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John Walke, Clean Air Director/ Senior Attorney, Washington, D.C.

John Walke

As a senior attorney and the Director of NRDC's Clean Air Program, I work on national legislation, litigation and Environmental Protection Agency rulemakings that will have the greatest impact on ensuring clean air for all Americans.  My work focuses on reducing smog, soot and toxic air pollution from power plants, factories, vehicles and other sources.  I frequently challenge EPA rulemakings in federal court for running afoul of the Clean Air Act and failing to protect the public.  I joined NRDC in 2000 from EPA's Office of General Counsel in Washington, D.C., where I worked as a clean air attorney for over three years. Prior to that, I worked as an associate attorney at a private law firm in Washington.  I graduated from Harvard Law School in 1993, and graduated with a B.A. from Duke University in 1990.

Recent Posts

Is Your State Government Trying to Expose Your Family to More Arsenic, Lead & Mercury Pollution?

Posted July 15, 2014 by John Walke in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Twenty-one states have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to terminate health safeguards that protect Americans from toxic air pollution spewed by electric power plants burning coal and oil. Attorneys general from these conservative states want to overturn a lower court...continued

EPA Proposes to Limit Cancer-Causing Toxic Air Pollution From Petroleum Refineries

Posted May 16, 2014 by John Walke in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Yesterday, EPA proposed new standards to limit toxic air pollution from petroleum refineries. EPA’s proposal is good news for millions of Americans, since about 90 million Americans live within 30 miles of a refinery, and many live near more than...continued

GOP Bill Attacks EPA Science, Health Standards, With Unapologetic Double Standard For Industry

Posted February 11, 2014 by John Walke in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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The Environment Subcommittee of the House Science Committee held a hearing this morning to consider a bill by the Republican majority entitled the "Secret Science Reform Act of 2014." I submitted this letter on behalf of NRDC strongly opposing the...continued

Clean Air Has Its Day In Court

Posted December 13, 2013 by John Walke in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Two of the most important health standards ever adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce harmful air pollution from power plants had their day in court this week. Actually two courts: the Supreme Court heard arguments on EPA's Cross-State...continued

Science Trumps Denialism: International Cancer Research Body Declares Soot Pollution to Be Known Human Carcinogen

Posted October 17, 2013 by John Walke in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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A new report from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) cancer research agency announced the classification of outdoor air pollution and particulate matter as known human carcinogens. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) independently reviewed over 1,000 of the latest...continued

#StopGovtAbuse

Posted August 2, 2013 by John Walke in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Yesterday 20 over-zealous Republicans in the United States House of Representatives voted to subpoena health data from Harvard University that the Republicans already have, data from EPA that the Republicans already know EPA does not have, and patient data from...continued

Political Vendetta Against Health Safeguards Founded on Shocking Falsehoods

Posted August 1, 2013 by John Walke in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Some Congressional Republicans have mounted a feverish campaign against long-established science showing a clear causal association between fine soot pollution (PM2.5) and premature death. Their all-too-transparent agenda is to attack clean air health safeguards that are projected to save tens...continued

Monitoring Abuses by White House Office

Posted June 11, 2013 by John Walke in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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This week, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is holding a confirmation hearing on one of the most important White House positions you’ve never heard of. The committee will consider President Obama's nomination of Howard Shelanski to serve as Administrator of the...continued

Testimony Opposing Harmful, Anti-Enforcement Legislation

Posted June 5, 2013 by John Walke in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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I testified this morning at a legislative hearing before a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, where I opposed harmful legislation that would obstruct law enforcement of important health, environmental, food and medical safety and investor protections. My written testimony...continued

Republican Bills Would Obstruct Enforcement of Environmental Laws

Posted May 23, 2013 by John Walke in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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The following was originally published on RegBlog on May 20, 2013. Congressional Republicans have attacked the Obama administration by accusing federal agencies of engaging in collusive litigation practices with public interest groups (pejoratively dubbed “sue-and-settle”). Republicans in both the 112th and...continued

Chamber of Commerce Attacks Health Safeguards, Law Enforcement

Posted May 22, 2013 by John Walke in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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The Chamber of Commerce has joined leagues with Congressional extremists to urge obstructing the enforcement of federal health, environmental and financial safeguards that have proven too popular to weaken by direct amendment. The Chamber is carrying the water of Congressional...continued

Republican Senators Mount Transparently Political Attack on Nominee to Head EPA

Posted May 8, 2013 by John Walke in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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The group of Republican Senators [pdf] most loudly criticizing the nomination of Ms. Gina McCarthy to head EPA evidently have decided not to mount a frontal assault on her impressive qualifications or historic health achievements [pdf] leading EPA’s clean air program. Indeed,...continued

Setting the Record Straight on the Obama EPA's Clean Air Act Track Record in Court

Posted February 22, 2013 by John Walke in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Following President Obama's State of the Union speech earlier this month, in which he vowed to exercise existing legal authority to reduce air pollution that causes dangerous climate change, a House Republican chairman lashed out at the president's pledge. Congressman Ed...continued

GOP Science Subcommittee Kicks Off 113th Congress With Promise of More Outlier Attacks

Posted February 13, 2013 by John Walke in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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[Co-authored with my colleague, Jon Devine.] The House Science Subcommittee on Environment is holding its first hearing of the 113th Congress entitled “The State of Environment: Evaluating Progress and Priorities.” With their two announced witnesses, the Republican majority is signaling...continued

EPA Finally Comes Clean on Dirty Soot Politics

Posted January 14, 2013 by John Walke in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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A remarkable confession and verdict in the world of pollution and politics happened quietly last month, noticed only by a few insiders. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency admitted, almost in passing, buried deep in an obscure document, that the former...continued

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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