A battery of polluting industry spewing toxic pollution and a small town of residents south of Baton Rouge unbowed by their circumstance make for the ingredients of a powerful team investigative project, newly named to the top prize in the Society of Environmental Journalists’ 2020 reporting awards. Inside Story offers a look behind “Polluter’s Paradise” in a Q&A with reporter Tristan Baurick.
"A bankruptcy court ruled Friday that Exide Technologies may abandon its shuttered battery recycling plant in Vernon, leaving a massive cleanup of lead and other toxic pollutants at the site and in surrounding neighborhoods to California taxpayers."
"Wildfires leave behind more than scorched earth and destroyed homes: Rising smoke plumes can contain chemicals that disperse not only into the air but in soil, water, indoor dust, and even wildlife."
"Newly unsealed court documents provide additional evidence that chemical giant Union Carbide Corp. failed to report the presence of a toxic dumping site in South Charleston that has been leaking hazardous substances into nearby Davis Creek."
"Decades ago several bird species in the Great Lakes—including the iconic bald eagle—faced an uncertain future because toxic chemicals were threatening their populations. While several bans and policies have offered some protection, the same chemicals threatening these birds 60 years ago continue to accumulate in their bodies—and new chemical threats are adding to their toxic burdens, according to two new studies."
"Hunter-donated meat provides crucial protein to US food banks. But an EHN investigation found a lack of oversight that could result in potentially hundreds of thousands of lead-contaminated meals this year."
"At a trial over fluoride regulations this summer, EPA eschewed its own experts, hiring an outside company often deployed by corporations to deny and downplay chemicals' health impacts."
If oddsmakers are right and the Dems sweep the White House and both houses of Congress next month, one significant outcome could be the rollback of prominent Trump administration deregulatory moves. The latest TipSheet explains how an arcane law might make such reversals possible, and then spotlights half-a-dozen potentially vulnerable Trump regulatory actions.
"For decades, families across a swath of southeast Los Angeles County have lived in an environmental disaster zone, their kids playing in yards polluted with brain-damaging lead while they wait on a state agency to remove contaminated soil from thousands of homes. Now, the cleanup faces even greater uncertainty."
"First, the wildfires came to California and Oregon, scorching hundreds of thousands of acres of national forests. Next, weeds will sprout on those blackened lands. They'll be followed quickly by chemical weedkillers like glyphosate, as the Forest Service tries to make trees grow again."