July 21, 2016 |
Jerry Balter, 94, of Philadelphia, a public interest lawyer who represented poor and minority communities seeking redress from environmental pollution, died of heart failure Saturday, July 16, at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Mr. Balter became a lawyer at age 55, relatively late in life, after a career as an industrial engineer in Rochester, N.Y., designing supermarkets. While there, he also became interested in community activism. From that experience, he said, he learned that lawyers skilled at arguing cases in court were often clueless when it came to talking with citizen activists.
March 10, 2016
ISSUE | CONGRESS The peoples' work Our GOP-controlled Congress has been called the "Do Nothing Congress. " Last week, the House voted to block indefinitely regulations to the Clean Air Act that would curb hazardous emissions from the making of bricks and clay products. The Senate refused to approve $600 million to deal with addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin, and it refused to fund programs for seniors addicted to pain medicine. The House did approve the naming of the Maya Angelou Memorial Post Office in Winston-Salem, N.C. So, Congress did at least one positive thing.
July 1, 2015 |
In a ruling with wide implication for utilities and regulated industries, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday blocked Obama administration rules aimed at reducing pollution from coal-fired power plants, saying regulators failed to take cost into account. The court, in a 5-4 opinion, said the Environmental Protection Agency was obligated under the Clean Air Act to weigh the cost at the outset of efforts to cut emissions of mercury and other pollutants. "The agency must consider cost - including, most importantly, cost of compliance - before deciding whether regulation is appropriate and necessary," the court said in its majority opinion, written by Justice Antonin Scalia.
October 13, 2014 |
Too bad the Federal Trade Commission is limited to ferreting out false advertising in print, television, radio, and the Internet. Just think of the impact if the FTC also regulated truth in legislation, which too often isn't what it appears to be. For example, a bill that sounds as if it would allow Pennsylvania to craft state guidelines to meet new clean-air standards would likely do the opposite. Sadly, the state House passed the bad bill, so the state Senate must kill it. The Greenhouse Gas Regulation Implementation Act is sponsored by State Rep. Pam Snyder (D., Fayette)
July 5, 2013
IN HIS SECOND inaugural address, President Obama vowed to "respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. " Months later, he is making good on the promise. Recognizing that effective climate policy will not pass in a gridlocked Congress, the president outlined his own plan last week that calls on the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants. Carbon pollution is not subject to federal regulation, despite being the main driver of human-induced climate change.
April 25, 2013 |
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans a hearing Wednesday in Philadelphia on an Obama administration proposal to clean up gasoline and automobile emissions, one of only two public sessions nationwide on the so-called Tier 3 standards. The rules, which mandate cleaner fuels and some new vehicle technologies, are aimed at reducing soot, sulfur, and nitrogen oxide emissions. "We're looking at automobiles and fuels as a system," said Christopher Grundler, director of the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality.
July 19, 2012 |
EVER GO OUT on a clear day and smell something bad? Maybe bad enough to make you cough or wheeze? Blame it on fine particulate matter, commonly called soot. Even though you cannot see it, it is still big enough to be trapped in your lungs and tragically, Philadelphians die every year due to breathing in these tiny particles. Soot particles can trigger serious health problems, including asthma and heart attacks, stroke, early death and, as new research suggests, lung cancer.Indeed, little things can have big consequences.
April 25, 2012 |
An American Lung Association report on the nation's air quality has turned up a puzzling blip: In this heavily urbanized region, comparatively rural Chester County has the highest annual average for fine-particle pollution - the sooty stuff that carries chemical pollutants and lodges deep in the lungs. However, the county still meets air quality standards for the pollutant. It's one of many seeming dichotomies found in the report, which is to be released today. Overall, the air we breathe is getting much better.
September 28, 2011
With 'TRAIN' bill, people will die As a medical-school student and future physician, I'm disappointed with local U.S. Reps. Jim Gerlach, Patrick Meehan, and Mike Fitzpatrick for their recent votes to perpetuate the terrible myth that public-health safeguards are killing jobs. If it becomes law, H.R. 2401, also known as the TRAIN Act, which passed Friday in the House of Representatives, will yield 175,000 more asthma attacks and more than 25,000 premature deaths in the first year alone, due to smog, soot, and toxic air pollution.
September 24, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - The Republican-controlled House on Friday took another swipe at the government's ability to control air pollution, passing a bill that would delay or scrap rules to reduce mercury and other harmful air emissions. The 249-169 vote sent the legislation to the Senate, where Environment and Public Works Committee chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) vowed to defeat it. "Let me be clear: This is a train we must stop," Boxer said after House passage. "I will do everything I can to block the rollbacks being pushed by House Republicans and polluters.