What We're Watching the Week of Sept. 5

Shell gas station station

Here are some of the top stories, events and other environmental controversies on our radar this week.   

U.S., China Formally Commit to Paris Agreement on Climate Change

President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday formally accepted the Paris Agreement on climate change on behalf of their countries—the world’s largest economies and greatest emitters of greenhouse gases—a huge boost for the landmark accord that aims to limit the damage from human industrial activities. Mark Melnicoe is keeping watch on the news overseas.

Industry Petitions High Court Over Venue for Water Rule Challenges

A National Association of Manufacturers-led coalition has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether an appeals court or a district court is the right venue to hear challenges to the Clean Water Rule. Amena Saiyid is covering.

White House Launches Review of EPA Vapor Intrusion Rule

An EPA final rule to add vapor intrusion to Superfund listing criteria is under review at the White House Office of Management and Budget. Brian Dabbs will have the story.

Rhode Island Sues Exxon, Other Big Oil Companies Over Cleanup

Exxon Mobil, CITGO, Chevron and dozens of other big oil and gas companies are sued by Rhode Island, which is seeking to recover costs for the cleanup of gasoline additive methyl tert-butyl ether. Martha Kessler is digging into the situation.  

Fuel Oxygenate May Cause Cancer, EPA Toxicological Review Says

A former fuel oxygenate, ethyl tertiary butyl ether, found in some gasoline-contaminated soils and groundwater harms kidneys and could cause cancer, according to a draft EPA toxicological review. Pat Rizzuto has the story.

Offshore Oil, Gas Production Regulations Updated

An Interior Department agency issued a final rule that updates regulations for offshore oil and natural gas production safety and environmental protection on the Outer Continental Shelf. Alan Kovski is writing it up.

The Future of Citizen Anti-Fracking Measures

The failure of two anti-fracking citizen initiatives to make the November ballot in Colorado may mark the end of such measures and provide a model for industry to fight them. Tripp Baltz takes a look at what’s going on.   

Daikin Settles Allegations of PFOA Contamination in Alabama

Chemical manufacturer Daikin America Inc. will pay $5 million under a settlement with a Northern Alabama water utility to resolve allegations that fluorinated compounds from its facility contaminated drinking water supplies earlier this year. Amena Saiyid is on it.

President Obama Sees Continuing Climate Role as Ex-President

President Obama says he will not go quietly into retirement, at least when it comes to the role of humans in contributing to climate change, and predicted Republicans may be more open to his climate views once he leaves office. Dean Scott is reporting.

What Do You Know About the Gold King Mine Spill?

It’s been a year since EPA workers triggered the release of 3 million gallons of toxic acid mine waste from an abandoned Colorado mine, known as the Gold King Mine. Rachael Daigle tells you five things you should know about the spill one year later.