People & Population

Are Your Schoolkids Threatened by Chemical Plants? An App for That

When the fertilizer depot in West, Texas, blew up, some schools were damaged beyond repair. Fortunately, none of the kids died. But it raised an issue that has been obvious — and too often ignored by news media — for years. A new tool from the Center for Effective Government will help environmental journalists learn which schools in their area are near facilities that handle toxic, hazardous, explosive, or combustible materials.

Chevron Blocks Access by State Regulators to Gas Well Explosion Site

One worker was killed February 11, 2014, when a Chevron gas well exploded near Bobtown, Pennsylvania, and burned for five days.  But inspectors from the state's Department of Environmental Protection were stopped by Chevron from approaching the site — thus keeping them from seeing possible safety violations. The DEP acquiesced at the time, but later cited Chevron for nine violations at the site.

Breaking New Ground

BookShelf

 

"Breaking New Ground: A Personal History"

By Lester Brown
Norton, $24.95

Reviewer: TOM HENRY

Praised by the Washington Post as “one of the world’s most influential thinkers,” Lester Brown has had a rags-to-riches life in environmental activism – a rare feat, especially because activism is hardly a lucrative field.

Brown’s story is an intriguing one, in part because of his humble New Jersey farming roots.

Environmental Justice: New Map Could Refocus Calif. Pollution Battles

"The California Environmental Protection Agency has released a statewide list of census tracts most burdened by pollution, providing a first-of-its-kind ranking certain to pressure regulators to clean up neighborhoods with long-standing health risks."

Source: LA Times, 04/23/2014

"Old Incinerator and New Cancer in Coconut Grove"

"On the days when the municipal trash incinerator known as Old Smokey fired up its furnace, Delphine Bennett could sit on the porch of her shotgun-style house and watch the flames flicker from the chimney. On warm, dry evenings, the escaping embers ignited brush fires in empty lots nearby. More than once, she recalls, the roof of a neighbor's home caught fire."

Source: Miami New Times, 04/09/2014

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