EPA Ordered to Speed Up New Lead Rule

first_imgA federal appeals court has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to speed up the development of new rules on lead found in paint and dust in light of an “obvious need” to protect the health of children. The decision by the Ninth District Court of Appeals in San Francisco instructs the EPA to develop a new rule on lead within 90 days and put it into effect within one year. The Trump Administration had wanted six years to revise a lead standard that is now 17 years old and now widely seen as inadequate, The New York Times reported.The EPA published its hazard standards for lead in 2001, but by 2009 health advocacy groups had petitioned the government to rewrite the rules so children were better protected. In 2011, the EPA, then under the Obama administration, admitted the rules weren’t stringent enough, but the agency never got around to revising them.Scott Pruitt, the current EPA administrator, has made it a priority to revoke a number of environmental rules he believes are burdensome to business. But the court has now decided that governmental foot-dragging on lead has gone on long enough, particularly in light of numerous warnings that current exposure limits are not doing enough to protect the health of children. RELATED ARTICLES Managing Lead Paint HazardsLead-Based Paint and Green RemodelingEPA Steps Up Enforcement of Lead Paint Rule “Since January of 2001, scientific research has further advanced our understanding of the dangerousness of lead,” the court wrote in its 2-1 decision, “yet the EPA’s standards have not changed.”Eight health and environmental organizations had collectively asked the court to compel the EPA to publish a new final rule within six months. “EPA does not provide an alternative timeline, other than its vague intention to issue a proposed rule in four years, and a final rule in six, a timeline we hold to be unreasonable,” the court wrote.center_img A persistent health issueOne of the advocacy groups pressing the EPA is United Parents Against Lead, which called the court’s December 27 ruling a “win for children.” The founder of the group, Zakia Rafiqa Shabazz, said that her son, now 23 years old, is still suffering from the effects of lead found in his blood when he was 2. Government inaction spanning two presidential administrations means that many more children are now “suffering the pains of lead poisoning,” she said.The Journal of Pediatrics published an article last year summing up the results of a six-year study of blood levels in millions of children under the age of 6. Overall, efforts to lower lead exposure have been working, the report said, but this study still found that 3% of tested children had elevated lead levels in their blood.Lead causes a variety of health problems in children, including intellectual deficits, poor academic achievement, and attention deficit behavior, the article notes. The effects appear to be irreversible. Government-sponsored efforts to lower exposure to lead — the removal of lead from gasoline and certain consumer products, for example — have helped reduce the blood lead concentrations in children, but lead poisoning remains a serious health concern.“Progress in reducing the burden of lead toxicity is a public health success story that is incomplete,” the Journal article concluded. The next steps are uncertainA spokesman for the EPA said that no decision has been reached on whether to appeal the December 27 ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.The Times suggests that a similar case in 2015 involving the pesticide chlorpyrifos points to another possible agency response. In that case, the appeals court ordered the EPA to take action one way or another on a request from environmental groups to ban the chemical.Pruitt denied the request, an action that apparently brought the agency into compliance with the court order. Advocates for tougher rules on lead said something similar could happen with the court’s order on lead.last_img read more

‘Game of Thrones’ Thrives on Social Media. Its Author, Not So Much

first_imgThe Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts markhachman A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit In the years before cable television and DVRs, a limited number of broadcast TV channels forced Americans to choose from a small selection of programs at any one time, creating a built-in audience. As cable channels proliferated, American audiences splintered. And while studio execs can test-screen both movies and TV shows, Twitter provides provides genuine fan input that the executives said they take to heart.“Sometimes we’ll watch an episode and have the Twitter feed going, and it’s just like being in a theater, in a way,” Weiss said. “It sort of brings the communal nature of the experience back after it disappeared for so long.”Martin’s Own Song Of Ice…At age 64, Martin has prompted concerns that he, like fellow epic fantasy writer Robert Jordan, won’t live to see his series conclude. The fifth book, A Dance with Dragons, was published in 2011. HBO’s third season covers the first half of A Storm of Swords, the third book in the series.“It’s coming,” Martin said of the sixth book, The Winds of Winter. “It’s not going to be done next week. It’s going to be another giant, 1,500 page book. But I’m making progress. I don’t feel comfortable predicting when these things are going to be done, because every time I do I turn out to be wrong and then everybody gets upset.”center_img For all of his anachronistic writing style, however, Martin showed a distinct aptitude for understanding his fans’ mindset, especially regarding piracy.… And FireMartin said:We have to contend with our show being the most pirated show in the world, with most of it coming from Australia. They delay it six months there, so people won’t wait before they download it. I think we’re moving toward a thing where there will be no more delays, to make a show in America where the American director, studio, or producers [won’t] sell it to foreign markets, and broadcasters puts it on six months later or whenever they feel like putting it on. That’s gone now.Martin added that he was proud to work with HBO, which commits to an entire season of a new show, in contrast to the fickle whims of network executives. Had The Wire debuted on NBC, he said, it would have been off the air in three episodes. (And that’s being charitable.)His comments prompted a question to Benioff and Weiss — did they expect to air adaptations of Martin’s entire series on HBO? “God, I hope so,” Benioff responded. When the two went to HBO to pitch the show, it was a rare thing to have creators know exactly where the show was going to begin, move through, and end. (Martin has revealed to the two how he expects Thrones to wrap up.)“I think it would be something that we would be proud of for our whole lives,” Benioff said. “You don’t get that many chances for something that special. We’re hoping we can make it.” Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Tags:#HBO#social media HBO’s hit show Game of Thrones thrives on social media. But you can’t say the same of George R.R. Martin, its original author.A George R.R. Martin Twitter account, for instance, has almost 50,000 followers — but no updates at all. (FYI, it’s not a Twitter-verified account. If it’s a fake, it’s a fairly convincing one, in a contrarian sort of way.) Martin’s Web site could most charitably be described as having a distinctly late 1990s look, and his “Not a Blog” — which the author does update fairly regularly — is hosted on… LiveJournal.At the San Francisco premiere of Thrones’ third season Wednesday night, Martin admitted to writing his novels on a PC that still runs MS-DOS, using WordStar 4.0. “I would still prefer to tie parchments to the legs of ravens,” the author joked.Twitter Is ComingThings couldn’t be more different at the show itself. At the premiere event, series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said that Twitter allows them to receive real-time feedback of what works and what doesn’t. Martin added that he believed worldwide hits like Thrones helping to break down licensing barriers around the world.“One of the things that’s really fun about Twitter in particular is that there’s a fan site Winter Is Coming, and they do this sort of real time, as the show airs, what people are saying on Twitter,” Benioff said. “And for us, we don’t get to watch the shows with an audience. For us, it’s a rare thing where we’re there with a group of people. Mainly it’s people watching TV in their homes. So it’s not a communal experience.“The one thing that’s fun about the Twitter feed is that the reactions in real time the shocking moment, whether it’s Ned’s death, the way Twitter lights up,” Benioff added. “So it’s fascinating, just fascinating to see. There’s the world map of Twitter, where people can see what’s trending and it spikes in Turkey. And to know that our show is popular in Turkey, that’s fantastic.”last_img read more

Unruly mob disrupted visit to my constituency: former Tripura CM Manik Sarkar

first_imgFormer Chief Minister and leader of the Opposition in the Tripura State Assembly Manik Sarkar alleged that an unruly mob disrupted his visit to Dhanpur, his assembly constituency on Thursday. He demanded lawful action against the perpetrators who are targeting the opposition rank and file across the State.Mr. Sarkar said several people raised slogans and attempted to block his movement at Dhanpur. “Not that that all of them (protestors) exhibited muscle, but some were unruly,” Mr. Sarkar said.However, he said adequate security arrangements were in place in the area to facilitate his visit. “But I advised them [police] not to apply force against those who disrupted my movement,” the former CM stated.Dhanpur is located in Sepahijala district, about 48 km south of Agartala.CPI(M) sources said Manik Sarkar was to visit a party office in Dhanpur which was recently attacked and take stock of the situation.The ruling BJP denied that its cadres were linked with the incident. Party spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharjee said the locals could have expressed their anger against their MLA (Manik Sarkar) for some reasons.last_img read more