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Environment

Environmental laws like the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Food Quality Protection Act improve America’s environment and protect public health. These landmark laws have helped provide Americans cleaner air, cleaner water, and safer food. While these environmental laws have been successful, a number of recent investigations for members of Congress by the Special Investigations Division have highlighted ongoing environmental problems.

Latest News

Monday, May 19, 2008

White House Involved in California Waiver Denial

New documents and testimony obtained by the Committee show that EPA career staff unanimously supported granting California’s request for a waiver to enforce its greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and trucks. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson also supported granting the petition, at least in part, until he communicated with the White House.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Chairman Waxman Requests EPA Analyses of Global Warming Pollution from Transportation

In a letter to EPA Administrator Johnson, Chairman Waxman requested copies of analyses performed by EPA to evaluate transportation sector global warming pollution reductions needed to meet climate goals.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Chairman Waxman Releases Internal Administration Documents, Calls for Right Whale Protections

In a letter to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Dudley, Chairman Waxman urged the release of a pending rule to protect endangered right whales from being killed by ships, and released documents indicating that the rule’s delay may be due to baseless objections raised by White House officials.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Chairman Waxman Requests Testimony on Political Interference at EPA

In a letter to EPA Administrator Johnson, Chairman Waxman requested that he be prepared to testify regarding the recently released Union of Concerned Scientists Report documenting extensive and widespread political interference with the work of scientists at EPA.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chairman Waxman, Chairman Markey, and Rep. Inslee Release Principles for Global Warming Legislation

Today on Earth Day, three Congressional leaders on climate and energy issues laid out principles for any effective legislative solution to the challenge of global warming. Chairman Henry A. Waxman, Chairman Ed Markey and Rep. Jay Inslee released “Principles for Global Warming Legislation,” which are designed to provide a framework for Congress as it produces legislation to establish an economy-wide mandatory program to cut global warming emissions.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Chairman Waxman Responds to Ranking Member Davis’ Request

In a letter to Ranking Member Davis, Chairman Waxman responded to his request that the Committee investigate the role of President Clinton in the establishment of ozone standards set by the EPA in 1997 by detailing the Congress’ exhaustive examination of the issue that occurred at the time of the decision.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Chairman Waxman Issues a Subpoena for White House Documents

Chairman Waxman issued a subpoena to compel the White House Office of Management and Budget to provide documents relating to EPA’s recent decision to establish ozone air quality standards that disregarded the recommendations of EPA staff and EPA’s independent scientific review committee.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Chairman Waxman Urges Protection of Los Angeles River Basin

In a letter to EPA Administrator Johnson, Chairman Waxman urged Johnson to exercise EPA’s authority to block a proposed determination by the Army Corps of Engineers that could result in significant water quality degradation in the Los Angeles River Basin.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Chairman Waxman Criticizes EPA Proposal That Would Allow Contaminated Drinking Water

In a letter to EPA Administrator Johnson, Chairman Waxman expressed his concerns that an EPA proposal could expose significant populations in the United States to contamination levels in drinking water up to three times what the law now allows.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Chairman Waxman Issues Subpoena for EPA Documents

Chairman Henry A. Waxman today issued a subpoena to compel EPA to provide unredacted copies of documents involving the White House that have been improperly withheld from the Committee regarding EPA’s decision to reject California’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Chairman Waxman Questions EPA’s Losses in Federal Court

In a letter to EPA Administrator Johnson, Chairman Waxman requested information regarding the extent and effects of EPA’s numerous losses in federal court on EPA rules that the courts found were contrary to law.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Chairman Waxman Presses EPA for Answers on Proposal to Increase Air Pollution in National Parks

Following an unsatisfactory response to an earlier letter sent to EPA Administrator Johnson, Chairman Waxman requests clarification of a proposed regulation that threatens to allow increased air pollution in the National Parks and other clean air areas.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Chairman Waxman Reiterates Request for OMB Documents Related to Ozone Regulation

In a letter to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Susan Dudley, Chairman Waxman reiterated the Committee’s request for documents related to the rejection of expert recommendations for ozone air quality standards.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Chairman Waxman Statement on EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Decision

Chairman Henry A. Waxman released a statement in response to a letter from EPA Administrator Johnson.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Chairman Waxman Issues a Subpoena for EPA Documents

Chairman Waxman issued a subpoena to compel EPA to provide unredacted copies of documents that have been improperly withheld from the Committee regarding EPA’s decision to reject California’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

GAO Report Finds EPA Library Closures Flawed

A new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) finds that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) effort to close regional and research libraries around the country has been plagued by managerial problems.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Chairman Waxman Requests Explanation for EPA’s Decision to Ignore Scientific Experts

In a letter to EPA Administrator Johnson, Chairman Waxman requested an explanation for EPA’s decision to adopt national ambient air quality standards for particulate matter and ozone contrary to the recommendations of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

EPA Efforts to Regulate Carbon Dioxide Stymied

Senior EPA officials have told the Committee that after the agency concluded in December that CO2 emissions were a danger to the United States and proposed significant cuts in motor vehicle emissions, the agency’s regulatory efforts were halted.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Rural Utilities Service Agrees to Moratorium on New Coal-Fired Power Plants

In a response to a letter from Chairman Waxman, RUS stated that it would not fund any new coal-fired power plants until it can calculate and apply a factor to reflect financial risks.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Chairman Waxman Introduces H.R. 5575, the "Moratorium on Uncontrolled Power Plants Act"

Today Chairman Henry A. Waxman and Chairman Edward J. Markey introduced H.R. 5575, the “Moratorium on Uncontrolled Power Plants Act of 2008.” The legislation addresses the largest new source of global warming pollution — new coal-fired power plants that are being built without any controls on their global warming emissions.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Chairman Waxman Requests Improperly Withheld EPA Documents

In a letter to EPA Administrator Johnson, Chairman Waxman requested documents that have been improperly withheld from the Committee regarding EPA’s decision to reject California’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Members Ask Rural Utility Service How it is Protecting Taxpayer Subsidized Loans from the Financial Risks of Climate Change

In a letter to the Rural Utilities Service, Chairman Waxman and Rep. Jim Cooper asked how RUS is addressing the financial risks of building new coal-fired power plants without emissions controls for greenhouse gases, when RUS provides taxpayer-subsidized loans for such plants. Failure to account for costs these plants may face for future carbon controls would put taxpayer dollars at risk.

Friday, February 08, 2008

New Leadership Appointed at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

After the Committee raised questions about the conduct of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and its then-director, Dr. David Schwartz, the Director of the National Institutes of Health announced there would be a comprehensive review of Dr. Schwartz’s conduct and Dr. Schwartz resigned.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Chairman Waxman Issues a Subpoena for EPA Presentations

Chairman Waxman issued a subpoena to compel the EPA to provide unredacted copies of a key presentation EPA staff made to Administrator Johnson in October 2007 about California’s regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Chairman Waxman Urges EPA to Protect Air Quality Near National Parks

In a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, Chairman Waxman urged the agency to reject a proposed rule that would make it easier to build large, new polluting facilities near national parks and wilderness areas without installing adequate pollution controls. Chairman Waxman also requested an explanation of how the flawed proposal was approved and why the concerns identified by EPA’s key technical staff were ignored.

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