Green groups angered over EPA’s newest regulations for rocket fuel chemical

Read the full story in The Hill.

Environmental groups are saying the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) isn’t going far enough with its new regulations for a chemical commonly used in rocket fuel.

Scientists in various organizations are saying that proposed limits for perchlorate in drinking water were significantly higher than experts recommended.

Pollution cover-ups exposed in Chinese provinces

Read the full story in Nature.

A government investigation reveals thousands of violations — some by local officials who helped companies to cover up illegal waste dumping.

Diamond technology cleans up PFAS contaminated wastewater

Read the full story at MSU Today.

More than 1.5 million Michigan residents and potentially more than hundreds of sites nationwide ­– and counting – have PFAS-tainted water. Michigan State University-Fraunhofer USA, Inc. Center for Coatings and Diamond Technologies (MSU-Fraunhofer) is developing a scalable treatment option for PFAS-contaminated wastewater.

Bill seeks to speed up EPA approach to Wright-Patt, Dayton contaminant

Read the full story in the Dayton Daily News.

A new bill in the U.S. Senate aims to help identify the health effects of a type of contaminant found in drinking water supplies near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and a Dayton firefighter training center.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, sponsors the bill called the Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act. The bill would address barriers that limit the government’s response to the chemicals called PFAS, found in man-made firefighting foam, his office said.

Experts call out Trump’s EPA for redefining environmental standards to allow for more air pollution

Read the full story in Salon.

President Donald Trump is planning on making it easier for air polluters to conceal the lives lost due to their actions — and a top climatologist and geophysicist is calling for him to be held accountable.

The Trump administration has instructed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use a new method for projecting the future health risks of air pollution, which would significantly reduce last year’s estimate that up to 1,400 additional premature deaths will occur every year due to a proposed new rule on coal plant emissions, according to The New York Times. The plan is controversial, in part, because experts claim it has not been peer-reviewed and is not scientifically sound, breaking precedent in terms of how the EPA attempts to handle environmental regulations.

Inslee signs bill to make Washington first state to legalize human composting

Read the full story in The Hill.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a bill Tuesday making the Evergreen State the first in the nation to legalize human composting.

The bill will take effect on May 1, 2020, and recognizes “natural organic reduction” and a process commonly known as “liquid cremation” as legal means of disposing of human bodies. Washington state law previously permitted only burial and cremation.

The bill passed with large bipartisan majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.

Inslee, who is running for president, has cast environmental issues as the cornerstone of his White House bid.

Trump Administration Hardens Its Attack on Climate Science

Read the full story in the New York Times.

President Trump has rolled back environmental regulations, pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord, brushed aside dire predictions about the effects of climate change, and turned the term “global warming” into a punch line rather than a prognosis.

Now, after two years spent unraveling the policies of his predecessors, Mr. Trump and his political appointees are launching a new assault.

In the next few months, the White House will complete the rollback of the most significant federal effort to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, initiated during the Obama administration. It will expand its efforts to impose Mr. Trump’s hard-line views on other nations, building on his retreat from the Paris accord and his recent refusal to sign a communiqué to protect the rapidly melting Arctic region unless it was stripped of any references to climate change.

And, in what could be Mr. Trump’s most consequential action yet, his administration will seek to undermine the very science on which climate change policy rests.

Getting Started in Science Journalism: A TON Collection

Are you new to science writing? Or are you just thinking about getting into the field and wondering what it’s all about? The Open Notebook has published more than 350 articles and other resources aimed at helping science journalists sharpen their skills—and helping newcomers get started. This page contains a small subset of those resources, with a focus on what’s most relevant to new science writers. Dig in!

Bio-based Material of the Year 2019

Read the full story from the Nova Institute.

For the 12th year in a row, the innovation award “Bio-based Material of the Year” has been granted to the young, innovative bio-based chemicals and materials industry. The award has been sponsored by InfraServ Knapsack and organized by nova-Institute (both located in Hürth, Germany).

After a 10-minute presentation from each of the six nominated companies, the three award winners were chosen by the expert audience at the “12thInternational Conference on Bio-based Materials” ( The six nominees were previously selected by a jury from a total of 21 submissions. With more than 270 participants and 30 exhibitors, the conference was able to further establish itself as one of the world’s most important meeting places for the leaders of the bioeconomy.

InfraServ Knapsack sponsored the Innovation Award and presented it together with Michael Carus, Managing Director of nova-Institut GmbH and organizer of the conference.

The Hazards of Hazard Communication: Importance, Rewards, and Challenges of Science in the Public Sphere

Download the document.

This report summarizes session PA23B: The Hazards of Hazard Communication: Importance, Rewards, and Challenges of Science in the Public Sphere, at the 2018 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union on 11 December 2018, 1:40pm-3:40pm, in Washington, D.C.

A combination of actions identified during this session will improve hazard communication by both individual scientists and institutions. Individual scientists should identify resources available to them through their institution and the broader scientific community, where applicable. Institutions should ensure they have a communications plan or strategy in place to respond to information needs, particularly during events. All parties benefit from defining and understanding roles and relationships prior to events, and there is a call for a more organized system of connecting scientists not responsible for a crisis response with responsible agencies to support communications efforts. Additionally, session participants called for and we endorse the development of communications training specific to the challenges faced by scientists regardless of their affiliations and institutional roles during geohazards-related crises.