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.

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 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