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Whistleblower: EPA Didn’t Follow Normal Procedures In East Palestine

An EPA whistleblower has stepped forward, saying the Environmental Protection Agency deviated from normal procedures when testing for chemical contamination after a train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. On Feb. 6, 2023, officials in East Palestine, Ohio, vented and burned five tank cars full of vinyl chloride after a Norfolk Southern train derailed near the town. Three days later, the Environmental Protection Agency gave the all-clear for evacuated residents to return to the area. Immediately, people in the area began complaining of sickness and rashes. “I undressed to get into the shower, and I had a rash all over the side of my face on both sides and all over my chest,” said resident Katlyn Schwarzwaelder.

Justice Department Admits Navy Jet Fuel Leak Caused Thousands To Suffer

The U.S. government, in what an attorney says is a "monumental admission," said last year that it caused injury to thousands of people on the Hawaiian island of Oahu when jet fuel from its storage facility leaked into the drinking water system. On Monday, thousands of military family members and locals are headed to trial seeking financial compensation. Kristina Baehr, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the case, said her firm has 7,500 clients suing over the leak. Monday's proceedings kick off a bellwether trial, meaning it's a smaller consolidation of lawsuits taken from a larger group.

Ten Times More Toxic Pesticide Could End Up On Our Food Under Proposal

When you bite into a piece of celery, there’s a fair chance that it will be coated with a thin film of a toxic pesticide called acephate. The bug killer — also used on tomatoes, cranberries, Brussels sprouts and other fruits and vegetables — belongs to a class of compounds linked to autism, hyperactivity and reduced scores on intelligence tests in children. But rather than banning the pesticide, as the European Union did more than 20 years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed easing restrictions on acephate.

War And Genocide On Earth Day

On Earth Day Monday, prepare for the annual spectacle of U.S. lawmakers donning their environmentalist hats, waxing poetic about their love for the planet while disregarding the devastation their actions wreak. The harsh reality is that alongside their hollow pledges lies a trail of destruction fueled by military aggression and imperial ambitions, all under the guise of national security. Take Gaza, for instance. Its once-fertile farmland now lies barren, its water sources poisoned by conflict and neglect.

Fifth People’s Health Assembly Begins In Mar Del Plata

Over 600 activists from around the world have converged in Mar del Plata, Argentina, to launch the 5th People’s Health Assembly (PHA 5). Under the motto “Making ‘Health for All’ our path to ‘Buen Vivir'”, the activists have renewed their commitment to health justice, particularly during times of crisis. This commitment comes at a critical time, marked by the policies of the Milei government in Argentina against public services and the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza. “When the local chapter of the People’s Health Movement (PHM) began preparations for hosting the PHA, Argentina was a different country,” said Carmen Baez, sub-regional coordinator of PHM’s Southern Cone region.

An Invisible Chemical Is Poisoning Thousands Of Warehouse Workers

The dangers came as a surprise to warehouse workers and regulators alike. Georgia EPD officials had originally only set out to monitor ethylene oxide levels around the industrial sterilization facilities fumigating medical equipment. The EPA had just published modeling that suggested high levels of cancer risk around the country’s medical sterilization facilities, and Georgia regulators wanted to assess the plants in their jurisdiction. (The modeling incorporated the results of a 2016 study that found ethylene oxide to be 30 times more toxic to adults and 60 times more toxic to children than previously known.)

What The US Can Learn From The Cuban Health Care System

David Ramirez Alvarez is Second Secretary in the Cuban Embassy, representing Cuba’s cultural and political forces sectors. He will be presenting an historical and current analysis of the Cuban health care system, how it differs from our profit-driven system, how Cuba provides comprehensive primary and quaternary health services in the face of a decades’ long illegal and brutal U.S. blockade and still has better outcomes than ours. Ramirez Alvarez will also address how the training of health care providers and scientists in Cuba is intimately connected to the socialist culture derived from the Cuban Revolution. Is a socialist culture necessary to displace our capitalist health care system?

Assange’s Very Life Is At Stake

In Julian Assange’s extradition case, Magistrate Judge Venessa Baraitser determined he would not survive imprisonment in a U.S. Supermax facility – that he is very likely to commit suicide. One of the final witnesses in the 4 week extradition trial in 2020 was an American lawyer whose client Abu Hamza was held in ADX Colorado where Julian is likely to be sent. Abu Hamza has no hands. He was extradited from the U.K. following assurances by the U.S. that the prison system was able to deal with the special requirements of such a prisoner. His lawyer testified that despite assurances he would not be placed in total isolation, that is indeed where he was kept, under Special Administrative Measures, and the U.S. had also failed to delivered on other undertakings to protect his human rights – he did not have a toilet in his cell he could operate – he was stripped of all dignity, contrary to guarantees.

Our Housing Crisis Is Literally Killing People

Last week, my students and I worked with several unhoused persons who had been recently living in dangerous, unhealthy apartments or homes in our community of Indianapolis. One, a young mother of a toddler with another baby soon on the way, had just left a home where eight people across three generations were living. The house had no central heat, so space heaters were the only source of warmth during a month when the temperature dipped below zero for several days. Those heaters and everything else electrical in the house were linked to a complex web of extension cords connected to a solitary working outlet.

Ex-EPA Scientist Calls Pollution Regulations A ‘Smokescreen’

Minneapolis, MN — On January 11, 2024, community members gathered to discuss the future of the Smith Foundry in Minneapolis’ East Phillips neighborhood. The iron-casting facility has been found to violate health regulations, thereby likely threatening the well-being of people living nearby. In November, residents had called for the closure of the foundry after discovering records from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicating that the company had been exceeding Minnesota emission limits of particulate matter since 2018 — without notifying the state. Despite the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) pledging to meet regularly with the community, MPCA authorities were absent from the meeting, citing a “conflict of interest” and a lack of staff.

Is East Palestine Safe One Year After The Ohio Train Derailment?

If there hadn’t been construction planned for the bridge that crosses over Leslie Run, one of the creeks that runs through the middle of East Palestine, Ohio, Rick Tsai and Randy DeHaven might not have noticed the worst contamination they’d seen in the creek in weeks. A backhoe had hoisted a chunk of earth from the bank of the creek, leaving a pool about eight feet across and deep enough to come up to the knees of Tsai’s rubber fishing waders. What it also left, in Tsai’s words, was an opportunity for a sort of “geological sample” — evidence that oil and chemicals still lingered in the soil and in the creeks six months after a catastrophic derailment.

‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 94: Israeli Forces Kill Four-Year-Old Girl In Occupied West Bank;

Israel’s attacks on Gaza have surpassed three months, fostering the most dangerous place in the world to be a child as death and destruction fills every corner of the besieged enclave. According to Jason Lee, Save the Children’s director for the occupied Palestinian territory, children are much more vulnerable to explosives. They will also need much more time and effort to recover from the injuries they cause. “Small children caught up in explosions are particularly vulnerable to major, life-changing injuries. They have weaker necks and torsos, so less force is needed to cause a brain injury,” Lee said in a statement.

‘Operation Al Aqsa Flood’ Day 70: A Deteriorating Public Health Crisis

After heavy rains and hail storms ushered in the beginning of harsh winter weather in Gaza earlier this week, displaced people in Rafah have been faced with even more challenges as tents flooded, and they found themselves homeless and freezing, without their winter clothes. “Most of those who evacuated from the northern area left without bringing their winter clothes,” wrote Gaza-based journalist Hind Khoudary, on Twitter. “They have been knocking on the doors of people whose houses were not bombed, asking for clothes.” One enormous problem that the displaced are facing is a lack of sanitation in overcrowded shelters—according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is an average of one shower per 700 people and one toilet per 150 people in Gaza, which has contributed to the rapid spread of infectious diseases.

Derek Chauvin And The State Of US Prisons

I’ve written a lot about the corrupt, inefficient and failing Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP.)  Most recently, the mainstream media have lauded the BOP’s new director, Colette Peters, who was brought in to “clean the place up.” Peters is a former successful director of the Oregon Department of Corrections. The idea was that, rather than promote somebody from within the BOP to lead it, which has been done time and time again and which has failed time and time again, maybe a fresh face from outside could bring a new perspective and could turn the BOP around. That hasn’t happened.  If anything, Peters has been ignored by her subordinates and, in many cases, circumvented. 
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