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Currently Viewing Posts Tagged EPA

Fries, Hair and Flying Food Tips

I know that when you read Our Blog, you expect something helpful. Now here is some real life stuff:

If you are really honest with yourself, it is hard not to eat McDonald’s fries. You know that they are terrible for you. You know that they probably have no potato content; and you even have a memory that maybe some ingredient involved in their frying has to do with meat. Or something like that?

Well, it’s my job in the blog to give you a reason to be able to lean over and take 3 fries from someone who is eating them nearby. Blog legal reasoning! And I think they meant “hai” as in hair 

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Or maybe they really meant hai. I cannot say that it will do this… because even blog literary license has its limits.

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But let’s stay on theme today and discuss airplane food and drink. Did you know that your taste buds operate differently on a plane?

Food tastes differently when you are 30,000 feet in the air. Scientists say that at a high altitude, your ability to pick up a sweet taste drops by 15 to 20 percent. Conversely, your perception of saltiness increases by 20-30 percent. So I guess it means to really enjoy the pretzels?

How about some food airplane tactical eating? The pilot and co-pilot are fed different meals. It’s to make sure that they both don’t get food poisoning from a specific food. I felt better about flying after I read that requirement…not!

And finally, here’s something to consider. The next time the flight attendant offers you something to drink like coffee or tea, it’s probably not so safe to drink either of those on a flight. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency found that one in eight U.S. airplanes did not meet required standards for safe drinking water.

The water on a plane is stored in, and comes from a tank that is not cleaned very often. So there should be no surprise that it could be dirty and stale. And the testing of the tap water on airplanes supplied from those tanks? Get ready…12% of the time the water has tested positive for fecal bacteria. Just say no thanks to the coffee and tea!

And finally, it’s our pic o’ day….

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Fruit or Business?

Have you heard this before? Burdensome regulations stifle the economy, discourage job creation and slow economic growth?

Before we discuss, let me present this brief commercial on political donations:

Dow Chemicals spent over 13.6 million dollars on lobbying in 2016. Dow gave one million dollars to the President’s inauguration committee.   Dow Chief Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris was appointed by President Trump to lead the President’s Advisory Council on Manufacturing.

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President Trump is on record as saying that he wants to reduce regulations. He suggests the 2-for-1 method. For every new regulation enacted by such agencies as the EPA, there must be 2 old regulations eliminated. That serves as a backdrop to a recently filed lawsuit.

This story from the Los Angeles Times tells about a lawsuit that has been filed by several states, seeking to ban a pesticide that has been shown to harm the brains of children.

Several  states (shown in the article) are claiming that Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt violated the law by ending his agency’s effort to ban a pesticide that is being sold by Dow Chemical Co., after federal scientists determined that it can interfere with the brain development of fetuses and infants.

Federal law requires the EPA to ensure that pesticides are safe for human consumption. Children can be far more sensitive to the effects of pesticides.

Health advocates have been pushing to ban chlorpyrifos. It is currently sprayed on citrus fruits, apples, and cherries. Representatives for Dow have asked the Trump administration “to set aside” the results of government studies that show that it and all the products that contain it, pose a health risk.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has now formally urged the EPA to ban chlorpyrifos. This organization, representing more than 66,000 pediatricians and pediatric surgeons, said that it is “deeply alarmed” by Pruitt’s decision to allow the pesticide’s to continue to be used.

Dow’s position is that this has been used since the 1960’s and that more studies need to be made. And that they have already made modifications on its use.

In 2015, the Obama administration proposed banning the use of pesticides with food. Companies like Dow respond that there would be harms by not using pesticides.

Do you think this is a blog to convince you that regulations are right or wrong?  No… I want you to decide. Are “Tree-huggers” just overreacting?  It is a balancing act to protect business, consumers, our water, and our land.

Have a great weekend!!! And don’t forget to rinse off those apples before eating them!

And for our pic o’ day, here’s some expertise on nature:

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More Harm Than Good

When David Prowse was hired to play Darth Vader for the first Star Wars movie, he prepared and spoke all of Darth Vader’s lines through the mouth of the suit. It wasn’t until he saw the first screening of the movie, that he learned that all of his lines had been dubbed over by the voice of James Earl Jones.

As we approach President Trump’s Thursday announcement of his Supreme Court nominee, I am reminded of David Prowse in that suit. Trump has stated that he will nominate someone “Like Justice Scalia”. Reportedly, Trump has narrowed down to three possible individuals. (here) If you scan those candidates, you might think like me and wonder “who is going to wear the ‘Scalia suit’?”.

Which brings me to one possible curious obstacle to President Trump’s wall building along the Mexican border. It comes from a majority opinion that Scalia wrote in 2015. (From the Opinion Pages of the NY Times)

Before the Supreme Court, an issue involving the Clean Air Act and whether the Environmental Protection Agency was correct in enforcing a provision to limit mercury emissions from power plants. And more specifically, whether such enforcement should balance the costs of enforcement to the power plants.

Scalia wrote that the EPA must consider the costs in such enforcement and that “No regulation is appropriate if it does significantly more harm than good”. The Secure Fence Act authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to take actions to enforce our borders when such actions are “necessary and appropriate”.

Now, this gives us a possible showdown at high noon, sometime in the future. The next Supreme Court Justice will be part of the Court who is expected to be faced with some case involving the”Trump Wall”. Will Scalia’s 2015 reasoning be the Court’s guide? Will the expense of the wall (15-25 billion) not be justified because of the amount of illegal immigrants still entering the U.S.? The cost will be do harm than good?

And for pic o’ day, “On the fence”:

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An Unusual Absence Excuse

Employees miss work for various reasons. John Beale’s excuse for missing work has now caused him to be criminally charged. (Washington Post)

Beale, 64, was a senior policy adviser for the Environmental Protection Agency. Starting around 2000 and since that time, Beale would regularly miss work. He took trips to China, South Africa and England. He would even discuss his trips with co-employees and mention a lingering problem with a case of malaria.

The Arlington County resident told collegues that all the time from the office was because he had “sensitive work for another agency”.  His co-workers would even try to get him to talk about what he was doing secretly, and he would just laugh it off. He even had “an air about him”, they said.

Beale received a salary, benefits and “retention bonuses” while missing significant time. Apparently, his office just believed that his work was truly CIA or intelligence related. Now, his long term scheme has been discovered and soon he is expected to plead guilty to stealing nearly 900K from the EPA.

I know what you are thinking. How could anyone use a “CIA excuse” and get away with it? You know!

DID YOU KNOW that the spanish word “esposa” means “wife”. The plural of the same word means “wives”;  but that same plural word is also used for the word  “handcuffs”. (I rely on those who know spanish for the truthfulness of this… and I don’t really know what to think of this… I mean it!)

And for pic o’ day, I guess it’s good to get started early with technology:

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The Stands of Ken Cuccinelli

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli  probably has made both sides of the aisle a bit unhappy. He expressed his personal opinions regarding Federal  tort reform, and applied his same reasoning to restricting the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA).

Now, I know that politics can be some pretty boring stuff. I’ll bet that a few have already scrolled to pic o’ day. So, I’ll try to be quick.

Big Business and The Chamber of Commerce decided a long time ago that it’s cheaper to influence Congress and the US Senate,  rather than spending money in every state, trying to influence each legislator. So, if you can get favorable laws enacted Federally that override states’ rights, then you’ve done it in one vote; controlling 50 states.

Ken Cuccinelli has taken the position that the Federal Government should not be involved in the business of what individual states do; particularly Virginia.  He wrote an editorial piece in the Washington Post on Sunday, expressing this very point that would keep the federal government from restricting lawsuits, or enacting lawsuit caps, or requiring states to ignore their own laws, in favor of the Federal Government.

Here’s a short version of what he said about such Federal action. Specifically, he was also addressing Senate Bill 197 that attempts to cap damages in medical malpractice cases. “This legislation expands federal power, tramples states’ rights and violates the Constitution. If it were ever signed into law, by a Republican or Democratic president, I would file suit against it just as fast as I filed suit when the federal health-care bill was signed into law.”

Such expressed opinion goes against many in the Republican Party. In keeping with that thought, he disagrees with Democrats because he blasted the EPA, in testimony before a US  House Committee. He believes that upcoming air quality regulations would have a devastating impact on Virginia.

The EPA has regulations in effect to take place soon, that would require coal-fired plants to make equipment changes and retrofitting of their facilities,  to decrease  pollution. He believes that such restrictions will put such burdens on the coal companies that it will cause business closings and cost jobs.

OK, I know I’m getting carried away with politics. The quick point is that, even though there may be evidence that the EPA is trying to restrict mercury, arsenic, dioxin and other pollutants, Cuccinelli is again saying, “Federal Government… Stay out, let’s States take care of this”.  Just something to think about.

Now, if you’ve made it to the bottom, here is pic o’ day… Feeling left out:

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