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.

January 22, 2018

"Emergency measures have been introduced in the South Korean capital of Seoul to combat a thick layer of smog that is covering the city. Public transport was free during rush-hour as of Monday 15 January, in the hopes that car use will be reduced. The measures were introduced after the average daily density of ultra-fine dust hit more than 50 micrograms per cubic meter"...

January 15, 2018

In Kazakhstan's Temirtau, the snow is black. Temirtau has numerous industrial processing facilities, including the country's biggest steel-production plant, which is owned by ArcelorMittal Temirtau. Multiple locals pointed a finger at the company, and in a statement to the BBC, ArcelorMittal admitted that its facility may have played a decisive role in the black snow phenomenon...

January 8, 2018

In Nepal, A rally was organized in the capital against the rising level of air pollution in Kathmandu on January 5. A campaign against the air pollution named Swachchha Hawa was organized to create awareness of the air pollution and its consequences in public health....

January 1, 2017

Delhi is the most polluted city in India and also the 2nd most polluted city in the world. It is indeed a matter of concern as the pollution is making millions of people vulnerable to physical ailments. This is a huge matter of concern because this city has one of the maximum populations in the country. The levels of harmful particles in the air that are less than 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5) are about 153µg/m3....

December 25, 2017

AP: In Hoboken, across the Hudson River from New York City, the site of a former manufacturing plant for mercury vapor lamps sits within a mile of almost 100,000 residents, including 7,000 children under 5.

December 18, 2017

In Nigeria, "Onitsha, the commercial hub of the South-East, was the most polluted city in the world. Then this report that says three of our rivers are among the 20 most polluted globally. The affected rivers are: Imo, Kwa Ibo and Cross River."

December 11, 2017

Rosewood Scandal of UN Deputy Amina J. Mohammed Reported by France24 With Amina Omitted

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 5 – The UN has dodged Press questions for a month about UN Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed signing thousands of certificates for rosewood already exported from Nigeria and it seems Cameroon to China, just before she took up her UN position. Most recently, after UN correspondents who tried to help her evade the questions declared she is being "vilified," now France 24 runs a piece, here, about the sell-out of rosewood by Nigeria including that "Chinese businessmen paid bribes to officials in Nigeria's Environment Ministry" - without mentioning that the Minister at the time was Amina J. Mohammed. Instead an Ibrahim Jibril is shown saying it was before his time. The UN through its Department of Public Information under Alison Smale gives state media France 24 two separate offices in its headquarters, while evicting and restricting the investigative Press which has insisted that Mohammed should answer these questions, even more so now that the CITES meeting in Geneva declined China's open and Nigeria's more stealth lobbying to close the case, and issued a decision that "With regard to trade in specimens of Pterocarpus erinaceus: b) Parties should not accept any CITES permit or certificate for Pterocarpus erinaceus issued by Nigeria unless its authenticity has been confirmed by the Secretariat, noting that China and Nigeria
have existing CITES document exchanging mechanism to verify the authenticity of all CITES permits and certificates for Pterocarpus erinaceus issued by Nigeria. c) Range States and importing countries should pay particular attention to trade in Pterocarpus erinaceus to ensure that trade in this species only takes place when Parties are satisfied that it is in line with the requirements of the Convention. d) The Standing Committee welcomed the invitation by the Government of Nigeria to conduct a
technical mission to Nigeria and invited the Secretariat to provide any relevant information on compliance with the Convention related to trade in Pterocarpus erinaceus to the Standing
Committee." So on December 4 Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about this CITES decision. He insisted that all questions have been answered, and ended up by running out of the UN briefing room as Inner City Press asked another question. From the UN transcript
December 4, 2017

Entergy on its idled Vernon nuclear plant says "invasive" environmental sampling could cause radiological and nonradiological contamination to spread. The documents also say such sampling might damage buildings and important underground cables or pipes.

November 27, 2017

In 10 most polluted cities

Bamenda, Cameroon
Source: World Health Organization's Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database

November 20, 2017

More on Detroit: in the metro area, African-American children suffered 2,402 asthma attacks and missed 1,751 school days due to asthma per year

November 13, 2017

    In Detroit, protesters gathered Thursday at the Marathon Petroleum refinery to voice concerns about the company's lack of action. The demonstration came weeks after a federal appeals court ruled against a district court's decision that residents' claims of injury due to harmful air pollution from the oil giant fell past the statute of limitations, the Detroit News reported...

November 6, 2017

"Exxon Mobil will pay $2.5 million in fines for flaring gases at eight plants along the Gulf Coast" - is that enough?

October 30, 2017

"The most air polluted country in the world is Saudi Arabia, closely followed by Qatar."

October 23, 2017

As Mugabe's A Goodwill Ambassador of WHO, Guterres Silent, Echo of Biya & North Korea Cyanide

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 21 – Amid the outrage at Robert Mugabe being named a Goodwill Ambassador of the World Health Organization, the head of the UN system Antonio Guterres has been notably silent. He heads the system, but is not providing leadership, at the very least not publicly. The UN often blames similar absurdities on "member states" - but this was a decision by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. (He's "listening" - at least he hears, see below.) On a different issue, when Inner City Press asked Guterres spokespeople repeatedly this year why the UN World Intellectual Property Organization provides help to North Korea for patents on cyanide, the UN refused to comment, just as it did on retaliation by Francis Gurry against whistleblowers at WIPO and other UN system agencies. Several Inner City Press readers have recently mused that perhaps Guterres will give some goodwill position to Cameroon's Paul Biya, like Mugabe a "long time President," in Biya's case for 34 years. This as the UN delivered a threat to Inner City Press to “review” it accreditation on Friday afternoon at 5 pm. The UN official who signed the letter, when Inner City Press went to ask about the undefined violation of live-streaming Periscope video at a photo op by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, had already left, minutes after sending the threat. What to make of the letter's vague statement, "filming and recording on the 38th floor are limited to official photo opportunities, and recording conversations of others in the room is not permitted. It has been brought to our attention that you breached that rule recently"? It's not only vague as to when, but absurd: once a Periscope is authorized to start streaming, it is impossible to not record someone who speaks loudly at the photo op. This comes two days after Inner City Press asked Guterres about the UN inaction on threatened genocide in Cameroon, and the UN claimedGuterres hadn't heard the 15-second long question. 

October 16, 2017

South Sudan’s undersecretary in the Ministry of Petroleum on Saturday denied reports of deaths due to environmental pollution caused by oil exploration. Residents of the former Upper Nile, who live near the oil fields in Palouch (North), complained of environmental pollution as a result of oil production. They reported outbreaks of unidentified diseases which they said were not there before oil production started in the area. These include giving birth to deformed babies and miscarriages by pregnant women. “We found that most of the companies working on the Oil fields are not actually doing the right thing especially to our people,” Josephine Napon, the Minister of Environment, said...

“Most of our people are dying, most of the children are born blind and most of them are dying just because of the pollution the oil companies have caused in those areas,” she stressed.
October 9, 2017

For UN Guterres Trip to Caribbean, 4 Qs All on Climate, No Pool UNlike Sisi Scam, Cameroon Ignored

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video

UNITED NATIONS, October 7 – UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is on a trip to the Caribbean, to Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica in the wake of recent storms. But despite the UN having dozens of communications staff, as of 2 pm on the first of his only two day trip there had been no information much less analysis from the trip so far. Past two pm, Guterres' own - if he writes them - tweet: "People of Barbuda face months of recovery after devastating #Irma. They urgently need help to rebuild their lives & a more resilient future." And the replies to that were largely about Southern Cameroons, and Biafra, and the Rohingya, decrying UN inaction. A sample: "Meanwhile people including children are being killed in Southern Cameroons by Biya's brutal regime you remained quiet with no action." Now past 6 PM the UN has provided a transcript of Guterres' press conference in Antigua - except they only summarized the questions, all four "on topic," on climate change. Guterres as he did has his similarly one-topic stakeout at the UN cited the World Bank's loans to Lebanon and Jordan, on which Inner City Press questioned him before he was Secretary General, here. Now he is supposed to speak to pressing issues, including whatever he may think Cameroon and the UN's controversial role in the Kenyan elections. Even as to Barbuda, some independent coverage is needed. Guterres' UN does not have “pool” reporting of such trips -- in fact, they refused to tell Inner City Press for two weeks this summer even where Guterres was. During the recent General Assembly high level week, the UN denied Inner City Press the ability to cover Guterres' meeting with Egypt's Sisi, claiming that Sisi's state media Akhbar al Yom would be “pooling.” But when Inner City Press asked if their rarely present correspondent Sanaa Youssef who was allowed in the meeting ostensibly as pooler would say who was in the meeting, for example UN human rights staff, no information was provided. It wasn't a pool - it was a cover-up. This has been raised to the UN's new head of Global Communications and the Department of Public Information Alison Smale, still without any response. The team, we learn from gushing tweets, is in Vienna, while questions about killings in such places as Cameroon go unanswered. Ah, communications, UNcommunicative.October 2, 2017

Hurricanes I: "When the St. Johns River broke its banks during Hurricane Irma, it wasn’t just homeowners caught unprepared.  The historic flooding also inundated industrial operations, like factories and power plants. The impact on sewage systems is well documented – and frankly hard to ignore. But Irma’s rains also flooded industrial wastewater ponds, causing tons of accidental pollution. It’s not clear if those polluters will be held to account."

September 25, 2017

UNEP's Erik Solheim said, “The profit of destroying nature or polluting the planet is nearly always privatised, while the costs of polluting the planet or the cost of destroying ecosystems is nearly always socialised."

September 18, 2017

On Hurricane Irma, UN Spox Cuts Off Press Q on Debt Moratorium, Gives 3 Minute Notice

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 16 – While the UN system's International Monetary Fund has yet to announce any debt moratorium for countries impacted by Hurricane Irma, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric gave the press a mere three minutes to sign up to attend the UN's September 18 meeting about Irma, see below. When the IMF re-started its biweekly embargoed press briefings on September 14, Inner City Press submitted a question about Hurricane Irma and moratoria: "On Antigua and Barbuda, and Hurricane Irma impacted countries more generally... will there be no moratoria? What is the IMF doing?" IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice said, "There's a question from Matthew Lee on moratorium... on that, I would refer to what Mme Lagarde said a few days ago, of course the IMF has tremendous sympathy. She also said we stand ready to help. There are a number of options we can look at in that context. At the moment we are still trying to make an assessment. As a factual member, none of our members including Antigua and Barbuda have formally requested assistance from the Fund." Oh. On September 15, when Inner City Press at the UN asked Patti Smith about it, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric cut off the question saying he would answer it at his forthcoming briefing. He did not. Instead, with a mere three minutes' notice, at 3:57 pm on September 15 he told the Press it had until 4 pm to request a seat to cover the UN's meeting on Irma. He also excluded Inner City Press from information about his "background" briefing on UN General Assembly week. Here's Dujarric's Irma e-mail, with invitees: "From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply
Date: Fri, Sep 15, 2017 at 3:57 PM
Subject: Media Advisory: Meeting on Hurricane Irma
Meeting on Hurricane Irma United Nations, 15 September 2017 — On 18 September 2017, the President of the seventy-second session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajèák, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. António Guterres, will co-host a High-Level Meeting on Hurricane Irma at United Nations Headquarters. The meeting will be an opportunity to draw political attention to the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma. It will aim to increase solidarity with those affected and highlight the need for building communities that are more resilient to natural disasters and climate change. Information will also be shared on what is being done at the national, regional and global levels to respond to the disaster. The event will bring together United Nations Member States, United Nations agencies and other relevant stakeholders. WHAT High-Level Meeting on Hurricane Irma WHO expected speakers to include:
·        H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajèák, President of the General Assembly
·        H.E. Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General
·        H.E. Mr. Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda
·        H.E. Mr. Darren Henfield, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bahamas
·        H.E. Mr. Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
·        The Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, Minister of State for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom
·        Mr. Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator
·        Mr. Mark Lowcock, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs
·        Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and International Development Association, World Bank  WHEN Monday, 18 September; 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EDT WHERE: Trusteeship Council Chamber HOW: There is limited seating at the event. UN journalists wishing to cover it can request special passes from the UN Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit.  External print journalists must register here by 4pm EDT on Friday, 15 September" - this is, in three minutes...
September 11, 2017

Sign o' the times: "The public is being urged Saturday by Heal the Bay to avoid the waters of the Los Angeles River this weekend due to “alarmingly” high levels of bacterial pollution."

September 4, 2017

Post Harvey, "Fourteen plants, operated by firms including Shell and Dow Chemical, have also reported wastewater overflows following the hurricane."

August 28, 2017

Dutch environmentalists went to court last week to demand that the Dutch government take urgent action to improve air quality, arguing that authorities haven’t done enough to meet European Union-mandated targets. The summary hearing in The Hague was part of a crowd-funded legal battle by the Dutch arm of Friends of the Earth, which says that the government must do more to reduce harmful airborne pollution.

August 21, 2017

Charm city: "Baltimore officials agreed this week to pay $3.9 million to help clean up hazardous pollution from a dump site in East Baltimore. The Board of Estimates, which is controlled by Mayor Catherine Pugh, voted Wednesday to enter into a consent decree with the federal government and state of Maryland to deal with pollution at the 68th Street Dump site."

August 14, 2017

Air Pollution Ranking of 32 Cities

City / Annual PM2.5 Level / Number of unhealthy particle pollution days

Delhi / 122
Beijing / 85
Cairo / 76
Shanghai / 52
Yaoudé / 49
Johannesburg / 41
Antananarivo / 37
Hong Kong / 29
Bangkok / 24
Seoul / 24
Moscow / 20
Mexico City / 20
Sao Paulo / 19
Brussels / 18
Paris / 18
Rio de Janeiro / 18
Singapore / 18
Manila / 17
Nairobi / 17
Berlin / 16
Barcelona / 15
London / 15
Munich / 15
Los Angeles / 11 / 77
Madrid / 10
Washington DC / 10
San Francisco / 9 / 5
New York / 9 / 0
Toronto / 8
Melbourne / 8
Boston / 7
Sydney / 6
August 7, 2017

In New Delhi, India, By October, the city's average air quality readings are likely to change as the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) will start monitoring pollution levels in 20 new locations. These include two industrial areas, Najafgarh and Okhla, and far-flung locations such as Mundka, Narela, Bawana and Dwarka

July 31, 2017

  Another Cameroon abuse: "Plastic waste has become a major problem in Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé clogging up drains and rivers and causing flooding in the city whenever it rains. Cameroon’s government has been trying to tackle the country’s plastic pollution troubles for years, but with little success. Yaounde’s streets are littered with piles of plastic bags and bottles and residents are worried. Cheaper than other alternatives, plastic bags and bottles are popular in a place where the average income is less than 500 Central African francs (cfa) ($5) a day, and laws aimed at curbing the use and sale of disposable plastics remain ineffective."

July 24, 2017

Denmark voted against an EU decision to endorse an amendment to the Gothenburg Protocol on transboundary air pollution, saying it is being unfairly penalised for having taken early action to reduce ammonia emissions from its agriculture sector.

July 17, 2017

In India United Bengaluru, an NGO, has lodged a police complaint against encroachment and discharge of effluents into Vibhuthipura lake. The NGO members visited Kaggadasapura, Doddanekkundi and Vibhutipura lakes on Saturday and found all three lakes encroached upon and froth in Kaggadasapura lake. They also found untreated sewage from slum directly entering Vibhutipura lake.

July 10, 2017

In Malaysia, six solid waste landfills are found to have serious and recurring leachate contaminant issues, per Minister  Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. The six solid waste landfills are the former ones at  Taman Beringin Kuala Lumpur; and Pajam Negeri Sembilan as well as at Sungai Udang Melaka; Pulau Burung in Penang; Tanah Merah Estate in Negeri Sembilan and CEP Simpang Renggam Estate in Johor.

July 3, 2017

In Tunisia, 100s demonstrated in the Tunisian city of Gabes against the environmental pollution generated by the phosphogypsum discharged into the sea by phosphate processing plants. Civil society and political parties gathered in front of the Tunisian Chemical Group (GCT), a public company operating phosphate mines in Ghannouch..

June 26, 2017

  Haiti's environmental catastrophe is made all the more outrageous by the billions of dollars the UN has spent while NOT solving or even addressing it. We'll have more on this.

June 19, 2017

So Dell is using "litter picked up from Haiti’s beaches and worked into recycled packaging." What else should they be doing?

June 12, 2017

UN Ocean Conference Ends on River Balcony, Guterres On Junket, New Envoy in the Works?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Photos here

UNITED NATIONS, June 9 – As the UN's week-long Ocean Conference finally ended on the evening of June 9 with a reception on the Delegates Lounge balcony over the river, complete with a Fiji band, the Colonel and Ambassadors galore, including Dominica's Italian Deputy Ambassador Paolo Zampolli, the question arose where this is all going. In terms of the Ocean, perhaps Secretary General Antonio Guterres will create a new Special Representative position on Ocean, and perhaps Fiji will fill it. Periscope video here and here. Guterres himself wasn't present, on a week-long junket to Central America. Numerous attendees marvels, Where are the promised reforms? Or is it just more of the same? During the week-long conference there were few answers on fisheries subsidies and the substance of Marine Protected Areas. Throughout the week Inner City Press, often as the only media in the UN Press Briefing Room or the only one asking questions, pursued the issue with ministers from Indonesia, Palau and the Maldives, and UN agencies which claimed not to know of widely reported scams right in their host countries. At the end, Inner City Press asked the accessible President of the General Assembly Peter Thomson of the push for the creation of a new job, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Ocean, and he seemed to acknowledge it. Photos here. Inner City Press and the Free UN Coalition for Access complained how money was spent on exhibits in the UN lobby and then the public banned for the whole week. This is today's UN. On June 7 when Monaco's Prince Albert II held a press conference at the UN, Marine Protected Areas were mentioned and Inner City Press went to ask him about the MPAs which offer little to no protection, see below. But as it turned out at the press conference, the questions were given to a group which the Prince gives money to - this was not disclosed - and the questions not surprisingly were softballs, repeated requests to defend the Paris Accord and sing the praises of the Prince's relatives and diving. To this has the UN descended: faux press conferences by royals, with the fact that those called on for questions are fundees not disclosed. To those the Prince - or his subjects - funds, an embargoed copy of his self-promotion was provided (a disgusted member of the group provided it to Inner City Press). The group, as the Prince should know, operates to get thrown out of the UN investigative Press. There was giggling, and some embarrassing wire service pick-ups, when the Prince "got naughty" and ostensibly stood up to power. At the end no question about Marine Protected Areas was permitted. There was applause, and the question, We'll see you tonight, won't we? There will be more faux prizes. To this has the UN descended. June 5, 2017

LAT: "Consider the American Great Lakes, where 80% of the litter along the shorelines is plastic. That trash doesn’t stay put — it flows through the canals and river systems through the St. Lawrence Seaway and into the Atlantic Ocean. A takeout container that blows off a Chicago landfill can wind up off the coast of Africa."

May 29, 2017

A report published earlier this month from Environment America Research & Policy Center and the Frontier Group detailed just how bad air pollution is in the city. It shows that the tristate area had 92 days of "elevated smog pollution" in 2015, which is just seven days shy of the Washington metropolitan area for the most in the northeastMay 22, 2017

Guardian: "People in the UK are 64 times as likely to die of air pollution as those in Sweden and twice as likely as those in the US, figures from the World Health Organisation reveal.

Britain, which has a mortality rate for air pollution of 25.7 for every 100,000 people, was also beaten by Brazil and Mexico – and it trailed far behind Sweden, the cleanest nation in the EU, with a rate of 0.4.

The US rate was 12.1 for every 100,000, Brazil’s was 15.8 and Mexico’s was 23.5, while Argentina was at 24.6."
May 15, 2017

BBC: The historic site of Buddha's birthplace in Nepal faces a serious threat from air pollution, scientists and officials have warned.
Recent data collected from air quality monitoring stations in five places across the country show Lumbini is highly polluted.
The warnings have come amid expanding industrialisation near the sacred site.
It is already located in a pollution hotspot on the Gangetic plains.
For the month of January, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Lumbini, in southwest Nepal, was measured at 173.035 micrograms per cubic metre.
The reading for the neighbouring town of Chitwan was 113.32 and the capital, Kathmandu, which is known for its high pollution levels, was at 109.82.

May 8, 2017

From the UK Guardian: "Environment lawyers are expected to take the government back to court over its controversial plans to tackle the UK’s air pollution crisis. They say the proposals are so weak they flout ministers’ obligation to protect public health."

May 1, 2017

At UN, Indigenous Tells ICP Guterres Hasn't Met Them, Of Norway & Dakota Access Pipeline

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 27 – As Citigroup's annual general meeting of shareholders began in Cooper Union in Manhattan on April 25, outside a protest formed. Casey Camp-Horinek spoke, movingly; the Reverend Billy Talen began a song. Periscope here. Inner City Press has covered earlier Citigroup AGMs as well, about CitiFinancial's predatory lending that robbed consumers and ultimately helped trigger the financial meltdown. What has changed since? And what has changed at the UN? On April 27 at an Indigenous Forum press conference, Inner City Press asked Rune Fjellheim of the Saami Parliament in Norway if that country's sovereign wealth fund is still invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline. It sounds like it is: see Periscope video here. Inner City Press asked the other panel members if "new" (112 day) Secretary General Antonio Guterres has met with the Indigenous Forum. They both said that he has not, that maybe he is "too busy." Inner City Press told them Guterres spokesman has said Guterres will be back in New York on April 27 (although as of 5:30, his scheduled had not been posted, nor had the UN's transcript of its noon briefing gone online. The day before this protest of Citibank for among other things funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, Inner City Press at the UN on April 24 asked a panel of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues about the protest and more generally about corporations which the UN blue-washes through its Global Compact and otherwise. Video here, from Minute 39. 
Willie Littlechild a First Nations Cree chief from Canada said he wasn't (yet) aware of the protest, but that he supported it, that is it hard to protest at the UN. That's putting it mildly: the US First Amendment does not apply to and is not accepted by the UN, which bans protests and evicts the Press which covers there, without hearing or appeal. But Inner City Press, even confined to minders within the UN has it has been for 14 months and counting, interviewed other attendees of the Permanent Forum, and will continue to. Watch this site.

April 24, 2017

AMA on light pollution: “In addition to its impact on drivers, blue-rich LED streetlights operate at a wavelength that most adversely suppresses melatonin during night. It is estimated that white LED lamps have five times greater impact on circadian sleep rhythms than conventional street lamps. Recent large surveys found that brighter residential nighttime lighting is associated with reduced sleep times, dissatisfaction with sleep quality, excessive sleepiness, impaired daytime functioning and obesity. The detrimental effects of high-intensity LED lighting are not limited to humans.”

April 17, 2017

  In South Korea, there's been "a 380 per cent jump in nasal sanitizer product sales, a 213 per cent rise in nose masks and a 383 per cent increase in canned air also signalled growing concern over the pollution issue among consumers."

April 10, 2017

 In Glasgow, Scotland, "Toxic fumes from vehicle exhausts have polluted 17 of Glasgow’s busiest streets in breach of a legal safety limit that should have been met seven years ago."

April 3, 2017

 Smog has engulfed Seoul for weeks, pushing South Korea into the top ranks of the world's most polluted countries. The government has issued 85 ultra-fine dust warnings, more than twice the 41 advisories issued in the same period last year. Can you say, Ban Ki-moon?

March 27, 2017

   The UN was quieter about "Earth Hour" this year - perhaps because UNSG Antonio Guterres was out of town but his spokesman refused Press questions to say where...

March 20, 2017

Police suspect Renault of having put in place the fraudulent strategies “with the objective of creating false results for antipollution tests,” in order to be seen to be complying with regulatory norms Renault has used “fraudulent strategies” for over 25 years to cheat on pollution tests for diesel and petrol engines with the knowledge of top management, according to a report by French fraud investigators...

March 13, 2017

  You've been served: on Honduras, World Bank get sued, here....

March 6, 2017

In South Carolina, "Gus Speth, who grew up in Orangeburg County, is the co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Al George, South Carolina Aquarium conservation director, was born in Estill and grew up in Savannah, Ga. " They spoke last week.

February 27, 2017

The UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, John H. Knox, is urging the Government of Kenya to take all necessary measures immediately to protect four environmental human rights defenders who have been assaulted, subjected to death threats, and forced into hiding since they filed a law suit against a lead smelter earlier this month.  “Phyllis Omido and the other members of the Center for Justice Governance and Environmental Action (CJGEA) are facing a life-or-death situation,” said Mr Knox. We'll have more on this.

February 20, 2017

Indian conglomerate Adani's plans to build Australia's biggest coal mine may imperil the Galilee Basin and Great Barrier Reef...

Green Group Holdings, “No one should have to fear a multi-million dollar lawsuit just for speaking up about their community — but our clients did,” said Lee Rowland, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. “Fortunately, as they do in the face of all injustice, our clients fought back. This settlement reaffirms our clients’ — and everyone’s — constitutional right to speak out and fight for health and justice in their community. In addition to advocating for community health and justice, our clients also became heroes of the First Amendment.”

February 6, 2017

In Nigeria Fidelis Aden has linked the crises in the oil rich Niger Delta region to the absence of environmental justice for communities in the region in a paper called, “Peace and Stability in Nigeria” at the11th General Assembly of West Africa Network Peace Building in Port Harcourt.

January 30, 2017

 Inner City Press asked about @JustinTrudeau backsliding on indigenous rights. Video from 41:10

January 23, 2017
From New Orleans: "The groups that are opposed to building a new power plant at the site of the an old power plant will meet at a church in New Orleans East to discuss their position. Meanwhile Entergy says building a new plant is the only way to save customers money."

January 16, 2017

The call in the Philippines is “Makiisa para sa #1MBatangMalaya” (One with children to end child labor) which featured the launch of three major initiatives to combat child labor in the country. BAN Toxics in particular called for an end to child labor in small-scale mining.

January 9, 2017

Mother Nature Cambodia, a NGO that is "fighting to put an end to the systematic destruction of Cambodia's precious natural resources" has engaged a Singaporean law firm to provide advice in relation to the alleged complicity of Singaporean Entities in the 'Sand Mining Scam'...

January 2, 2017

The EPA’s Office of Civil Rights has never made a formal finding of discrimination and has never denied or withdrawn financial assistance from a recipient in its entire history, and has no mandate to demand accountability within the EPA....

December 26, 2016

Eight more Ecuadorian villagers have terminated their relationship with Ecuadorian attorney Pablo Fajardo after he secretly cooperated with Ecuador’s government in agreeing to lift a court order freezing Chevron's assets...CSR indeed...

December 19, 2016

We support the coal ash protests in Puerto Rico....

December 12, 2016

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights offers the following statement regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline.

As we commemorate Native American Heritage Month, the recent protests against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline have highlighted the intersection of numerous issues the Commission has investigated recently, including the excessive use of force by police, the civil and sovereign rights of Native Americans, and environmental justice.

December 5, 2016

Princess Cruise Lines has pleaded guilty to seven counts of “deliberate pollution” and now must pay $40 million The ships were regularly dumping thousands of gallons of oil and contaminated waste into the water. Alarms were also tampered with so crews would not be notified when too much oil was discharged.

November 28, 2016

AKWESASNE -- St. Regis Mohawk Tribal chiefs say they are dissatisfied with remediation of the former General Motors site, and took the opportunity to address their grievances with the federal government. The tribe also gave $10,000 to help the Standing Rock Sioux with legal costs associated with their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline...

November 21, 2016

Ban Passed Buck After Morocco Rejected COP22-Accredited Beiruk's Document

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 16 --  Morocco banned Suelma Beirouk from the COP 22, to which she is accredited, because she listed her nationality as Western Sahara, and used an African Union passport, the UNFCCC told Inner City Press on November 11.

But Ban Ki-moon's UN Secretariat continued to dissemble and delay for five days, while Ban was in Marrakesh and get the King.  From the November 17 UN transcript:

Inner City Press: On COP22, the final question.  This NGO issue that went around and around, it seems like the person didn’t get there.  Mr. [Nick] Nuttall said his last communication was the last one.  What, if anything, did the Secretariat do since more than a week ago the person was blocked to request to Morocco that an accredited NGO attend the conference?

Deputy Spokesman:  I believe the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was dealing with the local authorities trying to see what could be done about this.  Beyond that, I’d refer you again to Mr. Nuttall.  Have a good afternoon.

And Nuttal wrote, "I answered your first question ie we sought clarification from the Government of Morocco and were advised she was traveling on an invalid travel document. Let me try again to get an answer to your other two points."

November 14, 2016

UNFCCC Tells ICP Morocco Rejected COP22-Accredited Suelma's Travel Document

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 11 --  Morocco has banned Suelma Beirouk from the COP 22, to which she is accredited, because she listed her nationality as Western Sahara, and used an African Union passport, the UNFCCC has told Inner City Press.

What will UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, slated to attend, do?

Ban gave in to Morocco's demand to pull out 83 members of its MINURSO mission in Western Sahara and has yet to get most of the returned.

Now Ban's UN is proposing to give in further, sources have exclusively told Inner City Press, even as it has been restricted to minders in the UN since being ousted without due process in February by Spain's highest UN official, Cristina Gallach.

And Morocco's Ambassador Omar Hilale on November 7 approached Inner City Press and said he understands and agrees with those who "have a problem" with Inner City Press, and that the parliamentarian banned from attending COP 22 in Morocco was not accredited by the UN. Audio here.

But a document Inner City Press has obtained and published on Scribd, here, shows the individual has been accredited by the UNFCCC. While Ban's spokespeople have told Inner City Press to “ask UNFCCC” and that Ban's Secretariat has been speaking with UNFCCC about Ms Beirouk's situation because Ban believes all accreditees should be able to attend, the UNFCC's timely response to Inner City Press leaves unclear if she will continue to be Banned. Inner City Press asked:

“Please state UNFCCC's understanding of the status of Ms. Beirouk, and position on Morocco blocking her attendance. Separately, since UNFCCC's logo is used on, please state UNFCCC's position and action on the statements on that website about Morocco having a border with Mauritania and a land mass that includes Western Sahara.”

  UNFCCC's spokesperson Nick Nuttal responded:

“Dear Mathew, This is our understanding of the situation. When we (UNFCCC) heard about this situation, we sought clarification from the Moroccan Government. We were advised that the Ms Beirouk was travelling on an African Union passport and specified her nationality as Western Sahara and for Morocco this is not considered a valid travel document.
 We were also advised that Ms Beirouk has a Spanish passport and has traveled freely in and out of Morocco on that many times. Mathew as for your second questions—I don’t know the answer right now and need to ask one of our experts. I’ll get back as quickly as I can.”

   It's appreciated. First, the claim that Ms.Beirouk is not accredited appears to be false. Second, if the only Ban is Morocco's position on her passport, then Ban should act on what his spokespeople say his position is. We'll have more on this.

Morocco PR Denied Existence Of This UNFCCC Accreditation to Inner City Press by Matthew Russell Lee on Scribd

November 7, 2016

We'll be covering COP 22 - including the use of the UNFCCC's logo along with a scam map, here.

October 31, 2

ICP on Dakota Access Pipeline Asks UN Expert, Then Ban Ki-moon's Spox, “No Communication,” Like Haiti

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 28  -- After the UN under Ban Ki-moon killed more than 10,000 people in Haiti by bringing cholera, Ban spent years dodging court papers and the issue.

Now the UN is dodging on the assault on protesters to the Dakota Access Pipeline, again under Ban Ki-moon reflexively and slavishly defending its host country and main funder the US. Inner City Press got a credible answer on #NoDAPL from the UN's independent expert on cultural heritage on October 27, video here, but from outgoing UN spokesman Dujarric on October 28, only lip service.

Ban backed down to the US on Haiti cholera - the US Mission won't answer -- just as it did to Saudi led, US support coalition killing children in Yemen. From the UN's October 28 transcript
October 24, 2016

The Great Lakes Environmental Law Center has filed a letter serving notice that it intends to sue Detroit Renewable Power, the operator of the incinerator.

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 A