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About Stephen Lester

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So far Stephen Lester has created 134 blog entries.

Public Hearings: Is Anyone Listening?

“A public hearing is an official event on a public issue where the public speaks and the officials don't listen.” Activists spends endless hours sitting and testifying in public hearings. Local leaders often have endless patience despite the fact that hearings are generally convened in inconvenient places, at inconvenient times and with the room set [...]

Environmental Justice for Overburdened Communities: A View from New Jersey

 Last year, the New Jersey state legislature passed a landmark environmental justice bill that requires the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to identify overburdened communities in the state and to evaluate whether facilities seeking operating permits pose a   disproportionate, cumulative environmental impact on these communities. Facilities located in the same census tract as overburdened communities [...]

Inequity in the Distribution of Covid-19 Vaccine

Everyone’s talking about the Covid-19 vaccine these days – who gets it first; how will it be distributed; is there enough; where do I sign up; and so much more. While it’s still early in the rollout, it’s already become clear that African Americans and Latinos, who have been hit the hardest by the Corona [...]

The Rachel Carson Amendment

Our colleague and friend Lou Zeller at the Blue Ridge Environmental League (BREDL) shared an article he wrote a few years back about the great pioneer Rachel Carson who wrote in her epic 1962 classic Silent Spring that “If the Bill of Rights contains no guarantee that a citizen shall be secure against lethal poisons [...]

The Life of an Intern at CHEJ

By Sophie Weinberg, CHEJ Science Intern, Summer 2020. This summer was unusual to say the least. Despite living through a pandemic, people around the world innovated their lives to create a new normal. One of these changes included working remotely. This posed a unique challenge to the entire workforce, but particularly to interns. This summer, [...]

Residential Segregation and Disproportionate Exposure to Airborne Carcinogens

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis published a paper late last year that found carcinogens present in the air of the St. Louis metropolitan area to be highly concentrated in Black and poor neighborhoods. They found that approximately 14% of the census tracks in the city had elevated cancer risk due to exposure to [...]

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.

CDC – Where are you?

As the country moves to reopening this summer, with some states moving more quickly and others more deliberately, one thing seems clear, people are not paying attention to details and to the rules of living with a pandemic. Where are the masks and where is the social distancing? And where is the Centers for Disease [...]

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 [...]

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