Skip to content


Plan To Clean Up Radioactive Fracking Waste Ends In Monster Lawsuit

In rural West Virginia, largely hidden among steep hills, stands a $255 million facility designed to transform fracking waste into freshwater and food grade quality salts. Proponents hailed it as one of the most important environmental projects undertaken by the oil and gas industry in recent U.S. history. But local conservation groups and residents remained skeptical from the start, warning that the plant could leak toxic waste into water and air, harming human health and ecosystems in a largely forested region where tight-knit communities live close to the land.  The facility, called Clearwater, was built by the Denver, Colorado-based oil and gas extraction company, Antero Resources, and an affiliate of Veolia, the multinational French waste, water and energy management company.

Animal-Grade Prison Food Indicts US Society

I’ve written in the past about an awful experience I had in prison a decade ago while serving 23 months in prison after blowing the whistle on the CIA’s torture program. I was doing my time at the Federal Correctional Institution at Loretto, Pennsylvania, a low-security prison in the Appalachian Mountains. One of the very first things I found, on my very first day, was that the food was bad. Very bad. I arrived in prison on a Thursday. The next day, Friday, was “fish day.” A fellow prisoner warned me to skip the fish. “We call it sewer trout,” he said. “you don’t want to put that in your body.” Sure enough, when I got in line in the cafeteria, I saw boxes stacked behind the servers.

A Toxic Polluter Is Shutting Down, Thanks To Resident Organizing

In a major victory for the people of south Memphis, a plant that uses carcinogenic ethylene oxide to sterilize medical equipment announced this fall that it is shutting down. The decision by Sterilization Services of Tennessee follows more than a year of dogged organizing by residents and activists fed up with the industrial pollution that the company, and more than 20 others, releases into their community. Ethylene oxide, an odorless and colorless gas, has been linked to multiple forms of cancer. “We’re relieved that the community will soon have one less polluting facility that they have to contend with,” Amanda Garcia, a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center, told Grist.

The Wood Pellet Industry: A Dual Threat To Poor, Rural Communities

Wood pellets are a form of biomass that is versatile, concentrated and easily transportable. But making wood pellets is dirty and energy-intensive. After tree wood is dried and ground into sawdust, it is heated and pressed through molds to form small, cylindrical chunks of dense wood fiber. This form of biomass offers a least two advantages for energy producers. First, converting coal-fired power plants to burn wood pellets is relatively easy. Second, with much of the moisture removed, pellets are more economical to transport than raw wood. This is a significant benefit, since virtually all the industrial pellets made in the US are shipped overseas.

How US Sanctions Are A Tool Of War: The Case Of Venezuela

On March 26, 2022, Francisco lay in a public hospital bed in Bolívar, Venezuela, roughly eight hours inland from the capital of Caracas. He had been waiting for more than twenty-four hours to be seen by a doctor for fluids filling his stomach in a hot room with no fan or air conditioning. By then he was stick thin, his skin clinging to his bones as he lay on his side, waiting. When he was finally seen by a doctor and given a prescription, he was also told that the hospital did not have the medicines he needed. His family would need to try to find them on their own. At the pharmacy, the initial prescription totaled $35 (well beyond the monthly earnings of many), in addition to the $5 the family had already spent on saline solution—of which the hospital had run out.

Indian Country’s Forever Chemical Problem

Laurie Harper, director of education for the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School, a K-12 tribal school on the Leech Lake Band Indian Reservation in north-central Minnesota, never thought that a class of chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, would be an issue for her community. That’s partly because, up until a few months ago, she didn’t even know what PFAS were. “We’re in the middle of the Chippewa National Forest,” she said. “It’s definitely not something I had really clearly considered dealing with out here.” Late last year, tests conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that her school’s drinking water wells were contaminated with PFAS.

Victims Of The East Palestine Train Disaster Still Fighting For Their Lives

On February 3, 2023, a Norfolk Southern Railroad train carrying 150 cars, some containing toxic chemicals, derailed in the small town of East Palestine, Ohio on the border with Pennsylvania. The residents in the immediate area were evacuated but the 100,000 gallons of chemicals, including vinyl chloride, that spilled spread throughout the region. Now, over six months later, many residents still cannot return to their homes. Hilary Flint of Enon Valley, Pennsylvania, the vice president of the Unity Council for the East Palestine Train Derailment joined Clearing the FOG to describe what happened, the failures of the local, state and federal governments to provide what affected residents need and how they are organizing to pressure President Biden to grant Governor DeWine's request for an emergency declaration and more.

Survivors Of Oppenheimer’s Trinity Test Are Still Fighting For Justice

Eighteen years ago, as Tina Cordova read her local newspaper in the town of Tularosa, New Mexico, she noticed a letter to the editor that made her pause. It was written by the now late Fred Tyler, a fellow New Mexican, about his mother’s recent passing from cancer, after having suffered from several types over the course of her life. “I’m wondering,” Cordova recalled Tyler writing, “when we are going to hold our government accountable for the damage they did by detonating an atomic bomb in our backyard?” In south-central New Mexico, the world’s first atomic bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945.

Can Historic Preservation Be A Tool For Environmental Justice?

While serving as a member of the Racial Equity & Environmental Justice Roundtable which helped craft the City of Richmond’s Climate Equity Action Plan 2030, Rev. Monica Esparza never imagined that less than a year later she would find herself fighting local officials to save green space in her own backyard from becoming a burn site. In a departure from Mayor Levar Stoney’s policy of creating new parks on the city’s Southside, his administration is pushing through plans to add a $1 million, 21,000 square-foot fire training facility to Hickory Hill, a majority Black and Hispanic neighborhood south of the James River.

‘Concrete Coffins:’ Surviving Extreme Heat Behind Bars

Sweltering doesn’t even describe it. This week, more than a third of the U.S. population was under excessive heat warnings and heat advisories. Dozens of major cities and states have set new temperature records in recent weeks, including Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which logged its hottest June ever. Less than an hour from the city is Louisiana State Penitentiary, better known as Angola prison, where the state set up a temporary youth jail last fall, in a building that once housed adults awaiting execution. A federal court filing this week from the Louisiana American Civil Liberties Union alleges that the youth at Angola face inhumane conditions, in large part because they are regularly kept in non-airconditioned cells for up to 72 hours.

BBC Under Fire For Doing Pesticide Giant’s Public Relations

The BBC has been accused of “selling the public’s trust” by producing “totally biased” documentaries on the future of sustainable food sponsored by Corteva, one of the world’s largest pesticide firms, potentially in breach of the broadcaster’s editorial guidelines. The “Follow the Food” documentaries, which featured a total of 28 episodes over three series, showcase “solutions” to climate breakdown, biodiversity loss, and food security in the farming sector. Sustainable farming advocates have criticised the content for favouring industrial agriculture, which is heavily dependent on chemical pesticides and fertilisers.

‘Work Requirements’ Or Real Jobs?

When I heard the debt-ceiling deal would target people in their fifties for new work requirements to get food stamps, I thought about my brother. As a young man in the Navy, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes—that’s the one where your body attacks your pancreas, and you need insulin to stay alive. At the time, treatment options were limited, and the Navy discharged him. But thanks to the V.A. and medical advances, he was OK. He’s a talented mechanic, had steady work, and raised two wonderful kids. In his fifties, though, the toll of the disease meant a lot of sick days. Too many for his employers.

Canada Will Start Regulating ‘Forever Chemicals’

Canada recently took its first bold step to regulate the production and use of a large group of chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, a family of environmentally persistent and toxic chemical compounds. These chemicals are found in food packaging, waterproof cosmetics, non-stick pans, stain- and water-resistant fabrics and carpeting, cleaning products, paints and firefighting foams. The Canadian government released a report detailing the risks of PFAS exposure and potential management options. This report, which advocates for the regulation of the thousands of PFAS as a whole, will directly influence future regulations and policies surrounding their production and use.

How The Cost Of Living Crisis Is Hurting Child Health In The United Kingdom

New evidence continues to pour in, showing how the cost of living crisis in the United Kingdom is devastating child health. A recent survey conducted among school nurses from the School and Public Health Nurses Association (SAPHNA) and members of the British Dental Association (BDA) revealed that 65% of the respondents noticed a deterioration in children’s health and wellbeing, which can be attributed to the worsening of living standards over the past year. Out of the 313 health workers surveyed, 180 (57%) reported working with children experiencing lower energy levels than usual, while 167 (53%) observed slower weight gain in children compared to previous reports.

Settlements With Chemical Giants Mark The Dawn Of PFAS Accountability

It’s been a busy June in the US District Court in Charleston, South Carolina! Military veterans and civilians with a likelihood of occupational exposure to per-and poly fluoroalkyl substances, (PFAS) ought to understand what’s been going on. On June 2, 2023, DuPont de Nemours, Chemours, and Corteva, three major producers of PFAS, announced that they had created a $1.2 billion fund for water utilities with PFAS contamination. The settlement only covers the agencies that provide drinking water in the U.S. They’ll use the money to replace pipes and install filtration systems to assure that people aren’t drinking water poisoned by these companies.
Sign Up To Our Daily Digest

Independent media outlets are being suppressed and dropped by corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our daily email digest before it’s too late so you don’t miss the latest movement news.