News Clips

PEER in the News

Recent press clips from national publications that relate to PEER issues, campaigns and news releases.

Colorado air quality division issued permits to polluters in violation of EPA standards, report finds

“State health officials say they don’t have enough guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency to know when to estimate whether smaller polluters in Colorado exceed air quality limits on particulates, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. That lack of guidance led to the state’s Air Pollution Control Division issuing multiple air quality permits to facilities that...
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Report: Alleged fraud by air agency not substantiated

The whistleblowers said that in March, Garry Kaufman, the division’s director, banned its modeling staff from conducting any review of EPA standard compliance in the case of hourly emissions standards for nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide, three-hour standards for sulfur dioxide, and daily standards for particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers, known as PM2.5. Attorneys...
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Report: BLM turns a blind eye to cattle grazing impacts, blames wild horses

“The Bureau of Land Management chronically underreports the extent of damage to public rangelands caused by livestock grazing in Utah in apparent defiance of policies that mandate regular rangeland health assessments, according to an analysis of federal data. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) on Monday released a report that highlights the BLM’s eagerness to...
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Colorado air quality division issued permits despite potential violations of EPA standards, report finds

“State health officials say they don’t have enough guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency to know when to estimate whether smaller polluters in Colorado exceed air quality limits on particulates, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. That lack of guidance led to the state’s Air Pollution Control Division issuing multiple air quality permits to facilities that...
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State-Ordered Investigation Clears Colorado Air Regulator Of Falsifying Data — But Finds Its Pollution Monitoring Policies ‘Conflicting’

“Allegations by state employees that the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division fabricated and suppressed pollution data to issue permits for a gold mine were unsubstantiated, according to a report from independent investigators released Friday. Kevin Bell, an attorney with Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility representing the employees, said he was not surprised by the findings...
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Whistleblowers raised valid concerns about Colorado air pollution monitoring, probe finds, but problems were unintentional

The whistleblower’s initial complaint to the EPA’s Office of Inspector General is still under investigation, according to the whistleblower attorneys at Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, or PEER. The report “seems to be technically proficient but it is going out of its way to phrase and structure things such that it minimizes individual culpability, or...
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Colorado air agency’s policies ‘inadequate,’ but no evidence of falsified data, report says

“Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser on Friday released the results of an independent investigation into allegations of illegal air-quality permitting procedures made earlier this year by three whistleblowers in the state’s Air Pollution Control Division. Kevin Bell, an attorney with Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility who is representing the whistleblowers, said the APCD’s policies were...
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Smokescreen: Years of internal complaints suggest air agency’s favoritism toward polluters

“Because the division’s practices are currently undergoing review as part of an independent investigation facilitated by the Attorney General’s Office, the division will not comment further at this time,” he added. The three modelers are far from the first employees to voice such concerns. Two other employees had previously lodged similar objections to supervisors about...
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Environmental inspections fell in Florida during COVID-19 pandemic

State environmental investigators inspected fewer potential violations in 2020 than in 2019, but the number of enforcement actions reached their highest level in nearly a decade, according to a new study from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) investigators did find more violations in 2020 than in 2019 as industry compliance...
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EPA Urged to Stop Use of Misbranded “Minimum Risk” Pesticides, Step Up Oversight and Enforcement

“Health and environmental organizations are urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state pesticide regulators to immediately stop the use and sale of dangerous and misbranded Eco-MIGHT and W.O.W. (Whack Out Weeds!) products, falsely labeled as 25(b) minimum risk. Recent laboratory testing by the state of California found the presence of hazardous pesticides, including...
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