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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 [...]

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, [...]

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 [...]

A Pandemic of Pollution

The death toll due to Covid-19 passed the 90,000 mark in the United States this week. This is a truly staggering if not sobering number that raises many questions about how we as a nation respond to this incredible loss of life. These are not just numbers, but people – someone’s mother, father, brother, sister, [...]

Vulnerability to Pollution and Susceptibility to Covid-19

A new screening tool is now available that identifies populations across the country that are most vulnerable to severe complications following exposure to the coronavirus and development of covid-19. This community vulnerability map which was developed by Jvion, a health care data firm, in collaboration with Microsoft. Jvion uses socioeconomic and environmental factors, such as [...]

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>

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

PFAS & Superfund NOT a Compatible Marriage 

The federal house of representatives passed a bill that would designate certain types of PFAS “hazardous” under Superfund. (PFAS are  per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, man-made chemicals.) Many of our friends on capital hill sponsored this bill and voted in favor. Trump has been very clear that he has no intentions of signing the bill if [...]

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