The Price of an Oil Spill

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

On Monday, the United States Justice Department announced a settlement with BP over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil behemoth must pay more than $20 billion to government agencies on both the state and federal levels.

Although the Justice Department first announced the terms of the deal in July—when BP agreed to settle state and federal claims for $18.7 billion—Monday’s announcement includes additional money that BP has already paid toward fines and damages.


Why Did Volkswagen Only Rig Emissions Systems On Diesel Cars?

Read the full post at Consumerist.

Volkswagen has admitted to rigging the emissions control systems on 11 million diesel cars over the last seven years, but those only represent a fraction of all the vehicles produced by VW during that time. Why did the carmaker only choose to tinker with its diesel vehicles instead of the larger number of gasoline cars? And how do we know VW didn’t mess with these vehicles?

These are questions that Consumerist reader Dick has been wondering since the VW emissions scandal first broke on Sept. 18.

“In other words, we already know that they cheat,” he says. “Why do we seem to think they cheat only with their diesels?”

With No U.S. Standards, Pot Pesticide Use Is Rising Public Health Threat

Read the full story at Rocky Mountain PBS News.

In states like Colorado and Washington, there is a tremendous amount of money riding on healthy cannabis crops these days. But unlike, say, a corn farmer, growers in the legal-marijuana industry don’t have a clear understanding yet of which pesticides and fungicides are safe to use – for workers or consumers. Though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates pesticide use on other crops, it has not tested any for use on marijuana because the plant remains illegal at the federal level. And without federal approval, the use of non-registered pesticides is technically a violation of the law.

Preempting the Public Interest: How TTIP Will Limit US States’ Public Health and Environmental Protections

Download the document.

This report details how EU proposals for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would usurp US states’ authority to regulate toxic chemicals. These proposals would not only curtail states’ efforts to protect the public from toxic exposure, but also threaten any State regulations in the public interest that exceed federal standards.

Warning of dangers to health, environment, UN experts urge phase-out of hazardous pesticides

Read the full story from the United Nations.

Two independent United Nations human rights experts today called for an immediate worldwide phase-out on use of highly hazardous pesticides that are inflicting significant damage on human health and the environment.

CPSC considers ban on toxic flame retardants in household products

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

For the government’s top consumer safety watchdog, protecting Americans from household hazards typically means prodding companies to recall defective products that strangle children, cause life-threatening burns or trigger bone-breaking falls.

The chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission thinks it is time to start forcing toxic chemicals off the market too.

In an interview, Elliot Kaye said his experience as the father of two young boys led him to push for more aggressive government action to protect children from harmful substances commonly found in toys and other household products.


EPA sets limit for toxic pollutants released into waterways

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday imposed new standards for mercury, lead and other toxic pollutants that are discharged into the nation’s rivers and streams from steam electric power plants.