Inner City
        Press' Environmental Justice Reporter

         Click here for Inner City Press' weekday news reports, from the United Nations and elsewhere.   Click here to Search This Site

  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.

October 17, 2016

In response to a lawsuit from community groups in Texas and Louisiana, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today agreed to re-examine the accuracy of its estimates of air pollution from the flares at oil and gas drilling sites.

The agreement is in a consent decree that EPA lodged with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The decision is a victory for Air Alliance Houston, Community In-Power and Development Association, Inc., Louisiana Bucket Brigade, and Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, which were represented in their lawsuit by the Environmental Integrity Project.

October 10, 2016

EJ trend was acknowledged by a 2014 report by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which stated that “people who are socially, economically, culturally, politically, institutionally, or otherwise marginalized are especially vulnerable to climate change.”
October 3, 2016

For all the work by many to shed light on environmental justice issues in the past 40 years, the federal agency specifically tasked with that job “never made a formal finding of discrimination in its entire history,” according to a new U.S. Commission on Civil Rights report.

September 26, 2016

California lawmakers failed to approve Democratic legislation seeking to make the state's largest air quality agency more sympathetic to the poor and minority communities disproportionately affected by air pollution. The vote last month avoids a power shake-up at the powerful South Coast Air Quality Management District.

September 19, 2016

This, we like:

September 12, 2016

Florida: "climate leaders from across the Southeast region gathered in Orlando to take part in Power Shift Southeast—an event that aims to mobilize young people to “demand that decision-makers and future leaders of our country take bold action on climate change - including fracking....

September 5, 2016

Rest in Peace: "A long-time Baton Rouge-based environmental activist and winner of the Heinz Award for her work in Louisiana’s industrial corridor, died Wednesday, according to her friends and environmental co-workers. Florence Robinson, 77, was born in Monroe in 1938, and attended Southern University as an undergraduate, received a master’s degree in zoology from the University of California and then attended Cornell University....“Within a short period of time you noticed changes in the swamp,” she said in a video done for the"

August 29, 2016

Big: "research shows that nearly two-thirds of anthropogenic carbon emissions originated in just 90 companies and government-run industries"

August 22, 2016

In and around Baton Rouge, Louisiana, "tens of thousands have been evacuated, at least 11 are dead, and property destruction is sure to be in the many billions of dollars. The Red Cross is calling it the worst natural disaster in the United States since Hurricane Sandy. Against the backdrop of the flood and the suffering, communities across the Gulf region are organizing to protest an auction for rights to drill in the Gulf."

August 15, 2016

From California: "Pushing a wheelbarrow filled with 350,000 petition signatures, concerned Californians gathered outside the capitol Tuesday to urge Gov. Brown and the California Water Resources Control Board to stop the potentially dangerous practice of using wastewater from oil drilling to irrigate California's crops.

The wastewater, sold by Chevron and California Resources Corporation, is now being used to irrigate more than 90,000 acres in the Cawelo Irrigation District and the North Kern Water Management District and is slated to expand in the near future to other districts." And what did Ban Ki-moon have to say about this?

August 8, 2016

 Will Theresa May's "shale wealth fund" in UK be replicated in the US?

August 1, 2016

From Nigeria: After promising to implement the UNEP Report, President Buhari has approved the Governing Council and Board of Trustees for UNEP Report on Ogoniland -This means that Ken Saro Wiwa and other sons of Ogoniland who fought hard for environment justice did not fight in Vain Following the historic Presidential launch of the Implementation of the UNEP Report on June 2, 2016, in Bodo, Rivers State, President Buhari has approved the composition of the Governing Council and Board of Trustees, key elements of the governance structure required for the Clean up of Ogoniland. This is in line with Mr. President’s promise to implement the UNEP Report. The Hon. Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed said in a statement that President Buhari has approved the inauguration of a 13-person Governing Council and a 10-person Board of Trustees (BOT).

July 25, 2016

From NJ, 100 Ramapough Lunaape will make the journey from Mahwah to Philadelphia on the eve of the Democratic National Convention. They don't expect to make it to the sports arena filled with delegates and big money donors...  It's the March for a Clean Energy Revolution, which calls for a ban on fracking

July 18, 2016

So Newark, NJ will from now on require developers requesting environmental permits to inform the municipality of any environmental impacts. Good.

July 11, 2016

Bloomberg on EJ: "Stewart, now counsel in Vinson & Elkins LLP’s environmental and natural resources group, said supplemental environmental project increases could reflect an effort by the EPA to promote awareness of these projects and to encourage larger ones, particularly in environmental justice areas.

Trend Up on Penalties, Complying Action Costs

The average penalty reached a high of $463,576 in 2009-2012 after increasing in each of the previous four-year periods since 1997. The average is $311,677 in the 2013-to-date period."

July 4, 2016

Gulf Coast letter to "Big Green"

June 27, 2016

In NC the "Department of Environmental Quality performed a review on a new lined storage space for coal ash in Wilmington near the Sutton Steam Station... Similar reviews will take place everywhere that Duke Energy proposes to store the material in landfills."

June 20, 2016

In River Rouge, Michigan, the local utility says it will retire coal plants in the community that operate without modern pollution controls and are a major contributor to the area’s high rates of asthma. We'll see.

June 13, 2016

In Los Angeles, "City Attorney Mike Feuer said Thursday a South Los Angeles oil field must remain closed until the operator, AllenCo Energy Co., shows it has adhered to all regulations, with even the smallest leak potentially triggering another closure, under a court order issued this month. Allen Co voluntarily closed its oil field, at 814 W. 23rd St., in 2013, amid complaints by neighboring residents they were getting sick due to fumes coming from the facility."

June 6, 2016

Here it is: EPA's EJ 2020 Action Agenda:

May 30, 2016

In Vermont State Police is investigating an incident at the home of Vermont Public Service Commissioner Christopher Recchia.Environmental protesters were at Recchia’s house just after 6 a.m. Wednesday. Police say the group blocked Recchia’s driveway with cones, and built a fake oil derrick, which they placed on his lawn. The group said it wanted to discuss its concerns over the state's natural gas pipeline, per Henry Harris, a spokesman for a group that calls itself the People’s Department of Environmental Justice.

May 23, 2016

Minneapolis: The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is pushing to revoke the air quality permit of Northern Metal Recycling, saying the firm has misled the agency and is sending "high levels" of metals into the north Minneapolis air.

Northern Metal runs a metal shredder at 2800 Pacific St. believed to be the main source of "particulate emissions that have repeatedly violated state air quality standards near the site since 2014," the MPCA said in a statement Thursday.

May 16, 2016

Can you say, SLAPP?   In Uniontown, Alabama, the owner of a 1,200-acre landfill has filed a $15 million lawsuit against three local activists...

May 9, 2016

Environmental justice activist Jacqueline Patterson will discuss the impacts of polluting industries and climate change on communities of color and low-income communities at UC Riverside on Wednesday, May 11.

May 2, 2016

"Among Flint’s 100,000 residents, 57 percent are African-American, another 8 percent are Latino or of mixed race, and 42 percent live below the poverty line."

April 25, 2016

Amid Climate Hoopla, ICP Asks NRDC & Oxfam of ICAO and REDD Offset Scams

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 22 -- On the day of signing of the Paris Accord at the UN, Inner City Press asked three civil society groups about the exclusion of aviation and shipping from the Paris Accord, about the IMO, ICAO and the Montreal Protocol and specifically about scam offsets like REDD.

Natural Resources Defense Council president Rhea Suh told Inner City Press the Paris Accord is directed at nations and aviation is global; she said there is a strategy for both IMO and ICAO.

   CAN International director Wael Hmaidan said there is political movement at the IMO, though put off until October, and at the IMO.  Oxfam America's Heather Coleman said at IMO, there probably will be “market based” offsets; she acknowledged that there are a range of views of this, but said her focus is whether the revenues are directed to climate finance needs.

   Another correspondent brought up the UN eliminated bike racks; Inner City Press previously exposed the UN's faux recycling - that on the very day the UN Correspondents Association and Ban Ki-moon's spokespeople ordered Inner City Press out of the UN Press briefing room.

Half an hour earlier, Inner City Press asked US official Jonathan Pershing about the exclusion of aviation and shipping from the Accord, if the Coalition(s) will target IMO and ICAO and if offsets like the REDD+ scam will be considered.

  Pershing said yes, there is work for the Coalition to do at IMO and ICAO and on the Montreal Protocol. Afterward, when Inner City Press asked him specifically about REDD, he acknowledged there are issues but said that's different from the question of aviation and shipping being covered.

   Inner City Press notes for example the Air France REDD scam in Madagascar. There are more. Watch this site.

April 18, 2016

From Grist: "The inability to really acknowledge the people who are most affected by environmental racism and climate change was evident this past weekend when Clinton made a campaign stop at Industry City, a contentious symbol of gentrification in Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Sunset Park neighborhood. The chic warehouse complex stands a few blocks away from UPROSE‘s Climate Justice Community Resiliency Center, which was created in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Elizabeth Yeampierre, who runs UPROSE, helped organize a protest against the venue while Clinton was there. One of the key points in Clinton’s plan is to “[p]rotect communities from the impacts of climate change by investing in resilient infrastructure” — precisely the kind of work UPROSE is already taking on. “I don’t think [Clinton’s plan] goes far enough or has an understanding of how these core, densely populated urban areas can actually use these spaces to build for a climate adaptable future,” says Yeampierre."
April 11, 2016

 So at the Apollo Theater on April 11, Bernie Sanders said, we don't need to see 1 in 4 kids in the South Bronx have asthma... No, we don't.

April 4, 2016

The new New York state budget has $300 million for the Environmental Protection Fund, a $123 million increase....

March 28, 2016

Minnesota regulators said Thursday that they’re concerned about airborne lead particles in violation of state standards in an industrial area of north Minneapolis that is near a residential area.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency found lead levels at two of its monitors that were substantially higher than those detected by its monitoring equipment at other locations in the state. It also found levels of chromium, cobalt and nickel above health-based guidelines used by state and federal agencies, although actual standards for those metals haven’t been set.

March 21, 2016

Australian Securities and Investments Commission has been alerted about  a number of Australian creditors who would be at risk should Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private sector coal company, file for bankruptcy...

March 14, 2016

 When the White House held a call about its agreements with Canada, it held a conference call - then it got asked about at the UN including to Segolene Royal, to whom ICP asked about not only the Global compact and the environment but also the rapes in CAR by the French Sangaris force, we'll have more on this....

March 7, 2016

At least 3,300 kids in St. Louis have toxic levels of lead in their blood, which can lead to decreased intelligence, learning disabilities, stunted growth and other health problems. The problem isn’t in the tap water; it’s in old houses with lead-contaminated paint....

February 29, 2016

"The construction of a new gas-fired electric plant will mean $2 million for a community environmental fund in Bridgeport. PSEG Power Connecticut and Mayor Joseph P. Ganim on Thursday signed an agreement in conjunction with the construction the plant to establish a fund to pay for health, environmental and renewable projects." But is it enough?

February 22, 2016

The Feb 17 settlement with the EPA, approved by the federal district court for the Southern District of New York, requires EPA to begin a rulemaking process immediately and to finalize spill prevention rules within three and a half years.  The forthcoming protections will cover over 350 hazardous chemicals, and will apply broadly to tens of thousands of industrial facilities across the country.

February 15, 2016

Hats off, including on environmental justice grounds, to the Moral March on downtown Raleigh NC...

February 1, 2016

On Coal, ICP Asks UNFCCC's Figueres Of Funding by Banks in Global Compact

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 28 -- When Christiana Figueres of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change came with three others to take questions on green investment on January 27, Inner City Press asked her about banks continuing to fund coal -- including banks who are members of the UN Global Compact -- and about murky supply chains. Video here.

  Figueres responded on coal, saying it is on the way out in the US due in part to shale gas (or hydro-fracking); she said unabated coal has no place in the energy system. So, again, what are these banks funding it? We'll have more on this - especially the UN Global Compact members.

 Appearing with Figueres on January 27 were Thomas DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller; ; Michael Liebreich of the Advisory Board, Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Philippe Defosses, CEO, public pension fund for French civil servants (ERAFP).

January 25, 2016

At UN, Fake Recycling Can Mixes Glass, Paper & Waste, Ban & Press Say Nothing

By Matthew Russell Lee, Expose

UNITED NATIONS, January 22 -- While the UN purported to be recycling, its garbage cans with separately holes for glass, paper and waste in fact have a single bag behind them: nothing is separated. Video here.

 On January 22, Inner City Press tweeted a phototweeted a photograph of the faux-recycling garbage can on the UN's third floor.

Photo: At the #UN right now, garbage cans pretend to separate for recycling - but it is all one bag

— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) January 23, 2016

Then after interaction, Inner City Press broadcast the garbage can live on Periscope, preserved on YouTube here.

Isn't this hypocrisy? Why didn't the media using this scam garbage can -- CBS, Voice of America, Foreign Policy, Reuters and AFP from down the hall, the UN Correspondents Association right next door -- say anything about this?

  Inner City Press, aware of UNCA's and these media's attempts to censor and even through the investigative Press out of the UN, filmed it and puts it online here.

Amid self-congratulations about the Paris Agreement on climate change, several environmental groups even inside the conference site on December 12 were critical. But when UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon took three softball questions from correspondents at the UN on December 14, it was another stage in Ban and his enablers' use of the UN to campaign for a Nobel Prize. The first question was, by CBS, to ask Ban about his legacy.

The next, by the outgoing vice president of the UN Correspondents Association -- selling seats with Ban for $6000 on Wall Street -- was, There is criticism, what is your response? But not a single criticism was listed: the easiest question possible. The last was, from UNCA's earlier in the day question, was What should be do?

  Inner City Press asked loudly about corpses dumped in the streets over the weekend in Burundi, where several UN member states are warning of a new genocide, and on which Ban and his office have yet to comment. Ban had no response - he returned to say he will brief the General Assembly; his spokesman said he will take more questions on December 16: also pre-selected?

  Later in the day, Ban and his UN Censorship Alliance which sells access with him will be reviving and re-establishing UN corruption in the wake of the indictments of former President of the General Assembly John Ash, Sheri Yan, the founder of South South News and Ng Lap Seng. Watch this site.

January 18, 2016

The draft USDA Environmental Justice Strategic Plan is available here: USDA Environmental Strategic Plan.

Comments on the Plan may be submitted via email to beginning January 15, 2016. Comments are due by February 14, 2016.

January 11, 2016

 Look at how Michigan declared an emergency about Flint's poisonous water - after have a role in it:,4668,7-277-57577_57657-372653--,00.html
January 4, 2016

EJ hotspot in Denver: Globeville, Swansea and Elyria neighborhoods, and the Mousetrap...

December 28, 2015

Per the City of New York Department of Sanitation, there are 20 waste transfer stations in Brooklyn, handling 10,551 tons of waste daily. Williamsburg and Greenpoint host 15 transfer stations, and handle between 30 and 40 percent of the waste of the five boroughs. ...

December 21, 2015

Headline of the week, from IndyBay: "Jerry Brown grandstands in Paris but fails to protect Latino children from fracking."

December 14, 2015

On Paris Agreement on Climate, Grumbles Even at COP 21, of TPP and Ban's Travel

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 12 -- Amid self-congratulations about the Paris Agreement on climate change, several environmental groups even inside the conference site were critical. An NGO from the United States pointed out that President Barack Obama is pushing the Trans Pacific Partnership, which will undercut climate change efforts; Obama's “climate change hiatus” after the failure of the Waxman Markey bill failed in 2009.

  An NGO from the Philippines called the agreement less concrete than in the past; another called it a “huge disappointment” on human rights. But there was Ban Ki-moon, talking about all his travel in the past nine years (and, one surmised, campaigning of a Nobel Peace Prize, with an eye on the Korean peninsula). A stream of press releases ensued; we'll have more on this.

  Back on November 20 in the run-up to the talks, Inner City Press asked UN official Janos Pasztor if commitments on adaptation funding will be increased, about corporations making sometimes dubious pledges in connection with CoP21 and specifically about requests that the Green Climate Fund not accredit HSBC or Credit Agricole, given their track records.

December 7, 2015

Anything for a hotel, EJ be damned: "The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has determined that the cleanup requirements to address contamination related to the 2477 Third Avenue Property site (“site”) located at 2477 Third Avenue, Bronx, NY under New York State's Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) have been or will be met."November 30, 2015

Baltimore Sun: "Baltimore, where 63.1 percent of the population is black. Baltimore currently has three times the national rate of lead poisoning among children. The effects of lead exposure can be severe, leading many times to behavioral problems such as aggressive tendencies, lack of impulse control and ADHD, among other learning disabilities. Exposure to high doses, while uncommon, can even lead to death. Lead poisoning is highly preventable; however, Baltimore's neglect of its deteriorating housing stock makes it difficult to address the issue. While rates of poisoning have steadily declined overall, black families are still suffering the burden of this legacy."

 We'll be covering Paris...

November 23, 2015

On Climate Change, ICP Asks UN's Pasztor of Adaptation, GCF & HSBC

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 20 -- In the run-up the the climate change talks in Paris, Inner City Press asked UN official Janos Pasztor on November 20 if commitments on adaptation funding will be increased, about corporations making sometimes dubious pledges in connection with CoP21 and specifically about requests that the Green Climate Fund not accredit HSBC or Credit Agricole, given their track records.

  Pasztor earnestly answered the questions, though he said he was unaware of the request to the GCF about the two banks (see here); he also said that while the march planned in Paris for November 29 has been canceled by the government, marches can be held elsewhere - in other countries.

   Agence France Presse, before other journalists got even one question, cut in with repeated “follow-ups.” France is branding CoP21, while now limited civil society participation - except for corporations.

  Relatedly, when the UNFCCC held a press conference in Bonn earlier in the week, the corporate media in the room had no questions, then few questions. But the selection of questions submitted by social media trended toward Thomson Reuters Foundation and the Climate Group; press questions submitted by Twitter and email were never answered. We'll have more on this.

November 16, 2015

New York City Councilman Ben Kallow is pushing legislation to require tests to make sure New Yorkers aren't ingesting toxins near the city's marine waste transfer stations, not only the one proposed as Asphalt Green but alsoMidtown, Greenwich Village, Gowanus and Gravesend, Brooklyn, and College Point, Queens...

November 9, 2015

Staying with Pennsylvia: The regulatory process surrounding Keystone Sanitary Landfill’s expansion plan illustrates how Pennsylvania’s 1980s-era waste-management laws need an overhaul, a member of Friends of Lackawanna told the state Environmental Justice Advisory Board on Thursday. The state Department of Environmental Protection designated a low-income part of Dunmore near the Dunham Drive landfill as an environmental justice community, which triggered a process designed to give people who live there more education about the proposal and a voice in the review.

November 2, 2015

So Pennsylvania's EJ director is... Carl E. Jones Jr., an attorney in the Tucker Law Group LLC, in Philadelphia for the last two years, has been appointed to head the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Environmental Justice. DEP Secretary John Quigley announced the appointment of Mr. Jones, 33, last week to head the office, which has not been staffed by a director or any employees for more than two months.

According to Neil Shader, a DEP spokesman, Mr. Jones was offered the job just before a state government hiring freeze necessitated by the budget impasse took effect.
October 26, 2015

The Pennsylvania Office of Environmental Justice is belatedly getting a new director, and fracking for natural gas will be on the agenda. The Department of Environmental Protection says gas-drilling permit applications once again will trigger extra notification and community involvement - but can fracking be denied?

October 19, 2015

On Climate Change, ICP Asks UN's Pasztor of Carbon Tax, Critiques of OECD

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 13 -- In the run-up the the climate change talks in Paris in December, Inner City Press on October 13 asked the UN's Janos Pasztor about criticism of the OECD's claims about developed countries' progress toward $100 billion in 2020, and about the IMF's or Christine Lagarde's call for a carbon tax. Video here.

  Pasztor replied that at the meeting in Peru, finance ministers had raised questions about the OECD's methodology, which he said the OECD Secretary General had responded to. He called Lagarde's proposals “an important way that countries can address this issue.”

  Back on September 21 the 2015 Equator Prize winners were announced at a UN press conference featuring Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin, UNDP's Helen Clark and UNFCCC's Christiana Figueres, about whose 3 degree Celsius prediction Inner City Press asked last week.

October 12, 2015

In Sri Lanka, a court directed the Attorney General that the documents pertaining to the Colombo Port City including the government's stance on the project be submitted in Court on November 17...

October 5, 2015

After Rousseff Lays Out Brazil's INDC, ICP Asks of Deforestation, Livestock

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 27 -- After President Dilma Rousseff announced Brazil's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution on September 27, Inner City Press -- having fought from being excluded -- asked her how the INDC proposes to offset for continued deforestation and subsidies to the livestock industry. Video here.

September 28, 2015

ICP Asked Peru's Humala If TPP Investors' Rights Provision Undercut  Environment

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 27 -- When Peru's President Ollanta Humala Tasso held a UN stakeout to present his country's climate change Intended Nationally Determined Contribution document to UNFCCC chief Figueres, Inner City Press asked Humala about the impact on the INDC of the pending Trans Pacific Partnership, particularly corporate suing of government provision. Video here.

  Humala said TPP is 90% finished, and that Peru is committed to the environment. But what about corporations suing regulations that “hinder” them? This wasn't answered.

 And the next day, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon when on a podium with Humala and French President Hollande told the Press that Humala regretted not being there. But he WAS there. Respect.

September 21, 2015

On Climate Change, ICP Asks Pasztor of 3 Degrees C, Murky Climate Finance

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 18, more here -- In the run up the climate change events during UN General Assembly week, Inner City Press on September 17 asked UN's Assistant Secretary-General on Climate Change Janos Pasztor whether INDCs to date would raised temperatures by 3 degrees Celsuis, as Christiana Figueres has said, or 2.5 degree as the Guardian has an unnamed UK official saying. Video here.

  Pasztor's answer to Inner City Press included "3.5 degrees;" Figueres' spokesperson chimes in this is the difference between frying and cooking. But who was the Guardian's anonymous "merely warming" source?

  Amina Mohammed, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning, spoke about financing issues, on which Inner City Press asked about how to count if the $100 billion goal is reached by 2020.

Back on August 11 after the climate change announcement of Australia, Inner City Press on August 11 asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric about it, video here

September 14, 2015

In Madison, Wisc., residents are concerned about health and environmental impacts and want to delay the coming demolition of the state’s sprawling, century-old Central Services Facility on the Near East Side....

September 7, 2015

Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of the Inspector General has that continued delays in issuing or finalizing environmental justice guidance limits the EPA’s ability to consider the principles during the rule-making process and puts affected communities at risk. According to a report issued by the OIG, the EPA was three years behind schedule in issuing the final "Environmental Justice in Rulemaking Guide," which was finalized in May. Also, the draft "EJ Technical Guidance" — planned to be a technical complement to the rule-making guide — is not projected to be final until 2016...

August 31, 2015

Good review: the Climate Justice Convergence at Dillard University marking the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, part of the #GulfSouthRising commemorative events...

August 24, 2015

Here's a devastating series on EPA and environmental justice

on which EPA offered... no comment. August 17, 2015

A California firm has filed a lawsuit alleging that the U.S. government has deprived “future generations” of their constitutional rights by allowing climate change to occur, having known since 1965 about the health dangers of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels...

August 10, 2015

  Here's the lack of seriousness in enforcement of environmental justice: "Deborah Reade got a certified letter from the Environmental Protection Agency that was nearly a decade in the making. 'During the course of the EPA’s investigation, it was determined that additional information is needed to clarify this allegation.' Her original complaint to the EPA’s Office of Civil Rights, in 2002...

August 3, 2015

We've been following: FERC's environmental scoping on Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.’s proposed Northeast Energy Direct project...
July 27, 2015

We're following the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that aims to require the EPA to better regulate facilities over hazardous-substance spills. It cites the need to protect low-income communities and areas with a high percentage of people of color: environmental justice.
July 20, 2015

 The US government reports that, in recent years, more and more crude oil is being transported across the country on railways. This past year, 493,140 carloads of crude oil traveled over railways in this country, according to Ed Greenberg, spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based Association of American Railroads. The year before, in 2013, crude oil was transported in 407,761 train freight cars. Even though those carloads represent about 1.6 percent of the total rail traffic for those years, crude-oil transport by rail has experienced a 4,000 percent increase, according to industry watchers..

July 13, 2015

Thirty years ago, the Greenpeace ship "Rainbow Warrior" was sunk by a French secret agent...

July 6, 2015

ICP Asks UN of Climate Finance Shortfall & the Pope, No TPP to Redford

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 29, more here -- Alongside the UN's “high level meeting on climate change” on June 29, Inner City Press asked Janos Pasztor and Amina Mohammed of the UN about the critique by Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC) that the developed world is not moving toward $100 billion a year in climate finance by 2020. Also, Inner City Press asked the Cardinal on the panel, what does the Pope think of it?

  Pasztor said the key is credible measuring of financing, and that Ban Ki-moon has spoken to the G-7. The Cardinal said the Pope's two principles are solidarity and subsidiarity. The SDG connection will become clear when the UN uploads the briefing video.

  But -- this press conference at least was substantive. Two hours later, the UN presented Robert Redford, solo, taking questions ranging from his movies to Obama and called it climate change. The UN Correspondents Assocation, which didn't even have a question for Ban on climate change earlier in the day, was given the first question to Redford; it was sloppily asked and is almost sure not to be written up. No one asked, or was permitted to ask, about fracking or the Trans Pacific Partnership. And so it goes at the UN.

  Back on June 18 when the UN gave a climate change briefing by UNDP's Cassie Flynn, and Jo Scheuer, on June 18 Inner City Press asked about the under-funding of the Least Development Countries Fund, and if South Korea is backsliding in its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. Video here.

  The answers, on film, were to promote other funding vehicles, and to say that South Korea has still yet to file its INDC.

June 29, 2015

 Last week's decision by the Supreme Court upholding disparate impact theory for fair housing may have implications for environmental justice. For now, here's the final paragraph of the majority decision:

"Much progress remains to be made in our Nation’s continuing struggle against racial isolation. In striving to achieve our “historic commitment to creating an integrated society,” Parents Involved, supra, at 797 (KENNEDY, J.,concurring in part and concurring in judgment), we must remain wary of policies that reduce homeowners to nothing more than their race. But since the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968 and against the backdrop of disparate-impact liability in nearly every jurisdiction, many cities have become more diverse. The FHA must play an important part in avoiding the Kerner Commission’s grim prophecy that “[o]ur Nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.” Kerner Commission Report 1. The Court acknowledges the Fair Housing Act’s continuing role in moving the Nation toward a more integrated society. "

June 22, 2015

On Climate, ICP Asks UN of LDC Fund Under-Funded, S. Korea Backsliding

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 18, more here -- When the UN gave a climate change briefing by UNDP's Cassie Flynn, and Jo Scheuer, on June 18 Inner City Press asked about the under-funding of the Least Development Countries Fund, and if South Korea is backsliding in its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. Video here.

  The answers, on film, were to promote other funding vehicles, and to say that South Korea has still yet to file its INDC.

June 15, 2015

So EPA has released a new mapping and screening tool called EJSCREEN. EPA says allowing users “high resolution access to environmental and demographic information”

June 8, 2015

ICP Asks UN Why Of CDM's UNspent Funds, South Korea Backsliding

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 5, more here -- When the UN's Assistant Secretary-General on Climate Change Janos Pasztor held a press conference on June 4, Inner City Press asked him about unspent funds at the Clean Development Mechanism in Bonn, and about reported backsliding by South Korea on its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions on greenhouse gas reduction.

  Pasztor said that the CDM is still needed; he said country have committed not to backslide. Video here. (South Korea has yet to submit its INDCs, it seems). Inner City Press asked Pasztor to provide a comment, if he has one, once South Korea's filing is made.

  The Pope's encyclical, he said, is due on June 18...

Back on May 5, Inner City Press asked him about criticism of the Green Climate Fund, including at the recent Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Video here

June 1, 2015

In South Africa, ArcelorMittal SA has been asked why it has resisted releasing the company’s internal study into environmental issues Vanderbijlpark despite an application under the Promotion of Access to Information Act....

May 25, 2015

Ok, we'll do a PSA:

May 18, 2015

 President of the Philippines Benigno Aquino 3rd claims his government is seriously pursuing charges against the importer and customs agents who allowed the entry of hazardous wastes from Canada. Philippine-based importer Chronic Plastics for smuggling in the garbage, which was misdeclared as “plastic scraps” intended for recycling. Although he admitted that the waste shipment poses a risk to public health, Aquino said the trash will not be returned to Canada but will be incinerated or buried in a landfill. The illegal shipment is an international crime under the Basel Convention, to which Canada and the Philippines are parties.

May 11, 2015

ICP Asks UN Why Green Climate Fund Will Finance Coal, Of Pension Fund

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 5, more here -- When the UN's Assistant Secretary-General on Climate Change Janos Pasztor held a press conference on May 5, Inner City Press asked him about criticism of the Green Climate Fund, including at the recent Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Video here and embedded below.

  Specifically, why will the "Green" Climate Fund provide financial for coal-powered plants? Pasztor replied that some felt that an exclusion for coal would have been divisive. On statements at the PFII that the UN is helping to "monetize" nature, Pasztor replied that most states feel differently. But what about the indigenous?
  Pasztor in his opening statement had praised the UN Pension Fund for now investing in "green equities" and "green bonds." Since the UN has responded to Press questions about irregularities alleged at the Pension Fund by emphasizing how separate and independent it is, Inner City Press asked Pazstor if the UN Secretariat had brought about this Pension Fund decision.

 Pazstor replied that the Pension Fund answers to the Secretary General and that "she" - Carolyn Boykin, presumably - had made this decision. We'll have more on this, after noting Pasztor by no means the least responsive UN official...

May 4, 2015

This, we like: Bushwick Campus’ four high schools celebrated Earth Week with EcoStation:NY with tours of the Bushwick Campus Farm and Greenhouse, cooking demonstrations, food tastings, compost workshops, hydroponic and aquaponic workshops in the greenhouse as well as musical, dance and spoken word performances. “We wanted to see better food in the neighborhood,” said EcoStation:NY.

 So do we.

April 27, 2015

On Chevron: "Faced with endless legal costs, one of the plaintiffs’ funders, a lobbying firm and a technical consulting firm have jumped ship.

The government of Ecuador has not, despite the fact that Chevron reportedly lobbied successfully to terminate valuable trade preferences the country had in U.S. markets. Donzinger, who has devoted 20 years to this case, has been demonized in the media by Chevron’s unrelenting and lavishly financed public relations campaign. But he’s not giving up, nor are Amazon Watch, the Amazon Defense Coalition and other environmental groups that know that Chevron is guilty of a major environmental crime."

April 20, 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency is asking for public comment on the draft EJ 2020 Action Agenda (EJ 2020) framework, the EPA’s next overarching strategic plan for environmental justice.
EJ 2020 is a strategy to advance environmental justice through EPA’s programs, policies and activities, and will support the cross-agency strategy on making a visible difference in environmentally overburdened, underserved, and economically-distressed communities. Stakeholders and the general public can review the framework and submit comments, starting today through June 15, 2015, by visiting

April 13, 2015

Seems Pope Francis is writing an encyclical in the run-up to the UN Climate Summit in September, and the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) to be held in Paris in December...

April 6, 2015

Including on EJ grounds, Sunset Park groups are raising concerns about Jamestown Properties' $1 billion dollar redevelopment and rezoning proposal for Industry City...

March 30, 2015

In Houston, 66 some to 200 Bakken oil train cars go through every week, per the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Chron. The rail lines that carry them run from northwest Houston right through downtown and then split into multiple tracks in the East End before reaching the Houston Ship Channel and refinery district. “Living in Houston is like sitting on top of an oil-train time-bomb, and all it takes is a drive along the freight-train tracks to see that.”

March 23, 2015

This, we like: the Environmental Justice atlas:

March 16, 2015

So today the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, which advises the EPA, will hold a public meeting to discuss—among other rulemaking and policy issues—the Clean Power Plan rule...

March 9, 2015

The law: On December 29, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina held that the plaintiffs in a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act ("RCRA")/Clean Water Act (CWA) Citizens Suit against the owners and operator of a swine farm had the right to have the case tried before a jury. The case is North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, et al., v. Taylor, et al., 2014 WL 7384970. It is alleged that the defendants illegally dumped swine waste into the waters and onto the lands surrounding the swine farm. The defendants challenged the demand for a jury trial, and both sides argued that a 1987 Supreme Court decision, Tull v. U.S., 481 U. S. 412, supported their positions. After reviewing the Tull case and other precedents, the court held that the Tull decision, which discussed the right to a jury trial when the federal government was seeking civil penalties, was a Seventh Amendment right available to either side in a Citizen Suit case.

March 2, 2015

NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio's administration is promising to expand community outreach and agency participation in its April update to PlaNYC, a sprawling assessment of the city's infrastructure and detailed game plan for how New York will address climate change.The de Blasio administration will roll out the plan on April 22, Earth Day. We'll have more on this.

February 23, 2015

News from the border: Alamar Creek on Tijuana’s eastern side, "under a federal flood control project launched in 2011, the entire creek was to be turned into a concrete channel.Now, after a four-year campaign to preserve this small riparian corridor, local residents and environmental activists are celebrating partial success. Mexico’s National Water Commission, or Conagua, has agreed to work with them on an alternative channeling plan for a two-mile stretch of the creek."
February 16, 2015

Hey - the 20th Annual Summit on Environmental Law and Policy to be held on February 27-28th, 2015 at Tulane University Law School in New Orleans will have Grégor Trumel, Consul General of France -- “Appointed by decree of the President of the French Republic, Mr. Grégor Trumel (1975) assumed his duties of Consul General of France in New Orleans in August 2014. He previously was First Counsellor, Press Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of France in Denmark. Joining the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Le Quai d’Orsay) in 2000, Grégor Trumel focused his career on European diplomacy, especially during the Danish Presidency of the EU in 2012. He also specialized in Human Resources Management and was in charge in Paris of the Executives Management”...

February 9, 2015

We support the anti-fracking march through Oakland, this is needed elsewhere...

February 2, 2015

We note the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s August 2014 decision in Center for Community Action & Environmental Justice v. BNSF Railway holding that air emissions do not constitute a “disposal” under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)[3] because, as the definition is written, it does not specifically include “emitting,” and instead “includes only conduct that results in the placement of solid waste ‘into or on any land or water.’ That placement, in turn, must be ‘so that such solid waste . . . may enter the environment or be emitted into the air, or discharged into any waters.’ . . . [T]herefore ‘disposal’ occurs where the solid waste is first placed ‘into or on any land or water’ and is thereafter ‘emitted into the air....

January 26, 2015

VOCs in the Bronx: “The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has determined that the cleanup requirements to address contamination related to the Former Nessen Lamps (aka PS 51X) site (“site”) located at 3200 Jerome Avenue in the Bronx under New York State's Brownfield Cleanup Program have been or will be met. The cleanup activities were performed by The Rinzler Family Limited Partnership ("Volunteer") with oversight provided by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). NYSDEC has approved a Final Engineering Report and issued a Certificate of Completion for the site.... Injection of chemical oxidant into the groundwater table to treat volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in groundwater (known as in-situ chemical oxidation); Construction and maintenance of a cover system consisting of the existing building slab and the restored building slab in all excavated areas...

January 19, 2015

In San Francisco, h/t Bay View: “We have sought and received input from the community and our partner, the city,” acknowledged Lennar San Francisco President Kofi Bonner in a statement cited by columnists Matier & Ross in the Chronicle. As a result, Bonner added, “Lennar intends to withdraw its request to implode the stadium.”

January 12, 2015

From the always excellent Grist:

For Brent Newell, legal director of the Oakland, Calif.-based Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, progress has as much to do with historic civil rights as it does with present-day policies around regulating greenhouse gases:

During 2014, the intersection between climate change and environmental justice came to the forefront as Gina McCarthy advanced her most important rule and the centerpiece of President Obama’s climate policy: the Clean Power Plan. National progress on environmental justice in 2015 will ultimately be measured by what happens with the Clean Power Plan. Though EPA touted public health benefits in its media strategy, the proposed rule seeks to allow states to use pollution trading schemes like “cap and trade,” which allows power plants to avoid on-site pollution reductions by purchasing “offsets,” or pollution reductions from somewhere else (e.g. a tree planting operation in Brazil). EJ communities already suffer disproportionately from the effects of climate change, they should not also suffer from the impacts of climate policy. Whether environmental justice will progress at the national level in 2015 will depend on whether McCarthy will use her existing authority under the Clean Air Act and Civil Rights Act to protect communities. And also, whether the big green groups will change their positions by opposing cap and trade.”

January 5, 2015

In Pennsylvania, the Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living sued the DEP under the Civil Rights Act. The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the case in 1998. But the DEP created an Office of Environmental Advocate and developed policies on how to handle environmental justice areas. And now?

December 29, 2014

In Bayview Hunters Point in San Francisco, they're talking about blowing up Candlestick Park. But what about the particulate matter?

December 22, 2014

RIP to EJ hero Daymon Morgan, who served as chairperson of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth in 1990-91 and received the Berea College Service Award in 2010, was a plainspoken farmer and forester, who counted what he called "the true cost of coal" in lost drinking water, timber, wildlife habitat and plant species....

Read more here:

December 15, 2014

 From Peru, this report: "The U.N. insists that all NGOs accredited to attend the talks clear any public actions ahead of time; if they don’t, the groups can be banned from the conference site and lose access to future U.N. summits. There are regulations governing what the groups can and can’t do, but the U.N. hasn’t been very forthcoming about them."  UN and censorship? We've seen it before, and will have more.

December 8, 2014

From Philly [.com] a profile of Betty Reid who still remembers the excitement from the late 1970s as she and her husband were moving into a newly built brick-and-siding rowhouse on a leafy, almost suburban street at the edge of Eastwick - the city's southwestern fringe, in the shadow of jumbo jets landing at nearby Philadelphia International Airport. The now-81-year-old retiree recalls a brochure for the new Eastwick community from the developer Korman Homes that showed kids playing and sliding down the steep hill in back of the development, pushing "how much fun it would be for the children." But it wasn't long after moving in that the Reids weren't able to open their window on a warm night because of the noxious odor of burning garbage - and they realized the fumes were coming from that hillside in the cheerful brochure, a disposal site that the locals called Heller's Dump but was officially known as the Clearview Landfill. (Today the southwest section of Eastwick encompassing the landfill is called simply Clearview.)

  That is environmental (in)justice...

December 1, 2014

In South Africa, “ArcelorMittal lost a court appeal to keep secret its environmental plans for an area polluted by the company’s biggest steel-producing plant. The Supreme Court of Appeal upheld a ruling that Amsa, as the unit of the world’s largest steelmaker is known, must hand over documents detailing its environmental-protection plan for the Vanderbijlpark plant in Gauteng.”

Secret environmental plans?

November 24, 2014

It's worth noting, from an environmental justice perspective, that US EPA had a representative at the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) meeting in Geneva, and an October 7, 2014 meeting in Berkeley about environmental issues that will come up in the 2015 UPR...

November 17, 2014

In LA the Board of Supervisors has voted to have county attorneys evaluate options to force a shutdown of the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon and the clean-up of contamination in nearby neighborhoods. In September, Brown signed a bill requiring the Department of Toxic Substances Control to either issue a permanent permit or shut the plant down by the end of 2015. The Exide plant has been closed since mid-March while management works to upgrade pollution controls and meet other regulatory requirements. State regulators announced an enforcement order last week that requires Exide to spend $9 million to clean up contamination in Boyle Heights and Maywood and set aside more than $38 million to cover the cost of potentially closing the plant. Regulators said today the $9 million will be enough to pay to clean up 215 homes and that the order is binding, even if Exide is liquidated...

November 10, 2014

In Ecuador, activists are urging Roberta Jacobson from the U.S. State Department to demand Chevron “abide by the rule of law and pay its $9.5 billion Ecuador pollution liability when she makes a surprise visit to the Andean nation’s capital this week. The villagers are also demanding that the official,, reject the State Department’s longstanding practice of lobbying top Ecuadorian government officials on Chevron’s behalf, said Pablo Fajardo, the lead lawyer for dozens of rainforest communities who won the judgment against the oil company. Jacobsen is the Assistant Secretary of State overseeing U.S. foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere.”

November 3, 2014

Look - a group in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is seeking “unpaid interns to assist their Environmental Community Organizer with implementing a NYSDEC Environmental Justice grant.” Who does this exclude?

October 27, 2014

Looking south: "According to a new ranking published by the Environmental Justice Atlas, Peru is the tenth most environmentally conflicted country in the world.India, with 112 conflicts, far outpaces even the second-place country, Colombia, where there are 72 environmental conflicts. Rounding out the top ten are Brazil and Nigeria with 58, Ecuador with 48, Turkey with 45, the United States with 34, Spain with 33, Argentina with 32, and Peru with 31. Chile is close behind in 11th place, with 30 conflicts recorded by the Environmental Justice Atlas." We'll have more on this.

October 20, 2014

 This week: illegal fishing: "EU to ban fish from Sri Lanka, saying lax on illegal fishing

The European Commission proposed a ban on imports of fish from Sri Lanka for not tackling illegal fishing properly.. 'Our policy of resolute cooperation is yielding results,' EU Maritime Affairs Commissioner Maria Damanaki said in a statement. 'Five countries receive today our appreciation for getting serious on illegal fishing. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Sri Lanka.' Since 2010 the EU has taken action against countries that do not follow international standards to prevent over-fishing, such as policing their waters for unlicensed fishing vessels and imposing sanctions to ensure adherence to rules against illegal fishing. Damanaki said Sri Lanka did not even have proper legislation in place to prevent and fight illegal fishing, which led the Commission to put forward the import ban."

 But what about the EU's fishing off of Western Sahara? We'll have more on this.

October 13, 2014

In Connecticut last week in a 17-1 vote with the presence of Mayor Bill Finch, the Bridgeport City Council overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for the "retirement" of the Bridgeport Harbor Station coal plant...

October 6, 2014

So far, the Obama administration continues to allow the fossil fuel industry to undermine efforts to address climate change by mining and drilling for coal, oil, and gas from our public lands and waters, unlocking huge quantities of carbon pollution,” says Greenpeace USA...

September 29, 2014

At People's Climate March, Bronx Floats & BofA Ban Ki-moon, UN's 2bl Game

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 21, more here -- When the People's Climate March assembled at Manhattan's Columbus Circle on September 21, there were anti-corporate puppets in front of the Trump International Hotel and Tower, speeches by coal miners and from the Marshall Islands.

   Many called on the UN to do better. But UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joined the march mid-way, at Radio City Musical Hall with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. Senator Chuck Schumer was on hand, walking by a Bronx contingent chanting how Fresh Direct has broken its promises.

  Inner City Press' 90 second video of the march is here.

  The UN's or "BKM" (Ban Ki-moon) Climate Summit will feature Cargill and Walmart, Credit Agricole and Bank of America. The last of these is the first, in terms of funding mountain top coal removal. These are the contradiction. Inner City Press tweeted photos on @InnerCityPress. More to follow.

  The night before the People's Climate March, the UN buildings on First Avenue lit up with photos and footage of trees and fish and written messages. It is called "illUmiNations." Inner City Press video here.

September 22, 2014

For People's Climate March, UN a Backdrop for Corporations, illUmiNations

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 20 -- The night before the People's Climate March, the UN buildings on First Avenue will be lit up with photos and footage of trees and fish and, it seems, written messages. It is called "illUmiNations."

Photo: Closer-up of #ClimateMarch message pre-screened on #UN: the currency is not money, it's life

— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) September 20, 2014

Photo: at #UN, late night preview / trial of #ClimateMarch messages in advance of illumiNATIONS

— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) September 20, 2014

   Inner City Press late on September 19, after covering the Ukraine, Iraq, Ebola and Iran nuclear meetings inside the UN, went out and found a sort of trial run for the screening taking place on First Avenue, already lined with NYPD cement blocks. Photo here.

Photo: also at #UN, along with #ClimateMarch messages: huge #NYPD cement blocks. #UNlearningFear

— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) September 20, 2014

   Looking back at the UN's press release for the upcoming "VIP Press Screening" -- hard to know how they could exclude non-VIPs from it, or why they would want to -- there were laudatory quotes about UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and:

Obscura Digital has staged similar large-scale architectural mapping projection events on the Sydney Opera House, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. For examples of previous work, please visit the following link

 In that video compilation, well worth watching, there are also corporate projects for Coca-Cola and YouTube owned by Google, with history at the UN.

  A message Inner City Press photographed on September 19, here,  was "In nature's economy, the currency is not money but life." Is this true of Coca-Cola?

   There are questions about the UN's UNcritical approach to corporations and corporate "partnerships."

   In the run up to the UN's September 23 Climate Summit, the UN put out a media advisory promoting the participation of 14 corporations ranging from Saudi Aramco through Cargill, McDonald's and Walmart to Bank of America and Credit Agricole.

  Inner City Press on September 16 asked Summit promoter Robert Orr how these 14 were selected for listing in the media advisory, and if the UN had reviewed their wider record. For example, the recent court decision involving Cargill and child slavery in Cote d'Ivoire, or Saudi Aramco not allowing employees in Saudi Arabia to protest.

   Orr mentioned a luncheon during the summit about carbon pricing and the UN Global Compact, a branch of the UN which repeatedly says it does not enforce substantive standards, only encourages reporting and dialogue.  Well, Saudi Aramco did not respond to the complaint about “employees allegedly dismissed after being detained for participation in civil rights protests in Saudi Arabia.”

   And what of the environment? Bank of America has been the number one funder of mountain-top removal coal mining, but Ban Ki-moon made it chairman the chief of his Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

  On behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access, Inner City Press asked that those making commitments, like the 14 corporations named, hold question and answer sessions during the summit. We'll see.

September 15, 2014

A new study of Northern Indiana's Gary, East Chicago and Hammond says they have the highest concentration of heavy industrial activity than anywhere else in the state: worst air quality and highly contaminated waters and elevated cancer and asthma rate...

September 8, 2014

In Malaysia, Natalie Lowrey was stopped by immigration department officials at KLIA on grounds she was blacklisted from entering Malaysia. She was not told of the reason for her being blacklisted and was sent back to Bali where she flew in from. Lowrey is an Australia-based environmental justice activist who has been campaigning for the closure of Australian company, Lynas Corporation Ltd’s rare earth plant in Kuantan, Pahang...

September 1, 2014

In a webinar a month ago, Daniel Murphy of the Environmental Justice Foundation said half of Thai seafood workers have reported seeing murder on the job and worker suicide is not uncommon. TruthOut: the US imports 90 percent of the seafood it consumes. Most comes from Asia. China is the largest supplier of tilapia to the United States. Vietnam is our nation's largest supplier of the cheap, white fish pangasius (basa, tra and swai) and Thailand is a major supplier of shrimp, as is Malaysia. Asia-Pacific nations reap $52 billion in illegal profits each year from forced labor in the private sector, says the ILO. Some in Congress are raising questions about the human rights and economic impacts of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership regional free trade agreement...

August 25, 2014

Restriction on environmental documents we disagree with :

U.S. District Judge Phil Gilbert of Benton properly blocked the access of environmental groups to irrelevant documents that St. Louis lawyer Stephen Tillery filed in a suit against Syngenta Corporation, Seventh District judges ruled on Aug. 20.

They affirmed Gilbert’s decision to preserve seals on documents that Tillery had not cited in his pleadings.

Chief Justice Diane Wood wrote that Gilbert “explicitly declined to consider them after plaintiffs failed to offer a justification for their filing.”

The public has no right to access these documents, which cannot conceivably aid the understanding of judicial decision making,” Wood wrote

She wrote that “the presumption of public access turns on what the judge did, not on what the parties filed.”

The civil suit itself ended two years ago, after Tillery and Syngenta settled it for $105 million.”


August 18, 2014

So the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today struck down an illegal permit that would have allowed Avenal Power to build a new gas-fired power plant in Avenal, California..

August 11, 2014

Environmental Protection Agency’s new policy on working with Native American tribes became official on July 24, as the Policy on Environmental Justice for Working with Federally Recognized Tribes and Indigenous Peoples.

August 4, 2014

Get ready: The People’s Climate March — scheduled for September 21 — will occur in NYC two days before the United Nations summit; it was discussed at a Times Square press conference last week. We'll have more on this.

July 28, 2014

So EPA has released a “preview of its Request for Information (RFI) on revisions to its Risk Management Program, which tracks information and requires disaster prevention plans from potentially risky chemical facilities. The request represents the next step in the federal process to improve the safety of our nation's chemical plants,” here.

July 21, 2014

Chicago's “data portal is great, but by no means comprehensive, especially in certain areas. Since GreenScore was released to the public at the beginning of the month, Greenhaw said, community groups have been contacting him to complain that it misses a few resources, particularly community gardens that aren't in the city's official list.”

July 14, 2014

In California, air quality regulators have reached an agreement with Exide Technologies that would bar its battery recycling plant in Vernon from resuming operations until it installs new controls on arsenic emissions that pose a health risk to surrounding communities. The South Coast Air Quality Management District is asking its hearing board this week to approve two enforcement actions that have been agreed to by Exide, one of the world’s largest battery recyclers.

July 7, 2014

Ohio residents have filed a complaint with the Environmental Pro