Inner City
        Press' Environmental Justice Reporter

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  ICP has published a (double) book about a variety of inner city-relevant topics, including racism, environmental and otherwise - click here for sample chapters, here for an interactive maphere for fast ordering and delivery, and here for other ordering information.   CBS MarketWatch of April 23, 2004, says the the novel has "some very funny moments," and that the non-fiction mixes "global statistics and first-person accounts."  The Washington Post of March 15, 2004, calls Predatory Bender: America in the Aughts "the first novel about predatory lending;" the London Times of April 15, 2004, "A Novel Approach," said it "has a cast of colorful characters."  See also, "City Lit: Roman a Klepto [Review of ‘Predatory Bender’]," by Matt Pacenza, City Limits, Sept.-Oct. 2004. The Pittsburgh City Paper says the 100-page afterword makes the "indispensable point that predatory lending is now being aggressively exported to the rest of the globe," and opines that that the "novel Predatory Bender: A Story of Subprime Finance may, in fact, be the first great American lending malfeasance novel" including "low-level loan sharks, class-action lawyers, corporate bigwigs, hired muscle, corrupt politicians, Iraq War veterans, Wall Street analysts, reporters and one watchdog with a Web site."  And environmental justice too!  Click here for that review; for or with more information, contact us.

June 21, 2021

On Sri Lanka: The main concern has been about 300 tons of bunker oil used as fuel for the ship. But officials have been saying it could have burned off in the fire.  On Thursday, Lahandapura said the salvage experts have informed her that “there could not be any oil left considering the nature of the fire, heat, duration of the fire and position of the fuel tanks.”  Both Lahandapura and X-Press Feeders said so far there was no oil spill.  The government has asked the United Nations and some other countries for help in assessing the damage to the marine environment and coastal areas

but from the UN, no answer to Press questions...

June 14, 2021

 Maryland is suing Pennsylvania for not doing enough to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay...

June 7, 2021

Update:  Sri Lankan authorities are bracing themselves for a new wave of pollution, following the sinking of the container ship X-Press Pearl off the coast of Colombo.  Up to three billion plastic pellets have already been released into the sea from the vessel.  The ship's cargo also included 25 tons of nitric acid and other chemicals, while its fuel tanks contained hundreds of tons of oil

May 31, 2021

Sri Lanka's top environment body said on Saturday the country was facing its worst marine ecological disaster triggered after a Singapore-flagged cargo ship caught fire near the Colombo beach, fueling severe environmental concerns.

May 24, 2021

San Diego — A new county office will focus on areas of San Diego most affected by pollution, health disparities and the effects of climate change, the County Board of Supervisors decided Wednesday. In a unanimous vote, the board agreed to create an office of climate and environmental justice within its land use and environmental group

May 17, 2021

The shipwrecked Golden Ray, which capsized off the Georgia coast near Brunswick in 2019, caught fire Friday afternoon, sending billowing black smoke up over St. Simons Sound.

May 10, 2021

In 2020, China's CO2 emissions rose by 1.5% while those of most other countries fell. Although, in 2020, the world retreated from coal, these retirements were eclipsed by China's new coal plants.  Even before China built those new plants, it was already the world's biggest emitter of fossil fuel carbon dioxide (CO2): In 2019, China was responsible for almost 30% of CO2 emissions -- roughly twice the amount emitted by the US, then the second largest emitter. China, the planet's primary coal consumer, already has the largest concentration of coal plants globally; in 2020, it produced 3.84 billion tons of coal, its highest output since 2015. In addition, China, in 2020, imported 304 million tons of coal, up 4 million tons from 2019.

May 3, 2021

This week the US State Department announced  "This year, the Department certified 35 nations and one economy and granted determinations for twelve fisheries as having adequate measures in place to protect sea turtles while harvesting wild-caught shrimp." And what about name and shame?

April 26, 2021

Air pollution data in China may have been manipulated by local officials, according to a new study conducted by Harvard and Boston University researchers.  The analysis, published on Wednesday, found statistically significant differences between data from monitoring stations run by local Chinese officials in five cities - Beijing, Shenyang, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu

April 19, 2021

River story: "Mercury was ubiquitous in both household and industrial uses in the 1800s and 1900s, said Joel Hoffman, a research biologist and co-author of the study who is chief of the Ecosystems Services Branch of the EPA's Duluth laboratory. Those sources likely included paper mills, lumber mills, steel mills, shipbuilding sites, manufacturing facilities and other sources that once dominated the river and Twin Ports harbor shoreline.

April 12, 2021

Two dead whales have washed up on the same stretch of Bangladesh coastline in two days, officials said Saturday, raising suggestions that they were killed by sea pollution.  Officials said the second, much longer whale washed up on Himchhari Beach, outside the resort city of Cox's Bazar, at around 8:30 am

April 5, 2021

Chron: Los Angeles is the most severely polluted of all US cities.  Vehicles generate the bulk of greenhouse gases, roughly 70 million tons per year.  Greater Houston, a metro area of 7.1 million, presents a stark contrast.  Houston proves that a city need not be circled by a mountain barrier to form dense air pollution.  Look in any direction from a building in Houston and behold level terrain as far as the pollution haze allows the eye to see.  Extraordinarily flat, Houston is nonetheless pollution-plagued.  Just as Houston and Los Angeles differ markedly in topography, they differ also in pollution “source mix”.  Houston’s vehicle fleet accounts for less than 30% of air emissions, appreciably smaller than LA’s.  But greenhouse gases are not negligible – about 24 million tons per year.  Industrial behemoths including ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, and Lyondell as well as other refining and petrochemical businesses contribute importantly to Houston’s economy.  They also contribute to pollution, accounting for most of the balance of air emissions along with smaller factory operations and electricity generation.

March 29, 2021

GAINESVILLE, Florida - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has issued a notice of pollution near the Alachua County jail...

March 22, 2021

What will pro-China UNSG Guterres say about this, from the FT? "Despite Xi’s pledge last year to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2060, China’s five-year economic blueprint released this month disappointed those who had hoped for strict curbs on polluting coal power plants.  Even before the dust storm, Beijing was mired in a relapse of poor air quality at levels similar to 2016, caused by soaring production of steel, cement and aluminum.." March 15, 2021

  Researchers at the University of Virginia and Duke University law schools have created a database to track the criminal prosecution of corporations. According to that registry, federal prosecutors have made only 17 such deals out of more than 700 environmental and wildlife cases since the late 1990s. The Times found two more non-prosecution agreements through a Freedom of Information Act request.  Eight of those deals, or roughly 40 percent, came out of the Central District of California, a rate far out of proportion to its share of the country's environmental caseload, according to a summary of environmental prosecution data maintained by Syracuse University's TRAC project

March 8, 2021

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Thursday reversed the conviction of James Philip Lucero for engineering a scheme to dispose of dirt and debris on lands adjoining the Mowry Slough in Newark, near the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.  Lucero was a "self-described 'dirt-broker' who provided contractors and trucking companies with open space to dump fill material, or dirt, taken from construction sites for a fee," according to the court.  He was indicted in 2016 for "knowingly discharging a pollutant" into "navigable waters" in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.     The heart of the dispute was what the trial judge should have told the jury about the meaning of the word "knowingly."

March 1, 2021

From the UK: THAMES Water has been given a fine worth more than £2 million following a pollution incident in Oxfordshire.  The water company was fined £2.3 million for a raw sewage pollution incident in 2016, which saw 1,200 fish die.

February 22, 2021

Minnesota pollution: On Feb. 19, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency issued a Code Orange Air Quality Alert to be in effect from 6 p.m. today through noon Sunday, Feb. 21 for much of east central and southeast Minnesota, including Wright County.  According to the MPCA, "Air quality is expected to worsen beginning Friday evening, with the Air Quality Index (AQI) forecasted to reach Orange or Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups category."

February 15, 2021

Britain’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a group of Nigerian farmers and fishermen can sue Royal Dutch Shell PLC in English courts over pollution in a region where the Anglo-Dutch energy giant has a subsidiary.  Five justices on the U.K.’s top court said Shell has a “duty of care” to the claimants over the actions of its Nigerian subsidiary. Shell had argued that it was not responsible.  Members of Nigeria’s Ogale and Bille communities took Shell to court in Britain in 2016, alleging that decades of oil spills have fouled the water, contaminated the soil and destroyed the lives of thousands of people in the Niger River Delta, where a Shell subsidiary has operated for decades.

February 8, 2021

Owners of a solar energy farm in Massachusetts have reached a settlement with the state’s attorney general’s office to remediate a large tract of wetlands and riverfront damaged during construction of the site in 2018.  Dynamic Energy Solutions agreed to pay more than $1 million to settle charges that it violated federal stormwater protections, damaged wetlands and polluted a branch of a river...

February 1, 2021

Riverkeeper Lawsuit Against EPA Will Exclude Hearsay Report In SDNY Ruling Due February

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 25 – Riverkeeper sued the EPA for not protecting endangered species in connection with its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 On January 25, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Jed S. Rakoff held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.  

Judge Rakoff grilled Riverkeeper's lawyer about a report being hearsay; he listened to the argument on standing, that it was not based on spending money on litigation but the longstanding "Havens" factors.  

At the end - reference was made another proceeding, not on the PACER Calendar Events - Judge Rakoff said it is interesting case so it will take time to rule.

 He specified the end of February, saying he'll aim to do it sooner but cannot promise.

The case is JSR Riverkeeper, Inc. et al v. US EPA, et al., 20-cv-6572 (Rakoff)

January 25, 2021

A map of Florida brownfields, and communities of color, is here.

January 18, 2021

Tzumi Sues EPA To Stop Hand Wipes Wipe Out Order But EPA Says Claims Are False

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 14 –   Tzumi Innovations says that its "Wipe Out!" hand wipes should not be registered with the EPA as a pesticide under FIFRA. It has sued.    

   On January 14, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Lorna G. Schofield held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.  

The EPA says Tzumi is lying - or its claims are false - when it accuses EPA of issuing a Stop Sale, Use or Removal Order to Home Depot regarding Wipe Out products. 

On January 11, Judge Schofield had ordered a briefing schedule and a letter on whether the effectiveness of any SSURO might be delayed pending resolution of the case. Could it be a wipe out?

The case is Tzumi Innovations, LLC v. Wheeler et al., 21-cv-122 (Schofield)

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January 11, 2021

Check it out: Top Twenty Lenders to 40 actors in the Plastic Packaging Value Chain (Jan 2015 - Sept 2020; million USD)

BANK HQ LOANS & UNDERWRITING % OF TOTAL Bank of America United States 171,737 10.31% Citigroup United States 145,816 8.76% JPMorgan Chase United States 143,766 8.63% Barclays United Kingdom 117,923 7.08% Goldman Sachs United States 97,042 5.83% HSBC United Kingdom 96,201 5.78% Deutsche Bank Germany 77,398 4.65% Wells Fargo United States 74,121 4.45% BNP Paribas France 55,852 3.35% Morgan Stanley United States 54,211 3.26% Mizuho Financial Japan 50,602 3.04% Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Japan 43,587 2.62% Credit Suisse Switzerland 40,218 2.42% Société Générale France 35,775 2.15% Santander Spain 33,960 2.04% SMBC Group Japan 33,189 1.99% ING Group Netherlands 31,084 1.87% Toronto-Dominion Bank Canada 23,574 1.42% NatWest United Kingdom 22,207 1.33% Royal Bank of Canada Canada 21,760 1.31% Other 295,191 17.73%