrictions have already been lifted, and others may be lifted soon if tests give the municipal water a clean bill of health.

But residents were angered to learn that officials had received reports of discolored water as much as two weeks before issuing the warnings, and had not investigated those reports.

According to federal officials, there are four unconfirmed reports of people showing symptoms of illness consistent with drinking poisoned water.

Corrosive, organ-destroying chemical

Under current restrictions, the city of 300,000 is divided into three different water use zones. In the first zone, municipal water may be used for any purpose. In the second zone, residents are encouraged not to use municipal water for any purpose at all and to use bottled water for everything including bathing. In the third zone, the water is considered safe for bathing or clothes washing, except by children who might swallow the water if they bathe in it. Water in this zone should not be consumed internally.

The city said that up to 24 gallons of a toxic chemical had spilled from a facility operated by Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions Inc., a subsidiary of oil refiner Valero. It is still unknown whether the water supply was contaminated by the incident.

But as early as December 1, the city had received a report of discolored water. It received another such report on December 7, followed by a December 12 report of an unusual odor and appearance to the water. Two days later, the city issued its first warnings.

The chemical in question is a mix of hydrochloric acid and Indulin AA-86, an asphalt emulsifier that is corrosive to the skin, eyes and respiratory tract and can cause damage to internal organs.

With the water ban in place, schools and businesses had to close across the city. Stores began to sell out of bottled water immediately and placed emergency orders for shipments of more.

“People [are] waiting in aisles with their grocery carts ready for them to put out the new water shipments,” resident Zach Kastelic said.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton warned people against trying to profit from the crisis.

“Every resource of my office will be made available to help regarding the water supply incident in Corpus Christi,” Paxton said. “We’re monitoring the situation closely. Price gouging on bottled water will not be tolerated.”

Public and private donors supplied bottled water to be given out free to residents, but it took three days for the deliveries to start arriving.

Slowness marks official response

Corpus Christi residents have been angered by both the company’s and city’s responses to the crisis. More than half a dozen lawsuits have already been filed against Ergon.

The city has been criticized for the slow nature of its response, both before and after the potential contamination was announced.

In part, the delay in testing the chemical was beyond the city’s control, however. Because Indulin AA-86 is a proprietary chemical, the city was forced to waste valuable time petitioning Ergon for more information on the chemical. The company actually forced the city to sign a non-disclosure agreement before revealing the contaminant’s chemical formula.

Then – because the U.S. legal system requires essentially no safety tests or protocols to be created before chemicals are allowed to enter the market – it turned out that there was no known test that could reveal the presence of Indulin AA-86 in water. Thus, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first had to develop such a test, which it then ran on samples of Corpus Christi water.

Sources for this article include:





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Scientifically illiterate EPA thinks people can be a ‘blend’ of male and female genders /epawatch/2016-12-15-scientifically-illiterate-epa-thinks-people-can-be-a-blend-of-male-and-female-genders.html /epawatch/2016-12-15-scientifically-illiterate-epa-thinks-people-can-be-a-blend-of-male-and-female-genders.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Read More]]> A prenatal ultrasound test can definitively reveal whether a human who is safely developing in the womb is male or female. And since the early days of humanity, long before ultrasounds had come about, people have known that each human baby is either a male or female. A person is one or the other, but not both at the same time.

This obvious fact has been accepted over time and backed up by science. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) somehow thinks it can bypass reality and long-accepted societal standards to create its own definitions and policies on how gender is defined.

False claims

“Gender identity is ‘[o]ne’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither—how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves,’” the EPA claims. The problem is that this is utterly false. One does not determine one’s own gender; one is born as one gender, not a mixture of both male and female. Gender is not based on one’s “innermost concept of self.” A person can no more determine what gender (or mix of genders) they are than what race they are. This is obvious fact, backed up by such biological realities as gender-based anatomical characteristics, traits and hormones.

Collecting highly personal employee information

The EPA is collecting data from its employees through the Sexual Orientation Gender Identity (SOGI) program, asking them to voluntarily provide information on their sexual orientation and on whether they identify as male, female or a combination of both genders.

In addition to spreading the lie that a person can be a hybrid of both male and female at the same time, the EPA indicates that a person can identify with no gender at all. Not too many years ago, this type of idea would have been considered preposterous and laughable. But now, people in the federal government distribute ideas like these with straight faces.

Expanding information-gathering reach

The program was originally carried out just in the Midwest region of the country, and has recently become a national information-gathering initiative. By 2017, it is expected that the EPA will collect gender identity and sexual orientation information not just from employees, but also from those applying for jobs within the powerful federal agency.

The EPA’s goal in gathering this information from employees and candidates nationwide is to create more inclusive workplaces, and it believes that having this intimate information is essential for workplaces to be inclusive of all gender identifications and sexual orientations.

Matt Fritz, the EPA’s chief of staff, claimed in an announcement that the SOGI information would be an “important resource for developing workforce engagement strategies and improving organizational performance.” However, it is unclear how knowing about employees’ gender identifications and sexual orientations would accomplish those lofty objectives.

Privacy and security concerns

Collecting such personal and private information about employees should be a concern to everyone, especially considering that it is not clear how the EPA would handle the information, how it would use the information at some point in the future, and whether it would manage to keep the information private. With the reality of cyber attacks today, it is not guaranteed that the information would stay under lock and key.

The people at the EPA who are grossly misleading others when it comes to facts about gender need to emerge from their delusions and live in reality. The sooner it realigns such skewed thinking with the real world, the more effective the EPA will be at getting back to its real job of protecting our environment.





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