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New list: Approaching 11th anniversary, top 11 actions CFPB recently took that anger financial industry

Consumer alerts

New list: Approaching 11th anniversary, top 11 actions CFPB recently took that anger financial industry

As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) turns 11 years old, a new list from U.S. PIRG highlights 11 ways this crucial agency has rededicated itself to its mission since Rohit Chopra was confirmed as its new director by the Senate last fall.

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Reinstated ‘polluter pays’ tax goes into effect, protecting Americans from toxic waste

Toxic threats

Reinstated ‘polluter pays’ tax goes into effect, protecting Americans from toxic waste

A chemical excise tax to fund Superfund toxic waste site cleanups nationwide will go into effect on Friday, reinstating one of several “polluter pays” taxes that had been allowed to lapse 26 years ago. The EPA’s Superfund program is responsible for cleaning up the country’s most hazardous waste sites.

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Department of the Interior will end plastic pollution in parks, public lands

Recycling & compost

Department of the Interior will end plastic pollution in parks, public lands

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland issued an order on Wednesday, World Oceans Day, to phase out single-use plastic products on lands managed by the Department of the Interior by 2032. The order is intended to reduce -- and eventually eliminate -- plastic and polystyrene food and beverage containers, bottles, straws, cups, cutlery and disposable plastic bags at national parks and on other public lands.

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EPA opens applications, announces guidelines for $5 billion Clean School Bus Program

Electric vehicles

EPA opens applications, announces guidelines for $5 billion Clean School Bus Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is unveiling its historic, $5 billion Clean School Bus Program on Friday. This new program, created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law by President Joe Biden last November, will help school districts replace polluting diesel buses with zero-tailpipe-emission, electric school buses.

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Consumer advocacy groups launch campaign to get Columbia Sportswear to phase out toxic ‘forever chemicals’

Toxic threats

Consumer advocacy groups launch campaign to get Columbia Sportswear to phase out toxic ‘forever chemicals’

  U.S. PIRG Education Fund and NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) launched a campaign on Tuesday calling on outdoor gear and apparel brand Columbia Sportswear to phase out the use of PFAS in its products and supply chains. Last month, the company received low marks in a scorecard report released by the advocacy groups. The report found that Columbia Sportswear has failed to adopt policies that ban PFAS chemicals or provide up-to-date, publicly available information on any ongoing efforts to phase out these toxic chemicals from their products.

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Interactive map shows widespread lead contamination in schools drinking water

Toxic threats

Interactive map shows widespread lead contamination in schools drinking water

Lead contamination of school drinking water is more pervasive than previously thought, according to testing data from across the nation published on Thursday by Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund on a new interactive map. The groups urged public officials to take swift action to “get the lead out” of schools’ drinking water.

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