Small-Market Reporter Unmasks Race Gap in Pollution Response

When two towns — one an affluent suburb and the other a poor rural community — faced similar air pollution crises, lopsided government action made clear there was an underlying race and class divide. Reporter Sharon Lerner shares the story behind her award-winning reporting that tells the “Tale of Two Toxic Cities,” in our latest Inside Story Q&A.

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Environmental Justice: "St. James Parish Takes on Big Plastic"

"Beneath a searing Louisiana sun, a crowd gathers on a former sugar cane plantation to commemorate Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States. Rows of unmarked graves stand nearby—believed to be the resting place of those who’d been enslaved on the plantation. A few people, clad in face masks, hold up a banner: Honoring Our Ancestors. Another sign, staked into the grass, is aimed not at the past, but at the future: FORMOSA: YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE."

Source: Hakai, 06/29/2020

Florida Scientist Says She Was Fired For Not Manipulating COVID-19 Data

"NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Rebekah Jones, a scientist who was fired from Florida's health department, who is now publishing a coronavirus dashboard of her own to track the state's COVID-19 cases."

Source: NPR, 06/29/2020

Mississippi Set To Be 13th State To Criminalize Fossil Fuel Protests

"A bill intended to have a chilling effect threatens seven years in prison for protesters and up to $100,000 in fines for groups supporting them."

Source: HuffPost, 06/17/2020

"Mississippi R.: White House Plots Next Step In Battle Over Yazoo Pumps"

"A controversial flood control and drainage project in Mississippi that EPA vetoed more than a decade ago is aggravating old tensions among environmental groups, lawmakers and agricultural groups in the Magnolia State as the Trump administration plans its next move."

Source: E&E News, 06/16/2020

Louisiana Governor Vetoes Harsh Pipeline Trespass Bill

"Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on Friday vetoed a bill that would have stiffened penalties for trespassing on pipelines, levees and a long list of other facilities in the state. The veto handed a victory to civil liberties advocates and local organizers, who said the bill would have trampled on their right to protest industrial development."

Source: InsideClimate News, 06/15/2020

"Interior To Push Drilling In Florida Waters After November Election"

"The Trump administration is preparing to open the door to oil and gas drilling off Florida’s coast — but will wait until after the November election to avoid blowback in a swing state whose waters both parties have long considered sacrosanct, according to four people familiar with the plan."

Source: Politico, 06/11/2020

"Poisonous Toads Invade South Florida in Latest Sign of the Apocalypse"

"First, there were murder hornets. Now, invasive, poisonous toads are the latest bizarre creature to go wild in the U.S. As South Florida enters its wet season aka hurricane season, the cane toad—an ugly, warty, brown amphibian with poison can kill pet dogs—is thriving. That’s not only concerning for pet owners. These toads are highly destructive to the environment."

Source: Earther, 06/09/2020


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