Close up side shot of microplastics lay on people hand.Concept of water pollution and global warming.

Latest Microplastics Finding: Human Heart Tissue

Microplastics have been detected in human lungs and placentas, stool and blood, and the latest finding: heart tissue. In a pilot study published in Environmental Science & Technology, researchers studied 15 patients, ranging in age from 41 to 75, who underwent heart surgery at the Beijing Anzhen Hospital in China. Through the use of laser-direct infrared chemical imaging, researchers discovered nine types of microplastics were found across five types of tissue, with the largest measuring 469 micrometers in diameter. These included polypropylene (used in food …

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EPA Offices, Washington DC

FDA to EPA: Pump the Brakes on New EtO Rules During Supply Chain Shortage

With COVID diagnoses spiking across the United States this summer, we cannot yet claim that the pandemic is behind us. In fact, we are still experiencing residual medical device and equipment shortages, which has caused medical providers to spend billions on alternative sterile medical products and even implementing rations in some cases. Complicating the issue is the fact that, typically, only a handful of manufacturers and suppliers distribute these life-saving products, so alternatives can be difficult to procure. Shortages appear to be endangering other …

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Three hydro- fracking derricks drilling natural gas on a plain

California Supreme Court Holds Local Ordinance Banning Oil and Gas Drilling Preempted by State Law

Last week, the California Supreme Court, in a rare unanimous ruling, struck down a Monterey County voter-approved local initiative that would have banned oil and gas drilling and imposed severe restrictions on oil and gas development in the county. In the court’s view, the local ordinance is preempted by state law and was struck down. The decision came in the case of Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. County of Monterey, S271869.

By way of background, back in 2016, Project Monterey Club, a local environmental …

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Gas pipeline construction in Greece.

Congress Streamlined the Pipeline Construction by Limiting Court’s Jurisdiction

On July 27, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a three sentence order that vacated the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s orders staying the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The pipeline is being built through Virginia and West Virginia and is being constructed to provide additional natural gas for winter in the South and Mid-Atlantic. Several environmental groups oppose this pipeline because they allege that endangered fish species would be harmed by the construction.   

The Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, Pub.L.No. 118-5, 137 …

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Filling glass of water from the tap

U.S. Geological Survey Study Warns 45 Percent of Tap Water in United States Could Contain PFAS

Motivated by “the quality and sustainability of drinking-water” due to rising water demand concerns in the United States, as well as “increasing contamination of drinking-water resources, and a growing understanding of potential human-health consequences associated with exposures to contaminants,” the U.S. Geological Survey recently conducted a study on the prevalence of PFAS in tap water.  

To better understand human exposure to PFAS at the point-of-use, the authors conducted a standardized analytical survey of PFAS nationally.

“The overall objectives of the study were to (1) directly …

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Environmental Protection Agency Proposes New Air Emissions Reporting Requirements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced July 25 proposed updates to its Air Emissions Reporting Requirements (AERR), including a proposal to require the reporting of hazardous air pollutants, or “air toxics” (substances known or suspected to cause cancer and other serious health effects). This update seeks to provide the EPA with accessible data allowing it to identify locations in need of solutions for people exposed to harmful air pollution, which communities can use to understand sources of air pollution that may be affecting them ­– …

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Train Arriving at New York Subway Station

New Jersey Trying to Throttle NY Congestion Pricing

No one can dispute that the New York subway system, operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was a marvel of 20th century engineering. With a total of about 850 miles of track, more than 450 stations in operation, and moving around 6 million people per day, it is no wonder it remains the busiest mass-transit system in the western world. Then again, no one would confuse the MTA for its worldly counterparts in, say, London or Japan, where state-of-the-art train cars are run on …

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downtown manhattan orange sky

NYC Proposes New Indoor Air Quality Regs to Combat Orange Dystopia

In the fall of 2020, when New Yorkers saw photos and videos of orange skies over San Francisco caused by the Bay Area’s infamous fog, combined with heavy smoke from what seemed like non-stop wildfires raging throughout California, it looked like a dystopian movie landscape, or even another planet. Even more surreal, Californians in these vivid images were often wearing masks — not necessarily as protection against the smoky skies, but, rather, as protection from a global pandemic. With time, however, the memory of those …

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workers in a cement factory work outdoors with a tablet planning their work and checking concrete structures

EPA Revises Carbon Tetrachloride Risk Determination to Protect Worker Health and Fenceline Communities

Carbon tetrachloride (CTC) is a solvent used as a raw material in commercial settings to produce chemicals such as hydrofluoroolefins for refrigerants, aerosol propellants, foam-blowing agents, chlorinated compounds, and agricultural products.

Notably, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the use of CTC in consumer products in 1970. Additionally, in 1996, CTC was phased out from production in the United States for most domestic uses that did not involve manufacturing other chemicals as a result of requirements under the Montreal Protocol and the Clean Air …

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"justice concept, selective focus on nearest part ,lens blur f/x"

This Month in PFAS: June 2023

The month of June saw major developments related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) litigation and legislation at the state and federal level — particularly in massive settlements, proposed legislation, and the delay of the nation’s first state-level PFAS reporting requirements.

The month began with chemical companies DuPont, Chemours, and Corteva striking a deal worth more than $1.1 billion with water companies around the United States to settle drinking-water claims related to PFAS. The settlement was followed by an additional $10.3 billion settlement by 3M …

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