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About Stephen Lester

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So far Stephen Lester has created 93 blog entries.

The Interior Department Is Sidelining Environmental Justice

…In early September, DOI quietly rescinded two policy memos that provided specific guidance on how to implement principles of environmental justice. The first memo, issued in 1995, instructed bureaus to look at impacts of proposed projects and, where necessary, to evaluate the environmental consequences on vulnerable communities or human health. The second memo, drafted two [...]

Trump’s Region 4 EPA Administrator Indicted on Alabama Ethics Charges

The USEPA Region 4 Administrator, a 2017 Trump appointee, has been indicted by a Jefferson County, Alabama, grand jury for ethics violations, along with his former business partner, former Alabama Environmental Management Commissioner Scott Phillips. <Read more...>

Climate Change: The Elephant in the Room

Hurricanes Michael, Florence, Harvey, Sandy, Katrina. Once in 500-year superstorms that are hitting land once every 3 years including twice this year. Deadly wildfires that have devastated parts of California. Torrential rains that have caused massive flooding in parts of Asia. A punishing heat wave that killed dozens in Japan, South Korea and parts of [...]

Huge Win for Local Residents as Tonawanda Coke Closes its Doors

The Tonawanda Coke plant near Buffalo, NY, closed its doors this past Sunday marking a huge victory for the local residents who have fought for years to shut down the facility. Read more here.

EPA Orders Evacuations As Industrial Toxins Found In Florence Flood Waters

As communities along the Gulf Coast await Hurricane Michael, it's easy to forget the devastation that Hurricane Florence wrought on North and South Carolina. As described in the news story by Ring of Fire, “It is easy to forget about the plight of the Carolinas with all of the insanity taking place in Washington, D.C., but [...]

New Plan for Disposing of Oil/Gas Waste: Where Bad Science Hits the Road

The state of Ohio reached a new low when it approved the use of radioactive oil and gas-related waste “brine" on roads as a deicer and dust suppressant. This issue came to public attention during a state legislative hearing on a proposed bill that would make this practice easy to continue. In response, the Buckeye [...]

Floodwaters Swamp Toxic Coal Ash Dump in NC

Toxic coal ash from Duke Energy's L.V. Sutton power plant in Wilmington,NC flowed into the Cape Fear River this past week-end when rising floodwaters from Hurricane Florence overwhelmed the storage basin. Read more ...

Safe Drinking Water Settlement $365,000

Under a settlement announced today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), CertainTeed Corporation will pay $365,500 in civil penalties to resolve alleged violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) at the CertainTeed Lake Charles Polymer Plant in Westlake, Louisiana. The settlement requires the largest civil penalty payment [...]

Where Do Plastics Go?

When a plastic bottle gets recycled by an environmentally-conscious consumer, where does it go? Many people assume it gets trucked off somewhere nearby and ultimately gets reborn as a brand new product further down the line. The reality, however, is that a significant portion of America’s waste used to get sent to China to be [...]

A toxic town, a search for answers

"Even before Hassan Amjad’s family buried him on a West Virginia hillside, phone calls flooded his daughter’s office. The callers remembered him as a kind man, boundless in his curiosity, fiery in his convictions, who had long maintained a medical clinic in nearby Oak Hill, in an old whitewashed house with a squeaky screen door [...]

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