CHEJ In The News

New Interim Strategy Will Address PFAS Through Certain EPA-Issued Wastewater Permits

December 1st, 2020|Comments Off on New Interim Strategy Will Address PFAS Through Certain EPA-Issued Wastewater Permits

WASHINGTON (November 30, 2020) — Aggressively addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the environment continues to be an active and ongoing priority for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Today, the agency is announcing two important steps to address PFAS. First, EPA issued a memorandum detailing an interim National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting strategy for addressing PFAS in EPA-issued wastewater permits. Second, EPA released information on progress in developing new analytical methods to test for PFAS compounds in wastewater and other environmental media. Together, these actions help ensure that federally enforceable wastewater monitoring for PFAS can begin as soon as validated [...]

Biden shortlist for White House key environmental post shows focus on environmental justice

December 1st, 2020|Comments Off on Biden shortlist for White House key environmental post shows focus on environmental justice

President-elect Joe Biden is vetting three environmental justice leaders to head up the White House agency that will take the lead in coordinating efforts to safeguard communities disproportionately affected by pollution, according to sources familiar with the process. The shortlist for head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) signals a focus by the incoming Biden administration on environmental policies that aim to ensure improved clean air and water for poor and minority communities that have historically taken the brunt of industrial pollution. The Biden transition team is considering Mustafa Santiago Ali, Cecilia Martinez and Brenda Mallory to [...]

In Georgia, 16 Superfund Sites Are Threatened by Extreme Weather Linked to Climate Change

December 1st, 2020|Comments Off on In Georgia, 16 Superfund Sites Are Threatened by Extreme Weather Linked to Climate Change

From a distance, the inland marsh a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean in Brunswick, Georgia, looks like a broad, green mat broken by silvery threads of meandering rivers and creeks. There's cordgrass four feet tall, and sea daisies that add a splash of starburst color. The marsh is home to shrimp, blue crab and sea trout, and it's the nesting site of Great Egrets. Bottlenose dolphins inhabit the nearby Turtle/Brunswick River Estuary in Glynn County. But looks can be deceiving. Beneath the bucolic green expanse, the water and sediment contain toxic mercury and PCBs from the now closed LCP [...]

Six Environmental Heroes Awarded Goldman Prize for ‘Taking a Stand, Risking Their Lives and Livelihoods, and Inspiring Us’

November 30th, 2020|Comments Off on Six Environmental Heroes Awarded Goldman Prize for ‘Taking a Stand, Risking Their Lives and Livelihoods, and Inspiring Us’

After a long year of environmental disasters across the globe and in the midst of a public health crisis that has killed well over a million people, six "environmental heroes" were announced on Monday as winners of the 2020 Goldman Environmental Prize, an annual honor that recognizes grassroots activists from each of the world's inhabited continental regions. "These six environmental champions reflect the powerful impact that one person can have on many," John Goldman, president of the Goldman Environmental Foundation, said in a statement. "In today's world, we witness the effects of an imbalance with nature: a global pandemic, climate [...]

William Sanjour: Battle Hardened, Never Beaten

November 24th, 2020|Comments Off on William Sanjour: Battle Hardened, Never Beaten

Read the story of William Sanjour, who blew the whistle on the EPA and throughout his career. How long does it take to fight the good fight? How long can one stand in the arena and continue the battle? For some whistleblowers, it can be decades, and William Sanjour is a case in point. For half his life, he has been a whistleblower and a whistleblower advocate. He was the point man in a court case that reverberates to this day, and he outsmarted many people who tried desperately to silence him. Read more...

7 Ways Biden Can Fight Climate Change Without Any Help from Congress

November 24th, 2020|Comments Off on 7 Ways Biden Can Fight Climate Change Without Any Help from Congress

When Joe Biden delivered his first speech as president-elect two weeks ago, he focused on his mandate to “marshal the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time.” Climate change was high on that list. After another year of unprecedented climate disasters, Biden will enter office with the most ambitious plans of any incoming president to wean our country off fossil fuels. To deliver on his promises of “getting climate under control,” Biden will need to follow the prevailing science that suggests the United States achieve about a 45 percent reduction in its greenhouse [...]

Commentary: Stop shifting polluters around the city and develop an environmental justice plan

November 23rd, 2020|Comments Off on Commentary: Stop shifting polluters around the city and develop an environmental justice plan

When it comes to letting Reserve Management Group close its General Iron plant on the North Side and move the metal-shredding operations to the Southeast Side, we understand that Mayor Lori Lightfoot has a problem. She has to worry about keeping businesses in the city. Jobs and tax revenues are at stake. But because this is Chicago, and because General Iron has shown its operations continue to pollute the city’s air, she also has to take environmental justice into account when considering this move. Though not confined to Chicago, environmental injustice has been endemic here. Systemic racism, in the form [...]

A destructive legacy: Trump bids for final hack at environmental protections

November 23rd, 2020|Comments Off on A destructive legacy: Trump bids for final hack at environmental protections

Donald Trump is using the dying embers of his US presidency to hastily push through a procession of environmental protection rollbacks that critics claim will cement his legacy as an unusually destructive force against the natural world. Trump has yet to acknowledge his election loss to president-elect Joe Biden but his administration has been busily finishing off a cavalcade of regulatory moves to lock in more oil and gas drilling, loosened protections for wildlife and lax air pollution standards before the Democrat enters the White House on 20 January. Read more... Photo credit: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Under Biden, Environmental Justice Advisers See Path for Action Via Infrastructure Investments

November 19th, 2020|Comments Off on Under Biden, Environmental Justice Advisers See Path for Action Via Infrastructure Investments

Environmental justice has found its way into President-elect Joe Biden’s transition plan as a “key consideration” for policy-making, and advocates are cautiously optimistic. And though a divided Congress is likely, they suspect an infrastructure bill — long promised but never delivered under the Trump administration — is a potential avenue for investing in communities that have borne the brunt of pollution and environmental racism. These “frontline” communities, whose populations are predominantly Black or other people of color, are those that experience the first and worst consequences of climate change and other environmental problems. The new administration’s ability to allocate 40 [...]

Jeff Bezos is now the biggest climate activism donor—and that’s a problem

November 18th, 2020|Comments Off on Jeff Bezos is now the biggest climate activism donor—and that’s a problem

On Nov. 16, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the first round of grantees from his “Earth Fund,” which has committed to ultimately channel $10 billion to climate change-related causes and groups. In this first crop, 16 organizations will receive a total of $791 million, making Bezos the world’s biggest backer of climate activism. In one day, he single-handedly boosted the total amount of climate-related philanthropic funding available in the US by around 11%. But the list of recipients is raising some objections—both because of its potential to greenwash Amazon’s own climate accountability, and because it significantly favors well-funded Beltway institutions [...]

U.S. EPA Announces $200,000 Environmental Justice Grant to California Office of Planning & Research

November 17th, 2020|Comments Off on U.S. EPA Announces $200,000 Environmental Justice Grant to California Office of Planning & Research

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of the California Office of Planning and Research’s Strategic Growth Council to receive $200,000 for trainings to communities to address air quality and COVID-19 – the respiratory disease shown to disproportionately impact individuals exposed to higher levels of air pollution. “EPA is working to improve the environment and public health conditions of low-income and minority communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVD-19 pandemic,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. This grant assistance will provide meaningful tools for those Californians in the greatest of need.” Read more...  

The 2020 Hurricane Season in Rewind

November 17th, 2020|Comments Off on The 2020 Hurricane Season in Rewind

The 2020 hurricane season, which brought destructive storms from Central America to the Gulf Coast of the United States and beyond, has proved to be one for the record books. The storms began before the hurricane season officially kicked off, with the formation of Tropical Storm Albert in mid-May, two weeks before the official start of the Atlantic season on June 1. In August, midway through the six-month season, scientists upgraded their outlook to say 2020 would be “one of the most active seasons,” and said they expected up to 25 named storms by the time it was over. By [...]

Trump Administration, in Late Push, Moves to Sell Oil Rights in Arctic Refuge

November 17th, 2020|Comments Off on Trump Administration, in Late Push, Moves to Sell Oil Rights in Arctic Refuge

The Trump administration on Monday announced that it would begin the formal process of selling leases to oil companies in a last-minute push to achieve its long-sought goal of allowing oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. That sets up a potential sale of leases just before Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, leaving the new administration of Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has opposed drilling in the refuge, to try to reverse them after the fact. Read more... Photo credit: Christopher Miller for The New York Times

Biden to Emphasize Chemicals Concerns of ‘Frontline’ Communities

November 11th, 2020|Comments Off on Biden to Emphasize Chemicals Concerns of ‘Frontline’ Communities

President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will pay more attention than the Trump administration to the concerns of people with higher-than-average chemical exposures as it decides whether those chemicals should be regulated, attorneys said. In last month’s final presidential debate, Biden described the health fears faced by “frontline” communities—generally those in poor areas with a predominantly minority population that live near oil refineries and chemical manufacturers. “It matters how you keep them safe,” he said. “You impose restrictions on the pollution.” Read more... Photo credit: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Biden suspects toxic exposure in Iraq killed Beau. He has a plan for ill veterans

November 11th, 2020|Comments Off on Biden suspects toxic exposure in Iraq killed Beau. He has a plan for ill veterans

Joe Biden, like many other families of service members diagnosed with illnesses from overseas deployments, suspects toxic exposure may have been behind his son Beau’s brain cancer. Beau Biden boarded a military aircraft for Iraq on Nov. 19, 2008, just days after his father became vice president-elect. He deployed with the Delaware Army National Guard to Balad Air Base, where the U.S. military burned an estimated 140 tons of waste a day in open air burn pits. Read more... Photo credit: BY SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION

Cuomo Pushes to Weaken Ban on Toxic Foam Burning

November 10th, 2020|Comments Off on Cuomo Pushes to Weaken Ban on Toxic Foam Burning

A bill to stop the burning of toxic foam has become a flashpoint between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and its sponsors, as the governor’s office pushes to retain the authority to greenlight the practice in the future. Residents of Cohoes, a small city in Albany County, learned in February that a hazardous waste incinerator owned by Norlite LLC, an industrial materials manufacturer, had been burning shipments of toxic firefighting foam. In response to public concern about the health risks and national press attention, a bill banning the incineration of the foam in Cohoes passed the Senate and Assembly unanimously in June. Lawmakers and advocates familiar [...]

9 Things the Biden Administration Could Do Quickly on the Environment

November 9th, 2020|Comments Off on 9 Things the Biden Administration Could Do Quickly on the Environment

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. campaigned on the most ambitious climate platform of any presidential candidate in history, promising to spend $2 trillion over four years to draw down planet-warming fossil fuel emissions and convert much of the nation to clean energy. The possibility that the Senate could remain under the control of Republicans, who have generally opposed climate legislation, puts a damper on some of his biggest-ticket plans. But with or without Democratic control of the Senate, the first 100 days of the Biden administration are likely to see a flurry of executive actions addressing climate change, as well [...]

Tiny air pollution rise linked to 11% more Covid-19 deaths – study

November 6th, 2020|Comments Off on Tiny air pollution rise linked to 11% more Covid-19 deaths – study

A small rise in people’s long-term exposure to air pollution is associated with an 11% increase in deaths from Covid-19, research has found. Another recent study suggests that 15% of all Covid-19 deaths around the world are attributable to dirty air. The available data only allows correlations to be established and further work is needed to confirm the connections, but the researchers said the evidence was now strong enough that levels of dirty air must be considered a key factor in handling coronavirus outbreaks. The new analysis is based on research reported by the Guardian in April, which has now been reviewed [...]

U.S. formally exits Paris climate change pact amid election uncertainty

November 5th, 2020|Comments Off on U.S. formally exits Paris climate change pact amid election uncertainty

BERLIN — The United States on Wednesday formally left the Paris Agreement, a global pact forged five years ago to avert the threat of catastrophic climate change. The move, long threatened by President Donald Trump and triggered by his administration a year ago, further isolates the U.S in the world but has no immediate impact on international efforts to curb global warming. Some 189 countries remain committed to the 2015 Paris accord, which aims to keep the increase in average temperatures worldwide “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), ideally no more than 1.5C (2.7 F), compared to pre-industrial levels. A further six countries have signed, [...]

No We Still Aren’t Done. Honestly, I can’t wait for 2020 to be done.

November 5th, 2020|Comments Off on No We Still Aren’t Done. Honestly, I can’t wait for 2020 to be done.

This year has been one of the most challenging since I fought along side my neighbors in Love Canal. For those not familiar, Love Canal is a dumpsite full of 20,000 tons of toxic chemicals, located in Niagara Falls, NY. I bought a puppy. I needed something to help cope that wouldn't destroy my health. Like fighting to obtain relief from the Love Canal leaking dumpsite this year has been one crisis after another. One friend, ally, family member after another feeling sick, worried about COVID or passing away - - alone. Our work at CHEJ had to be totally [...]

‘Crossroads of the climate crisis’: swing state Arizona grapples with deadly heat

November 4th, 2020|Comments Off on ‘Crossroads of the climate crisis’: swing state Arizona grapples with deadly heat

Even now, Ivan Moore can’t think why his father didn’t didn’t tell anyone that the air conditioning in their house was busted. “I honestly don’t know what was going through his mind,” he said. That week three years ago, temperatures in Phoenix, Arizona were forecasted to top 115F (46C). Moore, his wife and two children went to the mountains for a camping trip, and his dad Gene, stayed behind. A few days later, Gene died. The air conditioning had been blowing hot air. “He’d opened a window but it was too hot,” Moore said. “My dad’s heart basically gave out [...]

People of color more likely to live without piped water in richest US cities

November 4th, 2020|Comments Off on People of color more likely to live without piped water in richest US cities

People of color in some of America’s wealthiest cities are significantly more likely to live in houses without indoor plumbing essential for running water, new research reveals. Clean, safe, affordable water is essential for human health and economic survival. Yet access to running water is not universal in the United States, ostensibly the richest country in the world. Nationwide, almost half a million homes do not have piped water, with the majority – 73% – located in urban areas. In fact, almost half the houses without plumbing are located in the country’s top 50 cities. Read more... Photo credit: Christin [...]

Pipeline Company Agrees to Pay $800,000 in Fines, Road Fixes

November 3rd, 2020|Comments Off on Pipeline Company Agrees to Pay $800,000 in Fines, Road Fixes

A natural gas pipeline company and one of its contractors has agreed to pay $300,000 to settle allegations that they violated Massachusetts environmental protection laws during the construction of a natural gas pipeline in 2017, and another $500,000 to repair a stretch of road damaged during the project, the state attorney general's office said. Kinder Morgan subsidiary Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. damaged a vernal pool and other protected wetland resources areas, degraded water quality in a cold water fishery, and discharged 15,000 gallons of contaminated pipeline test water directly onto the ground during construction of the pipeline through Sandisfield and Otis State Forest, according [...]

Americans May Add Five Times More Plastic to the Oceans Than Thought

November 3rd, 2020|Comments Off on Americans May Add Five Times More Plastic to the Oceans Than Thought

The United States contribution to coastal plastic pollution worldwide is significantly larger than previously thought, possibly by as much as five times, according to a study published Friday. The research, published in Science Advances, is the sequel to a 2015 paper by the same authors. Two factors contributed to the sharp increase: Americans are using more plastic than ever and the current study included pollution generated by United States exports of plastic waste, while the earlier one did not. Read more... Photo credit: Francisco Robles/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

What Voters in Battleground States Think About Climate Change

November 3rd, 2020|Comments Off on What Voters in Battleground States Think About Climate Change

Climate change has emerged as a major issue for voters this year, both nationally and in crucial battleground states like Arizona and Florida, new polls from The New York Times and Siena College suggest. Nationwide, 58 percent of Americans said they were either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about their communities being harmed by climate change, according to a survey conducted in mid-October, with 39 percent saying they were “not too concerned” or “not at all concerned.” Read more... Photo credit: The New York Times/Sienna College Poll

Trump’s EPA rewrote the rules on air, water energy. Now voters face a choice on climate change issues

October 30th, 2020|Comments Off on Trump’s EPA rewrote the rules on air, water energy. Now voters face a choice on climate change issues

Cherise Harris noticed a change in her eldest daughter soon after the family moved a block away from a 132-year-old coal-fired power plant in Painesville, Ohio. The teen’s asthma attacks occurred more frequently, Harris said, and she started carrying an inhaler with her at all times. The family didn’t know it at the time, but Painesville’s municipal-owned plant emits nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide – two pollutants that the American Lung Association says inflames air passages, causing shortness of breath, chest tightness, pain and wheezing.   Read more... Photo credit: Getty Images

Duke study finds high PFAS levels in Pittsboro residents’ blood

October 30th, 2020|Comments Off on Duke study finds high PFAS levels in Pittsboro residents’ blood

A new Duke University study has found that the concentrations of some potentially cancerous per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — or PFAS — are two to four times higher in the blood of Pittsboro residents than the U.S. population as a whole. The study also found that some types of PFAS chemicals found in Pittsboro residents’ blood are “strikingly similar” to those found in the blood of Wilmington residents during an earlier study conducted by N.C. State and East Carolina universities. Read more... Photo credit: Pxfuel, Creative Commons

The $16 Million Was Supposed to Clean Up Old Oil Wells; Instead, It’s Going to Frack New Ones

October 30th, 2020|Comments Off on The $16 Million Was Supposed to Clean Up Old Oil Wells; Instead, It’s Going to Frack New Ones

North Dakota's top oil and gas regulator had a problem. With winter bearing down, his department had yet to spend $16 million in federal coronavirus relief funds earmarked for cleaning up abandoned oil and gas well sites across the state, and the arrival of cold weather would halt the work.  If the money wasn't spent by the end of the year, the state would lose it. So Lynn Helms, director of the state's Department of Mineral Resources, proposed a different use for the funds: paying oil companies to hydraulically fracture new wells. Read more... Photo credit: William Campbell/Corbis via Getty [...]

In Deep Red Tennessee, Senate Candidate Marquita Bradshaw Talks Environmental Justice

October 29th, 2020|Comments Off on In Deep Red Tennessee, Senate Candidate Marquita Bradshaw Talks Environmental Justice

Tennessee’s Republican movers and shakers probably weren’t expecting pollution to be a major issue in this year’s Senate race. Since Al Gore vacated his Senate seat in 1993 to serve as Bill Clinton’s vice president, Tennesseans have elected only Republicans to the chamber and the GOP has become nearly synonymous with environmental deregulation. But Marquita Bradshaw’s surprise win in the state’s Democratic primary in August has made environmental justice one of the race’s signature issues.  The question now is whether, after 27 years, Tennesseans will spring a surprise and elect a Democrat to replace retiring three-term Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander — [...]

Buckingham’s next environmental justice fight? Maybe gold mining

October 29th, 2020|Comments Off on Buckingham’s next environmental justice fight? Maybe gold mining

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is dead. So what’s next for Buckingham County? Gold, apparently. This month, plans by a Canadian gold mining company to extract the valuable commodity from thousands of acres in Buckingham surfaced, setting off a wave of alarm in a community that fought five years to keep a natural gas pipeline from being built through their corner of Central Virginia. Read more... Photo credit: Daily Progress File

EPA Releases Updated 2019 TRI Data

October 29th, 2020|Comments Off on EPA Releases Updated 2019 TRI Data

For Release: October 27, 2020 Today, EPA is releasing updated 2019 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data, continuing the agency’s commitment to providing the public with important data and information about chemicals in their communities. This dataset builds upon the preliminary data released in July, including revised submissions and additional data quality checks, and will be used to develop the 2019 TRI National Analysis. The 2019 data set contains data about chemical releases and other waste management practices and pollution prevention activities that took place during 2019 at more than 21,000 federal and industrial facilities across the country. You can use these [...]

Climate justice is at the center of the Biden-Harris plan for tribal nations

October 28th, 2020|Comments Off on Climate justice is at the center of the Biden-Harris plan for tribal nations

The abuse and neglect experienced by tribal nations throughout U.S. history has had far-reaching consequences. A wide range of health metrics for Indigenous people fall far short of those of other Americans, as does their access to preventative health care (and even, in some cases, their access to running water). Now, unsurprisingly, COVID-19 is having an outsized impact on Indigenous communities. In hopes of combating these disparities, earlier this month the Biden presidential campaign released the “Biden-Harris Plan for Tribal Nations,” which outlines how the Democratic nominee’s administration would support better health outcomes for Indigenous communities.   Read more... Photo [...]

Another Reason We Can’t Breathe

October 28th, 2020|Comments Off on Another Reason We Can’t Breathe

Dr. Robert Bullard had trouble selling a book in the late Eighties about what he knew to be true. He had written about a subject on which he’d long sounded the alarm: racism involving a sort of discrimination that is much more silent, a violence that doesn’t come via a policeman’s gun or baton. It doesn’t carry the dramatics of a cross burning on the lawn, nor make as many headlines as the racial disparities in America’s economic or medical systems. Bullard was trying to tell the world about the kind of racism that could come through our water taps, [...]

First U.S. Small Nuclear Reactor Design Is Approved

October 26th, 2020|Comments Off on First U.S. Small Nuclear Reactor Design Is Approved

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved the design of a new kind of reactor, known as a small modular reactor (SMR). The design, from the Portland, Ore.–based company NuScale Power, is intended to speed construction, lower cost and improve safety over traditional nuclear reactors, which are typically many times larger. Supporters of SMRs have long touted them as a way to help revive the country’s nuclear industry and widen the spread of low-carbon electricity. But some experts have expressed concerns over the potential expense and remaining safety issues that the industry would have to address before any such [...]

INEOS tank collapse rattles region

October 26th, 2020|Comments Off on INEOS tank collapse rattles region

A tank collapse at Lima’s INEOS plant shook parts of the region Sunday night, but authorities assured residents there was no threat to the community. The Shawnee Township Fire Department responded to INEOS at 1900 Fort Amanda Road, Lima, at 7:59 p.m. Sunday, according to John Norris, platoon chief and public information officer for the Shawnee Township Fire Department. They found a tank had collapsed. There were no injuries, and crews remained on scene for several hours. Read more...  

Her Town Depended on the Mill. Was It Also Making the Residents Sick?

October 21st, 2020|Comments Off on Her Town Depended on the Mill. Was It Also Making the Residents Sick?

In 1981, a doctor in a small mill town in Maine read a study suggesting that prostate and colon cancers in his community were nearly double the national average. Spooked, he brought the research to the board of directors at the local hospital; they ignored it. A few years later, a survey conducted by the Maine Department of Health suggested that the town, Rumford, had an especially high incidence of cancer, aplastic anemia and lung disease. The state epidemiologist insisted that the data were inconclusive. In 1991, a TV news series christened the area “Cancer Valley” because of the number [...]

Black Americans in ‘Cancer Alley’ disproportionately exposed to toxic pollution

October 19th, 2020|Comments Off on Black Americans in ‘Cancer Alley’ disproportionately exposed to toxic pollution

In St. James Parish, Louisiana, residents face some of the highest cancer risks in the country due to air pollution from the nearby 85-mile industrial corridor. Taiwanese plastics company Formosa plans to build a 2,400 acre site that could double the toxic emissions in the parish.  Read more... Photo credit: NBC News

The Trump Administration Is Reversing Nearly 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s the Full List.

October 19th, 2020|Comments Off on The Trump Administration Is Reversing Nearly 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s the Full List.

Over four years in office, the Trump administration has dismantled major climate policies and rolled back many more rules governing clean air, water, wildlife and toxic chemicals. While other administrations have emphasized cutting regulations, calling them burdensome to industries like coal, oil and gas, the scope of actions under Mr. Trump is “fundamentally different,” said Hana V. Vizcarra, a staff attorney at Harvard Law School’s Environmental and Energy Law Program. In all, a New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School and other sources, counts more than 70 environmental rules and regulations officially reversed, [...]

Inside the climate battle quietly raging about US homes

October 15th, 2020|Comments Off on Inside the climate battle quietly raging about US homes

Some challenges to US climate action are obvious – like when Donald Trump boasts about leaving the international Paris agreement and rolling back pollution rules. But many more play out behind the scenes. One of those is the battle over efforts to make America’s new homes and buildings more energy-efficient.  On one side are the city and state officials trying to go greener, and on the other are real estate developers and the natural gas industry. Read more... Photo credit: Justin Lane/EPA

Florida Sees Signals of a Climate-Driven Housing Crisis

October 14th, 2020|Comments Off on Florida Sees Signals of a Climate-Driven Housing Crisis

If rising seas cause America’s coastal housing market to dive — or, as many economists warn, when — the beginning might look a little like what’s happening in the tiny town of Bal Harbour, a glittering community on the northernmost tip of Miami Beach. With single-family homes selling for an average of $3.6 million, Bal Harbour epitomizes high-end Florida waterfront property. But around 2013, something started to change: The annual number of homes sales began to drop — tumbling by half by 2018 — a sign that fewer people wanted to buy. Read more... Photo credit: Rose Marie Cromwell for The [...]

Under Trump, Criminal Prosecutions for Pollution Dropped Sharply

October 13th, 2020|Comments Off on Under Trump, Criminal Prosecutions for Pollution Dropped Sharply

Prosecutions of environmental crimes have “plummeted” during the Trump administration, according to a new report. The first two years of the Trump administration had a 70 percent decrease in criminal prosecutions under the Clean Water Act and a decrease of more than 50 percent under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Crimes Project at the University of Michigan law school found. Read more... Photo credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Tighter Border Policies Leave Migrants Vulnerable to Effects of Climate Change

October 13th, 2020|Comments Off on Tighter Border Policies Leave Migrants Vulnerable to Effects of Climate Change

As the planet continues to warm, people living in the world’s most vulnerable regions — like arid or low-lying nations — must contend with the decision to stay in a place where livability is decreasing or leave for countries with more stable climate and economic conditions. Read more... Photo credit: ENN

Claiming Major Superfund ‘Success,’ Trump EPA Focused on Completing Cleanups – But Climate Change Dangers Went Unaddressed

October 9th, 2020|Comments Off on Claiming Major Superfund ‘Success,’ Trump EPA Focused on Completing Cleanups – But Climate Change Dangers Went Unaddressed

For the last two years of the Obama administration, Jacob Carter built data models at the Environmental Protection Agency that showed how extreme weather events amplified by climate change threatened hundreds of the nation's worst toxic waste dumps, known as Superfund sites. President Barack Obama had made combating climate change the EPA's No. 1 priority, and Carter was a true believer, working on plans the agency's regional administrators could use to safeguard those sites. But when President Donald Trump took office in 2017, everything changed at the EPA. Trump was a climate change denier, and soon the words "climate change" [...]

As Shell’s construction moves into final stage, citizens organize environmental self-defense classes

October 9th, 2020|Comments Off on As Shell’s construction moves into final stage, citizens organize environmental self-defense classes

To date, what we know about the petrochemical plant under construction in Beaver County has come from its owner, Shell Chemical Co. That won’t always be the case. When the plant starts producing its plastic pellets sometime in the next few years, it will put information into the world, through air and water emissions. A number of local environmental and citizen groups are mobilizing to scoop up that data and shift the information and, they hope, the power dynamic between the multinational company and its Beaver County neighbors. Read more... Photo credit: Andrew Rush / Post-Gazette

Air pollution particles in young brains linked to Alzheimer’s damage

October 7th, 2020|Comments Off on Air pollution particles in young brains linked to Alzheimer’s damage

Tiny air pollution particles have been revealed in the brain stems of young people and are intimately associated with molecular damage linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. If the groundbreaking discovery is confirmed by future research, it would have worldwide implications because 90% of the global population live with unsafe air. Medical experts are cautious about the findings and said that while the nanoparticles are a likely cause of the damage, whether this leads to disease later in life remains to be seen. Read more... Photo credit: Nick Ansell/PA

Lead cleanup near water source prompts federal indictment of NC city official

October 6th, 2020|Comments Off on Lead cleanup near water source prompts federal indictment of NC city official

A federal indictment filed last month in Asheville’s U.S. District Court names only Brevard Public Works Director David S. Lutz in the mishandling of lead-laden soil from the city’s abandoned Police Department firing range. He is singled out for ignoring a consultant’s warning that the soil’s lead concentration was 129 milligrams per liter — more than 25 times higher than the federal hazardous waste threshold. He’s the one who faces federal charges for ordering workers in May 2016 to transport 20 truckloads of the toxic dirt, without the legally required documents, to a city public works operations center not permitted [...]

EPA Grants Oklahoma Control Over Tribal Lands

October 6th, 2020|Comments Off on EPA Grants Oklahoma Control Over Tribal Lands

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted the state of Oklahoma regulatory control over environmental issues on nearly all tribal lands there, TYT has learned. This strips from 38 tribes in Oklahoma their sovereignty over environmental issues. It also establishes a legal and administrative pathway to potential environmental abuses on tribal land, including dumping hazardous chemicals like carcinogenic PCBs and petroleum spills, with no legal recourse by the tribes, according to a former high-level official of the EPA. Read more... Photo credit: Pool photo by Al Drago via Getty Images

Environmental agencies are violating civil rights laws — and the EPA is letting them

October 6th, 2020|Comments Off on Environmental agencies are violating civil rights laws — and the EPA is letting them

In the early 1990s, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality held a series of public hearings to consider whether or not to grant a permit to the Genesee Power Station, a wood-burning facility that was to be built in a low-income, predominantly Black neighborhood in Flint. The hearings were supposed to be an opportunity for the community to weigh in on the effects that the resulting pollution would have on their neighborhood, but the agency held the hearings 65 miles away, had armed guards present when speakers testified, and prioritized white attendees over Black attendees. The permit was approved, and [...]

Governor Murphy Directs That State Agency Decisions Be Guided by Environmental Justice Principles

October 5th, 2020|Comments Off on Governor Murphy Directs That State Agency Decisions Be Guided by Environmental Justice Principles

Today, the Department of Environmental Protection issued guidance according to Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 23 that will assist all state government agencies in furthering the promise of environmental justice, DEP Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe announced. As Governor Phil Murphy noted upon signing the nation’s most empowering environmental justice law on September 18, when the whole of government works to fulfill the promise of environmental justice, all New Jersey communities can thrive together. Read more... Photo credit: Official Site of the State of New Jersey

800 million children still exposed to lead

October 5th, 2020|Comments Off on 800 million children still exposed to lead

As many as 800 million children have dangerously high lead values in their blood. The neurotoxin can cause permanent brain damage. The huge international numbers come from a new report from Pure Earth and UNICEF. Pure Earth works to solve pollution problems that can be harmful to humans. "A child's earliest years of life are characterized by rapid growth and brain development. This makes children particularly vulnerable to harmful substances in the environment," says Kam Sripada, a postdoc at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) who has contributed to the report. Read more... Photo credit: Association of Medical [...]

Drilling Permits Cancelled For Underground Natural Gas Storage Project

October 5th, 2020|Comments Off on Drilling Permits Cancelled For Underground Natural Gas Storage Project

Ohio environmental regulators have canceled key permits needed for an underground natural gas liquids storage facility proposed along the Ohio River. According to an order from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, permits to drill three three Class III solution mining wells in Monroe County, Ohio were cancelled on Sept. 21. Cancellation was requested by Powhatan Salt Company LCC. The proposed wells are associated with the Mountaineer NGL Storage project, a multi-million dollar underground natural gas liquids storage project.   Read more... Photo credit: Benny Becker

EPA finalizes rule allowing some major polluters to follow weaker emissions standards

October 2nd, 2020|Comments Off on EPA finalizes rule allowing some major polluters to follow weaker emissions standards

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday finalized a rule that could reclassify many "major" sources of pollution as minor ones, allowing facilities to abide by less-stringent emissions standards for dangerous substances such as mercury, lead and arsenic. The reclassification changes a 1995 rule that for decades has held major emitters to tighter standards even if their operators have taken actions to reduce their pollution - a policy known as "once in, always in." Read more... Photo credit: Getty Images

Why Biodegradable Isn’t What You Think

October 2nd, 2020|Comments Off on Why Biodegradable Isn’t What You Think

You care about the planet, and would like to avoid bottles and other goods made of single-use plastic. But it’s complicated. Choosing products with packaging that claims to be “biodegradable” or “compostable” might mean that they degrade only under special conditions, and could complicate recycling efforts, said Jason Locklin, the director of the New Materials Institute at the University of Georgia. “It’s tremendously confusing, not just to the consumer, but even to many scientists,” he said. Read more... Photo credit: Big Green Smile

A Satellite Lets Scientists See Antarctica’s Melting Like Never Before

October 1st, 2020|Comments Off on A Satellite Lets Scientists See Antarctica’s Melting Like Never Before

New data from space is providing the most precise picture yet of Antarctica’s ice, where it is accumulating most quickly and disappearing at the fastest rate, and how the changes could contribute to rising sea levels. Read more... Photo credit: NASA ICESat and ICESat-2

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/9/30/toxins-in-plastics-blamed-for-health-environment-hazards

October 1st, 2020|Comments Off on https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/9/30/toxins-in-plastics-blamed-for-health-environment-hazards

Evidence suggests several chemical additives in plastic products and packaging are poisoning consumers, harming the environment and undermining recycling initiatives, according to a new study, which calls for the development of safer alternatives. Read more... Photo credit: Ricardo Franco | EPA

Another toxic EPA cookbook

September 30th, 2020|Comments Off on Another toxic EPA cookbook

President Donald Trump and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s environmental agenda — massive cuts to the EPA budget, short-circuited environmental reviews, reduced enforcement, weaker rules and scores of rollbacks of environmental protections — is shamelessly out of step with overwhelming public support for protecting the environment. The main strategy for selling this toxic stew has been to highlight its “benefits” and downplay its harms. Not content with that, the Trump administration is also working on new tricks to cook the books and hide the benefits of environmental protections. Read more... Photo credit: Getty Images

Trump Administration Releases Plan to Open Tongass Forest to Logging

September 29th, 2020|Comments Off on Trump Administration Releases Plan to Open Tongass Forest to Logging

The Trump administration on Friday finalized its plan to open about nine million acres of the pristine woodlands of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest to logging and road construction. The administration’s effort to open the Tongass, the nation’s largest national forest, has been in the works for about two years, and the final steps to complete the process have been widely expected for months. They come after years of prodding by successive Alaska governors and congressional delegations, which have pushed the federal government to exempt the Tongass from a Clinton-era policy known as the roadless rule, which banned logging and road [...]

8 Texas cities were alerted to a brain-eating amoeba found in water supply

September 28th, 2020|Comments Off on 8 Texas cities were alerted to a brain-eating amoeba found in water supply

Residents of eight cities have been alerted that a brain-eating amoeba was found in a southeast Texas water supply, leading one of the towns to issue a disaster declaration. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued a water advisory to residents served by the Brazosport Water Authority warning customers not to use any water due to the presence of Naegleria fowleri, a brain-eating amoeba, found in the water supply on Friday evening. "The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality at the direction of the Governor's Office is working with Brazosport Water Authority to resolve the issue as quickly as possible," the [...]

California Gov. signs order banning sale of gasoline-powered cars by 2035

September 25th, 2020|Comments Off on California Gov. signs order banning sale of gasoline-powered cars by 2035

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday to end the sale of gasoline-powered cars in the state by 2035. The order aims to phase out cars with internal combustion engines within 15 years by requiring that all new passenger cars and trucks sold in the Golden State in 2035 be zero-emission vehicles.  Newsom said the move, which comes as California is battling some of the worst wildfires in the state’s recent history, will help California reduce carbon pollution in the transportation sector, which contributes to more than half of the state’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Read more... Photo [...]

Climate change poses a growing threat to hundreds of hazardous waste Superfund sites

September 24th, 2020|Comments Off on Climate change poses a growing threat to hundreds of hazardous waste Superfund sites

Hurricanes, floods and wildfires imperil hundreds of hazardous waste sites. But the Trump administration won't talk about the rising risks. Read more... Photo credit: Spike Johnson

Stop the revolving door — Americans don’t support fossil fuel industry leaders running climate policy

September 23rd, 2020|Comments Off on Stop the revolving door — Americans don’t support fossil fuel industry leaders running climate policy

There are many ways in which Americans are united. Across party lines Americans reject the so-called revolving door. People in government and industry move back and forth working for companies when they are out of government and supposedly overseeing them when they are in government. Since the industry employers invariably pay more, which master do they serve while they are in government? Read more... Photo credit: Carolyn Kaster, STF / Associated Press

Arctic sea-ice shrinks to near record low extent

September 22nd, 2020|Comments Off on Arctic sea-ice shrinks to near record low extent

This summer's Arctic sea-ice shrank to its second lowest ever extent in the era of satellite observation. The floes withdrew to just under 3.74 million sq km (1.44 million sq miles) last week, preliminary data indicates. The only time this minimum has been beaten in the 42-year spacecraft record was 2012 when the pack ice was reduced to 3.41 million sq km. Shorter autumn days and encroaching cold mean the floes are now starting to regrow. Read more... Photo credit: MOSAIC/AWI/STEFFEN GRAUPNER

Environmental Group Threatens California Governor Over Oil Drilling Permits

September 22nd, 2020|Comments Off on Environmental Group Threatens California Governor Over Oil Drilling Permits

A national environmental organization on Monday threatened to sue Gov. Gavin Newsom to halt all new permits for gas and oil wells in the state, saying the governor has failed to protect Californians and the environment from hazards and pollutants released by the state’s billion-dollar petroleum industry. In a letter sent to Newsom on Monday, the Center for Biological Diversity accused his administration of being friendly to California’s oil industry and issuing new permits without proper environmental reviews. The organization plans to take legal action unless the Democratic governor “promptly direct[s] your regulators to halt permitting.”   Read more... Photo [...]

Dr. Marion Moses, Top Aide to Cesar Chavez, Dies at 84

September 21st, 2020|Comments Off on Dr. Marion Moses, Top Aide to Cesar Chavez, Dies at 84

She tended to the health of poor workers and was at the forefront of a 1950s national grape boycott that brought his agricultural union triumph. Marion Moses, who as a trusted aide to the farm workers’ leader Cesar Chavez promoted a nationwide boycott of table grapes and helped create a health care system for impoverished grape pickers, died on Aug. 28 in San Francisco. She was 84. Read more... Photo credit: Bob Fitch | Stanford University

Ginsburg left a long environmental legacy

September 21st, 2020|Comments Off on Ginsburg left a long environmental legacy

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at age 87, helped establish critical Supreme Court precedent that empowered EPA to address the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change. The landmark ruling she joined in 2007 that affirmed EPA’s power set up the Obama administration to issue rules limiting carbon pollution from cars, power plants and other sources — and set up a contentious legal battle over the extent of federal authority still being waged today.   Read more... Photo credit: Nicholas Kamm |AFP | Getty Images

How America’s air pollution might be spiking COVID-19 deaths

September 21st, 2020|Comments Off on How America’s air pollution might be spiking COVID-19 deaths

COVID-19 can make the air more deadly. So can industrial emissions. Combined, they’re likely a recipe for disaster. According to a new study published last week in the Journal of Environmental Research Letters, regions with a certain kind of industrial emission can make COVID-19 increasingly fatal. Read more... Photo credit: V. Kreinacke

Gas Companies Are Abandoning Their Wells, Leaving Them to Leak Methane Forever

September 21st, 2020|Comments Off on Gas Companies Are Abandoning Their Wells, Leaving Them to Leak Methane Forever

Just one orphaned site in California could have emitted more than 30 tons of methane. There are millions more like it. The story of gas well No. 095-20708 begins on Nov. 10, 1984, when a drill bit broke the Earth’s surface 4 miles north of Rio Vista, Calif. Wells don’t have birthdays, so this was its “spud date.” The drill chewed through the dirt at a rate of 80 ½ feet per hour, reaching 846 feet below ground that first day. By Thanksgiving it had gotten a mile down, finally stopping 49 days later, having laid 2.2 miles of steel pipe and [...]

EPA postpones environmental justice training after White House memo

September 18th, 2020|Comments Off on EPA postpones environmental justice training after White House memo

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will postpone training on environmental inequity faced by communities of color and low-income communities following a White House order calling for agencies to stop training involving what it described as "anti-American propaganda." Read more... Photo credit: Getty Images

We Work in Climate Justice. Our Office Burned Down, Thanks to Climate Change

September 17th, 2020|Comments Off on We Work in Climate Justice. Our Office Burned Down, Thanks to Climate Change

Our office burned down last Tuesday. The little green and white rented bungalow along Route 99 was filled with art, houseplants, laughter, and sometimes tears. It was a meeting place for Latinx youth to have coffee and organize climate justice events in their community. We built folding desks so we could fill the space with volunteers while campaigning against the fracked gas pipeline a Canadian company is trying to ram through Oregon’s forests. Now those walls and desks are all rubble, still hot to the touch. Read More... Photo credit: Rob Schumacher | AFP | Getty Images

Communities of color are dumping grounds for toxic waste in Michigan

September 16th, 2020|Comments Off on Communities of color are dumping grounds for toxic waste in Michigan

The dust and stench of rotten eggs and chemicals are so nauseating that Pamela McWilliams often dons a mask and shuts the windows of her home on Detroit's east side. The asthmatic 57-year-old has trouble sleeping at night because of heavy truck traffic coming to and from nearby industrial plants. She and other neighbors say they're sometimes aroused awake by explosions and vibrations that have shaken the shingles off McWilliams' roof and cracked her windows. The value of her home has plummeted, and her brother moved away because "he couldn't take it anymore," she tells Metro Times. Read more... Photo [...]

How Climate Migration Will Reshape America

September 15th, 2020|Comments Off on How Climate Migration Will Reshape America

Millions will be displaced. Where will they go? August besieged California with a heat unseen in generations. A surge in air-conditioning broke the state's electrical grid, leaving a population already ravaged by the coronavirus to work remotely by the dim light of their cellphones. By mid month, the state had recorded possibly the hottest temperatures ever recorded on Earth - 130 degrees in Death Valley - and an otherworldly storm of lightning had cracked open the sky. Read more... Photo credit: Meridith Kohut | The New York Times

Northern hemisphere breaks record for hottest ever summer

September 14th, 2020|Comments Off on Northern hemisphere breaks record for hottest ever summer

This summer was the hottest ever recorded in the northern hemisphere, according to US government scientists. The new record surpassed the summers of 2016 and 2019. Last month was also the second-hottest August ever recorded for the globe. The numbers put 2020 on track to be one of the five warmest years, according to Noaa. Read more... Photo credit: Kimimasa Mayama | EPA

A Climate Reckoning in Wildfire-Stricken California

September 11th, 2020|Comments Off on A Climate Reckoning in Wildfire-Stricken California

Multiple mega fires burning more than three million acres. Millions of residents smothered in toxic air. Rolling blackouts and triple-digit heat waves. Climate change, in the words of one scientist, is smacking California in the face. The crisis in the nation’s most populous state is more than just an accumulation of individual catastrophes. It is also an example of something climate experts have long worried about, but which few expected to see so soon: a cascade effect, in which a series of disasters overlap, triggering or amplifying each other. Read more...  Photo credit: Jim Wilson | The New York Times

Report Links Racial, Environmental Justice

September 11th, 2020|Comments Off on Report Links Racial, Environmental Justice

The Center for American Progress, or CAP, a progressive think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C., released the report, “Building a Just Climate Future for North Carolina,” Wednesday. It also looks at how the COVID-19 pandemic has “highlighted the interconnection between systemic racism and injustice and environmental, public health, and economic disparities.” Read More Story by Jennifer Allen      

Trump administration rolls back Obama-era rule aimed at limiting toxic wastewater from coal plants

September 10th, 2020|Comments Off on Trump administration rolls back Obama-era rule aimed at limiting toxic wastewater from coal plants

The Trump administration weakened a 2015 regulation that would have forced coal plants to treat wastewater with more modern, effective methods in order to curb toxic metals such as arsenic and mercury from contaminating lakes, rivers and streams near their facilities. “The Trump administration is once again jeopardizing people’s health to give coal power industry lobbyists what they want,” Thom Cmar, an attorney with the environmental advocacy group Earthjustice, said in a statement. Read more here. Photo credit: J. David Ake | AP

Federal Report Warns of Financial Havoc From Climate Change

September 9th, 2020|Comments Off on Federal Report Warns of Financial Havoc From Climate Change

A report commissioned by federal regulators overseeing the nation’s commodities markets has concluded that climate change threatens U.S. financial markets, as the costs of wildfires, storms, droughts and floods spread through insurance and mortgage markets, pension funds and other financial institutions. Read more... Photo credit: Cindy Yamanaka | The Orange County Register  

As Earth overheats, asphalt is releasing harmful air pollutants in cities

September 8th, 2020|Comments Off on As Earth overheats, asphalt is releasing harmful air pollutants in cities

As the world heats up, cities with heat-trapping asphalt and little tree cover have left residents sweltering and breathing in more air pollution. Asphalt is releasing hazardous air pollutants into communities, especially when hit with extreme heat and sunlight, according to research published in the journal Science Advances on Wednesday. Researchers found that asphalt in California’s South Coast Air Basin emitted more secondary organic aerosols in the summer than gas and diesel motor vehicles combined. Read More Photo credit David Becker | Reuters

The One Incredibly Green Thing Donald Trump Has Done

September 8th, 2020|Comments Off on The One Incredibly Green Thing Donald Trump Has Done

People who live near the most toxic sites in America say they saw a level of attention they hadn't seen in decades under Trump. But what happens now? Read more. Photo by M. Scott Mahaskey / POLITICO

A chance to fix poor ventilation in classrooms, protect children and teachers, and create jobs

September 4th, 2020|Comments Off on A chance to fix poor ventilation in classrooms, protect children and teachers, and create jobs

Fixing poor ventilation in classrooms may slow the spread of COVID-19 when children and teachers return, and create new job opportunities. AB 841, introduced by Assmblymember Phil Ting, a Democrat from San Francisco, is unique in that it focuses on those most in need of these critical upgrades and jobs. The bill will address schools in low-income areas first, which have long been underfunded, under-resourced and have the highest need for improvements. These efficiency improvements will save schools money, allowing more funds to go toward supplies for students instead of utility bills. Read more. Photo via iStock

EPA to add toxic Gloucester County metal finishing company site to Superfund list

September 3rd, 2020|Comments Off on EPA to add toxic Gloucester County metal finishing company site to Superfund list

The EPA wants to add Pioneer Metal Finishing Inc. in Franklin Township, Gloucester County, to the Superfund list because soil or sediment near the facility and a neighboring wetland is contaminated with chromium, copper, and nickel at levels that pose a threat to human health and the environment. Read more. Photo from Google

A Texas Town Refuses Fracking Expansion

September 2nd, 2020|Comments Off on A Texas Town Refuses Fracking Expansion

The City Council of Arlington, Texas has taken a historic stand by refusing to expand a fracking complex located next to a preschool that serves primarily Black and Latino children. Ranjana Bhandari, founder of the environmental advocacy group Liveable Arlington, joins Host Steve Curwood to talk about the city council's groundbreaking decision. Read more. Photo from Tammie Carson

DAQ Denies Permits for Proposed Carolina Sunrock Facilities in Caswell County; Public Hearing Canceled

September 1st, 2020|Comments Off on DAQ Denies Permits for Proposed Carolina Sunrock Facilities in Caswell County; Public Hearing Canceled

The North.Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) has denied two permit applications for Carolina Sunrock, LLC in Caswell County and is canceling the public hearing scheduled for September 10. Read more. Photo by Lisa Sorg

Clouds of Smoke are Blowing Misery Across the West

September 1st, 2020|Comments Off on Clouds of Smoke are Blowing Misery Across the West

Wildfires are burning from California to Minnesota, leaving millions of people to cough and wheeze through the toxic air. Gathering indoors brings the risk of coronavirus. Is there no respite? Read more. Photo by Max Whittaker for The New York Times

A Texas Town Takes on Fracking as a Racial Justice Issue

August 31st, 2020|Comments Off on A Texas Town Takes on Fracking as a Racial Justice Issue

Just after passing resolutions to elevate the needs of Black and Hispanic residents, the Arlington City Council took an unusual stand on drilling. Read more. Photo by J. G. Domke

The Battle for Decatur – PFAS Contamination Divides an Alabama Town

August 27th, 2020|Comments Off on The Battle for Decatur – PFAS Contamination Divides an Alabama Town

While residents have just recently learned of the chemicals, 3M has known about the hazards they pose and their presence in local soil and water for decades. Read more. Photo by Johnathon Kelso for The Intercept

Chemical fire in Lake Charles area prompts shelter-in-place advisory from state

August 27th, 2020|Comments Off on Chemical fire in Lake Charles area prompts shelter-in-place advisory from state

LAKE CHARLES - A chemical leak has apparently been reported in Lake Charles, according to reporters in the city covering the aftermath of Laura. Read more. Photo from WBRZ News

Michigan to Pay $600 Million to Victims of Flint Water Crisis

August 26th, 2020|Comments Off on Michigan to Pay $600 Million to Victims of Flint Water Crisis

The state of Michigan is expected to pay about $600 million to victims of the Flint water crisis, according to two people with knowledge of a major settlement that is set to be announced this week. The money would largely be designated for children in Flint who were poisoned by lead-tainted tap water after officials changed the city’s water supply six years ago, setting off a crisis that drew national attention and remains a worry for many residents. Read more. Photo by Brittany Greeson for The New York Times

Toledo’s water-plant waste can’t be put in Benton Township quarry

August 26th, 2020|Comments Off on Toledo’s water-plant waste can’t be put in Benton Township quarry

GRAYTOWN, Ohio — A trial judge’s 2019 decision to block Rocky Ridge Development LLC from using an abandoned Ottawa County quarry to bury spent lime and chemical residue from Toledo’s Collins Park Water Treatment Plant has been upheld by the 6th District Court of Appeals. Read more. Photo from The Blade

EPA cleanup of San Jacinto Waste Pits draws criticism

August 25th, 2020|Comments Off on EPA cleanup of San Jacinto Waste Pits draws criticism

HARRIS COUNTY - The ongoing EPA-ordered cleanup of the massive Dioxin dump known as the San Jacinto Waste Pits is drawing sharp criticism from environmental activists. “I would hate for one of the most high profile sites in our country to be done half-ass,” said Jackie Young-Medcalf, leader of the Texas Health & Environment Alliance. Read more. Photo: Fox 26 Houston

2020 hindsight brings corrupted radiation testing into focus at the EPA

August 24th, 2020|Comments Off on 2020 hindsight brings corrupted radiation testing into focus at the EPA

Tetra Tech was part of a team of contractors hired by the EPA to clean up a toxic radioactive dump in Ohio but evidence suggests EPA implemented a cover-up instead of a cleanup, creating a playbook for institutionalizing corrupted science across the nation. When Tetra Tech got busted years later for fraud at another radioactive site, in San Francisco, the EPA’s failure to demand best scientific practices was exposed again with dire ramifications for public health. Read more. Photo from SF Bay View

‘Right to Breathe’ event to be held to highlight intersections of systemic racism

August 21st, 2020|Comments Off on ‘Right to Breathe’ event to be held to highlight intersections of systemic racism

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT)– A coalition of organizations, community activists, and allies are coordinating the “Right to Breathe Caravan” event through the 35th Avenue Superfund Site Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. The event is a nonviolent protest of environmental racism, joining the global uprisings against systemic racism and oppression. The caravan was organized by People Against Neighborhood Industrial Contamination (P.A.N.I.C.) and Gasp in partnership with Black Lives Matter-Birmingham, SWEET Alabama, the Birmingham Earth Coalition, and the Arm in Arm movement. Read more. Photo from CBS 42

High BPA levels linked to 49% greater risk of death within 10 years, study says

August 20th, 2020|Comments Off on High BPA levels linked to 49% greater risk of death within 10 years, study says

Look into your pantry -- have you packed it with canned foods since the start of the pandemic?  Or are you a receipt hoarder -- who keeps all your paper sales receipts for taxes or refunds? Metal food and beverage cans are lined with an epoxy resin coating made from a family of chemicals called bisphenols.  That group includes the infamous bisphenol A that was used to create baby bottles, sippy cups and infant formula containers until frightened parents boycotted those products a decade ago. The chemical compound BPA is an endocrine disruptor, affecting the hormones in the body, and fetuses [...]

Fossil Fuel Industry Pollutes Black & Brown Communities While Propping Up Racist Policing

August 19th, 2020|Comments Off on Fossil Fuel Industry Pollutes Black & Brown Communities While Propping Up Racist Policing

As movements for racial and environmental justice escalate across the US, these struggles – which, as groups like the National Black Environmental Justice Network point out, must be seen as one – have a common foe: the fossil fuel industry. The same companies that drive environmental racism in Black and Brown communities through toxic and climate-changing pollution also fund police power in cities that stretch from Houston and Detroit to New Orleans and Salt Lake City. Read more. Creative Commons Photos: Shell Gas Station (Mike Mozart); Chase (longislandwins); Chevron (Roo Reynolds); Wells Fargo (Mike Mozart); BlackRock (Thomas Hawk)

Marquita Bradshaw on Her Tennessee Primary Victory: ‘I Could See the Momentum’

August 18th, 2020|Comments Off on Marquita Bradshaw on Her Tennessee Primary Victory: ‘I Could See the Momentum’

Ms. Bradshaw, an environmental justice advocate, is the first Black woman to be nominated for the Senate by a major party in Tennessee. “Working people showed that my viability was different,” she said. Read more. Photo from Associated Press

2019 TRI Preliminary Dataset Now Available

August 17th, 2020|Comments Off on 2019 TRI Preliminary Dataset Now Available

The 2019 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) preliminary dataset contains data about chemical releases, waste management and pollution prevention activities that took place during 2019 at more than 20,000 federal and industrial facilities across the country. Read more. Photo: EPA

Liberty Utilities Drops Plans For Major Gas Pipeline In N.H.

August 14th, 2020|Comments Off on Liberty Utilities Drops Plans For Major Gas Pipeline In N.H.

"Liberty Utilities says it will not build the proposed Granite Bridge natural gas pipeline in Southern New Hampshire, after finding a cheaper way to serve new customers by using existing infrastructure." Read more. Photo credit: 350 NEW HAMPSHIRE

Chevron Is Trying to Crush a Prominent Climate Lawyer – and Maybe the World

August 14th, 2020|Comments Off on Chevron Is Trying to Crush a Prominent Climate Lawyer – and Maybe the World

“The fossil fuel industry has really dug in and is using its enormous financial clout and its influence in the federal courts to resist and openly attack this citizens’ movement and the advocates and lawyers who are on the frontlines.” Read more. Photo: Amazon Watch

What Racism Smells Like

August 11th, 2020|Comments Off on What Racism Smells Like

“People are realizing that there is intentional siting of these massive industrial edifices in communities that are predominantly Black and brown and an intentional disregard for community needs wrapped up in the tax exemptions.” Read more. Photo: Brian W. Fraser for The Intercept

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak proclaims racism a public health crisis

August 10th, 2020|Comments Off on Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak proclaims racism a public health crisis

"The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the challenges caused by racial disparities within Nevada’s communities, especially in the form of virus and environmental exposure risks, and through all major stages of health care." Read more. Photo courtesy of the Governor's Office

Remembering the bombing at Hiroshima Japan – 75th Anniversary

August 6th, 2020|Comments Off on Remembering the bombing at Hiroshima Japan – 75th Anniversary

Survivors of the world’s first atomic bombing gathered in diminished numbers near an iconic, blasted dome Thursday to mark the attack’s 75th anniversary, many of them urging the world, and their own government, to do more to ban nuclear weapons. Read more.

Michigan’s drinking water standards for these chemicals now among toughest in nation

August 5th, 2020|Comments Off on Michigan’s drinking water standards for these chemicals now among toughest in nation

Michigan officials were frustrated waiting on the federal government to adopt health-protecting standards for the nonstick, so-called "forever chemicals" that have become a leading emerging contaminant in the state and across the country. So they made their own.  Michigan's new standards for seven per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) compounds in drinking water — some of the toughest, most comprehensive standards on the chemicals anywhere in the country — took effect Monday.  The new rules "are practical, science-driven and, most importantly, protective of public health." Read more. Photo by: Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press

Environmental Justice Grassroots Groups Fight Back Against Pollution

July 31st, 2020|Comments Off on Environmental Justice Grassroots Groups Fight Back Against Pollution

Pollution is disproportionately killing Black Americans. Hazardous waste facilities are 75% more likely to be in close proximity to the homes of African-Americans than other racial groups. Grassroots environmental justice groups are taking a stand against these issues of pollution and environmental racism and are making a huge impact. Read More Photo by: Matt Rourke—AP

Toxic Tuesday: Dioxin

July 28th, 2020|Comments Off on Toxic Tuesday: Dioxin

By Julie Silverman, CHEJ Communications Intern Dioxins are a group of toxic compounds that share similar and distinct chemical structures. They are mainly byproducts of industrial processes, such as waste incineration. In 1979, the EPA banned products containing Polychlorinated Bihphenyls (PCBs), which is a chemical included under the term dioxin. However, dioxins were a major issue before the US began implementing regulations. Since dioxins break down extremely slowly, toxins that were released long ago are still being released into the environment. Today, most people are exposed to dioxins through consuming animal products that have accumulated dioxins over time. Exposure to [...]

Polluters Are Winning Big on COVID-19 Recovery Efforts

July 27th, 2020|Comments Off on Polluters Are Winning Big on COVID-19 Recovery Efforts

Polluting industries, such as coal power plants, mining, and oil and gas corporations are receiving financial and regulatory relief across the globe, but specifically in the US, as governments aim to provide relief during the pandemic. These moves threaten progress that has made to combat polluters over the years and puts the globe at risk for rapid deterioration caused by climate change. Read More Photo by Mike Marrah on Unsplash

VA Power Plant Delayed Due to Environmental Justice Concerns

July 24th, 2020|Comments Off on VA Power Plant Delayed Due to Environmental Justice Concerns

A $350 million gas project in Virginia has been delayed due to rising concerns that environmental justice groups have presented from the surrounding communities. Virginia’s State Corporation Commission recently deferred action on Southern Co.’s Virginia Natural Gas project due to the lack of details regarding environmental justice issues and financing. Read More. Photo: NOVI Energy

Biden Releases Environmental Plan in Bid for Progressive Vote

July 22nd, 2020|Comments Off on Biden Releases Environmental Plan in Bid for Progressive Vote

By Paolo Padova, Science Intern Last week the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, released his climate and energy plan. Biden’s plan puts an emphasis on environmental justice and its intersection with racial inequality. The plan commits to creating a new Environmental and Climate Justice Division within the Department of Justice to hold contaminating corporations accountable. Building on the EPA’s EJSCREEN tool, Biden will “create a data-driven Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool to identify communities threatened by the cumulative impacts of the multiple stresses of climate change, economic and racial inequality, and multi-source environmental pollution.” The plan includes several aggressive [...]

Monsanto to Pay D.C. $52 million Toward Chemical Contamination Cleanup in Local Waterways

July 20th, 2020|Comments Off on Monsanto to Pay D.C. $52 million Toward Chemical Contamination Cleanup in Local Waterways

For over 50 years during the 20th century, Monsanto produced and sold products that contained polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) which have been known to cause severe health problems in humans such as cancer and liver damage and kill wildlife. After many decades of polluting into local waterways and communities, Monsanto will be held accountable by paying the city of D.C. $52 million in order to help clean up chemical contamination that they caused. The majority of the money will go towards cleaning up polluted waterways with high PCB concentrations, specifically in the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. Read More Photo by Desmond [...]

Babies Born Near Natural Gas Flaring Sites are 50% More Likely to be Premature

July 15th, 2020|Comments Off on Babies Born Near Natural Gas Flaring Sites are 50% More Likely to be Premature

Recent studies have linked air pollution from the burning of excess natural gas to increased birth rate of premature babies. Many mothers that live near natural gas flaring sites are from low-income and minority communities, signally the environmental injustices linked deeply to these issues. In addition, there are few health-protective regulations that help control the high level of flaring that takes place across the country. Read More Photo Credit: Trudy E. Bell

Toxic Tuesday: Creosote

July 14th, 2020|Comments Off on Toxic Tuesday: Creosote

Creosote is a large mixture of chemicals that is used as a wood preservative in the United States, as well as for roofing, aluminum smelting, and road paving. Houston’s Fifth Ward has been pinpointed as a Cancer Cluster: an area that has a “greater than expected number of cancer cases,” largely due to the community’s exposure to creosote from the Union Pacific railroad site in Houston’s 5th Ward. Creosote is released into soil and water systems and may take many years to break down. Due to groundwater contamination, creosote can make its way into drinking water systems, putting entire communities [...]

Environmental Groups Win Over New Coke Oven Regulation

July 13th, 2020|Comments Off on Environmental Groups Win Over New Coke Oven Regulation

Coke is a type of fuel that is converted from coal and made to produce steel. Environmental non-profits, including PennFuture filed a lawsuit against the EPA, claiming that they were not doing enough to regulate coke ovens under the Clean Air Act. Recently, the EPA admitted that they failed to properly regulate parts of the coke production process through the use of coke ovens. Read More. Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

60+ Environmental Justice Groups Call for Action and Equity in ‘Sacrifice Zones’

July 8th, 2020|Comments Off on 60+ Environmental Justice Groups Call for Action and Equity in ‘Sacrifice Zones’

60+ environmental justice leaders and organizations are calling for action and equity for their ‘Sacrifice Zone’ communities. They released an open letter calling for “an immediate and sustained response to inequities causing Covid-19 to infect and kill a disproportionate number of people subjected to systemic racism and the denial of self-determination throughout the United States." COVID-19 has exacerbated the equities throughout society, including unequal accessibility to health care and the industry and pollution that impacts mostly low-income and minority communities. Read More Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Canceled

July 7th, 2020|Comments Off on Atlantic Coast Pipeline Canceled

WE DID IT. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is CANCELED.  It was the grassroots effort from North Carolina to West Virginia that brought the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to a screeching halt.   CHEJ worked with the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) and a network of environmental activists and longtime African American residents who joined forces to stop the pipeline and the compressor station in several historically Black communities. One historically Black community of Union Hill, VA can trace their lineage to slave ancestors and freedmen who settled there after the Civil War. In this community CHEJ and others held a United Nations Human Rights Tribunal to [...]

New Report Indicates that Most US Federally Funded Housing is in Close Proximity to Hazardous Waste Sites

July 2nd, 2020|Comments Off on New Report Indicates that Most US Federally Funded Housing is in Close Proximity to Hazardous Waste Sites

A new report released by Earthjustice, the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, and faculty at the University of Chicago’s Abrams Environmental Law Clinic and Columbia University’s Health Justice Advocacy Clinic estimated that 77,000 people living in federally assisted housing in the US are at risk of being poisoned by toxic contamination. The report, Poisonous Homes: The Fight for Environmental Justice in Federally Assisted Housing comes as the Trump administration continues rolling back many environmental regulations involving the environmental impact analysis of large-scale industrial projects. Read More Photo by: Scott Olson, Getty Images

$550M Settlement with Monsanto Includes the Cleanup of Contaminated Baltimore Waters

June 30th, 2020|Comments Off on $550M Settlement with Monsanto Includes the Cleanup of Contaminated Baltimore Waters

Bayer, the current parent company and owner of Monsanto, has reached a $550 million settlement with 13 governmental entities in order to clean up contaminated Baltimore waterways. Bayer officials claim that Monsanto legally manufactured PCBs until 1977. PCBs were widely used in paints, lubricants, and electrical equipment until they were banned in the US in 1979. Waterways in the Baltimore area have been greatly polluted by past PCB contamination. The national class-action settlement aims to make Bayer pay for the pollution caused by Monsanto’s use of PCBs. Similar Monsanto-related settlements involving PCB pollution have been reached in New Mexico, Washington, [...]

Louisiana Environmental Activists Charged For Nonviolent Actions Targeting Plastics Giant

June 26th, 2020|Comments Off on Louisiana Environmental Activists Charged For Nonviolent Actions Targeting Plastics Giant

Two leaders from the long-time environmental justice community known as "Cancer Alley" in Louisiana were arrested on June 25th for peacefully protesting against the Taiwanese petrochemical company, Formosa Plastics. The company plans to build a plastics manufacturing facility in the backyard of a predominately Black Louisiana community that has already experienced large health detriments from polluting industries in their community. Read More Photo by: Ron Moyi/Louisiana Bucket Brigade

Trump Administration Narrows Water Protections: Increases Risks of Drinking Water Contamination

June 24th, 2020|Comments Off on Trump Administration Narrows Water Protections: Increases Risks of Drinking Water Contamination

The EPA redefined protections of water through its new navigable waters rule on June 22, one that largely cuts out storm water runoff from being regulated by the EPA. This change could have a large detrimental impact on drinking water quality in areas and could therefore result in greater human health risks. Thus far, the new rule went into effect in all states except Colorado, where a federal judge in Colorado was able to block the Trump administration’s narrowing definition of water protections. Read More Photo by Suhel Nadaf on Unsplash

Climate Change Tied to Pregnancy Risks, Affecting Black Mothers Most

June 22nd, 2020|Comments Off on Climate Change Tied to Pregnancy Risks, Affecting Black Mothers Most

Air pollution and increased temperatures are not only tied to climate change but have also been tied to the increased likelihood of having premature, underweight, and stillborn babies. Given that many low-income and minority communities are disproportionately impacted by industrial pollution and many can’t afford air conditioning in their homes, they are at a much higher risk for pregnancy risks. Black mothers have been specifically impacted by these risks. In addition to the risks of increasing temperatures and air pollution exposures, minority mothers tend to have less access to medical care and unequal levels of treatment when getting care. In [...]

120 Million Plastic Bottles Worth of Microplastics Rain Down on 11 US Protected Areas Per Year

June 19th, 2020|Comments Off on 120 Million Plastic Bottles Worth of Microplastics Rain Down on 11 US Protected Areas Per Year

Recent discoveries have found that large amounts of microplastics are coming down from the sky with rain. Researchers in the Western US were able to estimate the amount of microplastics in rainfall and found that approximately 120 million plastic bottles worth of microplastics in rain is pouring down on 11 protected areas in the US every year. Although the health detriments involved with inhaling or consuming microplastics is relatively unknown, the human impacts are likely highly detrimental. Plastics degrade into smaller and smaller pieces over time and release chemicals, making it likely that they will have consequential human and ecological [...]

Five Communities in the US Searching for Environmental Justice

June 17th, 2020|Comments Off on Five Communities in the US Searching for Environmental Justice

Environmental degradation and pollution have dominated low-income and minority communities, both historically and in the present day. These populations are known as environmental justice communities and often struggle disproportionately with health issues such as respiratory illnesses and cancers due to pollution. The five stories in the article below are told from the perspectives of five different individuals living in distinct environmental justice communities. Read More Photo credit: Katie G. Nelson

In Support of the Black Lives Matter Movement

June 16th, 2020|Comments Off on In Support of the Black Lives Matter Movement

Yes, we can say their names: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin and far too many more, people of color who were killed or mistreated by the racist criminal justice system. Black people and people of color experience daily threats to their lives due to institutional racism and exploitation in this country, a reality that is not always evident to someone who hasn’t had that experience. While our country’s long history of racial injustice and violence makes this fact unsurprising, it was and is horrible and it is unacceptable. I have always believed in the power of social [...]

Airborne Microplastics Have Infiltrated Most of Our Planet

June 15th, 2020|Comments Off on Airborne Microplastics Have Infiltrated Most of Our Planet

Many recent studies have involved the effect of microplastics in drinking water on both human and marine health. However, more and more studies have begun investigating the impact that airborne microplastics have on both human and ecological health. Inhaling fragments of microplastics have largely detrimental human health impacts. The most surprising finding is that airborne microplastics have not just been found in highly industrialized and polluted areas, but also ones that we normally see as “pristine,” such as national parks. Microplastics can come from obvious sources such as plastic bottles, but also from waterproof outdoor gear and tents used for [...]

Polluting Companies Turn to State Environmental Regulatory Agencies to Lower Regulations During Covid-19

June 12th, 2020|Comments Off on Polluting Companies Turn to State Environmental Regulatory Agencies to Lower Regulations During Covid-19

While the EPA continues to cut environmental regulations, the country’s most polluting industries are now turning their focus to state environmental regulatory agencies. Many companies have recently asked state regulators to relax or delay pollution monitoring requirements, claiming that Covid-19 has made them unable to comply with laws that protect the public from the health hazards of pollution. The majority of states do not publish any information about companies that say they are struggling to comply with environmental laws, meaning that most Americans that live near large polluting factories, refineries, and farms are unaware whether the pandemic has led to [...]

Louisiana Further Criminalizes Stepping onto Oil and Gas Industry-Owned Lands

June 11th, 2020|Comments Off on Louisiana Further Criminalizes Stepping onto Oil and Gas Industry-Owned Lands

Current legislation in Louisiana makes it a felony to trespass on the lands of oil and gas facilities, which are considered “critical infrastructure”. Louisiana is currently working to expand these laws to make these trespassing charges include those of flood control infrastructure and to stiffen the penalties of jail time from 3 to 15 years if the area is under an emergency order. This legislation criminalizes protests against large oil, gas, and levee infrastructure projects and have made it much more difficult for environmental justice organizations to protest against large and harmful infrastructure projects and sites. Read More

TOXIC TUESDAY: FORMALDEHYDE

June 9th, 2020|Comments Off on TOXIC TUESDAY: FORMALDEHYDE

What is Formaldehyde? Formaldehyde is a dangerous chemical that affects the respiratory system, lungs, eyes, and skin. It is classified as a carcinogen, hazardous substance, and hazardous waste. According to the American Cancer Society, Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong smelling gas used in making building materials and many common household products. It is well known for its preservative and anti-bacterial properties. It is commonly used in building materials such as particle board, pressed wood, insulation, glues and adhesives and more. It is also found in medic2ines, cosmetics, and cleaning products. Formaldehyde is even used in some food products as a [...]

The Intersection of Climate Change, Environmental Injustice and Racism

June 9th, 2020|Comments Off on The Intersection of Climate Change, Environmental Injustice and Racism

The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor by police and the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on minority communities has largely brought to light the systemic racism that is deeply embedded in our society. The effects of industrial pollution and extreme weather events due to climate change are often also brought specifically upon minority communities. In the attached article, Yale Environment 360 interviews Elizabeth Yeampierre, the co-chair of the Climate Justice Alliance, to further discuss the deep intersection between environmental injustice, climate change, and racism and how we can build a movement to help combat them together. Read [...]

Trump Cuts Environmental Reviews Through Executive Order, Citing an ‘Economic Emergency’

June 8th, 2020|Comments Off on Trump Cuts Environmental Reviews Through Executive Order, Citing an ‘Economic Emergency’

The economic impacts of Covid-19 have allowed the Trump administration to continuously cut US environmental regulations. This week, Trump continued to derail our current environmental regulations by cutting environmental reviews for infrastructure projects. These cuts will not only result in increased rates of pollution and contamination with great public health risks but will likely have a disproportionate impact on low-income and minority communities. It is extremely concerning that the Trump administration aims to rollback so many environmental regulations that will have negative health impacts on our communities, especially while we are currently experiencing a global health crisis. Read More

Superfund and Climate Change Events: A Personal Account of Flooding and the Risk of Toxin Release in Midland, Michigan

June 5th, 2020|Comments Off on Superfund and Climate Change Events: A Personal Account of Flooding and the Risk of Toxin Release in Midland, Michigan

Climate change has resulted in devastating flooding and natural disasters that have overwhelmed and greatly impacted communities. The Edenville dam along the Tittabawassee River in mid-Michigan collapsed due to large amounts of rainfall on May 19th, resulting in the collapse of another nearby dam. The resulting impacts of these events led to extreme flooding and the evacuation of nearly 10,000 residents in the surrounding areas. Communities with Superfund sites are in specific danger due to the potential mass movement of toxins into communities during flooding. Mary McKSchmidt, an author, photographer, and community member in Midland County, Michigan reflects on extreme [...]

New Jersey Increases PFAS Regulations to Help Make Drinking Water Safer

June 4th, 2020|Comments Off on New Jersey Increases PFAS Regulations to Help Make Drinking Water Safer

On Monday, June 1st, New Jersey became one of the few states in the US to regulate two specific types of PFAS—Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acid (PFOS) —that are known to be cancer-causing chemicals that contaminate drinking water. The chemicals are often found in nonstick cookware, waterproof apparel, and firefighting foam and have been tied to cancers and immune system issues. New Hampshire, Vermont, and New Jersey are currently the only states that regulate PFOA and PFOS in drinking water systems. This step to better ensure the environmental safety of drinking water is one that needs to be [...]

Air Pollution Rates Remain Steady in Pittsburgh Despite Less Driving During the Pandemic

June 3rd, 2020|Comments Off on Air Pollution Rates Remain Steady in Pittsburgh Despite Less Driving During the Pandemic

Many people largely associate air pollution with emissions from cars. However, if this was the case wouldn’t fewer cars on the road drastically decrease air pollution? As seen in Pittsburgh, PA, driving has largely decreased due to Covid-19 but air pollution rates have not. In contrast to driving, many industrial activities have continued at similar rates as before the pandemic. NPR and Pittsburgh’s Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) largely tie steady air pollution rates to the continuation of coal-fired power plants and coke production in Western Pennsylvania. According to a senior scientist at the Clean Air Task Force, John [...]

Environmental Progress Reversed: Plans to Revitalize a Trash-To-Energy Plant in Hartfort, CT Fails Due to Lack of State Funding

June 2nd, 2020|Comments Off on Environmental Progress Reversed: Plans to Revitalize a Trash-To-Energy Plant in Hartfort, CT Fails Due to Lack of State Funding

Since the beginning of the Trump administration, there have been many environmental rollbacks on policy and as a result a reversal of federal environmental progress as a whole, especially since the onset of Covid-19. However, the reversal of environmental progress is beginning to occur more and more at the state level as seen in current events in Hartford, CT. Thirteen years ago, the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA) of Connecticut identified and began planning for the redevelopment of an old trash incineration plant into a regional recycling and trash-to-energy plant in Hartford, CT. Lack of state funding is now [...]

Discrimination in Nature: A Story of a White Woman Calling the Cops on a Black Man Birdwatching in Central Park

June 1st, 2020|Comments Off on Discrimination in Nature: A Story of a White Woman Calling the Cops on a Black Man Birdwatching in Central Park

By law, the access to public parks and lands is currently universal to all people in the United States. However, many black citizens are deterred from visiting parks and enjoying nature due to racism engrained in society and stereotypes involving the demographic of people engaging in many activities involving nature (e.g., hiking and camping). This phenomenon can be disturbingly seen through the recent harassment of Christian Cooper, a black avid birdwatcher in Central Park, by a white woman who called the police on him on May 26th. The story of Christian Cooper further exposes our society for engrained racism and [...]

Trump must do three simple things NOW!

May 29th, 2020|Comments Off on Trump must do three simple things NOW!

Racial and class division has long been one of the tactics used by the rich and powerful to keep working people from organizing. Today it’s so blatant; as we move tragically through the devastating impacts of COVID-19 there’s not even an attempt to hide or disguise the behavior. I’m frustrated, angry and ready to figure out how to move forward, stand together and speak with one voice. We need to demand immediately that the federal government takes the following first three steps. Immediately reduce air pollution by 50% until the pandemic is over.  EPA announced in March that they will [...]

Sacrifice Zones Have Higher Death Rates From COVID-19

May 27th, 2020|Comments Off on Sacrifice Zones Have Higher Death Rates From COVID-19

Sacrifice zones are communities that are unequally overburdened by pollution from industry at the expense of other communities using the industrial end product. Sacrifice zones are typically characterized by having a majority low-income and/or minority population and currently have the highest death rates from COVID-19. Recent studies conducted by Harvard University and the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic have researched the correlation between areas with higher concentrations of particulate matter (PM2.5) and/or toxic air pollutants, and higher death rates from COVID-19. Given the evidence that sacrifice zones are some of the most severely impacted communities from the pandemic, we ask the question why isn't more being done to [...]

Flooding at Dioxin Superfund Site in Midland, Michigan

May 26th, 2020|Comments Off on Flooding at Dioxin Superfund Site in Midland, Michigan

Midland, Michigan is still assessing the damages after torrential rain and dam failure flooded the area. The height of concern was the status of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Saginaw River Dredge Material Disposal Facility that houses dioxin contaminated sediments that could have spread from the storm water. The facility appears to have remained in tact; however, there is still concern that the flood could have spread river sediment already contaminated with dioxin from Dow towards residential properties. It may take some time to fully determine the extent of the damage in Midland as many properties are still under water. Read More.

Virtual Public Comment Forums are Creating Concerns on Oil Expansion Project

May 22nd, 2020|Comments Off on Virtual Public Comment Forums are Creating Concerns on Oil Expansion Project

As social distancing continues, the Trump Administration has organized virtual meetings to receive public comment on the oil and gas drilling expansion efforts on Native lands. Local Native Americans are concerned that Zoom calls will hinder their ability to comment of the project. Many Native American groups do not have easy access to the Internet, in addition to the technical difficulties that can be experienced when using a virtual platform. Many groups and some lawmakers believe that the public comment period should be delayed until everyone can appropriately comment on the drilling expansion. Read More. This story has been reprinted on the CHEJ [...]

Flooding Creates Problems for Dow Superfund Cleanup

May 21st, 2020|Comments Off on Flooding Creates Problems for Dow Superfund Cleanup

Flooding from two breached dams on Wednesday, May 20, has created problems for the Dow chemical plant in Michigan. Downriver from the plastics plant is a Superfund site located on the Tittabawassee River. Allen Burton, a professor at the University of Michigan explains that the flooding water creates concern for the site cleanup because it can stir contaminated sediments with the river water and carry the contamination further downstream. Further concern is raised at how climate change could impact Superfund site cleanup efforts with increases in flooding, severe storms and wildfires. Read More. The following story is reprinted on the CHEJ website from [...]

Finding a Safe Replacement for PFAS

May 20th, 2020|Comments Off on Finding a Safe Replacement for PFAS

PFAS is a forever chemical that is commonly used in flame retardants and fire fighting foams. The toxic chemical is known to cause hormonal changes, decrease fertility, weaken immune systems, and increase risks of cancer. States across the country have worked to ban the use of the chemical that is now found in all major U.S. bodies of water. Companies are working to find suitable replacement for the chemical in fire fighting foams with concern of substituting one hazardous pollutant for another. Read More.

The Complete List of the Trump Administration’s Environmental Rollbacks

May 19th, 2020|Comments Off on The Complete List of the Trump Administration’s Environmental Rollbacks

Over the course of the last three years, the Trump administration has rolled back or is in the progress of rolling back nearly a 100 of the country's top environmental policies. The administration has worked to weaken and revoke many of the Obama-era regulations that were enacted to protect our environment and health. A majority of the rollbacks were aimed at reducing burden for the oil, gas and coal industries, while in effect, potentially increasing greenhouse gas emissions and creating poorer air quality. Read More. The following article has been reprinted on the CHEJ website from the The New York Times and [...]

Minnesota Bans Toxic Chemical TCE

May 18th, 2020|Comments Off on Minnesota Bans Toxic Chemical TCE

Minnesota has become the first state in the country to ban the toxic chemical TCE. The chemical is known to cause cancer and birth defects and has been released from Water Gremlin into the air for nearly 15 years within the White Bear Township. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed the ban of TCE on Saturday and companies within the state will have until 2022 to find an alternative product to use in its place. Read More.

Renewable Energy Overtaking the Coal Industry

May 15th, 2020|Comments Off on Renewable Energy Overtaking the Coal Industry

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the United States has experienced a record low in coal energy production and use. The decline in fossil fuel energy has opened the door for renewable energy production to pick up the slack. For 90 straight days, America's wind turbines, solar panels, and hydroelectric dams have produced more available energy than the coal industry. Read More. The following article is reposted on our website from the New York Times and written Brad Plumer.   In a First, Renewable Energy Is Poised to Eclipse Coal in U.S. The coronavirus has pushed the coal industry to once-unthinkable lows, and [...]

Environmental Chemicals Can Increase the Severity of Exposure to Viruses

May 13th, 2020|Comments Off on Environmental Chemicals Can Increase the Severity of Exposure to Viruses

Americans are exposed to endocrine-disrupting chemicals on a daily basis through the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the household products we bring into the house. Most endocrine disrupting chemicals have the ability to imitate developmental hormones in the body, or if exposed to at an early age, can lead to chronic conditions including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and asthma. These preexisting conditions can increase the severity of the coronavirus. Although the immediate national concern is to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we should consider what changes can be made to reduce our exposure to disruptive chemicals in the environment [...]

Virtual Protests Against the Keystone XL Pipeline

May 12th, 2020|Comments Off on Virtual Protests Against the Keystone XL Pipeline

A pandemic can't stop people from protesting. As the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline begins, the Indigenous Environmental Network has found a creative way to express their disapproval of the project by posting a "virtual banner" as a video on social media. The banner reads,"Not Today. Not Tomorrow. Not Ever. No KXL. Mni Wiconi." TC Energy began construction on the project, despite orders by a federal judge to halt work after it was determined that the company did not receive a proper permit from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. The Indigenous Environmental Network continues to find creative ways to fight the [...]

Lawsuits Raised Against New Federal Water Rule

May 11th, 2020|Comments Off on Lawsuits Raised Against New Federal Water Rule

A handful of environmental groups have filed lawsuits against the Trump administration's finalization of a new rule that will weaken waterway protections set in place under the Obama Clean Water rule. Groups including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and ShoreRivers filed lawsuits in Baltimore on April 27 and the Southern Environmental Law Group, representing numerous other environmental organizations, filed suit on April 29. Most recently, a coalition of 19 states, including Maryland, Virginia, and New York have filed a lawsuit to encourage a new rule that will ensure the protection of the United States' water systems. Read More.

EPA Announces Grants Available for Public Health Projects in New England

May 9th, 2020|Comments Off on EPA Announces Grants Available for Public Health Projects in New England

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it will award grants to community project in the New England area. Projects eligible for the grant must be either be located in or working for "areas needing to create community resilience; environmental justice areas of potential concern; or sensitive populations." In the current circumstances, it is important to recognize the important work of groups that continue to fight for the protection of public health and the environment. Read More.

UPDATED: Harvard Study Linking Pollution and COVID-19 Severity

May 6th, 2020|Comments Off on UPDATED: Harvard Study Linking Pollution and COVID-19 Severity

Is air pollution connected to higher coronavirus death rates? Various studies around the world, including one in Italy and one in England, are working to answer this question. In early April, the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health released findings on a study that found a positive correlation between long term exposure to particulate matter (PM 2.5) and higher death rates from virus. The study seeks to answer if exposure to air pollution leads to more severe outcomes to patients infected with COVID-19. The study has since been updated on April 24 to include updated conditions of the virus and additional variables connected to the [...]

Will New York’s Streets Look the Same After the Virus?

May 5th, 2020|Comments Off on Will New York’s Streets Look the Same After the Virus?

Large events, such as hurricanes, wars, or the mass transmission of disease, have a tendency to reinvent how a city is designed or operates. One example is the construction of fountains and parks in Paris after a cholera outbreak in efforts to eradicate the disease. New York city, one of the loudest cities in the United States from to its busy streets and one of the hardest hit areas for the coronavirus, could see a change in the way the city is structured. Could the city see less cars to accommodate for a more pedestrian lifestyle? It cannot be fully determined how the city might [...]

Carbon Dioxide Emissions the Lowest in Ten Years

May 4th, 2020|Comments Off on Carbon Dioxide Emissions the Lowest in Ten Years

The International Energy Agency has released a report explaining that carbon dioxide emission levels are the lowest the world has seen in the last ten years. The EIA states that global carbon dioxide emissions will drop by 8% this year. Because of the change in economic activity due to the pandemic, the world has seen a decrease in global energy demands and a decrease in coal, oil and gas use. Read More. The following article is reprinted on our webpage from the Washington Post written by Steven Mufson. Coronavirus is driving down global carbon dioxide emissions to levels last seen 10 [...]

Two Colleges In Pennsylvania Reach Carbon Neutral Goals

May 3rd, 2020|Comments Off on Two Colleges In Pennsylvania Reach Carbon Neutral Goals

Two colleges in Pennsylvania, Allegheny College and Dickinson College, have reached their goals to become completely carbon neutral. In 2008, both colleges were emitting nearly 20,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air of the fifth largest carbon dioxide emitting state in the country. To achieve their carbon neutral goals, each college took to implementing new systems such as planting trees, using renewable energy credits, using student engaged challenges, and more. The two colleges explained that the entirety of their goal was not to become completely carbon neutral, but rather establish an environment that encourages the community to partake in [...]

Could Household Chemicals Increase Dangers to COVID-19?

May 1st, 2020|Comments Off on Could Household Chemicals Increase Dangers to COVID-19?

Many studies have examined the effect of long term exposure to air pollution outside and the impact it could have on COVID-19 severity. While we are all in our homes, it might be time to examine the toxic household products that affect our immune systems. Synthetic chemicals and "forever chemicals" can be found in products around the house that children could be exposed to or enter into drinking water. Although removing these items from the house today will not change our risks to the coronavirus now, it could change how we respond to viruses in the future. Read More. 

Environmental Groups Sue the Trump Administration for Waterway Protections

April 29th, 2020|Comments Off on Environmental Groups Sue the Trump Administration for Waterway Protections

Environmental groups, including the Natural Resource Defense Council and Southern Environmental Law Center, have filed suit against the Trump administration, "challenging a rollback of protections for the nation's waterways." In January 2020, the EPA finalized the Navigable Waters Protection Rule that puts a limit on how much the government can regulate protections for smaller waterways. Environmental groups have argued that by limiting regulations on smaller water systems, more harm will come downstream to the larger bodies of water. Read More.

Millions of Pounds of Produce Go to Waste

April 28th, 2020|Comments Off on Millions of Pounds of Produce Go to Waste

It has been nearly two months since the Trump Administration advised families to work from home and avoid eating at restaurants to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In effect, the demand for food at food banks is growing, while the supply of produce on farms is decreasing and mostly going to waste. Produce suppliers for restaurants no longer have a place to ship their commodity and the cost of harvesting, storing, and packaging excess food for banks is too much for farmers to take on. Producers have now pointed fingers at the USDA for their slow response in providing [...]

Cancer Alley is Feeling the Weight of Pollution and the Pandemic

April 27th, 2020|Comments Off on Cancer Alley is Feeling the Weight of Pollution and the Pandemic

Earlier this month, Harvard University released a preliminary study that examined a link between long term air pollution exposure and the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. Some of the most polluted areas in the United States are concentrated in regions with low-income and minority populations. As the virus has continued to spread, an alarming trend has been found between the ratio of death rates from the virus in predominately black neighborhoods with higher pollution and toxicity levels compared to predominantly white or less polluted neighborhoods. Read More.

Can Pollution Particles Carry the Coronavirus?

April 24th, 2020|Comments Off on Can Pollution Particles Carry the Coronavirus?

Can the coronavirus travel further distance because of air pollution? Three different research groups have proposed that the virus might be able to spread further distances when attached to pollution particles. Although the theory has not yet been confirmed, the idea that diseases can spread further distances in areas of greater pollution is plausible. Previous studies have shown that pollution could have likely carried viruses causing bird flu, measles, and foot-and-mouth disease. More research is being conducted to determine the correlation of pollution concentration and the spread of dangerous viruses, including COVID-19. Read More.

Staying Home Isn’t Safe When Surrounded by Pollution

April 23rd, 2020|Comments Off on Staying Home Isn’t Safe When Surrounded by Pollution

I look out my window every day and see that plant putting out black smoke, dark clouds of smoke. And now we’ve got this virus going on. I joke we’ve got a double whammy going on, but this is serious. We were in battle over here. We’ve got a war going on. Keisha Bowns interview with Katherine Webb-Hehn a freelance multimedia journalist in the South.  

A Look at the History Behind Earth Day

April 22nd, 2020|Comments Off on A Look at the History Behind Earth Day

The Rolling Stones sits down with Earth Day founder, Denis Hayes, to learn more about the history behind the first Earth Day in 1970 and how the day has changed over the last 50 years. Hayes offers his insights on how renewable energy, climate change, media and the pandemic have changed Earth Day and how the public perceives environmental challenges. Read More. 

Stand Up Fight Back! Protect the most Vulnerable Communities

April 21st, 2020|Comments Off on Stand Up Fight Back! Protect the most Vulnerable Communities

Do you have friends or family members who live in a vulnerability zone? Check out the map below. The first map looks at high risk facilities across the U.S. These high risk communities are especially important now that Trump’s EPA is no longer requiring monitoring and will not take enforcement actions. Across the United States, almost 12,500 high-risk chemical facilities place 39% of the U.S. population, 124 million people, who live within three miles of these facilities at constant risk of chemical disaster. The full vulnerability zones for these industrial and commercial sites can extend up to twenty five miles [...]

Earth Day Live Join Us @ 7pm EST Wed. 22nd

April 21st, 2020|Comments Off on Earth Day Live Join Us @ 7pm EST Wed. 22nd

Earth Day Live is a national livestream with programming for 3 consecutive days of content. From teach-ins to musical performances, actions and more, The US Climate Strike Coalition and Stop the Money Pipeline Coalition are teaming up to launch a massive livestream where millions of people can tune in with activists, celebrities, musicians, and more in an epic celebration of our planet.      Click here and join. Honoring Healthcare Heroes: Lisa Edelstein Interview with Frontline Healthcare Workers (Carol Lightle, Pat Sheran Diaz) Reimagining US: The Fight for a Green New Deal During COVID-19 (Varshini Prakash, Emma Lockridge, Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Lenore [...]

How to Celebrate Earth Day During the Coronavirus

April 20th, 2020|Comments Off on How to Celebrate Earth Day During the Coronavirus

This Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Despite the challenges associated with social distancing, there are many ways to still get involved this earth week through virtual and online webinars, film festival and interactive activities. Read More. 

‘Cancer Alley’ Has Some of the Highest Coronavirus Death Rates in the Country

April 17th, 2020|Comments Off on ‘Cancer Alley’ Has Some of the Highest Coronavirus Death Rates in the Country

As predominately Black communities in the polluted areas along the Mississippi from New Orleans to Baton Rouge face heightened risks from COVID-19, the EPA has suspended enforcement of the environmental rules designed to protect them.  Read more. Motherboard, by Sophie Kasakove  

The first southern state with carbon-free energy goals

April 16th, 2020|Comments Off on The first southern state with carbon-free energy goals

Virginia has become the first southern state to establish carbon-free energy goals by the year 2045. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed into action the Virginia Clean Economy Act that will require such utility powerhouses as Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power to transition to carbon free operations. Read More.   The following article is reprinted on our webpage from the Washington Post written by Gregory S. Schneider.   Virginia becomes the first Southern state with a goal of carbon-free energy By Gregory S. Schneider April 13, 2020 at 9:26 p.m. EDT RICHMOND — The coronavirus is scrambling Virginia's budget and economy, but it didn't prevent [...]

The EPA gave polluters a license to kill

April 15th, 2020|Comments Off on The EPA gave polluters a license to kill

There are tens of thousands more communities where the pollution continues unabated. These are known as “sacrifice zones” — places where the health of residents is permanently sacrificed to industrial contamination. Our government just told polluters they are free to pump deadly chemicals into our air and water. That’s because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has suspended all enforcement indefinitely, until the COVID-19 crisis is over.  Read more.

Coal Miners and Covid-19

April 14th, 2020|Comments Off on Coal Miners and Covid-19

As a result of economic cutbacks in the fossil fuel industry during the pandemic, coal companies are requesting relief from taxes that contribute funding to retired coal worker health benefits. Nearly 25,000 retired coal miners receive support from the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. The program is funded by an excise tax on the mining industry and is set per ton of coal extracted. If the excise tax is cut back, more strain could be put on a population that is already vulnerable to serious impacts from the virus. Read More.

How vulnerable is your community to Coronavirus? New maps reveal familiar pattern.

April 13th, 2020|Comments Off on How vulnerable is your community to Coronavirus? New maps reveal familiar pattern.

The predominantly black and low-income communities living near the back-to-back petrochemical refineries of Louisiana’s “cancer alley” have long suffered compromised immune systems and high rates of disease. Now, the state’s fast-growing COVID-19 outbreak is poised to hit them especially hard. <Read more>

Baltimore’s Right to Clean Air and Zero Waste

April 10th, 2020|Comments Off on Baltimore’s Right to Clean Air and Zero Waste

The Baltimore City Council unanimously passed a resolution on Monday, April 6th to adopt Baltimore's Fair Development Plan for zero waste. Residents are now calling for supporter to sign on to encourage Baltimore's Mayor Young to defend the city's right to clean air and zero waste by breaking Baltimore's contract with BRESCO, a trash incineration company. BRESCO is the city's largest polluter, accounting for 55 million dollars in damages each year. Baltimore City Council Resolution Baltimore's Right to Clean Air Petition 

Is Air Pollution Connected to Higher Coronavirus Death Rates?

April 9th, 2020|Comments Off on Is Air Pollution Connected to Higher Coronavirus Death Rates?

Is air pollution connected to higher coronavirus death rates? The Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health released findings on a study that found a positive correlation between long term exposure to particulate matter (PM 2.5) and higher death rates from disease. The study concluded that exposure to air pollution leads to more severe outcomes to patients infected with COVID-19. The study may be important to how health officials allocate virus resources, such as ventilator or respirators, to more vulnerable regions. Read More. Find Harvard University's health study here.

NRC Pushing Regulatory Exemptions During the Pandemic

April 8th, 2020|Comments Off on NRC Pushing Regulatory Exemptions During the Pandemic

Nuclear power plants are among the many other industries that will be receiving regulatory relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among some of the proposed changes are longer work days and work weeks for some employees because of shortage in available staff. Some employees may be permitted to work upwards of 12 to 16 hours a day or 86 hours a week. Additionally, repairs, inspections and replacement of equipment might go undone during the pandemic. The NRC has assured that safety and security at facilities will not be compromised; however, with the proposed changes and limited staff, the risk of accident is [...]

Pandemic and Pollution – An Op-Ed By Lois Gibbs

April 7th, 2020|Comments Off on Pandemic and Pollution – An Op-Ed By Lois Gibbs

In response to the COVID-19 virus, the Environmental Protection Agency suspended regulations requiring facilities to monitor and report emissions. CHEJ's very own Lois Gibbs provided commentary on the impact this action could have on individuals living in sacrifice zones, or areas overburden by pollution from industrial facilities. Although the regulation change comes at a time during a global pandemic, it is not the first change to facility requirements. While families are required to stay at home to avoid risk of exposure to the virus, they are "sitting ducks" to the toxic chemicals they are exposed on a daily basis from polluting [...]

Cancer Alley, Louisiana is About to See Even More Pollution

April 6th, 2020|Comments Off on Cancer Alley, Louisiana is About to See Even More Pollution

The St. James Parish, also referred to as Cancer Alley, is home to some of the largest industrial polluting facilities in the country. The industrial sector is expected to grow an additional 2,300 acres as  part of what is known as the Sunshine Project. The project is going to mostly include new plastics plants, including Formosa, a Taiwanese based plastics production company. The expansion is predicted to release 800 additional tons of toxic pollutants and 13.6 million tons of greenhouse gases a year into the air of an already highly polluted region. Read More.

Small Town Win In Battle of Nature vs. Industry

April 3rd, 2020|Comments Off on Small Town Win In Battle of Nature vs. Industry

The small town of Grant Township, Pennsylvania won a seven year battle against an injection well permit in a fight of nature vs. industry. General Energy has been denied the permit on the grounds that injection wells in Grant Township are banned and that nature has rights. The residents of the town fought to block the company, arguing that the well would impede their right to clean air, water and land. Read More.

2019 Report for the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice

April 2nd, 2020|Comments Off on 2019 Report for the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice

The Environmental Protection Agency has released its FY 2019 Progress Report for the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJ IWG). The EJ IWG was established to provide a platform for Federal agencies to work together for the advancement of environmental justice principles. View the 2019 report here. View more information on the EJ IWG here.

Trump administration’s new rule on gas mileage standards

April 1st, 2020|Comments Off on Trump administration’s new rule on gas mileage standards

The Trump administration is set to finalize a rule that will weaken the federal government's gas mileage standards for cars put in place during the Obama Administration. With the new rule, the cost of vehicles will be lowered and fuel prices will rise over the long term. It will also release over 1.5 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles over just five years. The Administration claims that the new rule will decrease the number of car accidents and accident related deaths connected to older, less safe cars. By decreasing the price of cars, more people will be [...]

Equitable and Just Economic Stimulus Spending – Sign on

March 31st, 2020|Comments Off on Equitable and Just Economic Stimulus Spending – Sign on

Recommendations for Equitable and Just Economic Stimulus Spending in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic As Congress considers legislation to address the growing public health and economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the principles of justice and equity must be centered in the response. Environmental justice communities, Tribal communities, low income communities and communities of color are hit hardest by economic downturns and must be prioritized. Members of these communities are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 because they are often exposed to disproportionately high levels of pollution and have underlying health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and cancer. Congress must also [...]

Are Migrant Farmworkers More at Risk to Covid-19?

March 30th, 2020|Comments Off on Are Migrant Farmworkers More at Risk to Covid-19?

Could migrant farmworkers be more susceptible to the coronavirus? In a time where social distancing is encouraged and washing one's hands is important to staying safe from the coronavirus, there is cause for concern for farmworkers that are exposed to less than ideal living and working situations. Most workers live in crowded housing, are transported to farms on crowded buses, have unsanitary working conditions and cannot work from home. If a worker does contract the virus, most farmworkers do not have health insurance and do not have the finances to pay for medication and treatment out of pocket. Some states, [...]

EPA suspends enforcement of environmental laws amid coronavirus

March 27th, 2020|Comments Off on EPA suspends enforcement of environmental laws amid coronavirus

This is essentially a nationwide waiver of environmental rules. Communities around these chemical plants and refineries now have one more threat to their health and well-being. If no one is watching and there is no financial or legal consequences for dumping toxic chemicals into the air, water and land this country has another crisis lurking in the near future. Houston, Texas has at least six major chemical fires since last March, incidents that killed three workers, injured dozens, exposed thousands to pollutants and, in the case of the Watson Grinding blast, may cost dozens of residents their homes. That was [...]

Ten Equity Implications of the Coronavirus in the United States

March 26th, 2020|Comments Off on Ten Equity Implications of the Coronavirus in the United States

Everyday the nation's government and public health officials are making rapid decisions in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. To assist officials in their decision making and response to the virus, the NAACP has provided a resource that highlights 10 major impacts the virus could have on minority or low income communities.  Read More. Full Resource Guide The following considerations and proposals can be found on the NAACP website. 10 Impacts of the Coronavirus COVID-19 Outbreak on Communities of Color Racism and stigmatization have increased, particularly towards the Asian and Asian American populations. Certain populations including immigrants, incarcerated people, people over 60 years old, [...]

Military bases contaminated by “forever chemicals”

March 25th, 2020|Comments Off on Military bases contaminated by “forever chemicals”

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyzed the presence of "forever chemicals" in the drinking water on military bases. In a report released in February, the Pentagon revealed that over 600 military sites and surround communities could have drinking water contaminated by a "forever chemical," including PFAS. As a part of the worst sites, the EWG examined the contamination at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, West Point Military Academy in New York and Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. Although none of the sites exceed the EPA's health advisory level for PFAS at 70 parts per trillion, some sites do exceed the lower [...]

The Oil and Gas Industry is Asking for Relief

March 24th, 2020|Comments Off on The Oil and Gas Industry is Asking for Relief

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has requested temporary regulatory relief for the oil and gas industry. In a letter sent to President Trump, API has asked for a suspension of certain regulatory requirements to assist in operations during a time of decreasing oil and gas prices and decreased staff. Some requirements under question include record keeping, non-essential inspections and audits, and trainings. Read More.

A Decrease in Pollution Levels Across the U.S.

March 23rd, 2020|Comments Off on A Decrease in Pollution Levels Across the U.S.

As the United States continues to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, cities across the country are seeing a general decrease in air pollution. While people are being asked to stay home to avoid exposure to the virus, cities including Los Angeles, Seattle and New York City are seeing fewer cars on the road. The decrease in traffic has led to a decrease in nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide from car emissions and an increase in rush hour speeds. Read More. 

Flint, MI: Did Lead Contamination Damage Kids’ Brains?

March 23rd, 2020|Comments Off on Flint, MI: Did Lead Contamination Damage Kids’ Brains?

Five years ago, the public became aware of the lead water crisis present in Flint, Michigan. Today, the effects of the contamination and of the water cleanup are still being felt by the residents as they live off of bottled water. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician that first concluded that children were being exposed to high levels of lead from the drinking water, has found staggering results for the number of children that will have to have additional learning support. There is no safe level of lead exposure and Dr. Mona claims that nearly 14,000 kids under the age of 6 have been [...]

How Climate Change Could Affect Affordable Housing Options

March 20th, 2020|Comments Off on How Climate Change Could Affect Affordable Housing Options

Residents of a Miami trailer park were shocked when a new landowner decided to increase monthly rent prices by nearly 50%. Residents fought back against the rent spike; however, a new concern is on the horizon. With rising sea levels, homeowners that reside on the coast may move more inland. As the land off the coast becomes more valuable, concerns rise for residents of some of the last remaining affordable housing options. Read More.

Communities Most Vulnerable to the Coronavirus

March 19th, 2020|Comments Off on Communities Most Vulnerable to the Coronavirus

Although the elderly are the most in danger of infection from the virus, those that have developed preexisting conditions due to constant exposure to pollutants cannot be forgotten. Individuals in these communities are commonly low-income and/or minority populations and have to travel great distances in order to receive medical services. Former Army Surgeon General William C. Gorgas explained that it is in times of stress and danger that we need to be our most brave and unselfish to those that are most vulnerable. Read More.

CA’s Air Quality Regulations Make Farms More Productive

March 19th, 2020|Comments Off on CA’s Air Quality Regulations Make Farms More Productive

California has some of the strictest air quality standards in the country. These standards have come to the benefit of farmers when a decrease in ground ozone has resulted in an increase of $600 million in crop production a year. Read More.

Could Air Pollution Make the Effects of the Coronavirus Worse?

March 18th, 2020|Comments Off on Could Air Pollution Make the Effects of the Coronavirus Worse?

Health experts are concerned that pollution may exacerbate the health effects of the coronavirus. Air pollution is known to be linked to lung and heart damage. The coronavirus may have a more serious impact on city dwellers and those that are in closer to proximity to pollution. Read More. 

50th Anniversary of the Clean Air Act

March 17th, 2020|Comments Off on 50th Anniversary of the Clean Air Act

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, passed by the United States Congress in 1970. After 50 years of amendments, advances in research and technology, and administration changes, the UN Environment Programme takes a look at how the country's air holds up today. Read More.

Trade Tariffs Could Make Fighting the Virus More Difficult

March 16th, 2020|Comments Off on Trade Tariffs Could Make Fighting the Virus More Difficult

The Trump Administration's trade policies with China might hinder the United States' ability to receive medical supplies needed to assist in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Tariffs were imposed on imported products from China including protective gear for doctors and nurses, and monitoring equipment for patients. The administration has announced that it will temporarily reduce the tariffs placed on these products to help treat the virus. Read More.

Environmental Journalism: 30 Years of Reporting

March 12th, 2020|Comments Off on Environmental Journalism: 30 Years of Reporting

Peter Dykstra, journalist for the Environmental Health News, pays tribute to the 30 years of reporting from the Society of Environmental Journalists. Founded in 1990, the SEJ is comprised of over a thousand reporters from various news media across the United States and a number of countries across the world. Every year, the group hosts an annual conference to bring together some of the greatest minds in environmental journalism, research and activism, including CHEJ's own Lois Gibbs. Even through the ups and downs of reporting, journalists continue to report on the pressing issues concerning the environment today. Read More. 

Juliette, Georgia Gets Answers on Water Contamination

March 11th, 2020|Comments Off on Juliette, Georgia Gets Answers on Water Contamination

Residents of Juliette, Georgia have received answers to what has been contaminating their drinking water. A coal ash pond at the Georgia Power's Plant Scherer is contaminated with hexavalent chromium, a cancer causing heavy metal. The pond is partially connected to an aquifer that supplies some of the community's drinking water. Water testing revealed levels of hexavalent chromium in Juliette that is 500 times the health advisory limit in California and 150 times the limit in North Carolina. Georgia does not have limit and the EPA has not yet determined a guideline for the human toxicity limit for hexavalent chromium. Therefore, the contamination and poisoning of [...]

Finally Cleaning Up Portland Harbor After Two Decades

March 10th, 2020|Comments Off on Finally Cleaning Up Portland Harbor After Two Decades

20 years of waiting and finally The Portland Harbor will be cleaned up.  It’s highly contaminated with dozens of pollutants from more than a century of industrial use. Yesterday, EPA announced additional agreements with more than a dozen companies for cleanups of the river. The companies that have signed agreements include NW Natural, Arkema Inc., Bayer Crop Science Inc., General Electric Company, Chevron U.S.A. Inc., Kinder Morgan Liquids Terminals LLC, McCall Oil and Chemical Corporation, Phillips 66 Company, Shell Oil Company, Atlantic Richfield Company, BP Products North America Inc., Brix Maritime Co., Exxon Mobil Corporation, Kinder Morgan Liquids Terminals LLC, Union [...]

Will DuPont have to pay for PFAS cleanup?

March 9th, 2020|Comments Off on Will DuPont have to pay for PFAS cleanup?

DuPont, a large contributor of PFAS production and contamination may have found a loophole to avoid assuming primary liability for PFAS cleanup and damage compensation. Beginning in 2015, the New Jersey company initiated transactions to The Chemours Company, Corteva Inc, and a new DuPont that would transition the responsibility of cleanup. However, these smaller companies do not have the funds to support the tens of billions of dollars needed to cover all damages. Read More. 

Is Climate Change Making Shellfish Toxic?

March 6th, 2020|Comments Off on Is Climate Change Making Shellfish Toxic?

The Alaskan Alutiiq, an indigenous tribe residing on the Alaskan coast, has long relied on shellfish for food. Recent instances have found that some shellfish has become contaminated by a natural occurring poison that can lead to paralytic shellfish poisoning. This reactive condition could become more frequent as water temperatures rise and toxin production increases. Read More. 

An Air Pollution Pandemic

March 5th, 2020|Comments Off on An Air Pollution Pandemic

While the world is increasing its concern for the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, scientists have stated that another pandemic has been plaguing the world for years. The European Society of Cardiology has released a report claiming that air pollution is the cause of an underlying pandemic that causes cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and on average 5.5 million premature deaths a year. Read More.

Report Released on Impacts of Fracking in Appalachian Basin

March 4th, 2020|Comments Off on Report Released on Impacts of Fracking in Appalachian Basin

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Princeton University and Stanford University released a comprehensive study on the impacts of fracking in the Appalachian Basin. The study focused on premature deaths in relation to air quality, regional climate changes and employment opportunities from industry expansion. Read More. 

Women’s History Month: Environmental Activists

March 4th, 2020|Comments Off on Women’s History Month: Environmental Activists

In honor of Women's History Month, NextAvenue highlights the incredible work of Lois Gibbs and Linda Garcia. Both women have won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for their work against environmental injustices. Although their fights are decades apart, the work at Love Canal and against the Tesoro Savage oil company demonstrate how environmental activism is still as important today as was in 1978. Read More.

The Unknown Presence of Lead in Wild Game

March 3rd, 2020|Comments Off on The Unknown Presence of Lead in Wild Game

Hunters in the United States commonly use lead based ammunition that can cause lead contamination in meat. Hunters have expressed that they are either unaware of these concerns or are mistrustful of the sources that have presented the research. In either case, public health officials are seeking a line of open communication to warn hunters and their families about the dangers of lead consumption. Read More.

NC Schools Implement New Water Filtration Systems

March 2nd, 2020|Comments Off on NC Schools Implement New Water Filtration Systems

Schools in New Hanover and Brunswick counties in North Carolina have set plans in motion to install a new water filtration system to protect school drinking water from industrial contamination. The plan comes after Brunswick county was determined to have the highest levels of PFAS water contamination in the country. Actor Mark Ruffalo, among others, spoke at a press conference at the North Carolina Legislative Building in Raleigh explaining that more needed to be done to address the water contamination problem and the health of children in schools. Read More.

Fundraising Workshop Training Materials

February 27th, 2020|Comments Off on Fundraising Workshop Training Materials

Check out our resource material on how to fundraise effectively for your organization. The following information was compiled and used at a fundraising workshop with the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League. Fundraising Workshop Training Packet Fundraising Workshop Audio Recording

The EPA is Conducting Criminal Investigations Against Forever Chemicals

February 26th, 2020|Comments Off on The EPA is Conducting Criminal Investigations Against Forever Chemicals

In continuance with its action plan to regulate forever chemicals, including PFAS, the EPA has announced that it will be conduction criminal investigations against the cancer linked chemicals. The EPA has not elaborated on exactly who or what it will be investigating; however, some companies have released that they might be under investigation. Read More. 

States are taking action against PFAS

February 21st, 2020|Comments Off on States are taking action against PFAS

Although the EPA has voiced that matters concerning PFAS, a "forever" chemical, will continue to be a priority in 2020, over half the states in the country have decided to encourage their own regulations. Some states have preexisting rules preventing them from enforcing stricter water regulations above those set by the EPA. Other states, including Michigan and New York have surged forward to set stricter regulations and encourage more contamination cleanup efforts. Read More.     

Mercury Regulation Rollbacks and Industry Opposition

February 20th, 2020|Comments Off on Mercury Regulation Rollbacks and Industry Opposition

The Trump Administration has worked to rollback almost all industry regulations enacted during the Obama Administration to demonstrate how government should not have role in determining how and what a facility can emit. As the EPA organizes to debunk the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) that sets a limit the release of mercury, the industry sector has spoken up in opposition. Industry officials have stated that there is no need to rollback a regulation that industries have already worked to comply with and that could deregulation could lead to more harm than good. Read More.

Butte, MT Babies Have Heavy Metals 1,000 times Higher Than SC Babies

February 15th, 2020|Comments Off on Butte, MT Babies Have Heavy Metals 1,000 times Higher Than SC Babies

Last year, a team of independent researchers collected samples of baby poop from 32 infants born in Butte and Columbia, South Carolina and tested them for heavy metals. The results of the peer-reviewed study dominated local headlines, grabbing the attention of the community and government agencies. Federal officials this week called for the study to be retracted from the academic journal. "I don't think that we should attack scientific data because we don't like the data that came from that scientific study. And I feel like that's what has happened here." Read more.

Report on the health and safety of children

February 14th, 2020|Comments Off on Report on the health and safety of children

The Union of Concerned Scientist has released a report and storybook on the impact of current regulation rollbacks on the health and safety of children. A decrease in science-based research within the legislative process has put children at greater risk from exposure to toxic chemicals, including PFAS, lead, pesticides, asbestos and more. Endangering Children Report Breathe in the Smog, Drink the Lead Storybook Protecting Children's Health and Safety Resource Guide

Philadelphia placing a ban on hydrofluoric acid

February 13th, 2020|Comments Off on Philadelphia placing a ban on hydrofluoric acid

Proposed legislation this week at the Philadelphia City Council intends to ban the use and production of hydrofluoric acid (HF). The city is in favor of the ban after the Philadelphia Energy Solutions facility explosion that resulted in a release of 5,000 pounds of the toxic chemical. At low levels of exposure, HF can cause irritation to the eyes, nose and respiratory system. Exposure to higher levels can lead to more severe health concerns to the heart and lungs. Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney is encouraging other states and the federal government to enforce similar restrictions on the chemical. Read More. [...]

EPA Releases 2018 Annual Toxics Release Inventory Report

February 12th, 2020|Comments Off on EPA Releases 2018 Annual Toxics Release Inventory Report

The EPA has released the 2018 Annual Toxics Release Inventory Report. Published every year, the report shows TRI reported data from manufacturing, mining, electric utilities and commercial hazardous waste facilities and analyzes trends and interprets that data. The 2018 report revealed a lower than expected release of "TRI-covered chemicals" than expected compared to economic activity and an increase in recycled chemical waste. In addition, the EPA has publish a new tool to assist in understanding the metal mining sector. Read More.

Virginia Passes Major Renewable Energy Legislation

February 12th, 2020|Comments Off on Virginia Passes Major Renewable Energy Legislation

The Virginia House and Senate passed sweeping energy legislation yesterday that would overhaul how Virginia's utilities generate electricity and moves the state to the forefront of renewable energy policy in the United States. The measure, called the Clean Economy Act, lays out a plan to get Virginia to 100% renewable generation. Read more.

Where is the fund in Superfund going?

February 11th, 2020|Comments Off on Where is the fund in Superfund going?

President Trump has asked Congress on Monday to reduce the Environmental Protection Agency's budget on Superfund. The Administration has created the largest backlog of cleanups in over 15 years, and now plans to reduce the Superfund Program's budget by 10%. The Superfund is just one of many environmental programs that could receive budget cuts for the fiscal year 2021. Read More.

A Brief Look at Louisiana’s Relationship with Big Industry

February 10th, 2020|Comments Off on A Brief Look at Louisiana’s Relationship with Big Industry

In 2004, Louisiana passed a bill to criminalize most acts of protest against "critical infrastructure" within the industry sector. Within the last two years, Louisiana has expanded the bill to include the trespassing and protest of pipelines in response to the North Dakota protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Over 15 years later, 10 states have adopted their own versions of the bill to make some of the most basic forms of protest a felony charge. Since the new addition to the Louisiana bill, a total of 15 people have been arrested, 14 organized protesters and 1 journalist reporting on the event. Read More. 

2019 Report on the 10 Worst Benzene Emitting Facilities

February 7th, 2020|Comments Off on 2019 Report on the 10 Worst Benzene Emitting Facilities

Benzene is a federal regulated chemical that when exposed can cause blood disorders and cancer. A report released by the Environment Integrity Project examined the excessive release of Benzene from 10 facilities within the United States. The worst offending facilities were found in Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. All states included one facility with benzene emittance greater than the federal regulations, with the exception of Texas with a total of 6 refineries out of compliance. Read More.

Long Island Receives Grant Money to Clean Up Water Contamination

February 6th, 2020|Comments Off on Long Island Receives Grant Money to Clean Up Water Contamination

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the state's Environmental Facilities Corporation will direct $120 million in grant money towards assisting Long Island and villages' water plans. Included is the Village of Mineola that currently has three major water system projects underway to help meet 1,4-dioxin and PFAS treatment requirements. 23 total grants have been given out to Long Island and villages to assist in water remediation projects. Read More.

Buckeystown, MD vs. C.J. Miller Asphalt Plant

February 5th, 2020|Comments Off on Buckeystown, MD vs. C.J. Miller Asphalt Plant

In June of 2019, the proposed construction of a C.J. Miller asphalt plant in Buckeystown, Maryland was denied by the Frederick County Board of Zoning Appeals. The board denied the plant's plans to build, arguing that it failed too many of the county's required codes. The company is remaining persistent in its plans, despite a strong atmosphere of opposition from local residents, and is now asking a Frederick county judge to reexamine the board's decision. Read More.  Frederick County Planning Committee January 2019 decision Frederick County Board of Zoning Appeals June 2019 decision   

Harris County continues lawsuit against Exxon Mobil

February 5th, 2020|Comments Off on Harris County continues lawsuit against Exxon Mobil

On Friday, January 30, a judge ruled that Harris County can proceed with its lawsuit against Exxon Mobil. The lawsuit was filed on August 1, 2019 after a chemical fire in Baytown, Texas. Harris County itself was taken to court by the state's attorney general's office over the case that Harris County must first receive "explicit approval from county commissioners" before filing a lawsuit. Read More.   Exxon Mobil chemical plant explosion

A Brief Look at Minden, WV

February 4th, 2020|Comments Off on A Brief Look at Minden, WV

Minden, West Virginia has begged for the cleanup of its town from PCB contamination for over thirty years. In 2019, hope was found among community members when the Superfund site was placed on the EPA's NPL list. Yet, movement for either cleanup or relocation remains stagnant. Read more about the background of contamination in Minden and the current status of its residents as they continue to fight for cleanup. Read More.

East Liverpool, Ohio demanding answers to poisonous incinerator

February 3rd, 2020|Comments Off on East Liverpool, Ohio demanding answers to poisonous incinerator

In East Liverpool, Ohio, the organization Save Our County Inc. has been fighting the Heritage Thermal Services incinerator for decades. Several months ago, the group met with the city's Safety and Rules Committee to draft a list of questions to send to the EPA regarding their concerns for the incinerator. The community received a response from the EPA in December and are not satisfied with the answers. More questions were submitted to the EPA for further detail and the committee is awaiting advice on how to proceed. Read More.

Ohio Protests the Anti-Protest Bill

January 31st, 2020|Comments Off on Ohio Protests the Anti-Protest Bill

The Ohio House Public Utilities Committee approved Senate Bill 33 on Thursday, January 29. The government building was packed with state residents ready to speak in opposition of the bill. SB 33 is aimed at protecting oil and gas production infrastructure, while in turn, making many acts of protest against the industry potentially illegal. After the passing of the bill, residents spoke out in frustration by chanting "This is our house." The crowds settled after Ohio state troopers arrived on scene; however, it might foreshadow Ohio's movement towards limiting protesters' freedom of speech. Read More.

14 States Say No To Rollbacks of Safety at Chemical Plants

January 30th, 2020|Comments Off on 14 States Say No To Rollbacks of Safety at Chemical Plants

Attorneys general from 14 states filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Environmental Protection Agency over its rollback of Obama-era chemical plant safety regulations. “The Trump EPA is gutting critical safeguards against explosions, fires, poisonous gas releases, and other accidents at these facilities, putting New Yorkers in harm’s way," New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.  Read more.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Prepares to Sue the EPA

January 29th, 2020|Comments Off on Chesapeake Bay Foundation Prepares to Sue the EPA

On Monday, January 27th, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation announced that it intends to sue the EPA for failing to enforce Clean Water Act pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint was established to created as a goal to restore the bay by 2025 by limiting the amount of nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment pollution within the watershed. The Foundation argues that Pennsylvania's efforts to curb pollution entering into the bay is not on track with the 2025 deadline due to funding limitations and planning shortfalls. Read More.

President Trump Rolls Back Pollution Regulations on Streams and Wetlands

January 27th, 2020|Comments Off on President Trump Rolls Back Pollution Regulations on Streams and Wetlands

On Thursday, January 23rd, the Trump Administration finalized the removal of the "Waters of the United States" regulations set in place during the Obama Administration. The removal of the 2015 rules was highly backed by the coal and farm sectors, that can now dump pollutants such as pesticides and fertilizers directly into waterways. Trump's new water rule, the "Navigable Water Protection Rule," will still protect larger bodies of water, including the Chesapeake Bay and the Mississippi River, but will reduce the protection of smaller water systems that could still sweep pollutants into those larger systems. Read More. 

Rolling Stones: uncovering the story behind brine

January 23rd, 2020|Comments Off on Rolling Stones: uncovering the story behind brine

Rolling Stone has released an article highlighting the dangers of brine, a radioactive naturally occurring byproduct of oil and gas drilling. Workers and communities for decades have been exposed to brine through truck transports, on roads as a de-icer or products in hardware stores without having complete information on its radioactive nature.  Read More.  

Students relocated after Mercury testing on school grounds

January 22nd, 2020|Comments Off on Students relocated after Mercury testing on school grounds

Northport Middle School, in Long Island, NY, has taken action to relocate its students after findings of high levels of Mercury on school grounds. Parents staged a "sick out" rally last week to express concern for the safety of the students. The school will remain closed for the remainder of the year for continued testing and remediation. Read More.

Malaysia: Don’t Dump Your Trash Here

January 21st, 2020|Comments Off on Malaysia: Don’t Dump Your Trash Here

Malaysia has announced that it will no longer be accepting containers of trash from wealthier countries, including France, the United Kingdom and the United States. At a press conference on Monday, Malaysian Prime Minister Yeo Bee Yin stated, "If people want to see us as the rubbish dump of the world, you dream on." The country has put a foot down against the exportation of trash to developing countries and has since returned 150 containers of trash back to their originating countries. Read More.

20 Powerful People Deciding Environmental & Public Health Risks

January 20th, 2020|Comments Off on 20 Powerful People Deciding Environmental & Public Health Risks

“Of 20 key officials across several agencies, 15 came from careers in the oil, gas, coal, chemical or agriculture industries, while another three hail from state governments that have spent years resisting environmental regulations.” Read NYT Story.

Women Marching Agree Climate Change is a Feminist Issue

January 19th, 2020|Comments Off on Women Marching Agree Climate Change is a Feminist Issue

At the New Hampshire Women's March, Naomi Klein took the stage and spoke about why climate change — and many of the natural disasters occurring as a result — is a feminist issue. “We have seen in the aftermath of all of the disasters that I've mentioned, that rates of domestic violence increase — that femicide, the killing of women increases — so of course, all of these issues are interrelated,” she said. She continued, saying that we need to recognize the work that many women do in these situations. “The other thing that we see is that women on the [...]

Judge in North Carolina Says No to Coal Ash Permits

January 17th, 2020|Comments Off on Judge in North Carolina Says No to Coal Ash Permits

Administrative Law Judge reversed earlier decision in a coal ash case, ruling that state environmental officials exceeded their authority when they allowed the ash to be disposed in unexcavated areas of the Brickhaven and Colon mines. Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League organizer Therese Vick praised the decision and admonished the agency for issuing the permits. “DEQ knew what they did was wrong, yet they kept trying to defend the indefensible,” Vick wrote in a press statement. “No community should ever have to go through this again.”  Read more.

National One Health Awareness Month

January 16th, 2020|Comments Off on National One Health Awareness Month

The Senate has passed a resolution claiming January of 2020 as "National One Health Awareness Month." By passing the resolution, Congress is hoping that it will bring awareness to public, animal, and environmental health. Read More.

No One Should Have to Breathe These Chemicals

January 15th, 2020|Comments Off on No One Should Have to Breathe These Chemicals

Opinion NYT   In Texas and across the country, the E.P.A.’s gutting of the Chemical Disaster Rule is a matter of life or death. By Ana Parras   While families across the country celebrated Thanksgiving with their loved ones, more than 50,000 people in Port Neches, Tex., were forced to evacuate from their homes and spend the holiday in makeshift shelters. The reason? Two explosions at the Texas Petroleum Chemical plant sent flames into the sky, injured eight people, and released plumes of butadiene, a carcinogen, into the air. The disaster erupted six days after the Trump administration gutted Obama-era regulations meant to improve safety at 12,000 chemical plants around the [...]

2020: A year for environmental action

January 14th, 2020|Comments Off on 2020: A year for environmental action

The year 2020 is projected to be one of action and change for environmental policy, the climate and communities. The Grist has compiled a collection of some of the top environmental justice stories to follow in the upcoming year that have a focus on protecting communities that have been unfairly impacted by pollution. Environment developments are occurring on both the national and local levels in the form of new policies and regulations, crucial court cases and community projects. Read More. 

The House approved bill to regulate PFAS

January 13th, 2020|Comments Off on The House approved bill to regulate PFAS

On Friday, January 10, the House of Representatives passed HR 535: PFAS Action Act of 2019. The bill requires the Environmental Protection Agency to designate PFAS chemicals as a dangerous substance under the Superfund law within one year of the enactment of the bill. The bill is aimed at reducing the risk of water contamination from PFAS forever chemicals. Read More.

Michigan: Shovel ready sites with no funding for cleanup

January 10th, 2020|Comments Off on Michigan: Shovel ready sites with no funding for cleanup

Michigan has three Superfund sites that remain stagnant in their cleanup process because of a lack of funding for the Superfund program. At the end of December, the EPA released a list of 34 shovel ready Superfund sites with no responsible parties to aid cleanup that will remain idle because the program does not have enough funding. Michigan has three of the listed sites located in St. Clair Shores, St. Louis, and Mancelona that will not receive complete cleanup in the near future. Read More.

Super Pollution Events

January 9th, 2020|Comments Off on Super Pollution Events

During the week of Christmas, Pittsburg, PA experienced an unusual heavy set of particular matter created by a temperature inversion that resulted in the trapping of pollution closer to the Earth's surface. A temperature inversion is created when a mass of warmer air sits on top of and trapping of a mass of colder air, therefore preventing polluted air from rising. The event continued for six consecutive days in Pittsburgh. Rising temperatures in the winter could mean that similar "Super Pollution Events" involving dangerous levels of particulate matter in the air might become more common. Read More.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline – Stopped Again in Virginia

January 8th, 2020|Comments Off on Atlantic Coast Pipeline – Stopped Again in Virginia

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today vacated a permit to build a compressor station for the proposed Atlantic Coast gas pipeline, citing a Virginia state board for inadequately assessing its environmental justice impacts on the largely African American community of Union Hill. Read more.

NC Taxpayer Pay for School’s Water – Not Polluters

January 7th, 2020|Comments Off on NC Taxpayer Pay for School’s Water – Not Polluters

Cumberland County is the latest to approve spending millions to provide public drinking water to two schools and an area with well contamination caused by the Chemours chemical company. Read more.

EPA works to enforce stricter pollution regulations on trucks

January 6th, 2020|Comments Off on EPA works to enforce stricter pollution regulations on trucks

The EPA has begun movement towards enforcing federal restrictions on highway truck emissions. The Trump Administration has targeted efforts to reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions from trucks, a pollutant known to be linked to increased rates of asthma. Although the regulations would establish a national emissions standard, it could prevent individual states from enforcing their own stricter regulations. Read More.

34 Superfund Sites Can’t Be Cleaned Up For Lack of Money

January 4th, 2020|Comments Off on 34 Superfund Sites Can’t Be Cleaned Up For Lack of Money

The Trump administration has built up the biggest backlog of unfunded toxic Superfund cleanup projects in at least 15 years, nearly triple the number that were stalled for lack of money in the Obama era, according to 2019 figures released by the Environmental Protection Agency over the winter holidays. Read more.

Texas Doubles in Illegal Air Pollution

December 19th, 2019|Comments Off on Texas Doubles in Illegal Air Pollution

A report released Wednesday by Environment Texas revealed that Texas released 135 million pounds of illegal air pollution in 2018. Among the 270 oil and gas contributors, is Texas Petroleum Chemicals (TPC) of Port Neches. The 2018 numbers are double those emitted in 2017 and Texas residents are putting up a fight. Read More.

Climate change making farm work a dangerous job

December 18th, 2019|Comments Off on Climate change making farm work a dangerous job

A report released the week of December 9, 2019 shows how climate change creates a great threat to farmworkers. The report focuses on two main threats to workers: pesticide exposure and heat stress conditions. Read More.

West Virginia Lawmakers Announce Plans Regulate PFAS

December 17th, 2019|Comments Off on West Virginia Lawmakers Announce Plans Regulate PFAS

A group of Democratic West Virginia lawmakers announced plans Monday to introduce legislation to regulate a group of toxic, man-made fluorinated chemicals.  Del. Hansen said the bill, which is still being drafted, would require facilities that use or produce PFAS chemicals to disclose that information to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. Read more.      

Colorado is declared a ‘serious’ violator of federal air quality laws

December 17th, 2019|Comments Off on Colorado is declared a ‘serious’ violator of federal air quality laws

The EPA has classified Colorado as a 'serious' violator of federal air laws for ozone. Colorado has been failing ozone air pollution standards since 2004, creating a greater presence of asthma in the Denver and Front Range communities. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment plans to issue 600 new permits that will set limits on air pollution. The state must reduce its ozone pollution to 70 parts per billion by August 2021 (current ozone levels are 79 parts per billion). Read More.

Port Neches, Texas: TPC explosion cleanup and update

December 16th, 2019|Comments Off on Port Neches, Texas: TPC explosion cleanup and update

Two weeks after the TPC plant explosion, the Environmental Protection Agency has transferred the site cleanup oversight to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Response efforts have been focused on site equipment recovery. TPC will continue to monitor the air surrounding the facility; however, current reports conclude that there is no actionable levels of butadiene (a known carcinogen). Read More.

Saying goodbye to ToxNet and ToxMap

December 13th, 2019|Comments Off on Saying goodbye to ToxNet and ToxMap

The National Library of Medicine is retiring access to helpful resources in toxics identification, including TOXNet and TOXMap. Both data resources were developed to make it easier for the public to view chemicals being released from plants located in their own neighborhoods. Access to these databases will end on Monday, December 16, 2019. Read More.

Interactive Map Displays Military Bases with PFAS Contamination

December 12th, 2019|Comments Off on Interactive Map Displays Military Bases with PFAS Contamination

The Environmental Working Group has created an interactive map displaying 305 U.S. military sites that are known to have discharged firefighting foam containing PFAS. Each site includes information about the base, key findings associated with PFAS contamination and additional resources. Read More. View the interactive map here.

Today’s A Reminder of Our Power

December 11th, 2019|Comments Off on Today’s A Reminder of Our Power

December 11, 1980 President Jimmy Carter signed legislation creating a $1.6 billion environmental "Superfund" to pay for cleaning up chemical spills and toxic waste dumps.  This legislation came out of a grassroots fight in Niagara Falls, NY at Love Canal. This is not just another anniversary date, it is a reminder of what can be accomplished when people come together, speak with one voice and demand change. Recently the divisions, among people who often want the same things, has been so orchestrated by those who want to keep the status quo. It’s become difficult for everyday people to figure out [...]

Report examines cuts in state pollution control agencies

December 11th, 2019|Comments Off on Report examines cuts in state pollution control agencies

The Environmental Integrity Project has released a report examining the budget trends and staffing levels for state public health and environmental protection agencies from the years 2008 to 2018. The report found that of the 48 states examined (Hawaii and Alaska not included) 31 states reduced funding for environmental agencies with 25 states creating cuts up to 10%. Further, it was found that 40 states reduced employment within environmental agencies with 21 states reducing employment with cuts up to 10%. Read More.  Read Report: The Thin Green Line

New York bans certain cleaning products to reduce water contamination

December 10th, 2019|Comments Off on New York bans certain cleaning products to reduce water contamination

Albany, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo signed a bill yesterday, December 9, that will ban the sale of certain cleaning products, cosmetics and personal care products. The purpose of the ban is to reduce the risk of drinking water contamination from the 1,4 - dioxane chemical that can still be found in some consumer products. This bill will not go into effect until January 2022. Read More. Read more from Governor Cuomo's news release.

New methane release mapping tool

December 9th, 2019|Comments Off on New methane release mapping tool

The Environmental Defense Fund has created a new mapping resource to locate onshore oil and gas wells that release methane. The tool was developed in response to the EPA's proposal to rollback regulations on methane emissions within the oil and gas industries. The map reports emissions data and demographic information to visualize the sensitive populations that might be exposed to the increased releases of methane. Read More.

Port Neches Evacuations Increase

December 5th, 2019|Comments Off on Port Neches Evacuations Increase

On Wednesday (December 4), residents of Port Neches were asked to voluntarily evacuate their homes in response to the TPC Group plant explosion that occurred early last week. Originally ordered to shelter-in-place, residents are now being asked to temporarily vacate the area surrounding the plant to reduce risk of exposure to harmful chemicals still lingering in the air. Read More.

Research Tool for Chemical Exposure for Women at Work

December 3rd, 2019|Comments Off on Research Tool for Chemical Exposure for Women at Work

The California Breast Cancer Research Program, in partnership with the California Department of Public Health, the Occupational Health Branch and the University of California, San Francisco, has developed a tool to research women’s exposure to chemicals in the workplace. The goal of the research and the basis behind this tool is to provide women with information on industries that have a higher risk of exposure to chemicals that may cause breast cancer. The tool shows data on over 160 different occupations in California and data on over 1,000 different chemicals. Read More.

TPC Plant Explosion in Port Neches, Texas

November 27th, 2019|Comments Off on TPC Plant Explosion in Port Neches, Texas

An explosion at the TPC Group plant in Port Neches, Texas this morning (Wednesday, November 27) has left 3 workers injured and hundreds other on evacuation notice. Families outside the evacuation zone are encouraged to shelter-in-place. Responders are still tending to the plant as officials work to uncover the cause of the explosion. Read More.

Study to determine if living near a chemical plant will cause cancer

November 26th, 2019|Comments Off on Study to determine if living near a chemical plant will cause cancer

Louisiana health officials have plans to initiate a new study to determine how many individuals surrounding the Denka Performance Elastomer plant in St. John Parish have developed cancer. The Denka plant is the only one in the country to release chloroprene, a likely carcinogen to humans. The study will include graduate students going door to door of 1,900 homes in a 2.5 kilometer range to determine who has developed cancer. Read More.

How to make your holidays more Earth friendly

November 25th, 2019|Comments Off on How to make your holidays more Earth friendly

The holiday season is the happiest time of the year, but is it the most sustainable? The end of the year  holidays come with an increase in travel, eating, shopping and waste. This year, find ways to celebrate in a more sustainable way. Read More.

EPA rolls back chemical plant safety regulations

November 22nd, 2019|Comments Off on EPA rolls back chemical plant safety regulations

The EPA finalized a rule  relieving chemical plant facilities from some of the major safety regulation set by the chemical disaster rule. The EPA explained in their press release Thursday that the updated rule will no longer require facilities to consider safer technology alternatives. In combination with other regulation easements, the update is expected to save American $88 million a year. However, groups are not as convinced that the change will keep chemical plant employees and surrounding communities safe. Read More. 

Eighth graders in Raleigh take on PFAS

November 21st, 2019|Comments Off on Eighth graders in Raleigh take on PFAS

A group a ten middle school students, from the Exploris School in downtown Raleigh, NC, have taken on the challenge to study the presence of PFAS in water and raise awareness in their community on the substance's health impacts. The Exploris School and students are working in participation with the Design for Change program, a global nonprofit that encourages students to examine some the worlds most challenging social issues. The students are currently in the brainstorming phase of their project, where they will discuss potential solutions to decrease water testing time to more efficiently identify the presence of PFAS contaminated sources. [...]

Cancer Alley May be Expanding

November 20th, 2019|Comments Off on Cancer Alley May be Expanding

Formosa, a Taiwanese plastics production company, has proposed to build a $9.2 billion facility in St. James Parish, Louisiana. St. James Parish, positioned on a bend of the Mississippi River is already an area highly concentrated with industry and overburden by harsh chemicals. If approved, the facility project would be the largest in state history, with a plant spanning the length of 80 football fields, consisting of 16 facilities and releasing the cancerous chemicals ethylene oxide, benzene and formaldehyde. Read More.

New Yorkers shut down Cricket Valley power plant construction

November 18th, 2019|Comments Off on New Yorkers shut down Cricket Valley power plant construction

Residents of Dover, New York and concerned individuals across the Northeast came together on Saturday, November 16, to block the construction of the Cricket Valley power plant. The protest included a tractor blockade and protesters climbing to the top of a 275 foot smoke stack. New York residents oppose the construction because it will dramatically set the state back in its goals to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2040. Once completed, the massive plant will release 6 million tons of greenhouse gases into the air, in addition to hundreds of tons of other harmful chemicals. Read More. Link to livestream video of [...]

Superfund Sites Vulnerable to Climate Change

November 18th, 2019|Comments Off on Superfund Sites Vulnerable to Climate Change

Looking at the 1,571 Superfund sites at least 945 of them are in areas that scientists have identified as at greater risk of floods, storm surge from major hurricanes, wildfires or sea level rise of 3 feet or more according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Click here for full report.

America Recycles Day 2019

November 15th, 2019|Comments Off on America Recycles Day 2019

November 15 is America Recycles Day. The day recognizes national support and education for the importance of recycling for the country's economic and environmental health. The America Recycles Day not only brings awareness to recycling plastics, but encourages participants to review other lifestyle changes that would limit the production and circulation of plastic. Such changes include avoiding the purchase of plastic products or finding way to reuse products before disposal. America Recycles Day Take the Pledge  

Philadelphia elementary school found lead in drinking water

November 14th, 2019|Comments Off on Philadelphia elementary school found lead in drinking water

Mastery Frederick Douglas Elementary School in North Philadelphia tested drinking water fountains to find the presence of lead and failed to adequately notify parents. The Philadelphia school district holds a threshold level of 10 ppb for lead in drinking water while lead inspectors found one fountain in the elementary school with levels exceeding 1,700 pbb and a second fountain with levels around 3,500 ppb. Despite finding such extreme levels of lead in the drinking water, school officials failed to directly communicate the findings to parents. Read More.

Trump administration restricting science in regulation

November 13th, 2019|Comments Off on Trump administration restricting science in regulation

The Trump Administration is preparing to bring forth a new rule that will significantly limit the amount of scientific and medical research used in the process of establishing public health regulations. The EPA has presented a new proposal, named Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science, that will require scientists to disclose all raw data collected in a public health study. This will make new and existing air and water regulations more difficult to introduce or modify, because most public health studies rely on health information recovered through confidentiality agreements and cannot be disclosed publicly. Read More.

WVE’s Health First Roadmap

November 12th, 2019|Comments Off on WVE’s Health First Roadmap

The Women's Voices for the Earth (WVE) released a report outlining the levels of progress cleaning product companies are making in terms of chemical safety and transparency. The report establishes a "Health First Roadmap" that outlines strategies for companies to follow for chemical safety and compliance that will ultimately put health first. WVE tracked and compared the progress of 6 companies: the Clorox Company, Procter & Gamble, RB, SC Johnson & Son, Inc., Seventh Generation, and Meliora Cleaning Products. Read the Full Report Here. Access to the WVE Website  

EPA adds Depue Superfund site to the Administrator’s Emphasis List

November 8th, 2019|Comments Off on EPA adds Depue Superfund site to the Administrator’s Emphasis List

The EPA has announced its seventh update to the Administrator's Emphasis List of  Superfund Sites with the addition of the Depue New Jersey Zinc site in Depue, Illinois. The addition to the list came in partnership with the transfer of oversight from the Illinois EPA to the US EPA. The US EPA with continue to work with the Illinois EPA to move forward with Potential Responsible Party negotiations and soil cleanups. Read More.

BREDL Report Released on the Impact of ACP on Minority Communities

November 7th, 2019|Comments Off on BREDL Report Released on the Impact of ACP on Minority Communities

The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League released a report Monday, November 4th on how the construction of a portion of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will have a direct impact on minority communities. The planned construction of a compressor station in Buckingham County, Virginia is position around 15 properties, eleven of which are owned by minority families. The report examines the construction of the pipeline in Buckingham County, in addition to a history of environmental racism in the United States. Read More. Read BREDL's full report here.

EPA Presents Small Grants to Environmental Justice Projects

November 6th, 2019|Comments Off on EPA Presents Small Grants to Environmental Justice Projects

The EPA has awarded $1.5 million in grant funds to 50 different organizations working on behalf of environmental justice issues in their communities. Funds will assist communities in 27 states on projects including reducing the presence of lead in water, implementing energy efficiency practices in low-income housing and carrying out sustainable agricultural practices. Further, $30,000 of the funds will be directed towards supporting water quality testing projects for the Passamaquoddy Tribe of the Pleasant Point Reservation and Penobscot Indian Nation in Maine. Read More.

Connecticut Task Force Recommends Statewide PFAS Testing

November 5th, 2019|Comments Off on Connecticut Task Force Recommends Statewide PFAS Testing

A recent report released by the Connecticut Interagency PFAS Task Force has called for a statewide effort to test water sources for PFAS contamination. The task force was formed in response to a spill releasing 50,000 gallons of firefighting foam containing PFAS. More recent incidents involving the release PFAS containing foams have called state officials to the attention of examining water and food-related pathways for evidence of contamination. Further recommendations include an advisory panel responsible for setting a maximum contaminant level of PFAS in water and an "interagency information-sharing network." Read More.

EPA relaxes regulations on coal-fired power plants

November 4th, 2019|Comments Off on EPA relaxes regulations on coal-fired power plants

The EPA announced that it will roll back regulations on coal-fired power plants and the disposal of residual toxic wastewater and coal ash. The deregulation will allow facilities to store coal ash in storage ponds longer putting them at greater risk for groundwater leakage and overflow from large storms. The loosening of the 2015 regulations set in place by the Obama administration has created concern for greater water contamination for communities in close proximity to coal plants. Read More. 

California wildfires lead to new long term health studies

October 31st, 2019|Comments Off on California wildfires lead to new long term health studies

Wildfire season continues in California and health professionals have begun asking new questions on the lasting impact from exposure to wildfire smoke. Stanford University scientists have taken in hundreds of participants to examine circulatory, respiratory and immune systems and will retest participants in three months when the smoke has cleared. The testing is expected to continue through 2037. The testing will take place in the Bay Area, where air quality is typically better than other locations, to help isolate health effects related to smoke exposure compared to other environmental interferences. Read More.

Report Examines the Trump Administration’s Neglect on Science

October 30th, 2019|Comments Off on Report Examines the Trump Administration’s Neglect on Science

The Union for Concerned Scientists has released a report examining the Trump administrations neglect on science based policy. In partnership with the Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (TEJAS) and Clean Power Lake County, the report focuses on the dangers communities of color and low income communities have been put in as a response to the administration's attack on science based policies. Read More. Read the full report here. The Union for Concerned Scientists hosted a congressional meeting this morning (October 30, 2019) to discuss the report and the effect neglecting science in policy has on marginalized communities. A link to view the [...]

U.S. Air Quality Broken Down by Region

October 29th, 2019|Comments Off on U.S. Air Quality Broken Down by Region

The National Bureau of Economic Research released a report this month investigating the recent increase in air pollution by region in the United States. After a decade of improving air quality with a decrease in the presence of particulate air matter by 25%, the United States has experienced an increase pollution between 2016 and 2018. The largest increases have stemmed out of the Midwest and West. The report speculates that pollution increases are the result of higher economic activity, lower environmental regulatory enforcement, and wildfires. Read More.

A Call for Further Cleanup at the CTS of Asheville Superfund Site

October 28th, 2019|Comments Off on A Call for Further Cleanup at the CTS of Asheville Superfund Site

The CTS metal plating facility, located in Asheville, NC, shut down its operations over 32 years ago however its remaining chemicals are still impacting neighboring communities. Listed as a Superfund Site, the CTS plant has leaked toxic chemicals currently detected in surrounding groundwater and soil systems. Lee Ann Smith, cofounder of P.O.W.E.R., journeyed to Washington, D.C. last week to encourage further cleanup efforts from the EPA on top of the progress that has already been made. Further, Smith is supporting the cleanup of other sites by supporting a Polluter Pays Bill. Read More.

Superfund Updates for Minden, West Virginia

October 25th, 2019|Comments Off on Superfund Updates for Minden, West Virginia

Minden, WV is home to the Shaffer Equipment/Arbuckle Creek Area Superfund Site for nearly 30 years. This past Wednesday, October 23rd, community members met with agency officials from the EPA, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to discuss future plans for the remediation of the site. Plans include further soil and water sampling and excavation and cap repair. The site was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in May of 2019 that will help to provide more funds for the sampling and removal of contaminants in and around the river. Read More.

Akron, OH Receives Grant to Remove Lead From Homes

October 24th, 2019|Comments Off on Akron, OH Receives Grant to Remove Lead From Homes

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has awarded Akron, Ohio $4.6 million to assist in lead removal in homes. HUD is releasing grant money to communities combatting lead exposure as a part of the National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. With the assistance of the grant, Akron will be able to control lead hazards in 250 homes and perform a "healthy homes" assessment for an additional 150 housing units. HUD has released additional grants to Summit County, the city of Cleveland, and Cuyahoga County. Read More.

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

October 23rd, 2019|Comments Off on National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

October 20th to the 26th is established as National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. This week is designed to bring annual attention to the dangers of lead exposure and how communities, agencies, and the government can work together to limit those exposures. The EPA began the week by releasing a progress report on the government's plan to reduce childhood exposure to lead. The EPA, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), are working to bring awareness and organize preventive measures to reduce children vulnerability to lead. Read More.

Superfund Program Under the Trump Administration Report

October 22nd, 2019|Comments Off on Superfund Program Under the Trump Administration Report

The Center for Health, Environment & Justice has established a report on the U.S. EPA's Superfund Program Under the Trump Administration. CHEJ has closely followed Superfund under President Trump since he made the program a central part of his EPA. The findings presented in the report conclude that President Trump has targeted Superfund sites with majority white communities, medium income communities and where there are deep corporate pockets to pay for cleanup. Further, the Trump administration has cut Superfund funding to a new low. To continue funding, Representative Blumenauer (D-OR) has proposed the Superfund Reinvestment Act (H.R. 4088). Superfund Program Under [...]

Colorado Health Report Released on Oil and Gas Drilling

October 18th, 2019|Comments Off on Colorado Health Report Released on Oil and Gas Drilling

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released a multiyear report examining the impact of oil and gas drilling on residents living within 2,000 feet of fracking sites. The study found that individuals that live in proximity to a site have increased exposure to benzene and other chemicals that cause nosebleeds, headaches, and trouble breathing. Colorado officials are looking into more air monitoring near homes and stricter regulations on air emissions while more research is conducted to fully examine the health risks associated with oil and gas production. Read More.

Denver Elementary Schools Piloting Outdoor Air Monitors

October 17th, 2019|Comments Off on Denver Elementary Schools Piloting Outdoor Air Monitors

Ten elementary schools in Denver, Colorado have encouraged an outdoor air quality monitoring pilot program to reduce the risk of pollution exposure to students. Real-time monitoring results, provided by the Love My Air program, will be displayed on large screens in the schools for students and teachers to see if air quality conditions are healthy for students. The goal of the program is to test for high levels of particulate matter that are known to increase conditions of asthma and heart disease. The pilot program is predicted to begin in December 2019. Read More.

Chesapeake Bay States are Opposed to EPA Rollbacks

October 15th, 2019|Comments Off on Chesapeake Bay States are Opposed to EPA Rollbacks

In September, the EPA revoked two rules involved with the protection of clean water and air that could have serious effects on how states neighboring the Chesapeake Bay can regulate for pollution. The Trump administration has set out to rollback regulations that inhibit economic growth, as said to have been done by the 2015 Clean Water Rule that protected any "navigable" water system. The rollbacks wont affect states like Maryland that enforce greater pollution regulations than the federal government, however, the state will have a harder time limiting pollution from neighboring states that follow the federal rollback. Now the EPA [...]

The EPA is Changing the Rules on Lead Testing in Water

October 11th, 2019|Comments Off on The EPA is Changing the Rules on Lead Testing in Water

The EPA has revealed new rules for drinking water quality testing and water line repair actions for the presence of lead. The updated regulations are the first significant changes since the establishment of the lead and copper standards in 1991. The new rules will require water testing in all homes with lead service lines and the production of a public inventory listing all lead water systems. Additional rules include federal action towards replacing sections of contaminated pipes. Some environmental advocates claim that although the updated regulations are a start, they do not hit at the root cause of the lead contamination: replacing the 6 million lead service [...]

Northern California Goes Dark

October 10th, 2019|Comments Off on Northern California Goes Dark

On Wednesday, October 9, PG&E shut off power for over 800,000 customers in Northern California. As California's wildfire season rages on, the electrical company has decided to shut off all power to prevent the spark of another wildfire caused by equipment malfunctions. Opinions are varied by the company's decision to blackout 34 counties. The power outages were preempted by last year's Camp Fires that destroyed nearly 14,000 homes and took 85 lives. However, customers with medical conditions that require consistent sources to electricity are concerned about how long the power outages will last. Read More.

Former pollution advisory group will continue to meet as normal

October 10th, 2019|Comments Off on Former pollution advisory group will continue to meet as normal

Next month, the former particulate matter advisory group will meet publicly to continue their work studying the effects of air pollution on human health, despite having been fired by the Trump administration a year ago. The group will convene at the same location it met last year to discuss the 21 million Americans that are subjected to adverse health effects from air pollution and pollution from fossil fuels. This is not the first time a group has reassembled to discuss environmental concerns despite dismissal from Trump's EPA. Scientists and environmental experts are continuing to meet to fight for the health and safety of [...]

Talking to Children About Climate Change

October 9th, 2019|Comments Off on Talking to Children About Climate Change

September marked a month of climate change discussions and activism from younger generations across the world. In the wake of the hundreds of student organized protests that took place at then end of the month, professional psychiatrists are encouraging parents to have honest conversations with their children about their fears connected with climate change. Health professionals are advising parents to discuss the problems associated with warming temperatures, the solutions groups are currently working on, and potential changes families can implement in their own homes to reduce their carbon footprint. Read More.

The EPA Takes a Step Towards Removing Lead in School Water

October 8th, 2019|Comments Off on The EPA Takes a Step Towards Removing Lead in School Water

As Children's Health Month continues, the Environmental Protection Agency has released a memorandum stating its improved action towards eliminating lead contamination in school and childcare water systems. In support of the Lead Action Plan, the EPA's MOU lists ways partnering agencies, water utilities, and community health specialists can work together to train, identify, and remove lead from children's drinking water. Read More.

Record Breaking Heat for October

October 8th, 2019|Comments Off on Record Breaking Heat for October

As we start to settle into the cooler Fall temperatures, the Washington Post reflects on the record breaking heat that took over the first week of October. Weather stations with data that date back 40 years show that nearly 30 states along the eastern side of the country experienced record high temperatures for October. Some stations established that the early October numbers were higher than temperatures some states had received all year. Read More.

School buses are set for an upgrade

October 4th, 2019|Comments Off on School buses are set for an upgrade

The EPA has announced a $10 million grant that will go towards replacing older models of school buses that emit more pollution compared to newer models. By replacing older model school buses, the EPA has informed that the change will result in a 90% pollution reduction from buses that are heavy emitters of particulate matter and nitrogen oxide, two pollutants that can increase conditions of respiratory disease and asthma for riders. As Children's Health Month starts, the EPA is working to ensure that all aspects of the school environment maintain a healthy space for students to learn and develop, including the ride to and from [...]

We are All on the Titanic & Can See the Iceberg Ahead

October 3rd, 2019|Comments Off on We are All on the Titanic & Can See the Iceberg Ahead

We are All on the Titanic Editors note:  Peter Montague wrote this years ago and thought it was more relevant today than ever. Environmental injustice arises when people of color and/or people of below-average income are (a) unfairly burdened with bad environments, or (b) unfairly denied good environments, or (c) harmed because vulnerabilities leave them especially prone to injury from "normal" or "average" circumstances. Having been active in the Environmental Justice (EJ) movement for the last decade (and supplying it with information for the past 30 years), I've come to believe that the EJ frame is now too narrow. New [...]

Wildfires in the west and their increasing impact of human health

October 2nd, 2019|Comments Off on Wildfires in the west and their increasing impact of human health

The NRDC has released a report examining data on the growing increase of wildfires in the 11 states and the impact those fires have on human health. It was found that wildfires cause more than $2 billion in health costs and hundreds of premature deaths from asthma and heart attacks.  The smoke caused by wildfires has the capacity to spread far greater than the location of the fire and spread pollutants such as particulate matter, ozone precursors, and carbon monoxide. Wildfires and their associated health impacts are becoming more problematic as climate temperatures continue to rise and drought seasons lengthen in the eastern and western sides of the country. [...]

Huffington Post releases a series on the North Birmingham Superfund site

September 30th, 2019|Comments Off on Huffington Post releases a series on the North Birmingham Superfund site

The Huffington Post has concluded a three part series on the environment and public health crisis that has taken over the 35th Avenue Birmingham Superfund site. The three articles cover the history of the Superfund site and examine the current health crisis that remains for residents still exposed to contaminants left by a legacy of production in North Birmingham. Read Part One Read Part Two Read Part Three

Climate Strikes Continue

September 27th, 2019|Comments Off on Climate Strikes Continue

Today marks the second Friday of the Youth Climate Strikes that are taking place in over 150 countries worldwide. Students across Virginia have gathered in Richmond to join in and participate, along with the millions of other individuals across the globe, in speaking out against climate change and the need for immediate political action. Read More.

Tropical Storm Imelda leads to a wake up call for the Texas chemical industry

September 25th, 2019|Comments Off on Tropical Storm Imelda leads to a wake up call for the Texas chemical industry

The eastern coast of Texas has proven to be a vulnerable spot for natural disasters, tropical storms, and facility pollution. In the wake of tropical storm Imelda, the Houston and Baytown areas have reported a release of tens of thousands of pounds of pollutants due to the power outages, shutdowns, and storage tank failures caused by the storm. After the facility failures following Hurricane Harvey, legislators and industries have called for more stringent regulations and technology on storage tank in order to prevent future failures from approaching storms. Read More.

New Jersey faucet filters keep out lead contamination

September 24th, 2019|Comments Off on New Jersey faucet filters keep out lead contamination

New Jersey officials announced Monday, September 23, that EPA approved faucet filters have effectively made water in Newark, NJ safe to drink from lead contamination. The state is now waiting for the Trump administration to pass the Clean Water State Revolving Fund that will allow states to reallocate funds to address public health problems. New Jersey has been able to replace more than 900 of the 6,500 homes in Newark that have requested lead service line replacements. The passage of the bill will allow the city to be able to further replace the 18,000 privately owned service lines throughout Newark. Read More.

The United Nations meets to discuss the future on climate change

September 23rd, 2019|Comments Off on The United Nations meets to discuss the future on climate change

On Friday, millions of individuals stopped work in schools and offices to take to the streets to participate in the worldwide Youth Climate Strike. Youths across the world voiced their concerns of rising global temperatures and increased health effects in an effort to demand action from global political leaders. Today these leaders have gathered in New York at the Climate Action Summit to discuss what steps need to be taken to lower global greenhouse emissions and stall further climate change destruction. Read More.

CHEJ Joins Falls Church Climate March

September 20th, 2019|Comments Off on CHEJ Joins Falls Church Climate March

Just down the street from CHEJ's headquarters was our local Falls Church City Climate march. Over one hundred people joined others across the globe to speak up and out about the urgency of really addressing our climate crisis. Today is the Global Climate Strike, inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. As people took to the streets in Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia, we host a roundtable discussion with youth activists organizing marches in the United States — in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis — ahead of next week’s U.N. Climate Action Summit. We are joined by Xiye [...]

Michigan takes action to collect PFAS across the state

September 19th, 2019|Comments Off on Michigan takes action to collect PFAS across the state

The state of Michigan has approved a $1.4 million budget for the collection of PFAS containing substances in fire departments and airports across the state. A survey conducted in 2018 found that 326 out of 762 fire departments in the state use PFAS Class B AFFF (aqueous film forming form). The PFAS liquid will be collected and solidified for safe storage in a hazardous waste landfill in Belleville, MI. Read More.

NC got an ‘F’ for unsafe school drinking water.

September 18th, 2019|Comments Off on NC got an ‘F’ for unsafe school drinking water.

North Carolina was among 22 states that got an “F” grade for not getting rid of lead from school drinking water, according to Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund. This week, Environment North Carolina released a back-to-school toolkit that gives the public information on how to get the lead out of schools. Read more.

Sacrifice Zones Training Call

September 17th, 2019|Comments Off on Sacrifice Zones Training Call

Thank you for registering for CHEJ's Free Training Call about Sacrifice Zones. Materials for the call can be found below. Training Call Sacrifice Zones Presentation_9.17.2019 EJSCREEN Report (Marathon Petroleum Company)

Trump administration proposes new pipeline protesting punishments

September 16th, 2019|Comments Off on Trump administration proposes new pipeline protesting punishments

The Trump administration has proposed legislation that will make any act "inhibiting the operation" of a gas or oil pipeline punishable for up to 20 years in prison. Current federal law already makes any attempt or action of damaging or destroying a pipeline punishable by prison. The administration now wants to expand on current legislation to any pipeline opposition that prohibits the productivity in construction of a pipeline. Some states have already been enforcing such strict laws on protesters; however, environmental activists question if the law is an encroachment on First Amendment rights. Read More.

Proposed legislation in Ohio will ban the use of PFAS foam in fire fighting training

September 13th, 2019|Comments Off on Proposed legislation in Ohio will ban the use of PFAS foam in fire fighting training

Represnetative Brian Baldridge proposed a bill that will prohibit Dayton, Ohio fire departments from training with PFAS infused foam. The dangerous chemical has been found to have contaminated an aquifer underneath the fire training center that sources the city's drinking water. The bill still allows for the use of the foam in necessary fire fighting circumstances; however, departments must find an alternative training source by January 1, 2020. Read More.

Portland City makes movement towards cleaning Willamette Superfund Site

September 13th, 2019|Comments Off on Portland City makes movement towards cleaning Willamette Superfund Site

The Portland City Council approved an ordinance on Wednesday, September 11 to appropriate $2 million towards a cleanup plan for the Willamette Cove Superfund Site. Established as a Superfund site in 2000, the contaminated river has experienced slow cleanup, despite having a total of 150 known potentially responsible parties. City officials have predicted that the plan will take three to four years to complete and a total of $8.1 million that will be divided evenly among at least four of the responsible parties. The city hopes this plan will create greater collaboration with the EPA and encourage other responsible parties to get involved in the [...]

Rue Mapp – Outdoor Afro Wins Heinz Award

September 12th, 2019|Comments Off on Rue Mapp – Outdoor Afro Wins Heinz Award

Rue Mapp received the 24th Heinz Award in the Environment category for her role in developing and training a national network of African American conservation leaders, for building a more diverse voice in natural resource stewardship and for inspiring African Americans to rediscover their historic connections to the outdoors.   Through her work, Ms. Mapp is challenging the historical narrative that has caused many African Americans to be wary of the great outdoors as a place where racial violence took place. Outdoor Afro is addressing the legacy of mid-20th century, discriminatory Jim Crow laws that discouraged African Americans from visiting public [...]

Court says “NO” to PennEast’s Pipeline in New Jersey

September 11th, 2019|Comments Off on Court says “NO” to PennEast’s Pipeline in New Jersey

In a decision that could have implications for Pennsylvania landowners in the path of PennEast’s $1 billion natural gas pipeline, a U.S. appeals court on Tuesday barred the company from using federal law to seize properties controlled by New Jersey. New Jersey, which opposes construction of the 120-mile pipeline, did not consent to PennEast’s condemnation of 42 properties preserved by the state for farmland or open space. Read More.

EPA announces completion of Superfund Task Force

September 10th, 2019|Comments Off on EPA announces completion of Superfund Task Force

The Environmental Protection Agency announced the completion of the Superfund Task Force and issued the Task Force's report on Superfund work within the last two years. The announcement was made on Monday at a sight visit to Superfund site, American Cyanamid, of Bridgewater, New Jersey. Present at the site was EPA Assistant Administrator, Peter Wright, and Regional Administrator, Pete Lopez, who presented the Task Force's targets for continued site cleanups. Read More.

Water Infrastructure Bill Passes U.S. Senate

September 10th, 2019|Comments Off on Water Infrastructure Bill Passes U.S. Senate

The Water Infrastructure Funding Transfer Act would give states facing public health crises from lead in drinking water the flexibility to make a one-time transfer, up to $100 million, of the federal funds in their Clean Water State Revolving Fund to their Drinking Water State Revolving Fund for projects that will remove lead from drinking water. Read More.

Water contamination found around homes in Western Michigan

September 9th, 2019|Comments Off on Water contamination found around homes in Western Michigan

  A number of houses surrounding the Consumer Energy J.H. Campbell Coal Plant in West Olive, Michigan found high levels of radium, arsenic, and lead in the local water supply. It is currently unclear if the contamination is a result of groundwater leakage from the plant's coal ash pond. Further testing is needed to determine the exact source of contamination and how it entered into the groundwater supply. Read More.

Superfund sites in North Carolina stop operations in preparation for Hurricane Dorian

September 6th, 2019|Comments Off on Superfund sites in North Carolina stop operations in preparation for Hurricane Dorian

The Environmental Protection Agency has paused operations at three Superfund sites in North Carolina that are projected to be in the direct path of Hurricane Dorian. Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station in Craven County, and Camp Lejeune and ABC One Hour Cleaners in Onslow County all pose potential health risks with the coming storm. The EPA is taking precautionary steps to prevent further toxic release accidents, similar to those resulting from Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and Hurricane Florence in 2018. Read More.

Report assesses the growth of Houston’s plastics industry

September 5th, 2019|Comments Off on Report assesses the growth of Houston’s plastics industry

The Environment Integrity Project released a report assessing the impact of Houston's current plastics industry and the industry's projected expansion. The report reviewed a total of 90 plants in the area revealing that nearly two-thirds of the facilities do not meet current compliance standards. Further, a total of 48 expansion proposals for plastic producing facilities in Houston are projected to add thousands of more tons of pollutants into the air over the next few years. Read More.

Tonawanda Coke plant auction will determine how site is cleaned up

September 3rd, 2019|Comments Off on Tonawanda Coke plant auction will determine how site is cleaned up

A public auction will be held on Monday, September 23 to determine the fate of the property for the late Tonawanda Coke factory. The facility closed its doors in 2018 after being convicted of criminal offenses in wrongful disposal of hazardous waste and exposure to toxic emissions. The auction will determine who will receive ownership of the land for future use and cleanup.  Read More.

Oil lobbyist brags about criminalizing gas and oil pipeline protests

August 28th, 2019|Comments Off on Oil lobbyist brags about criminalizing gas and oil pipeline protests

Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs for oil lobby group American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFRM), bragged about how successful the industry has been in pushing anti-protest legislation, as heard in leaked audio obtained by The Intercept. What kind of protests are we talking about? In this case, pipeline protests. And as more states are passing laws to criminalize these protests, this boasting is nothing to brush off. Read more.

University Park, IL schools shut off drinking fountains due to lead contamination issues

August 28th, 2019|Comments Off on University Park, IL schools shut off drinking fountains due to lead contamination issues

The water samples drawn Aug. 8 at Crete-Monee Middle School found numerous school drinking fountains that tested well above the EPA action level, including one that was 90 times above the level on first draw and 30 times above the level after a 30-second flush, according to district-supplied data. Read more.

Governor of Wisconsin Takes On PFAS

August 26th, 2019|Comments Off on Governor of Wisconsin Takes On PFAS

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has signed an executive order to curb contamination from chemicals in firefighting foam, non-stick cookware and fast-food wrappers, his office announced Friday. The state DNR will have to create a council to develop a PFAS action plan for the state and evaluate the risk PFAS pose to public health. The agency already has a PFAS technical advisory group that examines the chemicals' impact on the state but it doesn't have an appointed membership. Anyone can attend the group's meetings.  The DNR also must develop regulatory standards for the chemicals. Evers' administration in June proposed a new [...]

A look back – Times Beach, MO Evacuated 37 Years Ago

August 26th, 2019|Comments Off on A look back – Times Beach, MO Evacuated 37 Years Ago

Times Beach made national headlines in December 1982 when state and federal health officials declared the town uninhabitable because its unpaved roadways were polluted with dioxin, a toxic chemical.  “Everything that was near and dear to the people in this community. All the houses and the city equipment. Everything that they didn't take with them that was left in their homes is buried here,” said Marilyn Leistner, the last mayor of Times Beach. Read more. Photo:  A copy of the promotion for Times Beach that was published in the St. Louis Times newspaper in 1925. CREDIT ST. LOUIS TIMES

Climate change poses greatest risk for children’s health in Ohio

August 23rd, 2019|Comments Off on Climate change poses greatest risk for children’s health in Ohio

The Ohio Environmental Council released a report Thursday, August 22 addressing Ohio's children at the greatest risk to climate change. As wild fires rage on in the Amazon and carbon dioxide levels cause climate temperatures to rise, the OEC has voiced concern for asthma and allergy problems, water contamination, and dangerous algae blooms <Read More>.

Recent Study Suggests Link Between Air Pollution and Neuropsychiatric Diseases

August 22nd, 2019|Comments Off on Recent Study Suggests Link Between Air Pollution and Neuropsychiatric Diseases

A study released Tuesday, August 20, 2019 by the University of Chicago has linked proximity to air pollution to an increased rate of neuropsychiatric diseases. The study examines the worst polluted counties in both the United States and Denmark and associated data in those counties on cases of bipolar disorder and depression. Counties in the United States with the worst air pollution had a 27 percent increase in bipolar disorder and a 6 percent increase in depression compared to counties with the best air quality. A similar result was observed in polluted counties in Denmark. Computational biologist and member the University of Chicago research [...]

Global Youth Climate Strike

August 21st, 2019|Comments Off on Global Youth Climate Strike

This September, millions of people across the world will walk out of their jobs, classrooms and homes to join in the annual Global Youth Climate Strike. On Friday, September 20 and 27, participants in more than 150 countries will disrupt their daily routines to speak out against the coal, oil, and gas industry with a goal to demand an end to the use of fossil fuels. More information on how to organize a climate strike and strike event locations can be found on the Global Climate Strike website. <Read More>

SC elementary reopening despite toxic ‘Trash Mountain’ fire

August 20th, 2019|Comments Off on SC elementary reopening despite toxic ‘Trash Mountain’ fire

A South Carolina elementary is reopening for the first day of school despite a smoldering, toxic fire in a 50-foot trash pile at a nearby recycling center. About 25 neighbors have evacuated from the neighborhood. The Environmental Protection Agency has found at least one hazardous substance in the area: Acrolein. People can be exposed to that toxin by inhaling it or through skin or eye contact, and it can attack the respiratory system and heart, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.  Read more.

Historic Coal Ash Cleanup in PA

August 14th, 2019|Comments Off on Historic Coal Ash Cleanup in PA

Four environmental groups today announced an historic agreement to reduce toxic pollutants leaking from a power plant’s coal ash dumps into groundwater and the Susquehanna River, the largest Chesapeake Bay tributary. “This enforcement action is one of historic proportions, since it’s the largest penalty ever assessed at a coal ash pollution site in Pennsylvania history,” said David Masur, Executive Director of PennEnvironment. “We are glad to see DEP working with citizen groups to reach this important settlement for the good of the Commonwealth.” Read more.

Lead Filters In NJ Failed as Was the Case in Flint, MI

August 14th, 2019|Comments Off on Lead Filters In NJ Failed as Was the Case in Flint, MI

Residents in Flint, MI said over and over that the filters were not reliable to keep lead out of their tap water. EPA the state and some scientists said that activists were just creating a crisis that didn't exist.  Well, now we see the same thing in NJ. Read about the problem.

Pipeline Explosion in Lincoln County, Kentucky, Kills 1 and Injures 5

August 8th, 2019|Comments Off on Pipeline Explosion in Lincoln County, Kentucky, Kills 1 and Injures 5

Last Thursday, there was a major explosion as part of the Texas Eastern Transmission gas pipeline ruptured, sending flames 300 feet into the air. The explosion killed one, hospitalized five, destroyed railroad tracks and caused the evacuation of the nearby mobile home park. The case was transferred over to federal investigators, who say that corrosion may have contributed to the pipeline rupture. <Read more>   Erica Peterson

According to EPA, East Phillips, Minneapolis Superfund Site Almost Clean

August 6th, 2019|Comments Off on According to EPA, East Phillips, Minneapolis Superfund Site Almost Clean

EPA has almost finished clearing arsenic-contaminated soil at a Superfund site in Southern Minneapolis. The soil became contaminated after an industrial pesticide storage site leached into local soil, affecting 600 homes. This represents the conclusion of EPA's $25 million project to clean the Superfund site. <Read more>

Healthcare Industry Major Source of Harmful Emissions

August 5th, 2019|Comments Off on Healthcare Industry Major Source of Harmful Emissions

Ironically, while the health care industry will be key in responding to new health risks presented from climate change, it's also responsible for creating a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, in the United States alone the healthcare industry is responsible for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions and 9% of of harmful non-greenhouse air pollutants. Jodi Sherman, M.D., associate professor of anesthesiology at the Yale School of Medicine, argues that the healthcare industry should do more to mitigate their impact on public health. <Read more>

37 Injured in Explosion, Fire at Baytown, Texas Exxon Mobile Plant

August 2nd, 2019|Comments Off on 37 Injured in Explosion, Fire at Baytown, Texas Exxon Mobile Plant

On Wednesday, for the fourth time since April, there was an explosion and subsequent fire at a Houston area petrochemical plant. No one was seriously injured, but 37 people suffered from minor burns and injuries. Exxon Mobil's plants in Baytown have a history of chemical violations in leaks, the last being in March. Currently, they are defendants in a lawsuit from Harris County citing environmental violations. <Read more>

Small Victory for North Carolina Property Owners Fighting Atlantic Coast Pipeline

August 1st, 2019|Comments Off on Small Victory for North Carolina Property Owners Fighting Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Wilson County residents and other North Carolina property owners fighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline won a small legal victory Wednesday when a federal judge extended a stay in a dozen cases. “It’s just completely unnecessary expense and aggravation and the judge made a common-sense decision,” Therese Vick (BREDL) said. “This would be just irreparable harm to these folks, these families and farmers and property owners.” <Read more>

New York Has an Ambitious Climate Plan: How Will it Follow Through?

July 30th, 2019|Comments Off on New York Has an Ambitious Climate Plan: How Will it Follow Through?

In an impressive political victory for climate policy advocates, New York recently enacted a comprehensive climate plan that aims to mostly eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. While accomplishing these goals is incredibly necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, it will require significant reforms to the energy sector and an overall shift to renewable energy. The Climate Action Council has two years to draft an action plan to determine the best policies and plans to enact this law. <Read more>

Duke to study health impact of PFAS in Pittsboro, North Carolina residents

July 29th, 2019|Comments Off on Duke to study health impact of PFAS in Pittsboro, North Carolina residents

Some Pittsboro, North Carolina residents have been suspicious of their water since testing in 2017 showed that there were elevated levels of PFAs in Cape Fear River, their main water source. The toxins come from the Chemours Fayetteville Works chemical plant, located upriver of Pittsboro. According to Pittsboro's mayor, very few residents are aware that their water may be contaminated with PFAS. While the levels found weren't technically above the legal limits, research suggests that there isn't a safe level of PFAS contamination in water because the chemical remains in people's systems for extended periods of time. Duke University will be conducting [...]

Removal of toxic waste will begin in Andover, Minnesota landfill

July 25th, 2019|Comments Off on Removal of toxic waste will begin in Andover, Minnesota landfill

On Tuesday, excavation began on the WDE Landfill in Andover, Minnesota, where toxic waste has been locked up since 1983. The landfill has been leaching hazardous chemicals into the surrounding environment since then, as testing found that the landfill lining was leaking. <Read more>

3 Months Later, Texas Petrochemical Fire is Still Being Cleaned Up

July 23rd, 2019|Comments Off on 3 Months Later, Texas Petrochemical Fire is Still Being Cleaned Up

A petrochemical fire (one related to the chemicals used in processing petroleum and natural gas) burned at a storage facility outside of Texas last March. As the Washington Post reports, polluted water and waste are still being cleaned three months later. The fire and delayed cleanup call into question hazardous waste disposal policy: many companies and facilities aren't following proper procedures. <Read more>   David J. Phillip / Associated Press

EPA Will Not Ban Pesticide Linked to Brain Damage in Infants

July 22nd, 2019|Comments Off on EPA Will Not Ban Pesticide Linked to Brain Damage in Infants

Exposure to the pesticide chlorpyrifos has been linked to brain damage in infants and children. California banned it earlier this year, and last August a federal court ordered EPA to ban the chemical. EPA announced last week that it would not ban the pesticide, citing insufficient data. <Read more>   Garry Broome / Associated Press

‘Cooked: Survival by Zip Code’ Documentary Serves as an Important Reminder of Environmental Injustice

July 19th, 2019|Comments Off on ‘Cooked: Survival by Zip Code’ Documentary Serves as an Important Reminder of Environmental Injustice

Two thirds of the continental United States is facing a heat wave this weekend, with temperatures predicted to rise into the high 90s, but to feel much, much hotter. While it's easy to dismiss the implications of extreme weather, heat waves can be incredibly dangerous, especially for low income Americans. The documentary "Cooked" covers an extreme heat wave in Chicago in 1995, where high temperatures and mismanagement by the city lead to the deaths of over 700 people. <Read more> This weekend, remember to take care of your health!

Unhealthy Air Days Have Increased in Cities Across the US

July 18th, 2019|Comments Off on Unhealthy Air Days Have Increased in Cities Across the US

As the Huffington Post Reports, according to recent data from the EPA, the amount of unhealthy air days in major cities across the US have increased in the past two years, even though polluting air emissions have decreased overall. <Read more>

Toxics Spread By Natural Disaster Pose Long Term Danger

July 16th, 2019|Comments Off on Toxics Spread By Natural Disaster Pose Long Term Danger

Recent studies have unveiled the potential long term effect of toxics spread by natural disasters. Evidence shows that in areas where homes were destroyed by wildfires in California there was a higher incidence of toxic chemicals than in areas without homes. Hurricane Maria has been found to cause the spread of PCB contamination throughout Puerto Rico. In a world where toxic chemicals are often common household items, stronger storms have the ability to cause long term contamination. <Read more>

New York Students May Be Drinking More Lead Than Is Safe

July 12th, 2019|Comments Off on New York Students May Be Drinking More Lead Than Is Safe

Currently, the action standard for lead for New York schools is 15 ppb— but research from the NRDC suggests that this is too high, as no level of lead intake is safe for children. They propose lowering New York's lead action standard in schools to 1 ppb, in order to protect children from the affects of lead poisoning. <Read more>

Mining Company Refusing to Clean Colorado Superfund Site

July 11th, 2019|Comments Off on Mining Company Refusing to Clean Colorado Superfund Site

A mining company involved in the Bonita Peak Mining District Site by the Animas River in Colorado is rejecting EPA's order to participate in the clean up of the area. The Superfund Site in question is made up of several inactive mines that have been leaching waste into the nearby Animas River. The site was first established in 2015, when EPA inadvertently triggered a spill from Gold King mine, contaminating river systems with 3 million gallons of toxic wastewater. Sunnyside Gold Corp, the company EPA initially ordered to conduct a groundwater assessment of the area, is now refusing to take action to [...]

PFAS From Fire Suppression Foam Spill in Farmington River, Connecticut

July 9th, 2019|Comments Off on PFAS From Fire Suppression Foam Spill in Farmington River, Connecticut

PFAS are toxic chemicals that are used commonly in packaging and other household products. They tend to accumulate in the environment rather than break down, so PFAS contamination is common in water systems throughout the US. This is particularly dangerous because PFAS consumption has been linked to increased risk of cancer. Last month, PFAS containing foam spilled into the Farmington River in Connecticut, near Windsor. Residents were upset and concerned about the implications of the contamination for their water systems. One of the most common uses of PFAS is in the foam firefighters use in order to put out fires. [...]

Philadelphia Refinery Explosion Yet Another Close Call With Hydrogen Fluoride

July 8th, 2019|Comments Off on Philadelphia Refinery Explosion Yet Another Close Call With Hydrogen Fluoride

This past month, Philadelphia was rocked by a massive refinery explosion that released smoke and toxic chemicals into the sky. The explosion occurred at 4am and was visible throughout the city, and residents were warned to shelter in place until the fire was more contained. Luckily, reports indicate that no one was killed, but five workers were injured in the explosion. The refinery in question, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, has been responsible in the past for 72% of Philadelphia's toxic emissions. After this explosion, the refinery will close. However, the explosion was nearly deadly, as the fires could have moved to [...]

High levels of arsenic found in bottled water brand

July 3rd, 2019|Comments Off on High levels of arsenic found in bottled water brand

Last Monday, Keurig Dr. Pepper announced they would be pulling their bottled water brand Peñafiel from the shelves, as a report found the arsenic levels in their water to be non compliant with FDA bottled water standards. One of the reports in question, by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), found both Peñafiel and Starkey bottled water to contain high levels of arsenic. Peñafiel is sold at Target and Walmart, and Starkey is sold at Whole Foods. Arsenic in water bottles may be more common of a problem than we think: a study conducted last April found 11/130 bottled water brands sold [...]

How Should We Talk to Our Kids About Climate Change?

June 28th, 2019|Comments Off on How Should We Talk to Our Kids About Climate Change?

As Laura M. Holson from the New York Times reports, as climate change dialogue is increasing across the country, be it through realistic portrayals or fictionalized Hollywood movies, children are increasingly nervous about the prospect of impending disaster. Children, especially, are feeling the impacts of our overall anxiety about climate change because much of the messaging is directed at them, explaining how our children are the ones that will feel the worst impacts of our warming planet. As climate change becomes a very real issue weighing on our kids' minds, here are some ways to explore the topic to help our kids feel [...]

After a Close Call with Hydrogen Fluoride, Twin Ports is Uniting to Ban it

June 28th, 2019|Comments Off on After a Close Call with Hydrogen Fluoride, Twin Ports is Uniting to Ban it

Husky Superior Refinery Burns on April 26th, 2018 //  Bob King, Duluth News Tribune On April 26th, 2018, a massive plume of black smoke exploded into the sky above Superior, Wisconsin. When Ginger Juel saw the ominous black cloud from her Duluth, Minnesota home across the water, and she immediately knew that something was wrong. However, when she turned on the news to see what was going on, there were no reports of any black smoke. Being a lifetime Twin Ports (Duluth, MN and Superior, WI) resident, she was especially concerned because she knew the smoke was billowing from Husky [...]

EPA Strengthening Lead Dust Standards to Protect Children

June 27th, 2019|Comments Off on EPA Strengthening Lead Dust Standards to Protect Children

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced last Friday that the EPA is strengthening standards for lead dust, especially in schools and work places, throughout the county. Their updates include reducing the amount of dust considered to be a hazard in an attempt to better reflect the amount of lead that can impact children. These new standards focus on lead dust on floors and on windowsills. <Read more>

Sign the Petition Demanding a DNC Climate Debate!

June 25th, 2019|Comments Off on Sign the Petition Demanding a DNC Climate Debate!

Why isn't the DNC holding a climate debate?  In the past two weeks, climate change activists have been furiously protesting after Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez announced that he did not support the Democratic party having a climate specific debate for the 202o elections. According to Perez, holding a climate debate would be putting too much focus on a single issue, especially when there are candidates like Jay Inslee who are focusing their entire campaign around climate change. However, environmental organizations don't see climate as only  a single issue, rather the issue that will define everything in the [...]

Supreme Court Decides to Uphold Virginia’s Uranium Mining Ban

June 24th, 2019|Comments Off on Supreme Court Decides to Uphold Virginia’s Uranium Mining Ban

Last Monday, the Supreme Court ruled on Virginia Uranium vs. Warren, a case questioning whether Virginia had the authority to ban Uranium mining, the New York Times Reports. The justices were deciding whether the Atomic Energy Act, a federal law regarding Uranium, would overturn Virginia's decision to ban the practice after a fierce battle beginning in the 1970s, when Uranium was first discovered in the state. The Supreme Court upheld Virginia's right to ban Uranium Mining, with Justice Neil M. Gorusch (joined by Justice Thomas and Justice Kavanaugh) stating that states should have the authority to regulate their own policies on mining. Justice [...]

Members of Seneca Nation paddle 290 miles for peace down Ohi:yo’ (Allegheny) River, Pennsylvania

June 21st, 2019|Comments Off on Members of Seneca Nation paddle 290 miles for peace down Ohi:yo’ (Allegheny) River, Pennsylvania

Members of the Seneca Nation paddled down the entire 290 miles of the Allegheny River, called Ohi:yo' (meaning beautiful river) in the Seneca language, in a journey called Paddle for Peace to Protect Our Waters. The journey has been organized by Seneca cause Defend Ohi:yo', a group that helped stop corporations from dumping treated fracking water in the river just last year. The purpose of the journey is to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the environment and to protest a proposed pipeline project that will threaten the region's rivers. <Read more> One of many bends down the 290 mile length of Ohi:yo' [...]

Vermont to require schools to test for lead in their water

June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on Vermont to require schools to test for lead in their water

Vermont legislators have just passed a bill that will require schools to test water for lead, and that will require the state to pay for it. The bill comes after increased national concern about potential toxins in school water systems: just last year, Vermont tested water in 16 schools, and all were found to have traces of lead in their water. <Read more> Corroded faucets can be a source of water contamination / Pixabay Creative Commons

EPA advisory group to hold 3 community meetings about Superfund site on Kalamazoo River, Michigan

June 19th, 2019|Comments Off on EPA advisory group to hold 3 community meetings about Superfund site on Kalamazoo River, Michigan

As WWMT News reports, an EPA advisory group will hold three community meetings for the Allied Paper, Portage Creek, Kalamazoo River Superfund Site. These meetings are meant to serve as town halls for the community to discuss the status as the clean up, as well as the role of Michigan and Natural Resource Trustees in the clean up. Each meeting will discuss a different aspect of the Superfund Site clean up. <Read more> Portage Creek Superfund site on the Kalamazoo River    Jeremy M Wintworth, Creative Commons  

Barrels of dioxins found in Oregon lake reveal history of contamination

June 18th, 2019|Comments Off on Barrels of dioxins found in Oregon lake reveal history of contamination

In August 2018, a dive group found barrels containing the two specific toxic chemicals required to make Agent Orange at the bottom of Wallowa Lake, Digital Journal reports. One of these chemicals is known to be contaminated with dioxins, which were used in Oregon forests as a herbicide until higher rates of miscarriages were reported in 1979. Residents were alarmed, not only because the lake is treasured by the community but also because it provides drinking water to the nearby town Joseph. However, Oregon DEQ still has not pulled these barrels out of the lake. <Read more> Wallowa Lake, 1 [...]

Elementary school to be constructed near hazardous waste site in North Carolina

June 17th, 2019|Comments Off on Elementary school to be constructed near hazardous waste site in North Carolina

A new elementary school in Moore County, North Carolina, is to be constructed between two Superfund sites threatened by high levels of air pollution, NC Policy Watch reports. According to the city, the site bears no heightened risk of contamination, but CHEJ science director Stephen Lester isn't so sure. Stephen shares CHEJ's findings that there is no scientifically proven "safe distance" from pollution sites, and he calls into question effectiveness of current school siting guidelines. He recommends that parents sending their kids to the new Aberdeen elementary school in the future be incredibly vigilent about changes in their children's health. The Moore [...]

Why is so much of the US experiencing extreme flooding?

June 13th, 2019|Comments Off on Why is so much of the US experiencing extreme flooding?

In 2019, the Midwest has experienced unprecedented flooding, BBC reports. The flooding is tied to the increased frequency of rainstorms: not only have they been stronger, but there's less time for water levels to recede between each one. Floods can be especially damaging for farmers, who's crops are increasingly threatened by rising waters. <Read more>  

Drinking water in the US isn’t as safe as we think

June 12th, 2019|Comments Off on Drinking water in the US isn’t as safe as we think

  drinking water from an American homeowner's tap While drinking water in the United States is some of the safest in the world, that doesn't mean that everyone should be drinking the water that comes out of their tap. Water scientist Joan Rose reports in the Great Lakes Echo that 43 states have toxic fluoride contamination in their water (PFAS), and many agricultural communities face arsenic and nitrate contamination from agricultural runoff. Every single person on the planet needs to drink water in order to survive, and for many families, buying bottled water becomes an unfair financial burden. [...]

Minden, West Virginia Marches On After Superfund Designation

June 10th, 2019|Comments Off on Minden, West Virginia Marches On After Superfund Designation

From the leaders of Minden's movement for justice:  Reflecting on the March for Minden On Saturday, June 8th, over 150 Minden residents and allies marched through Minden into Oak Hill to bring awareness to the long-term impacts of PCB exposure. They took to the streets to memorialize the Minden residents who they believe lost their lives to PCBs, to support those who are currently suffering from PCB-related illnesses and to pay tribute to the activism that first brought attention to toxic dumping in Minden in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The march was a 30th anniversary historical reenactment of an event [...]

Are your kids playing on Toxic Waste?

June 7th, 2019|Comments Off on Are your kids playing on Toxic Waste?

Has your local park been constructed on top of a Superfund site?  Across America, Superfund sites, some of the most contaminated areas in the country, have been converted into parks and field complexes used by our kids. CHEJ Science Director Stephen Lester is featured in a ABC7 Spotlight on America investigation by Joce Sterman addressing his concerns about the safety of these areas, due to their high levels of under treated toxic waste. Stephen explained to Sterman that "'If my kids were going to play on that field I’d want to have a certain comfort level in how much cleanup occurred [...]

Internal emails reveal how the chemical lobby fights regulation

June 6th, 2019|Comments Off on Internal emails reveal how the chemical lobby fights regulation

Jayne DePotter spent almost a decade making her Michigan jewelry studio a second home for young artists seeking direction, seniors looking to exercise their hands and minds and new immigrants in search of community. <Read more>.

Pennsylvania Families Win Settlement Against Fracking Operation

June 6th, 2019|Comments Off on Pennsylvania Families Win Settlement Against Fracking Operation

Almost 10 years ago, the Haney and Voyles families of Washington County, Pennsylvania, began suspecting that a nearby fracking operation was contaminating their community and threatening their health. Family members noticed their water smelled strange, and they suffered from frequent headaches, nosebleeds, dizziness and extreme fatigue to the point where Haney's son was diagnosed with Arsenic poisoning. In 2012, the families sued Range Resources, and journalist Eliza Griswold documented their struggle in her 2019 Pulitzer Prize winning book "Amity and Prosperity". After seven years, the high profile fracking suit has ended in a settlement, information released to the public via an [...]

Opinion: Fix trade secret law to protect precious water from fracking

June 5th, 2019|Comments Off on Opinion: Fix trade secret law to protect precious water from fracking

If the public is going to have a robust debate about the merits of fracking, both sides need to know what's being pumped into the ground. <Read more>.

Pipeline Opponents Strike Back Against Anti-Protest Laws

June 3rd, 2019|Comments Off on Pipeline Opponents Strike Back Against Anti-Protest Laws

Opponents of and gas pipelines in three states are fighting back against new anti-protest laws aimed at suppressing fossil fuel industry dissent. <Read more>.

March for Minden

May 30th, 2019|Comments Off on March for Minden

Join us June 8th in Minden, WV This March will be taking place on the 30th anniversary of a march that happened in June 1989. The participants are marching again for the same basic needs. We are reenacting the march by using the same route, recruiting the same allies, and bringing awareness to the same issue. The March for Minden is to increase awareness about the problems that face the toxic town of Minden.  Participants will be remembering those who have needlessly lost their lives because of toxic PCB exposure, showing support for those who are currently suffering from PCB [...]

Naomi Klein: ‘Big green groups are more damaging than climate deniers’

May 28th, 2019|Comments Off on Naomi Klein: ‘Big green groups are more damaging than climate deniers’

Environment movement is in 'deep denial' over the right ways to tackle climate change, says Canadian author. <Read more>.

First Responders, Health Professionals Question EPA’s Decision to Hide Fracking Chemicals

May 24th, 2019|Comments Off on First Responders, Health Professionals Question EPA’s Decision to Hide Fracking Chemicals

This month, representatives of a group of first responders, health professionals and scientists questioned EPA’s decision to withhold the secret identities of 41 chemicals used for oil and natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing that the EPA’s own regulators identified as posing health risks. <Read more>.

New Resources Lead & Water Schools or Infrastructure

May 22nd, 2019|Comments Off on New Resources Lead & Water Schools or Infrastructure

New EPA Drinking Water Grant Programs For More Information, Click Here! U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the availability of nearly $87 million in grant funding to assist states, tribes, and territories with improving drinking water. States, tribes, and territories are eligible to receive funding from two new EPA drinking water grant programs established by the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN): Under EPA's new Voluntary Lead Testing in Schools and Child Care grant program, EPA will award $43.7 million in grants to fund testing for lead in drinking water at schools and child care programs. Testing [...]

ALEC Wants to Make Protest Illegal in Illinois

May 22nd, 2019|Comments Off on ALEC Wants to Make Protest Illegal in Illinois

Dangerous anti-protest legislation is working its way through state assemblies all across the U.S., chipping away at the right to protest and undermining social justice movements. <Read more>

E.P.A. Plans to Get Thousands of Deaths Off the Books by Changing Its Math

May 20th, 2019|Comments Off on E.P.A. Plans to Get Thousands of Deaths Off the Books by Changing Its Math

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to change the way it calculates the future health risks of air pollution, a shift that would predict thousands of fewer deaths and would help justify the planned rollback of a key climate change measure, according to five people with knowledge of the agency’s plans. <Read more>

Frantic parents fear for kids after radioactive contamination found at Ohio middle school

May 16th, 2019|Comments Off on Frantic parents fear for kids after radioactive contamination found at Ohio middle school

Ashley Day has always worried about the health risks of living a few miles from a defunct nuclear power plant in Piketon, Ohio. So, ... <read more>

City, state in $24M deal to spur Portland Harbor Superfund work

May 15th, 2019|Comments Off on City, state in $24M deal to spur Portland Harbor Superfund work

Portland and Oregon have struck a deal with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency aimed at accelerating work on the Portland Harbor Superfund cleanup. <Read more>.

Minden added to EPA’s Superfund National Priorities List

May 13th, 2019|Comments Off on Minden added to EPA’s Superfund National Priorities List

Minden, a small Fayette County [WV] community, is now officially on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priorities List of Superfund sites, making it a federal priority for enforcement, cleanup and funding. <Read more>

At UN meeting, governments agree to a global ban on PFOA – a toxic water pollutant

May 13th, 2019|Comments Off on At UN meeting, governments agree to a global ban on PFOA – a toxic water pollutant

Governments at the 9thConference of the Parties (COP9) of the Stockholm Convention agreed to a global ban on PFOA – a chemical that does not break down and causes adverse health effects at background levels. <Read more>.

California to ban controversial pesticide, citing effects on child brain development

May 10th, 2019|Comments Off on California to ban controversial pesticide, citing effects on child brain development

California, one of the nation’s largest agricultural states, announced plans Wednesday to ban the widely used pesticide chlorpyrifos linked to neurological problems in infants and children even as federal regulators have allowed the product to remain on the market. Read more.

Oregon’s Zombie LNG Terminal-Alive-Dead-Alive-Dead

May 9th, 2019|Comments Off on Oregon’s Zombie LNG Terminal-Alive-Dead-Alive-Dead

Oregon DEQ denies Jordan Cove LNG water quality permit. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality on Monday denied a water quality certification for the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and its feeder pipeline, the Pacific Connector pipeline, though the agency left the door open for the company to reapply. In a letter Monday to the project backers, the agency said “DEQ does not have a reasonable assurance that the construction and authorization of the project will comply with applicable Oregon water quality standards.”  Read more.

United States : Settlement will provide nearly $21 Million for Cleanup at the Ringwood Mines/Landfill Superfund Site in New Jersey

May 8th, 2019|Comments Off on United States : Settlement will provide nearly $21 Million for Cleanup at the Ringwood Mines/Landfill Superfund Site in New Jersey

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Justice and the state of New Jersey announced the filing of a consent decree with the Ford Motor Company (Ford) and the Borough of Ringwood, New Jersey, to address remaining land-based contamination in three areas of the Ringwood Mines/Landfill Superfund Site in Ringwood, New Jersey. Read more here.

Bill would make pollution information secret for companies that self-audit passes House panel in Oklahoma

May 2nd, 2019|Comments Off on Bill would make pollution information secret for companies that self-audit passes House panel in Oklahoma

With assurances from its author that no existing environmental rules will change, a bill that would allow industries to avoid some penalties and keep self-audits of pollution issues secret passed the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday. Read more here.

More Than 141 Million Americans Are Breathing Unhealthy Air as Pollution Worsens

April 29th, 2019|Comments Off on More Than 141 Million Americans Are Breathing Unhealthy Air as Pollution Worsens

More than 141 millions Americans lived in areas with unhealthy air pollution levels in 2015 to 2017 — an increase over the previous two years, as ozone pollution worsened across much of the country, according to a new report released Wednesday.   Read more here.

The betrayal: How a lawyer, a lobbyist and a legislator waged war on an Alabama Superfund cleanup

April 26th, 2019|Comments Off on The betrayal: How a lawyer, a lobbyist and a legislator waged war on an Alabama Superfund cleanup

Roberson and Joel Gilbert, a powerhouse lawyer with Balch & Bingham, had fought off environmental rules before. But for this campaign they needed a public face, someone with credibility both with the state government in Montgomery and the black communities in north Birmingham. Someone who could persuade the people living on contaminated land to protest not the pollution, but the cleanup. By early 2014, they had chosen Oliver L. Robinson Jr. (D), an African American state legislator and former University of Alabama at Birmingham basketball star. Read the entire story.

It’s dust and oil and dirt and it stinks:’ How climate change fouls the air

April 25th, 2019|Comments Off on It’s dust and oil and dirt and it stinks:’ How climate change fouls the air

Every day, Ron Baptiste’s home in West Long Beach is invaded by dust and ash. If he cleans it in the morning, his shelves and furniture are coated again by the afternoon. Read more here.

Democratic Senators Announce Creation of an Environmental Justice Caucus

April 24th, 2019|Comments Off on Democratic Senators Announce Creation of an Environmental Justice Caucus

Senators Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), and Tom Carper (D-Delaware) announced the formation of an environmental justice caucus on Monday. Read more here.

Mining Lands in Nevada Top National Toxic Release Inventory

April 23rd, 2019|Comments Off on Mining Lands in Nevada Top National Toxic Release Inventory

Nevada ranked first nationally in the release of toxic chemicals per square mile in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available, and the state’s mining industry was the reason why. read more here.

Toxics in Willamette River killing young salmon, study says

April 22nd, 2019|Comments Off on Toxics in Willamette River killing young salmon, study says

The study suggests that as the Portland Harbor Superfund site is cleaned-up, salmon recovery efforts in the Willamette will get a major boost. Read more here

EPA’s Wheeler Recused From 45 Superfund Sites Given Past Work

April 19th, 2019|Comments Off on EPA’s Wheeler Recused From 45 Superfund Sites Given Past Work

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s history of lobbying for International Paper Co. and Xcel Energy Inc., among other companies, means he is recused from working on 45 Superfund sites, according to new agency data. Read more here.

EPA removes a portion of Libby from the federal Superfund site

April 18th, 2019|Comments Off on EPA removes a portion of Libby from the federal Superfund site

A portion of Libby’s asbestos cleanup has been completed, with the EPA removing that area from the list of federal Superfund sites. Read more here.

One in 10 child asthma cases ‘linked to traffic pollution’

April 18th, 2019|Comments Off on One in 10 child asthma cases ‘linked to traffic pollution’

Four million cases of childhood asthma could be caused by air pollution from traffic - around 13% of those diagnosed each year, a global study suggests. Read more here.

‘We’re not a dump’ – poor Alabama towns struggle under the stench of toxic landfills

April 16th, 2019|Comments Off on ‘We’re not a dump’ – poor Alabama towns struggle under the stench of toxic landfills

“The odor was unbearable, as were the flies and stink bugs,” said Brasfield, who sports a greying handlebar moustache and describes himself as a conservative Republican. “The flies were so bad that you couldn’t walk outside without being inundated by them. You’d be covered in all sorts of insects. People started getting headaches, they couldn’t breathe. You wouldn’t even go outside to put meat on the barbecue.” “Oh my goodness, it’s just a nightmare here,” said Heather Hall, mayor of Parrish, where the unwanted cargo squatted for two months. “It smells like rotting corpses, or carcasses. It smells like death.”  [...]

AT LEAST 60 FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES PAID NO TAXES IN 2018

April 15th, 2019|Comments Off on AT LEAST 60 FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES PAID NO TAXES IN 2018

Finally, the ITEP (the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy) just released a new report, Corporate Tax Avoidance Remains Rampant Under New Tax Law that shows that 60 profitable Fortune 500 companies paid nothing in federal corporate income taxes in 2018. The list of companies will be very familiar to you, including big PhRMA companies like Eli Lilly, that raked in billions in profits by gouging people on insulin costs but paid zero taxes last year.  At least 60 of the nation’s biggest corporations didn’t pay a dime in federal income taxes in 2018 on a collective $79 billion in profits. Full Report: https://itep.org/notadime/ News Release: https://itep.org/60-fortune-500-companies-avoided-all-federal-income-tax-in-2018-under-new-tax-law/

You elected them to write new laws. They’re letting corporations do it instead.

April 15th, 2019|Comments Off on You elected them to write new laws. They’re letting corporations do it instead.

An investigation by USA TODAY, The Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity. Each year, state lawmakers across the U.S. introduce thousands of bills dreamed up and written by corporations, industry groups and think tanks. Read more...

No more toxic jobs in Appalachia

April 10th, 2019|Comments Off on No more toxic jobs in Appalachia

They scream jobs and like a carrot on a stick, and politicians chase them. Out-of-state and out-of-country companies come to capitalize on West Virginia’s people. They minimize the health impacts, such as cancers and neuro-developmental defects. OVEC Project Coordinator Dustin White told the group. Read more.

Locals thank Army official for approving Lewiston nuclear cleanup

April 10th, 2019|Comments Off on Locals thank Army official for approving Lewiston nuclear cleanup

The citizens' committee which for years has urged removal of nuclear waste from a federally owned Lewiston site issued a statement Thursday thanking Assistant Secretary of the Army R.D. James for moving ahead with the project. James' signature on the plan late Monday "was like manna from heaven," said Amy H. Witryol, secretary of the Lake Ontario Ordnance Works Restoration Advisory Board. James' action came after complaints last week from the board and the Niagara County Legislature about a 39-month wait for approval of the $490 million Corps of Engineers plan to clean up the Niagara Falls Storage Site on Pletcher Road. It has [...]

International Human Rights Court Recommends Fracking Ban

April 8th, 2019|Comments Off on International Human Rights Court Recommends Fracking Ban

CHEJ was involved in three of the United States field Tribunals in Athens and Youngstown, Ohio and in Charlottesville, VA. Lois Marie Gibbs served as a Juror in all three field Tribunals.  These field hearings provided the basic information for the large Tribunal held in Oregon. This is an incredible victory which provides yet a new tool in the tool box for communities to fight back against Fracking.   The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal released its Advisory Opinion, recommending a worldwide ban on hydraulic fracturing, the extreme oil and gas extraction technique known as  ‘fracking.’ The Tribunal found that the materials, and infrastructure of [...]

Environmentalists take petrochemical giant Formosa to court over plastics pollution

March 29th, 2019|Comments Off on Environmentalists take petrochemical giant Formosa to court over plastics pollution

For years, Diane Wilson has tried to get Formosa Plastics Corp. to stop discharging plastic pellets from its sprawling petrochemical complex on the Central Texas coast. This week, she's getting her day in court. Read more ...

Harris County sues ITC over Deer Park fire

March 27th, 2019|Comments Off on Harris County sues ITC over Deer Park fire

Harris County has sued Intercontinental Terminals Co. for failing to prevent a massive chemical fire that burned for more than 60 hours last week and spewed an unknown volume of hazardous chemicals into the air and nearby waterways. Read more ...

Equity matters. Houston needs to protect everyone from flooding.

March 27th, 2019|Comments Off on Equity matters. Houston needs to protect everyone from flooding.

Why? Recent national studies show that flood buyout monies benefit whiter communities. Other reports reveal that federal disaster recovery dollars benefit higher-income people and how, after a disaster, income inequality is exacerbated and the gaps between the haves and the have-nots grows wider. Read more.

Alabama ranks 5th for industrial toxic releases in air and water

March 25th, 2019|Comments Off on Alabama ranks 5th for industrial toxic releases in air and water

Alabama industrial facilities released more than 82 million pounds of toxic material into the air, land and water in 2017. Read more.

Study Finds Racial Gap Between Who Causes Air Pollution And Who Breathes It

March 19th, 2019|Comments Off on Study Finds Racial Gap Between Who Causes Air Pollution And Who Breathes It

Pollution, much like wealth, is not distributed equally in the United States. Read more

More States Crack Down on Protesters

March 19th, 2019|Comments Off on More States Crack Down on Protesters

In anticipation of upcoming protests, the state of South Dakota  has recently passed a bill threatening protesters. South Dakota also has a large population of Sioux tribal members culturally related to the Standing Rock tribe and the pipeline is planned to pass through South Dakota as well.  Read more.

Massive Fire at Houston Petrochemical Storage Terminal May Last Two More Days

March 18th, 2019|Comments Off on Massive Fire at Houston Petrochemical Storage Terminal May Last Two More Days

A massive fire at a fuels storage company along the Houston Ship Channel may burn for two more days, an official said on Monday as the blaze spread a plume of black smoke across the city, shutting schools in two nearby communities. Read more 

Study of Coal Ash Pollution Finds Widespread Groundwater Contamination

March 14th, 2019|Comments Off on Study of Coal Ash Pollution Finds Widespread Groundwater Contamination

An examination of monitoring data available for the first time concludes that 91 percent of U.S. coal-fired power plants with monitoring data are contaminating groundwater with unsafe levels of toxic pollutants. Read more here

Virginia, EPA to recoup nearly $64 million for Portsmouth Superfund site

March 10th, 2019|Comments Off on Virginia, EPA to recoup nearly $64 million for Portsmouth Superfund site

After years of wrangling over who should pay to clean up a Superfund site on the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River, a proposed settlement would reimburse Virginia and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency nearly $64 million. Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring calls the consent decree a “significant agreement that will ensure accountability and sustained environmental improvements along an important Hampton Roads waterway.” The decree must still undergo a 30-day public comment period, however, and be approved by the court. Read more.

Celebrating Janet Marsh Zeller International Women’s Day

March 8th, 2019|Comments Off on Celebrating Janet Marsh Zeller International Women’s Day

International Women's Day adopted in 1975 by the United Nations. Today, CHEJ is honoring and celebrating an extraordinary women Janet Marsh Zeller who changed our world and made the lives of so many safer, healthier and joyful. "One person speaking alone may not be heard, but many people speaking with one voice cannot be ignored."- Janet Marsh In 1984, when the Department of Energy announced that Ashe County, NC, was being considered as the site of a high-level nuclear waste dump, Janet Marsh organized her friends and neighbors, holding the first meetings at the Holy Trinity Church of what would become the [...]

Community Leaders Travel to D.C. to Demand EPA Action at their Superfund Sites

March 6th, 2019|Comments Off on Community Leaders Travel to D.C. to Demand EPA Action at their Superfund Sites

Leaders from fence line communities met with EPA representatives Tuesday, March 5th at EPA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. to push for action at their Superfund sites. “We need action in our communities where people are sick and dying because of exposures to chemicals in the environment,” was the resounding cry for help from community leaders. The group met with Steven D. Cook, Deputy Assistance Administrator for the Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM), Peter C. Wright, Assistant Administrator of OLEM, James E. Woolford with the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) and other EPA staff. The meeting [...]

Wheeler on climate: ‘I don’t see it as the existential threat’

March 6th, 2019|Comments Off on Wheeler on climate: ‘I don’t see it as the existential threat’

Fox news interview, Payne asked the newly minted EPA chief: "Do you see [climate change] as the existential threat that within 12 years, if we don't do anything, that's it, we've crossed the Rubicon, kiss Earth goodbye?" Wheeler responded: "No. You know, as far as the largest environmental issue facing the planet today, I would have to say water. The fact that a million people still die a year from lack of potable drinking water is a crisis." Read More.

EPA Should Improve the Reliability of Data on National Priorities List Sites Affecting Indian Tribes

March 3rd, 2019|Comments Off on EPA Should Improve the Reliability of Data on National Priorities List Sites Affecting Indian Tribes

EPA's National Priorities List sites are some of the most contaminated places in the country. They may pose unique challenges for Indian tribes. For example, toxic substances in 2 New York rivers pose a threat to one tribe’s health and its subsistence lifestyle, which includes fishing. EPA has a policy to consult with tribes if its efforts to deal with these sites may affect them. In some cases, consultation is a legal mandate. However, we found the databases EPA uses to track sites and tribal consultations are sometimes inaccurate. We made 4 recommendations, including that EPA improve its data and clarify [...]

Movement against proposed gas pipeline inspires Virginia Episcopalians’

March 3rd, 2019|Comments Off on Movement against proposed gas pipeline inspires Virginia Episcopalians’

Episcopalians in Virginia are joining a movement to block a proposed mid-Atlantic gas pipeline that they say will disrupt and pollute minority communities and increase American dependence on fossil fuels at a time when the church and others are pushing for greater reliance on renewable energy sources. Read more.

MN Preventing Lead Poisoning

March 3rd, 2019|Comments Off on MN Preventing Lead Poisoning

It would cost more than $4 billion to get the lead out of Minnesota's drinking water, but it could bring a 2-for-1 return on the investment."As we see in many other areas of public health, preventing a health problem is more cost effective than waiting for a health problem to develop and then treating it," Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said. Read More.

GE’s cynical strategy won’t work in Berkshires

February 22nd, 2019|Comments Off on GE’s cynical strategy won’t work in Berkshires

We support the people of our county who desire to live, once and for all, free of PCBs. For way too long, Berkshire residents have had to endure the consequences of GE's half century of willfully dumping hundreds of thousands of pounds of PCBs into the Housatonic River, and of spreading large amounts of PCB-contaminated soil all around the county.  Read More.

Court slapps down big oil’s lawsuit against young climate activists

February 22nd, 2019|Comments Off on Court slapps down big oil’s lawsuit against young climate activists

In a victory for environmental justice, a California appeals court on February 15 dismissed the California Independent Petroleum Associations’s lawsuit against youth organizations from South Los Angeles and Wilmington, the Center for Biological Diversity and the city of Los Angeles. Read more.

More than 50 million gallons of water polluted with toxic metals pours daily from US mine sites

February 22nd, 2019|Comments Off on More than 50 million gallons of water polluted with toxic metals pours daily from US mine sites

Every day many millions of gallons of water loaded with arsenic, lead and other toxic metals flow from some of the most contaminated mining sites in the U.S. and into surrounding streams and ponds without being treated, The Associated Press has found. Read more.

Environmentalists bemoan regulators’ lack of transparency on imported shipments of GenX wastewater

February 21st, 2019|Comments Off on Environmentalists bemoan regulators’ lack of transparency on imported shipments of GenX wastewater

State and federal officials have known about the shipments from the Netherlands to Fayetteville for at least a year but never told the public. Read more here

PFAS Chemicals: Failing to Protect the American People

February 21st, 2019|Comments Off on PFAS Chemicals: Failing to Protect the American People

Last week the EPA announced its “Action Plan” for a group of chemicals referred to as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS chemicals. In its news release, the agency described this effort as “historic” and as the “most comprehensive cross-agency plan to address an emerging chemical of concern ever undertaken by EPA.” However, environmental advocates and people who live in communities contaminated by PFAS chemicals were not impressed by the agency’s plan. Group after group released news statements blasting the plan as inadequate and lacking action, lamenting the agency’s failure to create a standard to regulate PFAS chemicals in drinking [...]

Media & Messaging Training Call w/Kathy Mulady

February 19th, 2019|Comments Off on Media & Messaging Training Call w/Kathy Mulady

Listen to the recording and learn how to sharpen your skills in communicating with the media and the public. This training will help you to build your skills to move messages that make a difference, inspire, galvanize and give voice. Click below to listen or download the Mp3 recording.

Teenage Girls Lead Strike Demanding Climate Justice

February 17th, 2019|Comments Off on Teenage Girls Lead Strike Demanding Climate Justice

TENS of thousands of school children, in more than 60 towns and cities across the UK, went on strike on Friday in protest at the lack of political action to address climate change. Pupils taking part in the School Strike 4 Climate congregated at local city halls; thousands descended on Westminster, bringing the roads around Whitehall to a standstill. Holding placards bearing slogans including “Why learn facts when politicians won’t listen to them?”, the teenagers exchanged high-fives with one stranded white-van driver, while other drivers beeped their horns in support. Read more.

TRUE: ‘More than a million Californians’ don’t have clean drinking water … It could be higher

February 15th, 2019|Comments Off on TRUE: ‘More than a million Californians’ don’t have clean drinking water … It could be higher

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has made confronting California’s contaminated drinking water a top priority early in his term in office. Read More.

Irish High Court delivers killer blow to US Fracked Gas Imports by ‘New Fortress Energy’

February 15th, 2019|Comments Off on Irish High Court delivers killer blow to US Fracked Gas Imports by ‘New Fortress Energy’

The challenge by Irish environmentalists has proved that the 'New Fortress Energy' Shannon LNG consent process will take years and may now never come to fruition. Read More.

WHEELER’S NATIONWIDE PFAS ACTION PLAN FAILS COMMUNITIES

February 14th, 2019|Comments Off on WHEELER’S NATIONWIDE PFAS ACTION PLAN FAILS COMMUNITIES

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled its delayed Nationwide Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Action Plan. Read More.

Superfund adviser kept in touch with bank after ban

February 14th, 2019|Comments Off on Superfund adviser kept in touch with bank after ban

Senior Superfund advisor Albert Kelly was banned from the banking industry but continued to correspond with them while he was overseeing the Superfund program. Read more.

Investigation: Clorox Selling Pool Salt Made From Fracking Wastewater

February 12th, 2019|Comments Off on Investigation: Clorox Selling Pool Salt Made From Fracking Wastewater

Public Herald has discovered that Eureka Resources, a company based in Pennsylvania, has been treating wastewater from shale gas development — a.k.a. “fracking” — and packaging the crystal byproduct as “Clorox Pool Salt” for distribution since 2017. Read More.

Climate change could devastate Superfund cleanup

February 11th, 2019|Comments Off on Climate change could devastate Superfund cleanup

If a serious storm occurs in Butte or Anaconda the consequences could be dire for the Superfund cleanup. Read More.

Trump rule change could threaten North Carolina’s water

February 11th, 2019|Comments Off on Trump rule change could threaten North Carolina’s water

The Trump administration is about to propose a change to clean water regulations that will roll back protection for a number of wetlands and streams. Read More.

A toxic crisis in America’s coal country

February 11th, 2019|Comments Off on A toxic crisis in America’s coal country

In the shadow of some of America's most controversial coal mines, where companies use huge amounts of explosives to blow the tops off mountains, isolated communities say their water has been poisoned. Read more.

EPA places Silverton’s Superfund site on fast-track pilot program

February 8th, 2019|Comments Off on EPA places Silverton’s Superfund site on fast-track pilot program

The Superfund site made up of mine sites around Silverton contaminating the Animas River has been chosen to be part of a new pilot study that aims to speed up the Environmental Protection Agency’s cleanup process. Read More.

Sign a Petition for the Green New Deal

February 8th, 2019|Comments Off on Sign a Petition for the Green New Deal

It's not news that the earth is dying. Today, Senators Ed Markey and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released their resolution for the Green New Deal. This marks a huge step forward in the fight to stop the climate crisis and create millions of good jobs. Now it’s up to us to make sure the Green New Deal continues to be a strong, sweeping plan that attracts tons of support from our elected officials. Add your name to the petition right now. Today’s resolution presents a plan to transition America to 100% clean and renewable energy. It offers a just transition for all [...]

Clean water advocate calls State of the Union ‘surreal’

February 7th, 2019|Comments Off on Clean water advocate calls State of the Union ‘surreal’

Environmental activist Andrea Amico, who advocates for protection from PFAS, attended the State of the Union. Read her comments on the event and the lack of environmental issues mentioned. Read More.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Releases Green New Deal Outline

February 7th, 2019|Comments Off on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Releases Green New Deal Outline

Thursday Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., are introducing a framework defining what they call a "Green New Deal" — what they foresee as a massive policy package that would remake the U.S. economy and, they hope, eliminate all U.S. carbon emissions. Read more.

Daines, Gianforte, Tester Introduce Clean Water for Rural Communities Act

February 6th, 2019|Comments Off on Daines, Gianforte, Tester Introduce Clean Water for Rural Communities Act

U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester and Congressman Greg Gianforte today reintroduced a bipartisan bill to provide much-needed authorization for Montana rural water infrastructure. Read More.

P.H. Glatfelter Company Agrees to Reimburse Government Costs and Assume Long-Term Responsibility for Massive Superfund Cleanup at Wisconsin’s Fox River

February 6th, 2019|Comments Off on P.H. Glatfelter Company Agrees to Reimburse Government Costs and Assume Long-Term Responsibility for Massive Superfund Cleanup at Wisconsin’s Fox River

Final Settlement Ends All Superfund Litigation Read More.

Congress Looking at the Safe Drinking Water Act and Superfund to Regulate PFAS

February 6th, 2019|Comments Off on Congress Looking at the Safe Drinking Water Act and Superfund to Regulate PFAS

Despite its long history of use, PFAS are increasingly being detected in drinking water in some parts of the country. This has triggered concerns from Congressional Members to call on the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate and clean up PFAS contamination. Read More.

EPA and Partners Announce Sunoco Pipeline and Mid-Valley Pipeline Settle Oil Spill Violations with $5M Civil Penalty

February 1st, 2019|Comments Off on EPA and Partners Announce Sunoco Pipeline and Mid-Valley Pipeline Settle Oil Spill Violations with $5M Civil Penalty

In the latest joint federal-state Clean Water Act enforcement action, Sunoco Pipeline L.P. has agreed to pay civil penalties and state enforcement costs and to implement corrective measures to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and state environmental laws by Sunoco and Mid-Valley Pipeline Company stemming from three crude oil spills in 2013, 2014, and 2015, in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Read more.

Exclusive: Trump EPA won’t limit 2 toxic chemicals in drinking water

January 30th, 2019|Comments Off on Exclusive: Trump EPA won’t limit 2 toxic chemicals in drinking water

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter The Trump administration will not set a drinking water limit for two toxic chemicals that are contaminating millions of Americans' tap water. Read more.

Bozeman superfund site nears delisting, city aims for redevelopment

January 30th, 2019|Comments Off on Bozeman superfund site nears delisting, city aims for redevelopment

After decades of cleanup, a 60-acre Superfund site that city staff said curtailed improvement along a stretch of north Bozeman is set to break from the title of contaminated grounds. Read More.

Navy Denies Claims Linked to Contaminated Water

January 29th, 2019|Comments Off on Navy Denies Claims Linked to Contaminated Water

The U.S. Navy is denying thousands of claims from service members and their families who were exposed to contaminated drinking water decades ago at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Read More.

Done begging govt to do its job

January 29th, 2019|Comments Off on Done begging govt to do its job

According to a review by the Center for Health and Environmental Justice, ATSDR found that ten of twenty dioxin samples in soil exceeded its Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide levels. Read More.

How Humans Get in the Way of Clean Water

January 28th, 2019|Comments Off on How Humans Get in the Way of Clean Water

There are many cheap and effective ways to provide safe water to the world’s poor regions. But projects often fail due to inadequate planning, maintenance or persuasive power Read more.

Federal Shutdown May Have Far Reaching Implications for Superfund

January 25th, 2019|Comments Off on Federal Shutdown May Have Far Reaching Implications for Superfund

As the federal government shutdown enters its fourth week, environmental cleanups are starting to feel the effects. Read more.

Reps. Kildee, Fitzpatrick Launch Congressional PFAS Task Force

January 24th, 2019|Comments Off on Reps. Kildee, Fitzpatrick Launch Congressional PFAS Task Force

Washington — House lawmakers are launching a new task force devoted to PFAS issues Wednesday, aiming to craft bipartisan legislation related to the crisis and press for more funding for research and to clean up contaminated sites. Read more.

How This Entrepreneur Is Taking On America’s Water Crisis

January 24th, 2019|Comments Off on How This Entrepreneur Is Taking On America’s Water Crisis

Harvard alum, an accomplished entrepreneur, data scientist, and businesswoman, Doll Avant is now taking on America’s water crisis. Read more.

Cancer Alley Residents Decry ‘Environmental Racism’ in Louisiana

January 22nd, 2019|Comments Off on Cancer Alley Residents Decry ‘Environmental Racism’ in Louisiana

Environmental groups and Louisiana residents of a rural, majority-black area on the Mississippi River filed a records request Monday seeking answers to why St. James Parish officials “basically changed the black district into the petrochemical district.” Read more.

A Clever New Map Shows Which Chicago Neighborhoods Are Most at Risk From Pollution

January 22nd, 2019|Comments Off on A Clever New Map Shows Which Chicago Neighborhoods Are Most at Risk From Pollution

The NRDC hopes its new research into municipal pollution can help organizers push for sound, equitable policy. Read more.

California’s unfulfilled promise on access to safe water

January 22nd, 2019|Comments Off on California’s unfulfilled promise on access to safe water

In 2012, former Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 685, making California the first state in the nation to legally recognize the human right to water. With climate change worsening an already inequitable water system, it’s important that Gov. Gavin Newsom support legislation to ensure California realizes the promise of clean water for all. Read more.

Would Dr. King have been concerned about climate change?

January 21st, 2019|Comments Off on Would Dr. King have been concerned about climate change?

The answer is resoundingly "yes." There are clues in his writing and speeches that suggest that would he have been very concerned. A common misperception about Dr. King is that he fought for a specific group of people. Dr. King, like most great humanitarians, fought for anyone facing injustice. He likely would have been an activist for the planet once he saw who was most vulnerable. Read more.

Andrew Wheeler, at E.P.A. Confirmation Hearing, Walks a Fine Line on Climate Change

January 18th, 2019|Comments Off on Andrew Wheeler, at E.P.A. Confirmation Hearing, Walks a Fine Line on Climate Change

When Andrew Wheeler, president Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, testified before Senators on Wednesday at his confirmation hearing, he found himself walking a tightrope on the issue of climate change. Read more.

Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study

January 17th, 2019|Comments Off on Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study

Scientists say it may still technically be possible to limit warming to 1.5C if drastic action is taken now. Read more.

Advocates Raise U.S. Water Quality, Access and Pollution as a Civil Rights Issue with the UN

January 16th, 2019|Comments Off on Advocates Raise U.S. Water Quality, Access and Pollution as a Civil Rights Issue with the UN

WASHINGTON - Food & Water Watch submitted a letter to the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights outlining several troubling water issues in the United States as the U.S. government is up for review for its federally-mandated compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Read more.

First PFAS blood tests in, one 750 times national average

January 16th, 2019|Comments Off on First PFAS blood tests in, one 750 times national average

The industrial PFAS chemicals dumped by Wolverine Worldwide decades ago are now in the blood of Kent County people at significantly high levels. Read more.

Federal work at Superfund sites suspended during shutdown

January 15th, 2019|Comments Off on Federal work at Superfund sites suspended during shutdown

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The government shutdown has suspended federal cleanups at Superfund sites around the nation and forced the cancellation of public hearings, deepening the mistrust and resentment of surrounding residents who feel people in power long ago abandoned them to live among the toxic residue of the country’s factories and mines. By  ELLEN KNICKMEYER and KIM CHANDLER Read more.

COMMUNITY VOICES: Our kids deserve clean water

January 10th, 2019|Comments Off on COMMUNITY VOICES: Our kids deserve clean water

Today, many of our school districts are not getting their water tested. You would think after the water crisis in Flint, Mich., that all public entities in the United States would be testing their tap water regularly and making the results available to the public. Read More.

The Costly, Complicated Process of Cleaning Up a Toxic River

January 10th, 2019|Comments Off on The Costly, Complicated Process of Cleaning Up a Toxic River

In eastern Washington, a push to clean PCBs from the Spokane River faces a dirty legacy and global pollution problem. Read more.

Zionsville Superfund site consultant offers help in Franklin

January 10th, 2019|Comments Off on Zionsville Superfund site consultant offers help in Franklin

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) -- A man who worked as an environmental consultant on a federal Superfund site near Zionsville in the 1980s is offering his services to help with an investigation into toxins in Franklin. Read more.

Inspiring Women of Ecology

January 9th, 2019|Comments Off on Inspiring Women of Ecology

In fighting to protect her community from toxic waste, this housewife started a movement that led to the creation of the EPA’s Superfund. Read More.

Making America’s Waters Burn Again

January 7th, 2019|Comments Off on Making America’s Waters Burn Again

The Trump administration’s new Dirty Water Rule seeks to strip the Clean Water Act’s protections from an overwhelming number of our waterways and return our water to levels of pollution we last saw before the Clean Water Act’s enactment in 1972.   Read More.

Sustainable Earth: Water

January 7th, 2019|Comments Off on Sustainable Earth: Water

CLEAN WATER IS essential for life, but most people in the developed world don't think much about the water they use for drinking, food preparation, and sanitation. In developing nations, however, the search for safe drinking water can be a daily crisis. Millions of people die each year, most of them children, from largely preventable diseases caused by a lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation. Read more.

MD Reject Permit for “Potomac Pipeline”

January 7th, 2019|Comments Off on MD Reject Permit for “Potomac Pipeline”

In what environmentalists hope is a major shift in state energy policy, Governor Larry Hogan voted to reject a permit necessary for a fracked-gas pipeline known as the “Potomac Pipeline.” During the Maryland Board of Public Works’ semi-monthly meeting, January 2nd Hogan and the other members of the board unanimously rejected a right-of-way easement for the project, which is proposed by a subsidiary of notorious energy company TransCanada. Read more.

2018 Was A Raging, Howling Signal of Climate Change

January 2nd, 2019|Comments Off on 2018 Was A Raging, Howling Signal of Climate Change

Record rainfall and flooding in Japan, followed by a heat wave that sent tens of thousands of people to the hospital. Astonishing temperature records set across the planet, including sweltering weather above the Arctic Circle. Historic, lethal wildfires in Greece, Sweden and California, terrible flooding in India, a super typhoon with 165-mph winds in the Philippines, and two record-setting hurricanes that slammed the Southeast United States. Natural disasters cost the world $155 billion this year, and several of them struck the United States particularly hard. Michael and Florence, the California wildfires and a volcanic eruption in Hawaii are all on that list, [...]

Lois Gibbs Describes the Movement she Sparked and what Today’s Activists Need to Know

December 28th, 2018|Comments Off on Lois Gibbs Describes the Movement she Sparked and what Today’s Activists Need to Know

Listen to the Podcast. In 1978, Lois Gibbs was a young mother with a child in a school that was found to be built over a toxic chemical waste dump site. Lois gained international attention and incredible momentum in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s as she led the fight for environmental justice for children and families affected by the environmental disaster identified with the neighborhood where it occurred, Love Canal. “I was waiting on someone to knock on my door and tell me what to do, to explain how I could help,” says Lois of the early days of revelations about the [...]

Trump’s Assault on the Environment — Destructive

December 28th, 2018|Comments Off on Trump’s Assault on the Environment — Destructive

In just two years, President Trump has unleashed a regulatory rollback, lobbied for and cheered on by industry, with little parallel in the past half-century. The trade-offs, while often out of public view, are real — frighteningly so, for some people — imperiling progress in cleaning up the air we breathe and the water we drink, and in some cases upending the very relationship with the environment around us. Mr. Trump enthusiastically promotes the changes as creating jobs, freeing business from the shackles of government and helping the economy grow. Read more NYT.  

Trump Administration Unveil Strategy to Fight Lead Exposure

December 19th, 2018|Comments Off on Trump Administration Unveil Strategy to Fight Lead Exposure

Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, and U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan unveiled the Trump Administration’s Federal Lead Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Associated Health Impacts (Lead Action Plan). <Read more.>

Tucson Water Plant Address New Contamination

December 18th, 2018|Comments Off on Tucson Water Plant Address New Contamination

A water treatment plant in Tucson is replacing more than 56 tons of activated carbon to address newly-discovered perfluorinated compound contamination from the nearby Superfund site. “The fact that we have a treatment plant there at all is entirely driven by the Superfund site,” said Tim Thomure, director of Tucson Water. The 10-square-mile Tucson International Airport site was designed as a Superfund in 1983. Superfund sites are considered some of the most contaminated places in the county. The water treatment plant was set up 11 years later to address the groundwater contamination. “The main process that we use is designed to remove TCE and 1,4 dioxane,” Thomure said. But with the [...]

A Green New Deal Must Be 100 Percent Just

December 18th, 2018|Comments Off on A Green New Deal Must Be 100 Percent Just

Excitement is building among environmentalists as Washington prepares for the arrival of new lawmakers elected by the #PeoplesWave. Led by New York Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, these insurgents promise to infuse new energy into the movement for climate justice. By Ben Ben Ishibashi, People's Action Network Ocasio-Cortez, through a series of high-profile public protests and statements, has focused the minds and hearts of activists, and laid down a gauntlet for the Democratic Party. Now is the time, she says, for a Green New Deal that confronts climate change head-on with bold solutions that can fundamentally alter our nation’s course on both the [...]

Federal appeals court rejects permits for Atlantic Coast Pipeline

December 17th, 2018|Comments Off on Federal appeals court rejects permits for Atlantic Coast Pipeline

A panel of federal judges has rejected permits for the Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline to cross two national forests and the Appalachian Trail in Virginia, finding that the U.S. Forest Service “abdicated its responsibility” and kowtowed to private industry in approving the project. <Read more>

In southern Dallas, a toxic Superfund site where answers remain years away

December 14th, 2018|Comments Off on In southern Dallas, a toxic Superfund site where answers remain years away

<read more>  

1000+ youth sit-in, 143 arrested demanding Dem leadership back Green New Deal.

December 13th, 2018|Comments Off on 1000+ youth sit-in, 143 arrested demanding Dem leadership back Green New Deal.

Over 1,000 youth with Sunrise Movement lobbied 50 Congressional offices and sat-in at the offices of Reps. Pelosi, Hoyer, and McGovern, demanding Democrats and their leaders in the House support the Select Committee for a Green New Deal before the holiday recess. In total, 143 were arrested during the sit-ins. A week after the 2018 midterm election, Rep.-elect Ocasio-Cortez joined a sit-in at Rep. Pelosi’s office to ask Democrats form a Select Committee for a Green New Deal. Less than a month later, over 22 Congressional Democrats have endorsed the Select Committee, dozens more have endorsed the Green New Deal, [...]

Modern Incinerators Still Emit Dangerous Pollutants

December 12th, 2018|Comments Off on Modern Incinerators Still Emit Dangerous Pollutants

Even the world’s most modern waste incinerators still emit dangerous pollutants far beyond EU toxic emissions limit, a new study has revealed. <read more>.

Drugs and Hormones In Your Water?

December 5th, 2018|Comments Off on Drugs and Hormones In Your Water?

Researchers found at least one hormone or pharmaceutical in 7 percent of the 844 aquifers at depths used for public water supply and 14 percent of 247 sites at aquifers used for domestic supply. Emerging contaminant threats in the United States water supply — things like pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, and hormones — are garnering attention from public health experts and the federal government. Read more.

BREDL Calls for Investigation of VA Governor Around Environmental Justice

December 2nd, 2018|Comments Off on BREDL Calls for Investigation of VA Governor Around Environmental Justice

Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League called upon Virginia Inspector General Michael Westfall to investigate the firing of two State Air Pollution Control Board members by Governor Ralph Northam.   The request also cites threats by the state attorney general to disband the Governor’s Advisory Council on Environmental Justice.  The request centers on a proposed natural gas pipeline compressor station air permit. Sharon Ponton, BREDL’s Stop the Pipelines Campaign Coordinator, stated, “Governor Northam’s actions to replace Rebecca Rubin and Sam Bleicher are unethical and corrupt.”    The letter of request written by Ponton to the IG details events she observed during the last [...]

Love Canal a Model for Creating Change

November 28th, 2018|Comments Off on Love Canal a Model for Creating Change

Forty years ago, on October 4th, a beautiful child at the age of seven was taken from his family. Why? Because he played in his own backyard. Unknown to anybody, this backyard was contaminated with chemicals. Jon Allen was a special little boy who at the age of seven was always kind and considerate to everyone. Two weeks before he died his mother made cupcakes for him to take to school to celebrate his seventh birthday. He was concerned because he knew one of his classmates had some dietary restrictions and would not be able to eat a cupcake. He [...]

U.S. Climate Report Warns of Damaged Environment and Shrinking Economy

November 26th, 2018|Comments Off on U.S. Climate Report Warns of Damaged Environment and Shrinking Economy

The 1,656-page assessment report lays out the devastating effects of a changing climate on the economy, health and environment, including record wildfires in California, crop failures in the Midwest and crumbling infrastructure in the South. Going forward, American exports and supply chains could be disrupted, agricultural yields could fall to 1980s levels by midcentury and fire season could spread to the Southeast, the report finds. Read more.

The Interior Department Is Sidelining Environmental Justice

November 19th, 2018|Comments Off on 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 years later, addressed Interior’s responsibility to protect Native American trust resources and sacred sites on federal lands. In addition to rescinding the memos, the department has delayed publication of a manual on how to conduct environmental justice analyses and has asked BLM employees to review [...]

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

November 16th, 2018|Comments Off on 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...>

Seven New Governors May Be The Biggest Election Boon For Climate And Clean Energy

November 14th, 2018|Comments Off on Seven New Governors May Be The Biggest Election Boon For Climate And Clean Energy

Seven new governors have two things in common: they all pledged to move their states to 100 percent clean energy, and they all won. Those seven victories may prove the biggest benefit to advanced energy technologies, according to analysts at Advanced Energy Economy, an advocacy group founded by California billionaire activist Tom Steyer. Read More.

Virginia Governor Proposes New Steps to Address Sea Level Rise

November 12th, 2018|Comments Off on Virginia Governor Proposes New Steps to Address Sea Level Rise

“I will propose legislation to dedicate the revenue generated by our carbon pollution reduction rule to adaptive infrastructure,” Governor Northam said at a speech in Williamsburg last week. “Instead of sending tens of millions of dollars back to the companies creating the pollution, we should set those funds aside, take the chance to begin tackling these problems in a meaningful way.” Executive Order 24, released today, lays out a series of actio