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District of Columbia 73 articles

NGOs file lawsuit to overturn EPA’s refusal to require reporting on asbestos

Six NGOs (non-governmental organizations) asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California this week to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) denial of its petition for the agency to close a reporting loophole so that imports of and domestic uses of the carcinogen asbestos are reported, including reporting on consumer products containing asbestos-containing talc. “This will maximize EPA’s ability to use the information reported to conduct the ongoing asbestos risk evaluation and the subsequent risk management,” the organizations said in their Right to Know Petition, which was originally flied Sept. 25, 2018 under section 21 of the ... Read More

Attorneys General petition EPA to require reporting of asbestos

The Attorneys General of 14 states and the District of Columbia petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue an asbestos reporting rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to obtain necessary information regarding the importation, manufacturing, processing, distribution, use and disposal of cancer-causing asbestos. The petition comes as the EPA, under the Trump administration, announced a significant new use rule that will allow for new uses of asbestos, a fibrous mineral that was widely used in construction, shipbuilding, and friction materials. Its use was restricted in the United States in the 1980s. It had been known for decades ... Read More

Wells Fargo Pays $575 Million To Settle Customer-Fraud Allegations

Wells Fargo will pay $575 million to resolve claims in all 50 states and the District of Columbia alleging the San Francisco-based bank violated consumer protection laws by opening millions of fake bank accounts for its customers. The bank also agreed to measures that will give its customers an extra level of protection by creating a customer restitution program, an announcement of the Dec. 28 agreement explained. Any Wells Fargo customers who haven’t been reimbursed through the restitution programs already in place at the bank can turn to a bank escalation team for relief. The settlement resolves claims that Wells Fargo ... Read More

Suicide Highest Among Construction Workers, Miners

Suicide rates increased dramatically among the U.S. working population between 2000 and 2016, with male construction workers and miners having the highest suicide rates by occupation in recent years, According to a new federal analysis of labor data. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), identifying suicide trends in labor data could help authorities better understand suicide among different occupational groups and inform suicide prevention efforts. The study looked at 22,000 U.S. workers ages 16 to 64 years who died by suicide in 17 states. The data showed that construction workers and miners had the highest ... Read More

Uber Agrees to Pay Record $148M To Settle Data Breach Coverup

Uber will pay $148 million to settle an investigation into a massive 2016 data breach that the ride-hailing company allegedly covered up by paying off the hackers. The nationwide settlement, led by California, is the largest-ever multi-state data breach settlement. The settlement funds will be divided equally among all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The data breach exposed the names, email addresses, phone numbers, and other personal information of 57 million Uber users, but the company did not disclose the hack until late 2017. Uber managed to keep the data breach out of public view until late 2017, ... Read More

Whistleblower Physician Sues D.C. Hospital For Medicare Fraud, Retaliation

An acclaimed Washington D.C. doctor has filed a federal whistleblower complaint against United Medical Center and its management company Veritas of Washington LLC alleging he lost his job in retaliation for standing up to practices that he says compromised patient health and safety and cheated the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Dr. Julian Craig accepted a position as the Chief Medical Officer for United Medical Center, Washington D.C.’s only public hospital, in 2015. He remained there until Nov. 18, 2017, when he was fired after testifying before the D.C. City Council about “the hospital’s improper admission practices, malfeasance affecting patient health ... Read More

Traffic Fatalities Rise Again in 2016

Traffic fatalities in the U.S., already at a 50-year high, leaped again last year dramatically, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Traffic data collected from all 50 states and the District of Columbia show that 37,461 people were killed on U.S. highways and roads in 2016, an increase of 5.6 percent from 2015, NHTSA reported. Part of the rise in traffic fatalities can be attributed to a corresponding leap in the number of vehicle miles traveled on U.S. roads in 2016. According to NHTSA, vehicle miles traveled increased by 2.2 percent last year, resulting in about 1.18 deaths per ... Read More

48-State Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Backyard Chickens

Do you fondle your chickens? Federal and state health authorities are warning owners of backyard chicken flocks and others who may come in contact with them to take precautions around live poultry as they could be infected with Salmonella. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Aug. 21 that it continues to investigate 10 separate multi-state outbreaks of Salmonella infection linked to backyard chicken flocks. The outbreaks encompass 48 states and the District of Columbia and have sickened 961 people as of Aug. 21. Only Alaska and Delaware have managed to escape the outbreak. Keep in mind ... Read More

Celgene Pays $280 Million To Settle Whistleblower Lawsuit

Celgene Corp. has agreed to pay the U.S. $280 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging the pharmaceutical company defrauded Medicare and several state health care programs by promoting two drugs for purposes unapproved by federal regulators. According to the office of Sandra Brown, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, the New Jersey-based drug company promoted the cancer treatment drugs Thalomid and Revlimid for off-label uses that the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) never approved and which were not covered by federal health care programs. But it was Celgene’s promotion of Thalomid, a drug originally prescribed ... Read More

Appeals Court Derails EPA Plan to Stall Methane Emissions Rule

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt exceeded his authority in trying to delay the implementation of a rule requiring oil and gas companies to reduce the level of methane pollution their operations release. After reviewing objections lodged by a coalition of environmental groups, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found that the EPA did not have the authority to halt the rule from taking effect. Mr. Pruitt, already widely criticized for being in the pocket of big oil and gas companies during his time as Oklahoma Attorney General, said in April that he planned ... Read More