Issue Date: July 29, 2013
The chemical industry is urging Congress to pass a miscellaneous tariff bill (H.R. 2708) that would waive duties on hundreds of imported raw materials that are not produced or otherwise available in the U.S. Industry trade groups say the tariff savings will lower the cost of manufacturing and make U.S. companies more competitive in world markets.
Forensic tests have confirmed that the school lunch responsible for killing 23 students in India on July 16 was contaminated with monocrotophos, an organophosphate pesticide banned in the U.S. Indian police have arrested the school’s principal and are still investigating how the pesticide got into the food.
Federal regulators are being called on by Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) to order freight railroads to phase out older tank cars that often carry crude oil and other hazardous materials. He says they should be replaced with modern pressurized cars that have thicker shells and ends (called heads) and are much less likely to rupture during a derailment.
James J. Jones, President Barack Obama’s nominee to run EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety & Pollution Prevention, easily answered questions at his confirmation hearing last week. A Senate vote on Jones, who is serving in the post in an acting capacity, has not been scheduled.
XTO Energy will pay a $100,000 fine and produce a comprehensive plan to improve management practices of wastewater generated from natural gas exploration and production activities in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The settlement with the Justice Department and EPA resolves an alleged violation of the Clean Water Act.
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