Today's Top 5

No Mention of Health in Pruitt's First Meeting With EPA Staff

Usually, new administrators at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are welcomed at headquarters without too much fanfare. That is, until today. Scott Pruitt — the new EPA administrator nominated to the position by President Donald Trump — gave his welcome address to his agency Tuesday after garnering more "no" votes on the Senate floor than any other EPA nominee since the agency was founded in 1970. - Mashable

Pruitt Questions EPA's Authority To Regulate Carbon

Scott Pruitt is questioning whether his agency is empowered to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Pruitt, whom the Senate confirmed Friday on a mostly party-line vote of 52-46, already made waves in his first hours as EPA chief. In his first interview since his nomination in December, with Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel, Pruitt said "it's a fair question" whether EPA has the "tools" to restrict carbon dioxide emissions. - E&E News

Study: Mercury in Fish, Seafood May Be Linked to Higher Risk of ALS

Many people think of fish and seafood as being healthy. However, new research suggests eating certain species that tend to have high levels of mercury may be linked to a greater risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Questions remain about the possible impact of mercury in fish, according to a preliminary study released Monday that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 69th annual meeting in Boston in April. - CBC

Feeding the Global Lust for Leather

About 90 percent of Bangladesh’s leather is tanned in Hazaribagh. And the country’s economy depends heavily upon leather and the manufacture of leather goods — which explains in no small measure the government’s reluctance to crack down on polluters. In 2015 and 2016 Bangladesh produced about $1.5 billion in leather and leather goods, most of it exported, according to the Bangladesh Board of Investment. Leather and leather goods represent the country’s second largest export, after garments. Turmoil in Hazaribagh threatens to upend the country’s efforts to increase its tiny share of the more than $200 billion global leather market. Should that come to pass, it would be just one more step in a long journey for the tanning industry, which has spent decades hopscotching across the globe, assiduously fleeing regulation and rising labor costs, and leaving long-lasting toxic footprints at each stop. - Undark

Trump to Roll Back Obama's Water, Climate Rules Through Executive Action

President Trump is preparing executive orders aimed at curtailing Obama-era policies on climate and water pollution, according to individuals briefed on the measures. - Washington Post