saco-indonesia.com, Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) hari ini akan memeriksa tiga saksi terkait dalam kasus Tempat Pemakaman Bukan Umum Bogor (TPBU), Jawa Barat. Ketiga saksi dalam kasus TPBU adalah Dede Susiyani selaku ibu rumah tangga, zamzami selaku marketing, dan Himayawan Purwadi selaku Kepala Bagian Pelayan Hukum.
"Mereka juga akan diperiksa sebagai saksi," kata Kepala Bagian Pemberitaan dan Informasi KPK, Priharsa Nugraha, saat dikonfirmasi, Senin (3/2/2014).
Sebelumnya Direktur PT Garindo Perkasa, Nana Supriatna, dan Direktur Utama PT Garindo Perkasa, Sentot Susilo juga telah ditetapkan sebagai tersangka, karena diduga telah menyuap Ketua DPRD Bogor, Iyus Djuher. Iyus pun juga telah ditetapkan sebagai tersangka.
Selain mereka, KPK juga telah menetapkan tersangka lainnya, yakni pegawai honorer Pemkab Bogor Listo Welly Sabu, dan PNS Pemkab Bogor Usep Jumeno.
KPK PERIKSA 3 SAKSI KASUS TPBU
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
saco-indonesia.com, Anggota DPR Komisi VII Tri Yulianto pagi ini telah mendatangi Gedung Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi Jakarta. Tri datang untuk dapat memenuhi panggilan pemeriksaan KPK dalam kasus dugaan penerimaan hadiah atau janji terkait ESDM.
Tri yang datang dengan mengenakan safari abu-abu itu tidak berkomentar apapun terkait dalam pemeriksaannya. Sahabat Anas Urbaningrum itu juga langsung masuk ke dalam gedung.
Rencananya Tri juga akan diperiksa sebagai saksi untuk tersangka mantan Sekjen ESDM Waryono Karno. "Dia juga diperiksa sebagai saksi," ujar Kabag Pemberitaan dan Informasi, Priharsa Nugraha, Selasa (28/1).
Selain Tri, penyidik juga telah memanggil mantan tenaga ahli anggota DPR Iryanto Muchyi. Sebelumnya, Tri juga pernah diperiksa oleh KPK di rumah sakit. Tri juga merupakan saksi penting lantaran disebut orang yang telah menerima uang dari Rudi Rubiandini, mantan Kepala SKK Migas.
Dalam BAP tersangka Deviardi, Wakil ketua Komisi VII DPR Sutan Bathoeghana disebut telah bertemu Rudi Rubiandini, yang saat itu menjadi Kepala SKK Migas, untuk meminta uang tunjangan hari raya.
Rudi pun kemudian memberi uang untuk Sutan dan anggota Komisi VII DPR diserahkan melalui Tri Yulianto. Kemudian, berdasarkan Informasi dihimpun, duit dari Tri kemudian dibagikan Sutan kepada anggota Fraksi Demokrat di Komisi VII di sebuah restoran di pusat perbelanjaan kawasan Senayan, Jakarta Selatan.
KPK KEMBALI PERIKSA TRI YULIANTO
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
Ada 5 elemen penting yang juga harus diperhatikan dalam menentukan kesuksesan suatu pengecatan yaitu :
1. Pilihlah cat yang berkualitas
Dengan menggunakan cat yang bermutu, akan dapat mempermudah Anda dalam pengerjaannya, memberikan daya tutup yang lebih baik, dan telah memiliki daya tahan yang lebih lama. Karakter penting lainnya yang menentukan kualitas suatu cat adalah : daya rekat, daya sebar, scrub resistance (daya tahan terhadap gosokan ), burnish resistance ( daya tahan dari terbakar ), serta mudah dibersihkan dari noda. Cat yang berkualitas adalah yang menggunakan bahan - bahan yang ramah lingkungan, tidak menggunakan tambahan merkuri dan timah hitam yang mempunyai dampak berbahaya bagi manusia dan lingkungan.
2. Gunakan peralatan pengecatan yang baik
Peralatan yang baik akan dapat membuat persiapan permukaan dan proses pengaplikasian cat lebih mudah dan aman. Kuas dan rol yang bermutu akan dapat menghasilkan permukaan yang lebih halus, dan tidak meninggalkan bristles ( gelembung -gelembung kecil ), sehingga dapat mempercepat waktu pengerjaan. Peralatan lain yang penting adalah tangga yang kokoh dengan pegangan tangan untuk keamanan Anda.
3. Persiapkan permukaan yang akan dicat dengan benar
Cat juga merupakan suatu lapisan yang sangat tipis. Oleh karena itu keberhasilan suatu pengecatan sangat ditentukan oleh persiapan permukaan yang benar. Perbaikilah kondisi tembok seperti retak - retak atau berlubang, sebelum Anda mengecat. Juga kondisi kelembaban serta kebersihan tembok harus Anda perhatikan.
4. Tutupi ruangan atau permukaan yang tidak ingin dicat
Anda akan dapat mengerjakan proses pengecatan dengan lebih cepat, tanpa harus kuatir akan noda/bercak -bercak cat, dimeja, kursi, gagang pintu dan barang-barang lainnya. Juga akan mempercepat dan memper-mudah proses pembersihan setelah mengecat.
5. Lakukan pengecatan pada kondisi cuaca yang baik
Untuk bisa mendapatkan hasil yang terbaik. ikuti selalu petunjuk yang direkomendasikan oleh produsen cat mengenai suhu maksimum dan minimum, serta tingkat kelembaban udara yang disarankan.Untuk pengecatan dianjurkan dilakukan pada saat cuaca cerah dan tidak di musim huian .
TIPS PENGECATAN RUMAH
saco-indonesia.com, Ardiansyah alias Doble yang berusia (25) tahun harus membayar mahal pencurian yang telah dilakukan bersama dua temannya. Pemuda ini tewas setelah diamuk massa yang telah menangkapnya di Jalan Sei Serayu, Medan.
Informasi yang telah dihimpun, Doble yang merupakan warga Jalan TB Simatupang, Medan. Dia dan dua temannya telah diketahui mencuri besi di ruko kosong berlantai 3 di Jalan Sei Serayu sekitar pukul 05.00 WIB pagi.
Namun, aksi ketiganya telah dipergoki oleh warga, sehingga mereka berusaha kabur. Dua rekan Doble telah berhasil meloloskan diri.
Sementara itu, Doble telah terkepung di dalam bangunan berlantai tiga itu. Pemuda yang biasa membantu orangtuanya berjualan nasi goreng ini pun telah tertangkap. Dia telah dihakimi oleh massa hingga babak belur sebelum diamankan ke pos sekuriti Perumahan Grand Setia Budi.
Doble dikabarkan juga sempat beberapa jam di pos sekuriti itu. Keluarganya bahkan sempat datang untuk berdamai agar kasus pencurian itu tidak diserahkan kepada kepolisian. Setelah perdamaian disepakati, keluarga telah membawa Doble ke RS Sundari, Sunggal. Namun, pemuda itu diduga tewas di perjalanan.
"Pelaku pencurian itu meninggal tadi siang. Dia juga sempat dibawa ke RS Sundari, tapi nyawanya tak tertolong" ujar Kapolsek Medan Sunggal AKP Eko Hartanto.
Dari RS Sundari, jenazah Doble kemudian dibawa ke RSUP Adam Malik Medan. "Rencananya akan diautopsi di sana," jelas Eko.
ANAK PEDAGANG NASI GORENG TEWAS
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
Tidak semua lemak itu buruk, karena sebenarnya ada dua jenis lemak yang terkandung di dalam makanan. Ada lemak baik yang biasa disebut dengan HDL, dan ada lemak jahat yang disebut juga sebagai LDL.
Nah, lemak jahat memang sebaiknya dihindari demi kesehatan Anda. Tetapi lemak baik justru wajib dihidangkan di dalam menu keseharian Anda.
Apa saja sih lemak baik itu. Menurut Reverse Diabetes, beberapa produk makanan ini mengandung lemak baik yang sehat untuk dikonsumsi sehari-hari.
Buah ini mengandung lemak yang cukup banyak, sebanyak Anda memesan double cheeseburger. Tetapi kandungan lemaknya adalah lemak baik. Kebaikan lemak pada buah berwarna hijau kekuningan ini dapat menurunkan kolesterol jahat di dalam tubuh.
Agar kebaikannya dapat dipetik secara maksimal, disarankan agar mengonsumsi alpukat tanpa tambahan apapun juga . Sajikan alpukat dalam bentuk plain agar jauh lebih sehat untuk tubuh.
Tidak semua cokelat bisa bikin tubuh jadi gemuk. Jenis dark chocolate mengandung lemak baik dan kaya akan antioksidan yang tinggi. Yang baik merawat kesehatan jantung serta menurunkan tekanan darah.
Disarankan untuk memilih dark chocolate dengan kandungan kakao 70% dan dikonsumsi sedikit saja setiap hari untuk memetik manfaatnya.
Adalah omega-3 yang merupakan jenis lemak terbaik untuk sistem kardiovaskuler di tubuh. Mengonsumsi ikan laut secara rutin selama dua minggu, kabarnya dapat menurunkan resiko terkena serangan jantung sebesar 36%.
Ikan laut yang disarankan adalah ikan laut dalam atau sejenis tuna dan makarel. Agar tidak kehilangan nutrisinya, Anda dapat mengolah ikan dengan memanggang dalam oven, dikukus, atau dijadikan pepes.
Kacang dapat menyebabkan jerawat? itu hanya mitos. Kacang tanah, kacang almond, dan jenis kacang lainnya mengandung protein nabati dan lemak yang dapat menurunkan resiko terkena diabetes tipe 2. Penelitian yang dilakukan mendapatkan hasil apabila seseorang mengganti snack dengan kacang- kacangan, maka resiko terkena serangan jantung akan menurun.
Untuk hasil terbaik, nikmati kacang dengan cara mengolah direbus, dipanggang dan tanpa tambahan gula, garam atau MSG.
Judulnya sih minyak, tentunya kaya akan lemak. Tetapi, lemak dari minyak zaitun adalah lemak baik yang bermanfaat untuk menjaga kesehatan jantung.
Sebagian orang menggunakannya sebagai bahan memasak atau membuat kue, sebagian juga menggantikannya untuk media memasak dan ada pula yang meminumnya. Apapun caranya, minyak zaitun mendatangkan kebaikan dan sehat untuk dikonsumsi.
Tuh kan, tidak semua lemak itu jahat. Dengan cermat memilih makanan, maka Anda dapat memiliki tubuh bugar dan sehat serta umur panjang. Stay fit and healthyLemak-Lemak Yang Sehat Untuk Dikonsumsi
BEIJING (AP) — The head of Taiwan's Nationalists reaffirmed the party's support for eventual unification with the mainland when he met Monday with Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of continuing rapprochement between the former bitter enemies.
Nationalist Party Chairman Eric Chu, a likely presidential candidate next year, also affirmed Taiwan's desire to join the proposed Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank during the meeting in Beijing. China claims Taiwan as its own territory and doesn't want the island to join using a name that might imply it is an independent country.
Chu's comments during his meeting with Xi were carried live on Hong Kong-based broadcaster Phoenix Television.
The Nationalists were driven to Taiwan by Mao Zedong's Communists during the Chinese civil war in 1949, leading to decades of hostility between the sides. Chu, who took over as party leader in January, is the third Nationalist chairman to visit the mainland and the first since 2009.
Relations between the communist-ruled mainland and the self-governing democratic island of Taiwan began to warm in the 1990s, partly out of their common opposition to Taiwan's formal independence from China, a position advocated by the island's Democratic Progressive Party.
Despite increasingly close economic ties, the prospect of political unification has grown increasingly unpopular on Taiwan, especially with younger voters. Opposition to the Nationalists' pro-China policies was seen as a driver behind heavy local electoral defeats for the party last year that led to Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou resigning as party chairman.Taiwan party leader affirms eventual reunion with China
WASHINGTON — During a training course on defending against knife attacks, a young Salt Lake City police officer asked a question: “How close can somebody get to me before I’m justified in using deadly force?”
Dennis Tueller, the instructor in that class more than three decades ago, decided to find out. In the fall of 1982, he performed a rudimentary series of tests and concluded that an armed attacker who bolted toward an officer could clear 21 feet in the time it took most officers to draw, aim and fire their weapon.
The next spring, Mr. Tueller published his findings in SWAT magazine and transformed police training in the United States. The “21-foot rule” became dogma. It has been taught in police academies around the country, accepted by courts and cited by officers to justify countless shootings, including recent episodes involving a homeless woodcarver in Seattle and a schizophrenic woman in San Francisco.
Now, amid the largest national debate over policing since the 1991 beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles, a small but vocal set of law enforcement officials are calling for a rethinking of the 21-foot rule and other axioms that have emphasized how to use force, not how to avoid it. Several big-city police departments are already re-examining when officers should chase people or draw their guns and when they should back away, wait or try to defuse the situationPolice Rethink Long Tradition on Using Force
From sea to shining sea, or at least from one side of the Hudson to the other, politicians you have barely heard of are being accused of wrongdoing. There were so many court proceedings involving public officials on Monday that it was hard to keep up.
In Newark, two underlings of Gov. Chris Christie were arraigned on charges that they were in on the truly deranged plot to block traffic leading onto the George Washington Bridge.
Ten miles away, in Lower Manhattan, Dean G. Skelos, the leader of the New York State Senate, and his son, Adam B. Skelos, were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on accusations of far more conventional political larceny, involving a job with a sewer company for the son and commissions on title insurance and bond work.
The younger man managed to receive a 150 percent pay increase from the sewer company even though, as he said on tape, he “literally knew nothing about water or, you know, any of that stuff,” according to a criminal complaint the United States attorney’s office filed.
The success of Adam Skelos, 32, was attributed by prosecutors to his father’s influence as the leader of the Senate and as a potentate among state Republicans. The indictment can also be read as one of those unfailingly sad tales of a father who cannot stop indulging a grown son. The senator himself is not alleged to have profited from the schemes, except by being relieved of the burden of underwriting Adam.
The bridge traffic caper is its own species of crazy; what distinguishes the charges against the two Skeloses is the apparent absence of a survival instinct. It is one thing not to know anything about water or that stuff. More remarkable, if true, is the fact that the sewer machinations continued even after the former New York Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, was charged in January with taking bribes disguised as fees.
It was by then common gossip in political and news media circles that Senator Skelos, a Republican, the counterpart in the Senate to Mr. Silver, a Democrat, in the Assembly, could be next in line for the criminal dock. “Stay tuned,” the United States attorney, Preet Bharara said, leaving not much to the imagination.
Even though the cat had been unmistakably belled, Skelos father and son continued to talk about how to advance the interests of the sewer company, though the son did begin to use a burner cellphone, the kind people pay for in cash, with no traceable contracts.
That was indeed prudent, as prosecutors had been wiretapping the cellphones of both men. But it would seem that the burner was of limited value, because by then the prosecutors had managed to secure the help of a business executive who agreed to record calls with the Skeloses. It would further seem that the business executive was more attentive to the perils of pending investigations than the politician.
Through the end of the New York State budget negotiations in March, the hopes of the younger Skelos rested on his father’s ability to devise legislation that would benefit the sewer company. That did not pan out. But Senator Skelos did boast that he had haggled with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, in a successful effort to raise a $150 million allocation for Long Island to $550 million, for what the budget called “transformative economic development projects.” It included money for the kind of work done by the sewer company.
The lawyer for Adam Skelos said he was not guilty and would win in court. Senator Skelos issued a ringing declaration that he was unequivocally innocent.
THIS was also the approach taken in New Jersey by Bill Baroni, a man of great presence and eloquence who stopped outside the federal courthouse to note that he had taken risks as a Republican by bucking his party to support paid family leave, medical marijuana and marriage equality. “I would never risk my career, my job, my reputation for something like this,” Mr. Baroni said. “I am an innocent man.”
The lawyer for his co-defendant, Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, a Republican, said that she would strongly rebut the charges.
Perhaps they had nothing to do with the lane closings. But neither Mr. Baroni nor Ms. Kelly addressed the question of why they did not return repeated calls from the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., begging them to stop the traffic tie-ups, over three days.
That silence was a low moment. But perhaps New York hit bottom faster. Senator Skelos, the prosecutors charged, arranged to meet Long Island politicians at the wake of Wenjian Liu, a New York City police officer shot dead in December, to press for payments to the company employing his son.
Sometimes it seems as though for some people, the only thing to be ashamed of is shame itself.Finding Scandal in New York and New Jersey, but No Shame
Late in April, after Native American actors walked off in disgust from the set of Adam Sandler’s latest film, a western sendup that its distributor, Netflix, has defended as being equally offensive to all, a glow of pride spread through several Native American communities.
Tantoo Cardinal, a Canadian indigenous actress who played Black Shawl in “Dances With Wolves,” recalled thinking to herself, “It’s come.” Larry Sellers, who starred as Cloud Dancing in the 1990s television show “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” thought, “It’s about time.” Jesse Wente, who is Ojibwe and directs film programming at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, found himself encouraged and surprised. There are so few film roles for indigenous actors, he said, that walking off the set of a major production showed real mettle.
But what didn’t surprise Mr. Wente was the content of the script. According to the actors who walked off the set, the film, titled “The Ridiculous Six,” included a Native American woman who passes out and is revived after white men douse her with alcohol, and another woman squatting to urinate while lighting a peace pipe. “There’s enough history at this point to have set some expectations around these sort of Hollywood depictions,” Mr. Wente said.
The walkout prompted a rhetorical “What do you expect from an Adam Sandler film?,” and a Netflix spokesman said that in the movie, blacks, Mexicans and whites were lampooned as well. But Native American actors and critics said a broader issue was at stake. While mainstream portrayals of native peoples have, Mr. Wente said, become “incrementally better” over the decades, he and others say, they remain far from accurate and reflect a lack of opportunities for Native American performers. What’s more, as Native Americans hunger for representation on screen, critics say the absence of three-dimensional portrayals has very real off-screen consequences.
“Our people are still healing from historical trauma,” said Loren Anthony, one of the actors who walked out. “Our youth are still trying to figure out who they are, where they fit in this society. Kids are killing themselves. They’re not proud of who they are.” They also don’t, he added, see themselves on prime time television or the big screen. Netflix noted while about five people walked off the “The Ridiculous Six” set, 100 or so Native American actors and extras stayed.
But in interviews, nearly a dozen Native American actors and film industry experts said that Mr. Sandler’s humor perpetuated decades-old negative stereotypes. Mr. Anthony said such depictions helped feed the despondency many Native Americans feel, with deadly results: Native Americans have the highest suicide rate out of all the country’s ethnicities.
The on-screen problem is twofold, Mr. Anthony and others said: There’s a paucity of roles for Native Americans — according to the Screen Actors Guild in 2008 they accounted for 0.3 percent of all on-screen parts (those figures have yet to be updated), compared to about 2 percent of the general population — and Native American actors are often perceived in a narrow way.
In his Peabody Award-winning documentary “Reel Injun,” the Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond explored Hollywood depictions of Native Americans over the years, and found they fell into a few stereotypical categories: the Noble Savage, the Drunk Indian, the Mystic, the Indian Princess, the backward tribal people futilely fighting John Wayne and manifest destiny. While the 1990 film “Dances With Wolves” won praise for depicting Native Americans as fully fleshed out human beings, not all indigenous people embraced it. It was still told, critics said, from the colonialists’ point of view. In an interview, John Trudell, a Santee Sioux writer, actor (“Thunderheart”) and the former chairman of the American Indian Movement, described the film as “a story of two white people.”
“God bless ‘Dances with Wolves,’ ” Michael Horse, who played Deputy Hawk in “Twin Peaks,” said sarcastically. “Even ‘Avatar.’ Someone’s got to come save the tribal people.”
Dan Spilo, a partner at Industry Entertainment who represents Adam Beach, one of today’s most prominent Native American actors, said while typecasting dogs many minorities, it is especially intractable when it comes to Native Americans. Casting directors, he said, rarely cast them as police officers, doctors or lawyers. “There’s the belief that the Native American character should be on reservations or riding a horse,” he said.
“We don’t see ourselves,” Mr. Horse said. “We’re still an antiquated culture to them, and to the rest of the world.”
Ms. Cardinal said she was once turned down for the role of the wife of a child-abusing cop because the filmmakers felt that casting her would somehow be “too political.”
Another sore point is the long run of white actors playing American Indians, among them Burt Lancaster, Rock Hudson, Audrey Hepburn and, more recently, Johnny Depp, whose depiction of Tonto in the 2013 film “Lone Ranger,” was viewed as racist by detractors. There are, of course, exceptions. The former A&E series “Longmire,” which, as it happens, will now be on Netflix, was roundly praised for its depiction of life on a Northern Cheyenne reservation, with Lou Diamond Phillips, who is of Cherokee descent, playing a Northern Cheyenne man.
Others also point to the success of Mr. Beach, who played a Mohawk detective in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and landed a starring role in the forthcoming D C Comics picture “Suicide Squad.” Mr. Beach said he had come across insulting scripts backed by people who don’t see anything wrong with them.
“I’d rather starve than do something that is offensive to my ancestral roots,” Mr. Beach said. “But I think there will always be attempts to drawn on the weakness of native people’s struggles. The savage Indian will always be the savage Indian. The white man will always be smarter and more cunning. The cavalry will always win.”
The solution, Mr. Wente, Mr. Trudell and others said, lies in getting more stories written by and starring Native Americans. But Mr. Wente noted that while independent indigenous film has blossomed in the last two decades, mainstream depictions have yet to catch up. “You have to stop expecting for Hollywood to correct it, because there seems to be no ability or desire to correct it,” Mr. Wente said.
There have been calls to boycott Netflix but, writing for Indian Country Today Media Network, which first broke news of the walk off, the filmmaker Brian Young noted that the distributor also offered a number of films by or about Native Americans.
The furor around “The Ridiculous Six” may drive more people to see it. Then one of the questions that Mr. Trudell, echoing others, had about the film will be answered: “Who the hell laughs at this stuff?”Native American Actors Work to Overcome a Long-Documented Bias
WASHINGTON — A decade after emergency trailers meant to shelter Hurricane Katrina victims instead caused burning eyes, sore throats and other more serious ailments, the Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of regulating the culprit: formaldehyde, a chemical that can be found in commonplace things like clothes and furniture.
But an unusual assortment of players, including furniture makers, the Chinese government, Republicans from states with a large base of furniture manufacturing and even some Democrats who championed early regulatory efforts, have questioned the E.P.A. proposal. The sustained opposition has held sway, as the agency is now preparing to ease key testing requirements before it releases the landmark federal health standard.
The E.P.A.’s five-year effort to adopt this rule offers another example of how industry opposition can delay and hamper attempts by the federal government to issue regulations, even to control substances known to be harmful to human health.
The E.P.A.’s decision would be the first time that the federal government has regulated formaldehyde inside most American homes.
“The stakes are high for public health,” said Tom Neltner, senior adviser for regulatory affairs at the National Center for Healthy Housing, who has closely monitored the debate over the rules. “What we can’t have here is an outcome that fails to confront the health threat we all know exists.”
The proposal would not ban formaldehyde — commonly used as an ingredient in wood glue in furniture and flooring — but it would impose rules that prevent dangerous levels of the chemical’s vapors from those products, and would set testing standards to ensure that products sold in the United States comply with those limits. The debate has sharpened in the face of growing concern about the safety of formaldehyde-treated flooring imported from Asia, especially China.
What is certain is that a lot of money is at stake: American companies sell billions of dollars’ worth of wood products each year that contain formaldehyde, and some argue that the proposed regulation would impose unfair costs and restrictions.
Determined to block the agency’s rule as proposed, these industry players have turned to the White House, members of Congress and top E.P.A. officials, pressing them to roll back the testing requirements in particular, calling them redundant and too expensive.
“There are potentially over a million manufacturing jobs that will be impacted if the proposed rule is finalized without changes,” wrote Bill Perdue, the chief lobbyist at the American Home Furnishings Alliance, a leading critic of the testing requirements in the proposed regulation, in one letter to the E.P.A.
Industry opposition helped create an odd alignment of forces working to thwart the rule. The White House moved to strike out key aspects of the proposal. Subsequent appeals for more changes were voiced by players as varied as Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, and Senator Roger Wicker, Republican of Mississippi, as well as furniture industry lobbyists.
Hurricane Katrina in 2005 helped ignite the public debate over formaldehyde, after the deadly storm destroyed or damaged hundreds of thousands of homes along the Gulf of Mexico, forcing families into temporary trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The displaced storm victims quickly began reporting respiratory problems, burning eyes and other issues, and tests then confirmed high levels of formaldehyde fumes leaking into the air inside the trailers, which in many cases had been hastily constructed.
Public health advocates petitioned the E.P.A. to issue limits on formaldehyde in building materials and furniture used in homes, given that limits already existed for exposure in workplaces. But three years after the storm, only California had issued such limits.
Industry groups like the American Chemistry Council have repeatedly challenged the science linking formaldehyde to cancer, a position championed by David Vitter, the Republican senator from Louisiana, who is a major recipient of chemical industry campaign contributions, and whom environmental groups have mockingly nicknamed “Senator Formaldehyde.”
By 2010, public health advocates and some industry groups secured bipartisan support in Congress for legislation that ordered the E.P.A. to issue federal rules that largely mirrored California’s restrictions. At the time, concerns were rising over the growing number of lower-priced furniture imports from Asia that might include contaminated products, while also hurting sales of American-made products.
Maneuvering began almost immediately after the E.P.A. prepared draft rules to formally enact the new standards.
White House records show at least five meetings in mid-2012 with industry executives — kitchen cabinet makers, chemical manufacturers, furniture trade associations and their lobbyists, like Brock R. Landry, of the Venable law firm. These parties, along with Senator Vitter’s office, appealed to top administration officials, asking them to intervene to roll back the E.P.A. proposal.
The White House Office of Management and Budget, which reviews major federal regulations before they are adopted, apparently agreed. After the White House review, the E.P.A. “redlined” many of the estimates of the monetary benefits that would be gained by reductions in related health ailments, like asthma and fertility issues, documents reviewed by The New York Times show.
As a result, the estimated benefit of the proposed rule dropped to $48 million a year, from as much as $278 million a year. The much-reduced amount deeply weakened the agency’s justification for the sometimes costly new testing that would be required under the new rules, a federal official involved in the effort said.
“It’s a redlining blood bath,” said Lisa Heinzerling, a Georgetown University Law School professor and a former E.P.A. official, using the Washington phrase to describe when language is stricken from a proposed rule. “Almost the entire discussion of these potential benefits was excised.”
Senator Vitter’s staff was pleased.
“That’s a huge difference,” said Luke Bolar, a spokesman for Mr. Vitter, of the reduced estimated financial benefits, saying the change was “clearly highlighting more mismanagement” at the E.P.A.
The review’s outcome galvanized opponents in the furniture industry. They then targeted a provision that mandated new testing of laminated wood, a cheaper alternative to hardwood. (The California standard on which the law was based did not require such testing.)
But E.P.A. scientists had concluded that these laminate products — millions of which are sold annually in the United States — posed a particular risk. They said that when thin layers of wood, also known as laminate or veneer, are added to furniture or flooring in the final stages of manufacturing, the resulting product can generate dangerous levels of fumes from often-used formaldehyde-based glues.
Industry executives, outraged by what they considered an unnecessary and financially burdensome level of testing, turned every lever within reach to get the requirement removed. It would be particularly onerous, they argued, for small manufacturers that would have to repeatedly interrupt their work to do expensive new testing. The E.P.A. estimated that the expanded requirements for laminate products would cost the furniture industry tens of millions of dollars annually, while the industry said that the proposed rule over all would cost its 7,000 American manufacturing facilities over $200 million each year.
“A lot of people don’t seem to appreciate what a lot of these requirements do to a small operation,” said Dick Titus, executive vice president of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, whose members are predominantly small businesses. “A 10-person shop, for example, just really isn’t equipped to handle that type of thing.”
Big industry players also weighed in. Executives from companies including La-Z-Boy, Hooker Furniture and Ashley Furniture all flew to Washington for a series of meetings with the offices of lawmakers including House Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, and about a dozen other lawmakers, asking several of them to sign a letter prepared by the industry to press the E.P.A. to back down, according to an industry report describing the lobbying visit.
Within a matter of weeks, two letters — using nearly identical language — were sent by House and Senate lawmakers to the E.P.A. — with the industry group forwarding copies of the letters to the agency as well, and then posting them on its website.
The industry lobbyists also held their own meeting at E.P.A. headquarters, and they urged Jim Jones, who oversaw the rule-making process as the assistant administrator for the agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, to visit a North Carolina furniture manufacturing plant. According to the trade group, Mr. Jones told them that the visit had “helped the agency shift its thinking” about the rules and how laminated products should be treated.
The resistance was particularly intense from lawmakers like Mr. Wicker of Mississippi, whose state is home to major manufacturing plants owned by Ashley Furniture Industries, the world’s largest furniture maker, and who is one of the biggest recipients in Congress of donations from the industry’s trade association. Asked if the political support played a role, a spokesman for Mr. Wicker replied: “Thousands of Mississippians depend on the furniture manufacturing industry for their livelihoods. Senator Wicker is committed to defending all Mississippians from government overreach.”
Individual companies like Ikea also intervened, as did the Chinese government, which claimed that the new rule would create a “great barrier” to the import of Chinese products because of higher costs.
Perhaps the most surprising objection came from Senator Boxer, of California, a longtime environmental advocate, whose office questioned why the E.P.A.’s rule went further than her home state’s in seeking testing on laminated products. “We did not advocate an outcome, other than safety,” her office said in a statement about why the senator raised concerns. “We said ‘Take a look to see if you have it right.’ ”
Safety advocates say that tighter restrictions — like the ones Ms. Boxer and Mr. Wicker, along with Representative Doris Matsui, a California Democrat, have questioned — are necessary, particularly for products coming from China, where items as varied as toys and Christmas lights have been found to violate American safety standards.
While Mr. Neltner, the environmental advocate who has been most involved in the review process, has been open to compromise, he has pressed the E.P.A. not to back down entirely, and to maintain a requirement that laminators verify that their products are safe.
An episode of CBS’s “60 Minutes” in March brought attention to the issue when it accused Lumber Liquidators, the discount flooring retailer, of selling laminate products with dangerous levels of formaldehyde. The company has disputed the show’s findings and test methods, maintaining that its products are safe.
“People think that just because Congress passed the legislation five years ago, the problem has been fixed,” said Becky Gillette, who then lived in coastal Mississippi, in the area hit by Hurricane Katrina, and was among the first to notice a pattern of complaints from people living in the trailers. “Real people’s faces and names come up in front of me when I think of the thousands of people who could get sick if this rule is not done right.”
An aide to Ms. Matsui rejected any suggestion that she was bending to industry pressure.
“From the beginning the public health has been our No. 1 concern,” said Kyle J. Victor, an aide to Ms. Matsui.
But further changes to the rule are likely, agency officials concede, as they say they are searching for a way to reduce the cost of complying with any final rule while maintaining public health goals. The question is just how radically the agency will revamp the testing requirement for laminated products — if it keeps it at all.
“It’s not a secret to anybody that is the most challenging issue,” said Mr. Jones, the E.P.A. official overseeing the process, adding that the health consequences from formaldehyde are real. “We have to reduce those exposures so that people can live healthy lives and not have to worry about being in their homes.”The Uphill Battle to Better Regulate Formaldehyde
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