Fracking regulations, blood clot drug approval, abortion law rulings, and more.
- The NY State Department of Environmental Conservation announced it will release a report on July 8 that recommends prohibiting hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, only around watersheds, state parks, and other protected sites. Currently a total ban exists on fracking, which is a process of retrieving oil and natural gas by injecting water and chemicals at high pressures into the ground.
- In a final rule, the Federal Reserve ordered banks to lower retailers’ debit fees.
- The Department of the Interior sought public comment on a revised exploration plan submitted on July 5 by Shell Offshore, Inc. for shallow water exploratory drilling in the Beaufort Sea. The new plan will be formulated with new safety and environmental standards implemented since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Under a White House campaign to cut spending, federal agencies will have to cut spending on certain management contractors by 15 percent by the end of fiscal year 2012.
- Johnson & Johnson and Bayer’s drug Xarelto received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use to reduce the risk of blood clots in patients after hip or knee surgery.
- U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Kansas Carlos Murguia temporarily enjoined a Kansas anti-abortion law that would have shut down all but one abortion clinic in the state. This ruling came a day after a South Dakota judge blocked a state law mandating counseling and a long waiting period for women seeking abortions.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a three-year deferral of Clean Air Act permit requirements for biomass-burning facilities.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) settled a lawsuit alleging that a program that awarded federal grants to rebuild after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita discriminated against African-Americans. The settlement awarded approximately $62 million to 1,300 Louisiana homeowners.
- A Center for Public Integrity investigation into deadly accidents at work sites deemed “model workplaces” by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) raised questions about the agency’s Voluntary Protection Program.