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Stories by Jim Morris

'Chemicals of Concern' list still wrapped in OMB red tape

For anyone anxious about toxic chemicals in the environment, Sunday marked a dubious milestone.... Read more»0

Workplace deaths up slightly in 2011

As investigators unravel what caused a Texas fertilizer plant explosion last week that killed 14, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that 4,693 workers died on the job in 2011, three more than in 2010.... Read more»0

Fertilizer trade group opposed stricter security rules

Like many, the Fertilizer Institute, a trade group, has extended its condolences to the people of West, Texas, where a blast at a fertilizer plant Wednesday evening killed at least a dozen and injured about 200. The Washington-based institute, however, has lobbied against legislation that would require high-risk chemical facilities – including some of its members – to consider using safer substances and processes to lower the risk of catastrophic accidents and make such facilities less inviting to terrorists.... Read more»0

As critics press for action, Chemical Safety Board investigations languish

As members of Congress raise questions, the Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general is auditing the U.S. Chemical Safety Board’s investigative process.... Read more»0

Temp worker injuries often go unrecorded

America currently has 2.5 million temporary, or contingent, workers — a growing but mostly invisible group of laborers who often toil in the least desirable, most dangerous jobs. Such workers are hurt more frequently than permanent employees and their injuries often go unrecorded. ... Read more»0

Diesel engine exhaust earns 'carcinogenic' label

Diesel engine exhaust is “carcinogenic to humans,” an international health body declared Tuesday, bolstering the findings of a controversial study published recently in the United States.... Read more»0

OSHA whistleblower wins court victory

A whistleblower who was fired by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after complaining publicly about the poor quality of injury and illness data kept by employers has won a major court victory.... Read more»0

Report: Fatal work injuries rose in 2010

The Department of Labor reported Wednesday that 4,690 U.S. workers suffered fatal injuries in 2010, a 3 percent increase from 2009.... Read more»0

Politics, industry and EPA stymie air toxics crackdown

The stumbling, two-decade-old war on hazardous air pollutants — declared on Nov. 15, 1990, the day President George H. W. Bush signed the Clean Air Act amendments into law — has stalled on bureaucratic dawdling, industry resistance, legal maneuvering, limited resources and politics.... Read more»0

As Az and EPA clash, Hayden awaits relief from toxic air

In some Hayden families, generations claim to have suffered ill effects from air pollution from the town's copper smelter. Deaths from cancer are common. Now the feds are moving against Asarco when the state wouldn't, which could mean millions in fines for the copper giant. (with video)... Read more»0

EPA's internal Clear Air Act 'watch list'

This spreadsheet contains the names and locations of 464 facilities on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s internal Clean Air Act “watch list.” The list includes serious or chronic violators of the act that have faced no formal enforcement action for many months. Until now, the list has not been made public.... Read more»0

Many Americans left behind in quest for cleaner air

Americans might expect the government to protect them from unsafe air, but insidious forms of toxic air pollution persist in hundreds of communities across the United States.... Read more»0

Canada resists adding deadly asbestos to toxics blacklist

Canada reinforced its reputation as a public health outcast this week by declining to support the inclusion of asbestos on a toxics blacklist.... Read more»0

Lame duck Congress may toughen OSHA

For an agency so widely feared and demonized by American business, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is a relative pushover. Compared to the Environmental Protection Agency, which has tough statutes such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act at its disposal, OSHA is a paper tiger.... Read more»1