CHEJ In The News

112, 2016

Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) – The New Lead

December 1st, 2016|Comments Off on Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) – The New Lead

by Stephen Lester Will our water ever be safe? A new group of chemicals is showing up in drinking water across the country; in Portsmouth, NH, Hoosick Falls, NY, Scottsdale, AZ, Colorado Springs, CO, Decatur, AL, Bucks County, PA and Cape Cod, MA to name a few places. These chemicals are called perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs.   PFCs are common in many consumer products including teflon pans, fabric protectors, pizza boxes and ski wax, and are used to make carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture. They first generated headlines in the 1990s when a DuPont plant that made teflon and related [...]

112, 2016

Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) – The New Lead

December 1st, 2016|Comments Off on Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) – The New Lead

by Stephen Lester Will our water ever be safe? A new group of chemicals is showing up in drinking water across the country; in Portsmouth, NH, Hoosick Falls, NY, Scottsdale, AZ, Colorado Springs, CO, Decatur, AL, Bucks County, PA and Cape Cod, MA to name a few places. These chemicals are called perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs.   PFCs are common in many consumer products including teflon pans, fabric protectors, pizza boxes and ski wax, and are used to make carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture. They first generated headlines in the 1990s when a DuPont plant that made teflon and related [...]

2111, 2016

Chemicals Reduce Childrens IQs

November 21st, 2016|Comments Off on Chemicals Reduce Childrens IQs

If you are interested in how many small amounts of chemicals can directly impact children's IQ you need to spend a few minutes watching this video. CHEJ's members have been frustrated by the regulatory agencies and their lack of willingness to address multiple chemical exposures. Most recently the Just Moms group in St. Louis, MO were told that a leader's family has levels of radiation in their kitchen 200 times above background. How in the world do  you make Thanksgiving dinner in a kitchen full of radiation? Moreover, how can you have a family dinner when no one wants to come [...]

2111, 2016

Samsung Refuses Workers Pleas For Help

November 21st, 2016|Comments Off on Samsung Refuses Workers Pleas For Help

Standing together in solidarity with injured workers from Samsung. It took Samsung 14 days to apologize to consumers for phones that caught fire and today, over seven years after young men and women died and/or injured working in the plant Samsung remains silent. Too many young men and women were made sick in the plant. They are asking you to stand with them and don't purchase their products until Samsung addresses the workers injuries. Hye-kyung Han is in the wheelchair of photo. She cleaned circuit boards with no ventilation resulting in a brain tumor. Many of her co-workers died before [...]

2508, 2016

RIT professor’s new book revisits Love Canal

August 25th, 2016|Comments Off on RIT professor’s new book revisits Love Canal

James Goodman, Democrat & Chronicle. Professor Richard Newman chronicles the history of health & environmental activism of Lois Gibbs during her time in Love Canal. This is the foundation of the movement behind the Center for Health, Environment, & Justice. Remediation work being done near abandoned houses in the Love Canal neighborhood in the late 1970s. (Photo: NY Department of Health Love Canal collection at SUNY Buffalo) A chain-link fence around 70 acres of land in the southern part of Niagara Falls is the most readily apparent sign that this was ground zero for the Love Canal environmental disaster. [...]

2408, 2016

We hosted a Candidate Forum in St. Louis that empowered constituents and held politicians accountable this election season.

August 24th, 2016|Comments Off on We hosted a Candidate Forum in St. Louis that empowered constituents and held politicians accountable this election season.

Just Moms Co-Founder Karen Nickel happily maintains control of the microphone while Sam Page, democrat running to maintain his seat for County Councilmen of District 2 responds to questions about West Lake. This past Thursday, August 18th, members of the St. Louis community came together to hold their candidates running for public office accountable for working towards a safe and permanent solution for the West Lake Landfill. I am one of the St. Louis team members of CHEJ. We have worked tirelessly all summer to help the grassroots organization Just Moms STL organize powerful, community-driven actions in order [...]

1508, 2016

Testimony: McCrory called toxicologist Ken Rudo to his office to discuss do-not-drink letters for well owners near coal ash pits

August 15th, 2016|Comments Off on Testimony: McCrory called toxicologist Ken Rudo to his office to discuss do-not-drink letters for well owners near coal ash pits

By Bertrand M. Gutiérrez of the Winston-Salem Journal. One of CHEJ's strong network relatinoships, the Blue Ridge Envrionmental Defense League, helped pushed for more public transparency in a case regarding the safety of drinking water near a coal ash pit in North Carolina.  Gov. Pat McCrory summoned state toxicologist Ken Rudo to his office in early 2015 for a meeting during which a McCrory staff member challenged the advisory Rudo had helped draft telling well owners near coal ash pits owned by Duke Energy not to drink their water, according to recent testimony given in a deposition by Rudo. The do-not-drink [...]

1508, 2016

SUPERFUND: A Philadelphia suburb’s asbestos nightmare

August 15th, 2016|Comments Off on SUPERFUND: A Philadelphia suburb’s asbestos nightmare

By George Cahlink, an E&E reporter, of E&E Publishing LLC. Here's a look at the history, successes, and ultimate failure to clean up and maintain one Superfund site, located in Ambler, PA. Because of Ambler's history of being the asbestos capital of the world, the recent passage of the Toxic Substance Control Act raises some hopes that this long battle for clean up may be over soon. AMBLER, Pa. -- U.S. EPA's Greg Voigt opens a chain-link gate, pushes aside waist-high weeds and scrambles to the highest point in this Philadelphia suburb: a 100-foot pile of industrial waste. "Check out the million-dollar view," [...]

1107, 2016

Funds, cleanups fewer

July 11th, 2016|Comments Off on Funds, cleanups fewer

By Brendan Lyons of the Times Union. The usefulness of the EPA in cleaning up Superfund sites, a creation which often gets credited to Lois Gibbs and is a label for toxic waste removal as a government and corporate responsibility, is severely unfunded. Here's a look at some of those repercussions.  The 2002 chemical release would haunt the tiny village near Rochester for years. The accidental discharge at the Diaz Chemical plant showered contaminants on the residential neighborhood surrounding the facility, blanketing homes and playgrounds with potentially toxic substances. A few months later, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which would declare the [...]

1606, 2016

In Bridgeton, Missouri residents find it hard to breathe

June 16th, 2016|Comments Off on In Bridgeton, Missouri residents find it hard to breathe

Josh Peterson, MSR News Online. Members of the community that rally behind the movement of moms, aptly called JustMomsSTL, a group that CHEJ works very closely with, feel prisoners of their own homes. This is because some of them live within a half mile radius away from toxic waste. Their has been an ongoing investigation for a resolution involving the EPA and community representatives. Here's a bit about how they feel it's gone so far.  Residents of this community near Ferguson — site of 2014’s police-involved shooting death of teenager Michael Brown — have complained for years about lung troubles [...]

806, 2016

St. Cyprian’s Church in Perry hosts anti-fracking event

June 8th, 2016|Comments Off on St. Cyprian’s Church in Perry hosts anti-fracking event

Tawana Roberts, The News Herald. One event in Perry, Ohio hosted on the National Day of Action, highlights catholic involvement in the anti-fracking movement.  Pope Francis spreads a universal message that everyone should be good stewards of the planet, and that was at the forefront of discussion for a National Day of Action event. The event was held at St. Cyprian’s Church in Perry on June 7 and was coordinated by Buckeye Forest Council, The Center for Health, Environment and Justice, Faith Communities Together for a Sustainable Future, Frackfree America National Coalition, Network for Oil & Gas Accountability & Protection [...]

606, 2016

Activists target fracking waste on Tuesday’s action day

June 6th, 2016|Comments Off on Activists target fracking waste on Tuesday’s action day

Bob Downing, Akron Beacon Journal. In Ohio, environmental agencies including CHEJ are organizing educational events in order to inspire a change in the fracking industry. These events will be held on the National Day of Action on Tuesday, June 7th. From a Thursday press release: Groups Call for a Halt to Toxic Fracking Waste and Man-made Earthquakes in a National Day of Action to be held on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 Ohio, June 2, 2016 – Even though unconventional fracking currently appears to be experiencing a shale bust, the toxic fracking waste problem is still here and getting worse as [...]

3105, 2016

Legal News Line Environmental coalition sues EPA over wastewater guidelines

May 31st, 2016|Comments Off on Legal News Line Environmental coalition sues EPA over wastewater guidelines

Sean Fowler, Legal News Line. A number of environmental groups, including CHEJ, discussed their concerns and the purpose for the lawsuit against the EPA.  WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – A coalition of environmental groups has filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colombia, seeking to force it to revise and publish new guidelines for the handling of oil and gas waste, in particular wastewater associated with the oil mining method known as fracking. One industry attorney called the suit an unnecessary effort to hamper energy production methods with which the groups [...]

2705, 2016

The 2015 volume of liquid drilling wastes going into Ohio’s injection wells keeps growing

May 27th, 2016|Comments Off on The 2015 volume of liquid drilling wastes going into Ohio’s injection wells keeps growing

Bob Downing, Akron Beacon Journal. Teresa Mills, one of CHEJ's own, provided vital data for recording the amount and impact of liquid drilling wastes being injected underground in Ohio.   Ohio is continuing to rewrite the record book for liquid drilling wastes being injected into underground rock formations: The 2015 injection total keeps ­growing. That’s because additional fees are being paid in 2016 by waste haulers to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas Resource Management. That 2015 volume was reported as 28.8 million 42-gallon barrels in March. Now it is up to 31.4 million barrels, [...]

405, 2016

Environmental groups sue EPA, seek stricter rules over fracking waste linked to earthquakes

May 4th, 2016|Comments Off on Environmental groups sue EPA, seek stricter rules over fracking waste linked to earthquakes

Brady Dennis, Washington Post. A coalition of environmental advocacy groups, including CHEJ, sued the EPA for stricter fracking waste rules.  A collection of environmental advocacy groups on Wednesday sued the Environmental Protection Agency, saying the government has failed to adequately regulate the disposal of waste generated by oil and gas drilling. In particular, the lawsuit seeks to force the agency to impose stricter rules on the disposal of wastewater, including that from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The wastewater is typically pumped into underground wells — a practice that has been linked to a growing number of earthquakes inOklahoma, Colorado, Ohio and other [...]

2504, 2016

Clean water crisis threatens US

April 25th, 2016|Comments Off on Clean water crisis threatens US

The United States is on the verge of a national crisis that could mean the end of clean, cheap water. Hundreds of cities and towns are at risk of sudden and severe shortages, either because available water is not safe to drink or because there simply isn’t enough of it. The situation has grown so dire the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence now ranks water scarcity as a major threat to national security alongside terrorism.The problem is being felt most acutely in the West, where drought conditions and increased water use have helped turn lush agricultural areas [...]

1804, 2016

A year of fear and distrust in Dukeville

April 18th, 2016|Comments Off on A year of fear and distrust in Dukeville

DUKEVILLE, North Carolina — Deborah Graham’s life changed on April 18, 2015, with the arrival of a letter. Graham was in the kitchen, pouring a cup of coffee. Her husband, Marcelle, opened a large certified envelope just dropped off by the mail carrier. “The North Carolina Division of Public Health recommends that your well water not be used for drinking and cooking,” the letter said. “What did you just say?” Graham asked, incredulous. “The water’s contaminated,” her husband replied. Graham’s eyes flew to her kitchen faucet. She thought about the coffee she’d just swallowed. The food she’d cooked and sent [...]

804, 2016

How Pope Francis helped awaken a deep religious tradition for care for the environment

April 8th, 2016|Comments Off on How Pope Francis helped awaken a deep religious tradition for care for the environment

Mark Stoll, Washington Post. Stoll recently wrote a column about the Pope's support for environmental issues and the Catholic tradition for environmental justice, citing CHEJ's founder Lois Gibbs as "the first Catholic to become nationally known for environmental activism." Just about every person who led and shaped the American conservation and early environmental movements grew up Protestant. What irony, then, that the one person who has done more to get people talking about the environment than anyone in decades is the supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis. Every pope since Paul VI has addressed environmental issues, but Francis’s [...]

2203, 2016

Environmental advocate: Keystone landfill expansion debate is nationally important

March 22nd, 2016|0 Comments

Kyle Wind, Scranton Times-Tribune.  Friends of Lackawanna hold an panel discussion on the expansion of Keystone Sanitary Landfill with the help of CHEJ. Keystone Sanitary Landfill’s expansion proposal has national importance because its approval could affect how the Eastern Seaboard disposes of garbage in the coming decades, an environmental activist said Monday. “I think this is a really important fight at a national level because we have to stop this foolish burying of waste and thinking somehow it has just gone somewhere else,” Lois Gibbs told 400-plus people at a Friends of Lackawanna forum on Pennsylvania’s trash disposal policy. Ms. Gibbs [...]

2103, 2016

Attorney Pat Clark, Friends of Lackawanna, and Corbett event on March 21, 2016

March 21st, 2016|0 Comments

Attorney Pat Clark, Friends of Lackawanna, talks to Corbett about an event on March 21, 2016 titled "Let's Talk Trash" at the Radisson in Scranton To watch the video, click here.

2003, 2016

Planning board meeting turns personal

March 20th, 2016|0 Comments

(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post) Lou Zeller, left, speaks with members of the Ashe County Planning Board on Thursday, JEFFERSON-An Ashe County Planning Board meeting turned testy at times last week as board members sparred with a local environmental activist and some made plain their views on Ashe County’s Board of Commissioners. “I may no longer be on the planning board after this but I am appalled at our commissioners that would listen to the complaints of a few and take away from the many, listen to their friends and ‘not in my backyard…and tell the world that if we [...]

803, 2016

‘Humans of Frome’: Dawn Chapman

March 8th, 2016|0 Comments

Dawn & Dillon Chapman, photographed by Ciara Nolan “For this issue I have invented the first Humans of Frome Award – Mother of the Year and this year the award goes to Dawn Chapman,” says Ciara. “Dawn is a busy production manager at a local engineering company, a job which she loves and finds professionally fulfilling, she is also the kind of mother who is an inspiration to us all.” ‘My mother said to me, If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope. Instead, I was [...]

603, 2016

Panel to hear arguments about change in Vogtle plan

March 6th, 2016|0 Comments

A three-judge panel will hear arguments this month on a petition regarding a change in thickness in concrete containment walls for Plant Vogtle’s two new nuclear reactors. The Nuclear Regulatory Commis­sion’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, which hears legal challenges to the commission’s actions, will convene March 15 at Augusta’s Fede­ral Justice Center. Expected to present arguments are the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff, NRC staffers and Southern Nu­clear, a Southern Co. subsidiary. Vogtle is 45.7 percent owned by Geor­­gia Power, another Southern Co. entity, and the new reactors are expected to be operational by [...]

1602, 2016

An underground fire is burning near a nuclear waste dump, and officials say EPA has been too slow to react

February 16th, 2016|0 Comments

Washington Post, Darryl Fears. Members of CHEJ network group Just Moms STL explain the health effects of living near West Lake Landfill and the slow movement of the EPA to stop the underground fire or provide relocation for the families. Just Moms STL visits Capitol Hill to push their bill on relocation to congress.   Trevor Beckermann, 6, who has the autoimmune disease alopecia areata, plays the board game Life with his mother Meagan Beckermann, 34, at home in Bridgeton, Mo. His condition results in extreme hair loss. The family lives about a mile from two massive landfills, one [...]

902, 2016

The Other Fires of Ferguson: The “Flint” of St. Louis

February 9th, 2016|0 Comments

Next door to Ferguson, the town of Bridgton, Missouri is about to become another symbol of a system that fails the most vulnerable citizens who fall through the cracks of economic and racial disparities. While the political fight for justice for people of color still rages in our local municipalities, the ravages of toxic waste on the health of those too poor to relocate or have a place at the power tables is costing more precious lives The thousands of tons of radioactive waste in the Westlake landfill are contaminating the air, the groundwater and the trees of the area. [...]

902, 2016

Bridgeton moms group to picket, demand meeting with EPA over radioactive West Lake Landfill

February 9th, 2016|0 Comments

Co-founder of Just Moms STL Karen Nickel (at podium) said her group has the support of Missouri's U.S. Senate representatives in their efforts to meet with the EPA. An activist group of St. Louis area moms concerned about underground smoldering at the Bridgeton Landfill plans to picket outside the Environmental Protection Agency's Washington, D.C. offices on Wednesday. Members of Just Moms STL went to the nation's capital this week in another attempt to get a meeting with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. The group said it hoped to discuss the proximity of the subsurface fire to the nearby radioactive West [...]

902, 2016

West Lake Landfill activists join forces with Flint water protestors to pressure EPA

February 9th, 2016|0 Comments

Chuck Raasch, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Activists working with CHEJ around the West Lake Landfill controversy in St. Louis and in Flint, Mich., have joined forces to put pressure on the federal Environmental Protection Agency to respond more forcefully to both environmental crises. An article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch covers a joint press conference between Flint activists and JUST MOMS stl, a group organized to force the EPA to reduce the threat of radioactive waste at West Lake Landfill. At the press conference, about a dozen representatives said they will picket EPA headquarters because of EPA administrator Gina McCarthy’s unwillingness to [...]

902, 2016

West Lake Landfill activists join forces with Flint water protestors to pressure EPA

February 9th, 2016|0 Comments

West Lake Landfill activists join forces with Flint water protestors to pressure EPA By Chuck Raasch at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Feb 9, 2016 In this Feb. 9, 2016 photo, JUST MOMS co-creator Karen Nickel criticizes what she says was inaction of EPA administrator Gina McCarthy, pictured over her left shoulder, in the West Lake/Bridgeton landfill fire and nuclear waste controversy. The group joined with activists from the Flint, Mich., water crisis, for a press conference at the National Press Club. Chuck Raasch, of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch WASHINGTON • Activists around the West Lake Landfill controversy have joined [...]

602, 2016

EPA May Lose Authority Over St. Louis-Area Landfill With Radioactive Waste

February 6th, 2016|0 Comments

By JOHN R. EMSHWILLER Feb. 6, 2016 5:30 a.m. ET Missouri’s U.S. senators and some of its House members are pushing to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of remediation authority over a landfill near St. Louis that contains radioactive waste, and instead give it to the Army Corps of Engineers.   To read the full article, click here.

3008, 2015

St. Louis Moms Call On Obama For Help

August 30th, 2015|Comments Off on St. Louis Moms Call On Obama For Help

Anger builds at EPA over radioactive landfill.  “We believe that it would be within the power of the president to issue an executive order to clean up the bureaucratic administrative mess at West Lake Landfill, put one government agency in charge, said Ed Smith.”  Matt LaVanchy, a local fire department official, told radio station KTRS that he believes the fire could be less than 1,000 feet from the radioactive material, and is trying to train firefighters for possible outcomes. CHEJ has been working with this community for years and agrees that it is time Obama steps in and commands action. [...]

2808, 2015

700 People Told EPA “Dig it Up -Take It Out”

August 28th, 2015|Comments Off on 700 People Told EPA “Dig it Up -Take It Out”

YES! The people of Clark County, Ohio showed up last night in force.... Their Health District attendance counters stopped at 650, with more people coming in the door. US EPA's Joan Tanaka said in all her 20 years' work on Superfund sites, she had never seen such a huge crowd. EPA's purpose in coming to Clark County was to tell residents what information they wanted us to know.... They listened politely to too many power point slides that were unreadable, too many reassurances that were not believable, and too much talking that glossed over or avoided the real questions. Their [...]

3004, 2015

St. Louis burning: Atomic Legacy Haunts City

April 30th, 2015|Comments Off on St. Louis burning: Atomic Legacy Haunts City

by Ryan Schuessler @RyanSchuessler1 April 29, 2015 5:00AM ET Karen Nickel had never even heard of lupus before she was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease six years ago. Today she says she takes as many as 18 pills a day — “and that’s just to make me feel OK.” Read part one of three part series.

2605, 2013

Love Canal activist Lois Gibbs joins R.I. effort to keep law on school siting strong

May 26th, 2013|0 Comments

PROVIDENCE — In 1978, Lois Gibbs took on the powers-that-be when she learned that her son’s school and Love Canal neighborhood in New York were built on a toxic waste dump. Her battle led to the evacuation of hundreds of houses, sparked a massive environmental cleanup, and inspired a made-for-TV movie and the creation of the federal Superfund program. On Wednesday, 35 years later, Gibbs climbed the steps of the State House to congratulate Rhode Island for enacting what she called the nation’s strongest law against building schools on contaminated sites. She has taken the 2012 bill to Michigan, Massachusetts [...]

2505, 2013

Advocates Protest Legislation Allowing Schools on Toxic Sites

May 25th, 2013|0 Comments

Environmental advocates gathered at the Statehouse Wednesday to protest legislation that would roll back restrictions that prevent schools from building on toxic sites. The woman who helped lobby for the federal superfund program, Lois Gibbs, spoke to a small group of demonstrators on the capitol steps. Gibbs brought attention to the Love Canal toxic site in Upstate New York back in the 70s. She is lending her star power to fight legislation that would allow schools to be built on sites where toxic vapors could be present. She said the bill would gut a new state law that serves as [...]