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By Douglas P. Guarino, Center for Public Integrity phosphatemining

The Environmental Protection Agency is walking away after a decades-long battle with Florida politicians and industry officials over cleaning up phosphate-mining waste in an area that could expose more than 100,000 residents to cancer-causing radiation levels.

Under a decision quietly finalized two weeks ago, the federal agency will leave it to state officials to decide the fate of the sites in and around Lakeland, an approximately 10-square-mile residential area midway between Orlando and Tampa.

By Ronnie Greene, Center for Public Integrity pesticides

Saying they are plagued by pesticides but protected by only a thin layer of government regulation, farmworkers and their advocates are pressing the Environmental Protection Agency to update rules that are two decades old, and, critics say, dangerously dated.

Farmworker advocates from Florida to California were in Washington Monday and Tuesday to press the EPA and members of Congress to tighten rules meant to protect agricultural laborers from pesticides in the fields.

By Bridget Huber, FairWarning tapwater

Chemicals used to treat drinking water for millions of Americans may raise the risk of cancer and lead to other unintended health hazards, according to a report released today by the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization.

The group is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reevaluate its standards for the byproducts created when water is disinfected. The Environmental Working Group also is pushing officials to clean up sources of public drinking water to reduce the need for chemical treatment in the first place.