Top reporting on environmental rollbacks

Trump’s mine-safety nominee ran coal firm cited for illegal employment practices.

Records show the coal mining company formerly run by David Zatezalo retaliated against a foreman who complained of harassment and unsafe conditions. ProPublica

Bristol Bay's Pebble Mine is back in play.

One of the most contentious environmental fights of the past 30 years is suddenly back in the news, now that EPA head Scott Pruitt is poised to withdraw measures protecting the bay's storied salmon runs. Outside

Scott Pruitt suggests he will restrict scientists who get EPA grants from advising the agency.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt hinted Tuesday at plans to rid the agency’s scientific advisory boards of researchers who get EPA grants, arguing that the current structure raises questions about their independence. Washington Post

Our Reporting on Trump's rollbacks

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Commentary: Fiends of the Earth.

Some environmental planners spend their careers mapping out worst-case scenarios. As of January 20, they've got one in the White House. Environmental Health News

Commentary: He’s no Ronald Reagan.

Some have compared Trump’s wrecking crew to the one brought in by Ronald Reagan in 1981. But there are crucial differences between then and now. Environmental Health News

Meet Debbie Dooley. Her candidate won the White House. Can she still win with clean energy?

Photo courtesy Debbie Dooley

One political activist with connections on both sides of the ideological environmental wall, and how she views the Trump era. Daily Climate

Endocrine disruptors: The interference of the United States.

Since 2013, the United States has been contesting by all means available the European regulation of these chemicals in the name of free trade. Part 3 of 3. Environmental Health News


Mr. Trump outdoes himself in picking a conflicted regulator.

The nominee to lead the E.P.A. chemicals office is a threat to public health. more…

See it, say it: Climate change.

Denial by the White House will sadly increase the intensity of storms and wildfires. more…

Undoing the Clean Power Plan.

EPA Director Scott Pruitt achieved a long-sought personal victory last week when he signed a measure to begin the process of repealing the Clean Power Plan, a 2015 measure aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions. more…

Environmental justice rollbacks

What DACA means to food industry workers.

More Dreamers work in food than any other industry; with DACA on the chopping block, they share how it has changed their lives—and what happens if it ends. Civil Eats

Trump's coal rollbacks face opposition from ranchers and tribal leaders.

Ranchers and tribal leaders alike are taking a stand against Secretary Zinke's rollbacks. Newsweek

Trump targets environmental justice at EPA, but a kindred DOT program could thrive.

The Department of Transportation’s TIGER grants are an important source of funding for poor and minority communities, and they’re likely here to stay. Undark

Trump: Praise for Justice and coal.

In turn, West Virginia's governor cites the president's support for the coal industry as part of his reason for switching parties. Politico

Has the moment for environmental justice been lost?

Given how President Donald Trump has taken aim at the Environmental Protection Agency with regulatory rollbacks and deep proposed budget cuts, it may come as no surprise that the Office of Environmental Justice is on the chopping block. ProPublica

Under Trump's orders, EPA considers gutting lead contamination rules even as water in schools tests positive.

Under the leadership of the Trump administration, which has pledged to slash federal regulations at every level, lead protections and regulations may be at risk. Truthout

Water quality rollbacks

WOTUS rollback seen as death blow for 'very unique habitat.'

The shrubby bogs that dot the Atlantic coastal plain stand to lose protection, experts say, if the White House rolls back the Clean Water Rule. Greenwire

Missing EPA report warned of flooding at Superfund dumps.

U.S. EPA officials determined in 2014 that "flooding and inundation from more intense" storms could spur Superfund sites to spew contaminants. Greenwire

What's at stake.

Profiles of people, places, wildlife, and conservation programs threatened by federal budget cuts and environmental policy rollbacks. A new story series by Audubon. Audubon Magazine

EPA delays toxic waste rule for power plants.

The Environmental Protection Agency is pushing back by two years key deadlines in a 2015 rule limiting toxic water pollution from coal-fired power plants. The Hill, District of Columbia

Trump administration erodes environmental protections.

The Trump administration has been steadily undoing environmental protections established by the Obama administration. High Country News

Oil companies leaking benzene lobbied against pollution rules.

Two of the companies - ExxonMobil and Valero - responsible for a plume of benzene in the air over Houston recently lobbied against an EPA rule to prevent the government from more strictly regulating the toxin. International Business Times

Decades-old NJ cleanup a cautionary tale for Pruitt.

One of more than 270 sites that have been on the list since it was created in September 1983, the 6-acre Lipari Landfill in southwestern New Jersey epitomizes what EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt maintains is a troubled program. Greenwire


Trump abandons efforts to clean up Utah's air.

Three million Utahns will be the victims if clean cars are run off the road by the clown car at the White House. more…

Even China is tackling climate change, while US takes a back seat.

Beijing sees an interconnected world where environmental sustainability is crucial to maintaining political support, global stability and economic growth. more…

Secretary Zinke, it's time to call it quits.

Working to undermine the agency you were charged with leading is not just a betrayal of those who work there; it is a betrayal of the Americans the agency serves. more…

Toxics rollbacks

Trump's pick for EPA safety chief argued kids are less sensitive to chemical toxicity.

If confirmed to the EPA, Michael Dourson will be in a position to set safety levels for many of the same chemicals his company was paid to defend. The Intercept

Fancy dinners, far-flung speeches: Calendars detail EPA chief’s close ties to industry.

A detailed schedule for the EPA leader shows many meals, meetings with industry executives he regulates. Washington Post

Public interest groups decry EPA's utility-friendly move on coal ash.

A last-minute notification from the EPA left opponents with almost no time to weigh in on the disposal of a coal-power byproduct laced with toxics and tied to spills that have cost billions of dollars to clean up. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri

Fighting the toxic nightmare next door.

A radiation-riddled landfill in St. Louis, Trump’s EPA, and two moms who won’t let it go. Bloomberg Businessweek

Biodiversity rollbacks

Interior looks at behind-the-scenes land swap to allow road through wildlife refuge.

The deal with Alaska, to benefit a remote town, would ignore a decades-old ban on development in protected wilderness. Washington Post

Zinke's opponents, lacking gavels, turn to complaints.

Opponents of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke are leaning on ethics complaints and requests for watchdog investigations, with the latest accusation targeting a political fundraising company's use of praise Zinke once offered for the company's work. Greenwire

Industry lawsuits try to paint environmental activism as illegal racket.

Logging and pipeline companies are using a new legal tactic to seek damages from Greenpeace and other groups. The long-shot cases are having a chilling effect. InsideClimate News

Amid legal uncertainty, Interior drops listings from ESA.

The shrimp-like Kenk's amphipod is easy to miss and hard to love. From now on, it's also unprotected by federal law. Greenwire

Interior Department to overhaul Obama's sage grouse protection plan.

The agency will consider allowing grazing and mineral leasing within the protected Western habitat of the greater sage grouse. New York Times

Zinke: One-third of Interior employees not loyal to Trump.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Monday that nearly one-third of employees at his department are not loyal to him and President Donald Trump, adding that he is working to change the department's regulatory culture to be more business friendly. Associated Press

Illinois' vanishing bugs and why it matters to Earth.

Endangered insects, a little-known part of the Endangered Species Act, prepare for life under Trump. Chicago Tribune, Illinois

In monuments report, a skewed view of protections.

Under the Antiquities Act, landscapes like the Grand Canyon count as ‘objects’ that can be protected. High Country News

Human health rollbacks

Trump’s pro-coal agenda is a blow for clean air efforts at Texas' Big Bend park.

For decades Big Bend's stunning vistas have been compromised by poor air quality that Texas, working with the federal Environmental Protection Agency, is supposed to address. The Guardian

US EPA to eliminate Obama's Clean Power Plan.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday that he'll sign a proposed rule to withdraw from the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-designed plan to meet U.S. obligations under the Paris climate accord. National Public Radio

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announces withdrawal of Clean Power Plan.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday his agency's plans to withdraw the Clean Power Plan, the sweeping Obama-era rule regulating greenhouse gas emissions. CNN

Local cancer survivor speaks out against Trump's EPA nominee.

Trevor Schaefer, first made headlines when "Trevor's Law" was adopted last year as a part of Congress' overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act. Boise KTVB TV, Idaho

Trump administration will propose repealing Obama’s key effort to combat climate change.

The 43-page proposal, expected to be made public in the coming days, argues that the Obama administration overstepped its legal authority in implementing the Clean Power Plan. Washington Post

Climate rollbacks

Republicans may use budget to open Arctic, Atlantic to oil rigs.

Congressional Republicans have found a way to use the federal budget to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling— and they don’t plan on stopping there. Bloomberg News

Senate Democrats vow to fight drilling in Alaska reserve.

U.S. Senate Democrats vowed on Tuesday to fight a measure expected to be slipped into budget legislation that would open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Reserve to oil and gas drilling, saying it would destroy one of earth’s remaining paradises. Reuters

EPA head seeks to avoid settlements with green groups.

The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a directive to his agency on Monday seeking to end the practice of settling lawsuits with environmental groups behind closed doors, saying the groups have had too much influence on regulation. Reuters

Energy rollbacks

Trump pick for top environment post: Carbon dioxide is 'the gas of life.'

President Donald Trump has picked Kathleen Hartnett White, a former Texas regulator and unapologetic advocate of expanding U.S. fossil fuel production regardless of carbon dioxide emissions, for the top White House environment post. InsideClimate News

Coal country is finding little relief in Trump's climate actions.

Every morning is filled with anxiety in this hardscrabble town so intertwined with the fortunes of its hulking coal power plant that a drawing of the facility is emblazoned on the community’s police force emblem. Los Angeles Times

Trump says he ended the ‘war’ on coal companies. But it’s too late to save them.

The moves to save this industry have actually exposed its weaknesses — and revealed a trend that coal companies and the Trump administration have not acknowledged publicly: Despite Trump’s best efforts, the American coal industry remains on life support. Washington Post

Drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge: How the GOP could finally break the impasse.

The prospects for opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration are better than they have been in years. New York Times

Industry seeks legal cover with replacement rule.

As the Trump administration mulls whether to replace the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, its legal foes are already plotting creative courtroom challenges against U.S. EPA and directly against utilities. ClimateWire

Blankenship opens wallet to clear his name, rattle Manchin.

How does Senator Don Blankenship sound to you? Greenwire

Clean Power Plan is doomed. What about its sister rule?

US EPA has announced with great fanfare that it plans to kill the Clean Power Plan, but another major climate rule for power plants is still on the books. ClimateWire

Gov. Inslee: Repeal of Clean Power Plan is ‘Trump Administration’s total abdication of American leadership.'

Gov. Jay Inslee said the Trump Administration’s plan to repeal the Clean Power Act won’t deter Washington state’s efforts to limit carbon pollution. Bainbridge Island Review, Washington

Air quality rollbacks

New ozone pollution rules take effect over objections from Trump's team.

New ozone pollution rules are taking effect that are aimed at reducing medical costs and saving lives. But those regulations are the same ones that the Trump administration had wanted to rewrite and to delay. Forbes

EPA threatens to stop funding Justice Dept. environmental work.

Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. head, wants to end reimbursements for Superfund litigation that seeks to force polluters to pay for cleaning up sites they left contaminated. New York Times

Study: Fines for illegal pollution plummet under Trump.

Fines for illegal pollution have plummeted under President Donald Trump, according to analysis by an environmental advocacy group. Associated Press

Penalties assessed by EPA decline under Trump, study finds.

Civil penalties assessed by the Environmental Protection Agency are 60 percent lower so far under President Trump than at the same point in each of the last three administrations, according to a report released Thursday. The Hill, District of Columbia