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Mine Water Is Spewing Into This West Virginia Community

Wolf Pen, W.Va.—Trees line Tina Christian’s driveway, and the rolling mountains of southern West Virginia rise around her yard. Her grandchildren play in the peaceful creek that twists through the woods behind her trailer. Or, at least, they did — until a geyser of dirty mine water shot out of an abandoned gas well behind the home in February 2023. It flooded the yard for weeks. Now, Tina and her husband, Jamie, are afraid to have their grandchildren visit at all. “I’d hate for them to come down here and visit and spend the night, and ten years down the road, they find out they’ve got cancer from playing at momaw and popaw’s house,” Tina Christian says.

Fossil Fuel Interests Spent Millions To Tank Clean Air Bills In Colorado

Fossil fuel interests spent millions of dollars in an effort to influence Colorado’s recent legislative session, a DeSmog analysis shows — and environmental advocates say the campaign helped to scuttle a raft of clean air bills. Protect Colorado, a group that received more than $4 million from Chevron, Occidental, and other oil and gas interests, spent heavily to support pro-industry ballot initiatives before and during the session — a critical form of political leverage. Those efforts were aided by an extensive PR campaign spearheaded by the American Petroleum Institute (API), an industry group that spent an additional $3 million on lobbying, media buys, and digital ads from February through May, according to public financial disclosures.

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.

Deregulation Is Turning Oklahoma Into A Factory Farm Sacrifice Zone

As Barbara Dozhier prepared a ham before the arrival of her great-grandchildren and the rest of her family last Christmas Eve, she prayed for a weather forecast with wind out of the south. A breeze in the opposite direction meant her home four miles outside the east Oklahoma town of Kansas would be overcome with the stench of chicken litter. Ever since a six-building poultry farm opened across the street in 2018 — where 336,000 birds are raised at a time — family gatherings at the Dozhier home have been forced inside. “Sometimes the wind is out of the north and you just hurry up, get in the house and shut your door,” Dozhier said. ​“At first I was upset all the time but after all these years there is nothing you can do.”

Plastic, Plastic Everywhere, Even At The UN’s ‘Plastic Free’ Conference

When I registered to attend last month’s United Nations conference in Canada, organizers insisted it would be a “plastic free meeting.” I wouldn’t even get a see-through sleeve for my name tag, they warned; I’d have to reuse an old lanyard. After all, representatives from roughly 170 countries were gathering to tackle a crisis: The world churns out 400 million metric tons of plastic a year. It clogs landfills and oceans; its chemical trail seeps into our bodies. Delegates have been meeting since 2022 as part of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution in hopes of ending this year with a treaty that addresses “the full life cycle of plastic, including its production, design and disposal.”

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.

Ad And PR Industry Directors Have Ties To Heavily Polluting Industries

Half of the board members at the world’s six largest advertising and public relations companies have ties to polluting industries, DeSmog can reveal. Of the 64 total board members at Omnicom Group, WPP, Interpublic Group (IPG), Publicis Groupe, Dentsu and Havas, 32 have significant experience in carbon-heavy sectors such as fossil fuels, fossil fuel financing, plastics, utilities, and aviation. Twenty-two are still serving in roles at such companies. With combined revenues of $67 billion in 2022, the six firms dominate the communications industry, and have hundreds of subsidiary agencies around the world. Of the 64 total board members at Omnicom Group, WPP, Interpublic Group (IPG), Publicis Groupe, Dentsu and Havas, 32 have significant experience in carbon-heavy sectors such as fossil fuels, fossil fuel financing, plastics, utilities, and aviation. Twenty-two are still serving in roles at such companies.

Activists Launch Own Investigation Of Mud Spill Near Gas Pipeline

On February 15, Pennsylvania’s environmental regulator received an anonymous complaint that a mysterious white material was covering the bottom of a creek in Chester County — a tributary of nearby Marsh Creek Lake located about a thousand feet from the underground Mariner East pipeline. A day later, an inspector from the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation confirmed that the clay-like material was flowing from a nearby sinkhole into the stream and nearby wetlands.

How $9 Billion From Taxpayers Fueled Plastics Production

Through billions in tax breaks and subsidies, taxpayers in Louisiana, Texas, and other states have supported the construction or expansion of dozens of facilities manufacturing plastics in the United States since 2012. However, many of these plants have also repeatedly exceeded legal limits on the air pollution they release into surrounding communities, disproportionately affecting people of color. That’s according to an Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) report published on Thursday. For instance, in 2015, then-Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal welcomed Indorama Ventures — one of the world’s biggest producers of single-use plastic — to the state.

Switching To Biodegradable Plastics Could Slash CO2 Emissions

Plastic pollution is one of the biggest global threats to the environment. Not only does it produce an enormous amount of waste, it breaks down to become the ubiquitous microplastics that contaminate drinking water, food and even the human body, while its production contributes to global heating. A new study, “Replacing Traditional Plastics with Biodegradable Plastics: Impact on Carbon Emissions,” has found that using biodegradable alternatives to replace traditional plastic products would lead to a substantial reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

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.

Pollution Displaces Black Residents; White Homeowners Profit

Englewood Chicago — Deborah Payne’s neighborhood of 35 years on Chicago’s South Side no longer exists. Dirt piles tower where families once gathered for Sunday dinners in single- and multifamily homes. Concrete lots cover backyards where children watched fireworks and caught lightning bugs. Streets that maintained generations of Black Chicago razed and left empty for railway cars. Today, less than 10 blocks from Payne’s old neighborhood, sits the repercussions of diesel pollution caused by the expansion of a railyard. Over a decade ago, the city, along with railroad giant Norfolk Southern, announced a plan to buy out Payne’s 12-block community of more than 200 households to replace it with the freight yard.

Environmental Pollution Lawsuit May Pump The Brakes On Cop City

Earlier this month, the South River Watershed Alliance (SRWA) filed a civil rights complaint against the city of Atlanta, saying the rapid construction of a police training facility, locally known as Cop City, has caused environmental destruction to the surrounding community. The SRWA filed the complaint with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and says the project’s location constitutes environmental racism. The facility’s construction is planned for a predominantly Black residential area, despite the investors and organizers of the project hailing from mostly white residential areas, and a proposed 43% of police trainees at the facility are expected to come from outside of the state of Georgia.

Student Activists Are Pushing Back Against Big Polluters And Winning

Baltimore, Maryland - South Baltimore is on a peninsula surrounded by water, highways and train tracks. It's mostly made up of residential row houses, small yards, schools, rec centers and parks. It's also often thought of as a place to avoid — folks are taught to be careful of or even avoid South Baltimore. There was a mass shooting this past July in the Brooklyn neighborhood of South Baltimore, and another in early September. "People think Curtis Bay is a dangerous place. It's not. It's just we're surrounded by dangerous things," says Taysia Thompson, 17. Taysia is a part of a group of student activists fighting against a very different kind of danger in their neighborhood: air pollution and climate change.

Car Culture: Everything You Need To Know

When you Google, “America’s love affair with…” the first word the algorithm fills in is “the automobile.” The third is “cars.” (The second is, surprise, surprise, guns.) In the U.S. — and increasingly in other parts of the world too — cars and driving have a significant impact on our daily lives. They determine the use of our streets, shape the design of our cities and suburbs, define coming of age for many young people, and affect the quality of the air we breathe. From anthropomorphized vehicles like Herbie: The Love Bug and the cars of Cars, to road trip epics like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Thelma & Louise to bangers like “Fast Car” and “Route 66,” automotive travel has had an outsized impact on our imaginations.
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