Wednesday, July 28, 2021


Powerful testimony from Capitol Police officers at insurrection hearing; and CDC now says even vaccinated people should wear masks in some situations.


CDC recommends vaccinated people mask up indoors; searing testimony in first hearing on Jan. 6 insurrection; man accused of killing 8, mostly women of Asian descent, in Atlanta area spa pleads guilty to 4 deaths; mental health takes center stage at Olympics with unexpected exit of superstar gymnast Biles. Note offensive but cogent language in first cut.

MN Environmentalists Want More from New Toxics Rules


Friday, June 10, 2016   

ST. PAUL, Minn. - One step forward, two steps back. That's how some Minnesota environmentalists describe new federal rules on toxic substances that could limit the state's own protections.

Congress this week sent a bill to update the Toxic Substances Control Act to President Obama's desk. It's the first update to the act in 40 years, and expands the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to study and test thousands of chemicals.

But Kim LaBo, program organizer with Clean Water Action Minnesota, says the proposed rules would also place new restrictions on how states can manage potentially toxic chemicals.

"Right now states can act," says LaBo. "That kind of quick action would be blocked when the EPA is assessing a chemical and then when they make a final determination states can't enact anything stronger than what the EPA has ruled."

LaBo says Minnesota has passed at least eight laws in recent years, which protect families from toxic chemicals, including formaldehyde in consumer products. She says those moves would be undermined by the new rules, if they're made law by the president.

The Environmental Defense Fund, however, says the new toxics rules are a small step in the right direction, because they'll allow the Environmental Protection Agency to work through a backlog of tens of thousands of untested chemicals. But LaBo says the EPA only will be required to assess 20 chemicals at a time, which could leave future generations vulnerable.

"The schedule of chemical assessments could be a lot more aggressive," says LaBo. "Twenty chemicals at a time is really not a serious schedule."

Other environmental protection advocates, including U-S PIRG, say the bill takes away states’ ability to protect public health. President Obama has indicated that he will sign Toxic Substances Control Act.

get more stories like this via email

In a survey of young people who have experienced foster care, nearly 20% reported they ran out of food. (Maya Kruchancova/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Arkansans ages 16 to 26 who are or have been in the foster-care system now are eligible for one-time payments of at least $750…

Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Jessica Molina of Perrysburg says she was inspired as a child by the spirit of activism, as she watched her parents participate in …


HARRISBURG, Pa. - U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., wants to bring back the Civilian Conservation Corps, a public-works program from the 1930s that created …

Nationwide, drug-overdose deaths increased by 30% between 2019 and 2020. (Andrey/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

CHICAGO - Overdose deaths in Illinois rose by more than a quarter from 2019 to 2020, and medical experts are warning that pills not prescribed by a …

Health and Wellness

MINNEAPOLIS - As COVID cases trend upward again, public-health experts are setting the record straight on certain storylines about new infections…

A new report says the onset of the pandemic saw a drop of nearly 60% in children's visits to U.S. pediatricians. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

APPLETON, Wis. - The pandemic paused many facets of life, and a new report says wellness checkups for children were among them. With school resuming …


ALBANY, N.Y. - A ballot measure could give New York residents the constitutional right to a healthy environment, and on Tuesday a group of state …

Social Issues

SALEM, Ore. - Young people of color are locked up at disproportionately high rates compared with their white peers, despite recent signs the gap is …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021