Inhaling Toxic Wildfire Smoke Increases Your Risk of Dying From COVID-19

Inhaling wildfire smoke may affect your body's immunity towards coronavirus. A recent study discovered that excess exposure to fine particulate matter in wildfire smoke could lead to more covid-19 cases and deaths. During an unprecedented fire season in the U.S. West, a new study reveals that air pollution from 2020 wildfires in Washington, California, and Oregon was linked [...]

“Green Energy,” Misleading Labels, and Loopholes

By: Julia Weil, Organizing Intern While switching to green energy is typically beneficial for human health, a higher standard for what is classified as “green energy” is required to protect vulnerable communities. An example of this is the definition of renewable resources, which allows Europe, which pledged to decrease fossil fuel use, to consider biomass [...]

For 25 Years, Taxpayers Picked Up Polluters’ Superfund Bill. That May Finally Change.

For 15 years, the industries responsible for the nation’s worst toxic pollution helped pay into a federal trust for cleaning up waste sites through special taxes on petroleum, chemical components and corporate income. That program became known as “Superfund.” But in 1995, the Republican-led Congress allowed those taxes to expire. They have never been reinstated, [...]

‘There’s No Memory of the Joy.’ Why 40 Years of Superfund Work Hasn’t Saved Tar Creek

One of the first Superfund sites in the United States remains one of the most polluted. From the late 1800s through the 1960s, miners extracted lead and zinc from the ground beneath the Tar Creek area in northeastern Oklahoma. But 50 years after the mine was shuttered, the region’s toxic legacy still seeps from boreholes [...]

Michael Regan and the Reconstruction of the U.S. EPA

Many agencies of our national government suffered from neglect during the four years of Donald Trump’s anti-governmental reign as president, but EPA was already damaged when Trump arrived. Writing on this issue a year ago, I noted that EPA reduced: “…staff during the Obama years from 17,049 in 2009 to 14,777 in 2016 and was further reduced [...]

Deb Haaland confirmed as first Native American Cabinet secretary

The Senate on Monday voted to confirm Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., as President Joe Biden’s secretary of the Department of the Interior, making the second-term Democrat the first Native American Cabinet secretary in U.S. history. The vote was 51-40, with four Republicans joining Democrats in favor. Haaland, an enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo, earned bipartisan [...]

A Look at Environmental Justice Communities and Regulations

President Joseph Biden Jr. has promised to up the ante for environmental justice (EJ) communities by “rooting out the systemic racism in our laws, policies, institutions, and hearts.” Although a complete rollout of Biden’s plan has not yet been revealed, his campaign plans and initial actions allow for some educated analysis as to what industry [...]

Trump leaves murky Superfund legacy

Environmental advocates have largely been critical of President Trump, but some still offer praise for the Trump EPA's attention to toxic sites. The Trump administration has also touted its successes in deleting Superfund sites, which allows those areas to begin revitalization efforts and apply for grants to bolster economic growth. Under the leadership of former [...]