WASHINGTON (AP) — An internal investigation has found that the Environmental Protection Agency failed to disclose long-term cancer risks and a small chance of death to 81 human test subjects who consented to breathe in diesel exhaust and other pollutants during experiments.
The inspector general's report released Wednesday said that at least some people participating in studies in 2010 and 2011 would like to have known whether a study involves a chance of death, no matter how small.
While diesel fumes include 19 potentially cancer-causing substances, an EPA manager said cancer risk was irrelevant because subjects were exposed for two-hour periods. Cancer typically develops over years of exposure.
The Coast Guard won praise from residents in King Cove, Alaska after crews carried an injured fisherman to receive medical treatment, the Coast Guard's fifth such rescue from the region, KTUU reports, adding that officials said if there was a road out of the town treatment would have been available sooner without putting Coast Guard personnel at risk.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is mandating new safety regulations that it says will help protect workers on electrical power plants and transmission lines.
Assistant Labor Secretary David Michaels says the update to 40-year-old safety standards could save nearly 20 lives and prevent 118 serious injuries each year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that 74 workers die each year from accidents in these industries.
The agency says the new rules will require better fall protection for workers on poles and towers, protective clothing for some workers and training to avoid electrical hazards.
TOKYO (AP) — For the first time since Japan's nuclear disaster three years ago, authorities are allowing residents to return to live in their homes within a tiny part of a 20-kilometer (12-mile) evacuation zone around the Fukushima plant.
The decision, which took effect Tuesday, applies to 357 people in 117 households from a corner of Tamura city after the government determined that radiation levels are low enough for habitation.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A year after a major oil spill in a small Arkansas town, a congressman says that while communities believe they are ready for a disaster, there is always something else to do to prepare.
The Clinton School of Public Service invited public officials to its campus in Little Rock on Monday to discuss what they may have learned from the March 29, 2013, spill in Mayflower.
"You're never as ready as you think you are," said Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., whose district includes the town. "You're never as ready as you need to be."
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. transportation officials rebuked the oil industry Friday for not giving up information regulators say they need to gauge the danger of moving crude by rail, after several accidents highlighted the explosive properties of fuel from the booming oil shale fields on the Northern Plains.
Department of Transportation officials told The Associated Press they have received only limited data on the characteristics of oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana, despite requests lodged by Secretary Antony Foxx more than two months ago.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said Thursday the company will likely face federal criminal charges for its role in a fatal gas pipeline explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area.
A disclosure document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by PG&E Corp. and its subsidiary said the company expects the federal government will bring criminal charges against the utility in connection with the Sept. 9, 2010, explosion of its transmission pipeline in San Bruno.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State regulators are seeking more information from a Massachusetts company that plans to expand its Hudson River facilities routing rail shipments of North Dakota crude oil to coastal refineries.
The Department of Environmental Conservation sent letters to Global Partners, based in Waltham, Mass., on Monday. The agency requested more information about emergency response plans, community impact, overall operations and other aspects of a rail terminal planned in New Windsor, just north of West Point.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Japan plans to turn over to the United States more than 700 pounds of weapons grade plutonium and a supply of highly-enriched uranium, a victory for President Barack Obama's efforts to secure nuclear materials around the world.
American and Japanese officials confirmed the plan Monday, ahead of a formal announcement at a Nuclear Security Summit set to get underway in the Netherlands.
A Japanese foreign ministry official said the two countries had been discussing the transfer for some time as part of efforts to resolve concerns over Japan's large stockpile of spent nuclear fuel and plutonium. The U.S. and Japan also are discussing ways to reduce the quantity and toxicity of the radioactive material, the official said.
House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif. and top Democrat Rep. Eliot Engel of New York are leading a congressional delegation to Ukraine next week, at a time when more lawmakers are pushing U.S. natural gas exports to eastern Europe and when tensions in the region are increasing, The Hill reports.
Anticipating an increase in oil demand from the latest U.S. and Chinese data, as well as continued concerns over the Ukraine crisis, benchmark crude for May delivery gained 45 cents to $104.21 in electronic trading on Nymex, while in London Brent crude was up 7 cents to $109.67 in Thursday morning trading, Reuters reports.
An official at China's Ministry of Commerce said the government “will spare no efforts” in appealing a World Trade Organization ruling that its export restrictions on rare earths violated global trade rules, The Wall Street Journal reports.
In comments filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, oil companies and trade groups have argued against proposed tougher standards on oilfields, with one official with Continental Resources likening the idea to “prescribing painkillers for a paper cut,” FuelFix reports.
Recently resigned Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is weighing requests from fellow Democrats to run against Republican Sen. Pat Roberts in Kansas, The New York Times reports, although it notes winning would be a tough task.
The Missouri Farm Bureau has filed with the state Public Utilities Commission opposing Clean Line Energy's application to be granted eminent domain status for a proposed route for its Grain Belt Express transmission line, which would bring wind-generated electricity from Kansas to Illinois, KQTV reports.
House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton leveled fresh criticism of President Obama’s energy policies after a report from the Congressional Research Service found that oil and gas production declined on federal leases, The Hill reports.