Programs to screen, treat lead poisoning in children face budget ax
Fifteen years ago, Liz Colon was shocked when she got the call from her pediatrician. Her 1-year-old son had tested positive for lead poisoning. Colon had recently bought a house in Providence, R.I., and within a few months her baby was back in the hospital and the local health department was helping her identify the source of the lead. Nearly two decades later, Colon, who went on to work for the Childhood Lead Action Project, says that without the lead screening and health department efforts, her son likely would have faced major health problems without her understanding why.
Spending bill targets upcoming EPA proposal
Deep inside the newly passed government spending bill is a provision requiring U.S. EPA to study the viability of new financial assurance requirements on hardrock mining companies before proposing its forthcoming rule on the subject. The issue is gaining prominence, with mining companies worried about dealing with too much red tape.
EPA plans to propose the new requirements sometime this year to prevent taxpayers from being on the hook for abandoned mine cleanups under the Superfund law. In 2009, EPA put hardrock mining at the top of the list of industries the agency is targeting for new financial assurances, like bonds or letters of credit.
House panels grappling with steep budget cuts
The House Energy and Commerce Committee will stop filling vacant positions, delay equipment upgrades and "severely" limit the number of field hearings in order to continue functioning with a budget cut for the second year in a row.
House approves $1T spending bill
The House today easily cleared a $1 trillion spending package that would fund U.S. EPA, the Energy and Interior departments and other agencies for the rest of the fiscal year.
The package now moves to the Senate where it will likely pass this weekend, averting a government shutdown.
Democrats pleased with EPA provisions in omnibus
The final $1 trillion spending package put forth by Republicans and Democrats last night includes a few significant new compromises on U.S. EPA programs that have Democrats claiming victory.
The fiscal 2012 omnibus includes a provision addressing the agency's program for assessing the health risks posed by chemicals and eliminates many controversial riders that Democrats charged the GOP tried to squeeze into the bill.