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There’s No Such Thing As ‘Sound Science’ | FiveThirtyEight
Science is being turned against itself. For decades, its twin ideals of transparency and rigor have been weaponized by those who disagree with results produced by the scientific method. Under the Trump administration, that fight has ramped up again.

In a move ostensibly meant to reduce conflicts of interest, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has removed a number of scientists from advisory panels and replaced some of them with representatives from industries that the agency regulates. Like many in the Trump administration, Pruitt has also cast doubt on the reliability of climate science. For instance, in an interview with CNBC, Pruitt said that “measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do.” Similarly, Trump’s pick to head NASA, an agency that oversees a large portion the nation’s climate research, has insisted that research into human influence on climate lacks certainty, and he falsely claimed that “global temperatures stopped rising 10 years ago.” Kathleen Hartnett White, Trump’s nominee to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said in a Senate hearing last month that she thinks we “need to have more precise explanations of the human role and the natural role” in climate change.
death  science  politics 
3 days ago by wn
Two killed, seven trapped after explosion in Chinese chemical plant
Xinhua reports that two persons died while seven others were buried in debris following an explosion at a chemical factory in east China's Jiangsu Province on December 9. A reaction vessel in Workshop 4 of the factory exploded, which led to the collapse of the neighbouring Workshop 6. 

Rescue workers said the missing seven should still be alive in the rubble, but the complexity of the explosion site meant that operations were proceeding slowly. Firefighters from neighbouring cities are providing support.

No chemical leaks have been detected from the site as yet.
China  industrial  explosion  death  unknown_chemical 
3 days ago by dchas
PCA contesting penalties in DeRidder explosion that killed 3
Packaging Corporation of America is contesting the tens of thousands of dollars in penalties OSHA lodged against it for a February tank explosion that killed three people and injured seven.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration penalized PCA with five "serious" safety violations and fines totaling $63,375 in the fatal accident, according to the agency's inspection database.

Three employees were climbing down from an elevated pipe rack when a tank exploded, "striking the employees and tossing their bodies 200 yards from the explosion," according to OSHA's narrative of the Feb. 8 incident. It happened during a shutdown of the facility, where corrugated cardboard boxes are produced.

OSHA noted PCA allowed workers to perform work on a gas system while methanol, turpentine and flammable vapors were present, according to its description of PCA's violations:
us_LA  industrial  follow-up  death  flammables 
5 days ago by dchas
Didion plans for new building in Cambria, no word on OSHA fines or pending investigations
CAMBRIA — Didion Milling is getting ready to pour cement foundations for a new building as they respond to $1.8 million in OSHA fines that resulted from an investigation into the conditions that led to the fatal explosion and fire that killed and injured several employees on May 31.

Late Friday afternoon, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed that Didion Milling is disputing citations brought against the company in November, though in public appearances, company leaders are focused on new development.

On Nov. 17, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the results of that investigation, listing examples of both serious and willful worker safety violations, with penalties totaling $1.8 million. A serious violation is one which causes serious injury or death, while a willful violation one in which an employer “either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement or acted with plain indifference to employee safety.”

Following the announcement, the company had 15 working days to contest the results. Didion Milling’s spokesperson did not respond to inquiries Friday about the company’s response.

Company President Riley Didion gave an update to the Cambria Village Board Monday evening on the state of the company six months after the late-night explosion.
us_WI  industrial  follow-up  death  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago by dchas

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