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Clean Water

They Halted A Pipeline; Now Can They Get Clean Drinking Water?

In 2019, energy companies announced a plan to route a major crude oil pipeline through Boxtown and other mostly Black communities in southwest Memphis. The location had been chosen, a company representative stated then, because it was the “point of least resistance.” But residents came together, proving the company wrong. In 2021, a powerful grassroots movement shut down the pipeline, which would have been built through a historic neighborhood founded by emancipated people and atop the world-famous Memphis Sand Aquifer. Now, two years later, the same activists are working to get reliable, safe drinking water for their communities.

Report: Aerially Sprayed Pesticide Causes Significant Environmental Issues

A new study concluded that high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances compounds used in pesticides aerially sprayed on millions of acres of land across the United States have contaminated the water of thousands of communities. The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility recently released the results of these “forever chemicals,” which don’t break down in the environment and build up in the human body. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are “a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals,” which are “very persistent in...

Flint Water Crisis Continues Despite Settlement

In 2014, the water source of the city of Flint, Michigan, was switched from Lake Huron to the untreated and polluted Flint River, tainting the city’s water supply and setting off a chain of events that led to at least 12 deaths from Legionnaires disease, as well as miscarriages, brain and developmental damage to children, and lead poisoning for the 100,000 residents of Flint.  In late August, the state of Michigan offered a $600 million settlement to those affected. Activist Melissa Mays of the Flint advocacy group Water You Fighting For says that the settlement does not go far enough to compensate the residents of Flint. 

Toledo Passed A “Lake Erie Bill of Rights” To Protect Its Water

For three days in 2014, the people of Toledo, Ohio, couldn’t drink the water. A massive blue-green algae bloom producing a toxin known as microcystin was poisoning Lake Erie, the city's primary source of drinking water. Algae blooms are increasingly common in Lake Erie, caused in large part by runoff from industrial factory farms and warming waters. Things have become so bad that there are now algae “forecasts” predicting how large the algae bloom will be each year. Large-scale toxic blooms are once again afflicting the lake, in summer 2019. In the face of this growing crisis, and seeing little help coming from their state or federal representatives, residents of Toledo determined that they needed to take steps themselves.

This Stack Of Papers Has More Rights Than You + Cuba

As ecosystems around the world fall into death spirals and scientists cry out that the point of no return is upon us, a look at our justice systems highlight the pitfalls and fallacies in our thinking. For instance, did you know that your right to clean air, water and food pales in comparison to the rights of a stack of papers? Next up, July 26th marked the 66th anniversary of the Cuban revolution. Netfa Freeman joins us to talk about building solidarity, exchanging ideas and Afro-Cuban racial justice.

NY Denies Air Permit Renewal For Fracked Gas Power Plant

One day after the air permit expired for the Competitive Power Ventures fracked gas power plant in Wawayanda New York, the State Department of Environmental Conservation denied the company’s Air Facility Permit renewal application, citing failure to submit federal Title V air permit application, usually required for plants of this size. Protect Orange County submitted a letter to DEC on Tuesday, July 31 requesting denial of the permit based on several facts including the lack of an accurate greenhouse gas emissions analysis, documented health impacts, and invalid emissions reduction credits. However, central to all those issues was the corruption involved. Evidence presented during the trial of former Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco, along with CPV executive Peter Braith Kelly revealed a lengthy quid-pro-quo bribery scheme to facilitate the project’s approvals along with other benefits.
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