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.

August 3, 2020

Last week, a Kenyan Court awarded $1.3 billion Ksh (USD12 million) to residents of Owino Uhuru, a suburb of Mombasa, for damages related to pollution from a nearby lead smelter that recycled lead-acid batteries.

July 27, 2020

California is working on first-of-their-kind rules to limit emissions from ride-hail vehicles, which could force the companies to get about one-third of their drivers into electric vehicles by the end of 2030.
July 20, 2020

A federal judge late [Wednesday] reinstated the Bureau of Land Management’s 2016 methane waste rule, aimed at protecting people and the climate from methane waste and pollution from oil and gas extraction on public lands.

July 13, 2020

Nearly half of South Koreans viewed air pollution as the most pressing environmental concern last year, a government survey showed Sunday, amid a worsening level of fine dust in the country.  According to a survey conducted by the state-run Korea Environment Institute on 3,008 people around the country, 46.5 percent of respondents said "improving air quality" against such pollutants as fine dust and ozone was the most urgent environmental problem that needs to be solved.  Less than  22 percent cited climate change

July 6, 2020

In Portland, Maine, city officials are seeking a tougher federal crackdown on Sprague Resources LP for air pollution from heated petroleum storage tanks at its facilities in South Portland, Searsport and five other New England cities.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency filed a lawsuit against Sprague in May...

June 29, 2020

Monsanto has agreed to pay Washington state $95 million to settle a lawsuit that blamed it for pervasive pollution from PCBs

June 22, 2020

Even in New Zealand: Forest & Bird is calling on the Government to reinstate a freshwater nitrogen limit of 1.0 mg/l into its proposed freshwater reforms, after the organization obtained alarming readings of nitrate-nitrogen in public drinking water supplies...

June 15, 2020

In Tennessee, in the last five years, the Lawrenceburg Sewage Treatment Plant has had 128 violations.

June 8, 2020

NPR: Our analysis revealed that, in the vast majority of places, ozone pollution decreased by 15% or less, a clear indication that improving air quality will take much more than cleaning up tailpipes of passenger cars.  In cities such as Los Angeles, stubbornly poor air quality during the coronavirus lockdown underscored how vast fleets of trucks are a dominant source of pollution. In industrial cities like Houston, refineries and petrochemical plants spew considerable air pollution. And in Pittsburgh and across a swath of the eastern U.S., much of the air pollution still comes from burning coal.

June 1, 2020

As Pennsylvania Sues Exxon and BP Oil Companies Say No One In PA Hurt By MTBE

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 28 – The state or Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is suing Exxon, BP, Chevron, Citgo (Venezuela), Conoco, Duke, Getty, Gulf, Lukoil, Phillips 66, Shell, Texaco, and Cumberland Farms.

On May 28 Inner City Press covered a conference before U.S. District Court for the Southern District Of York Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman. 

   Judge Freeman said, It's a long docket.  (She starts reading from 2016 motions.

White shoe law firms representing the oil companies in the case include King & Spalding, which in full disclosure Inner City Press has covered in connection with Turkey's Halkbank, Stroock, and Ballard Spahr, along others. 

 The companies' lawyers soon were mocking the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for wanting to test all water wells for MTBE, saying Pennsylvania doesn't point to anyone actually injured.

Judge Freeman said she will not agree to strike any pleadings - that would be up to District Judge Broderick - and that while she could impose discovery sanctions, she won't, this should be addressed on the merits. She notes discovery is delayed by Covid-19 in many cases. 

 Judge Freman told the parties if they want her to review disputed discovery documents "in camera," don't fax them - they'll just sit in unused chambers. She arranged other ways to get them.

The case is Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., 14-cv-6228 (Broderick / Freeman).

May 25, 2020

Westmoreland Mining Holdings sued the EPA in federal court in Washington, D.C., on Friday over its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule, which regulates the emission of mercury and other toxins emitted from power plants... The firm BakerHostetler, which is representing Westmoreland, has previously argued against what they view as “one-size-fits-all” standards in comments to the EPA...

May 18, 2020

... The agency was sued in the same court on April 16 by environmental groups seeking to require the EPA to determine when a company had stopped complying with environmental laws, and to immediately notify the public.  The states said in their lawsuit that the EPA is no longer requiring companies to monitor emissions of air and water pollution or to test storage tanks and other facilities that contain hazardous wastes. The new policy also suspends federal time limits for storage of hazardous wastes if the owner cites the coronavirus as a reason, the suit said.  The changes will lead to more chemical spills and “likely will result in increased air and water pollution,” endangering residents who live nearby, downwind or downstream, the suit said.  New York’s attorney general took the lead in the suit, which was joined by California, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Vermont and Virginia. 

May 11, 2020

As US EPA Coronavirus Deregulation Is Sued SDNY Litigants Leave It To The Papers

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 6 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on March 26, citing the Coronavirus pandemic, allowed companies to move to only internal monitoring of noncompliance with regulations and tell EPA about it later, only if asked.

  Environmental groups on April 1 filed an emergency petition for rulemaking with EPA, opposing this.

After EPA inaction, they have sued in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, whose Chief Judge Colleen McMahon held a conference on the case on May 6. Inner City Press covered it.

   Judge McMahon invited plaintiffs to use the opportunity to describe their case; they said they preferred to stand on their papers. Perhaps journalists in the environmental field prefer to simply read.

In the docket now are Catskill Mountainkeeper, Center for Coalfield Justice, Clean Water Action, Coming Clean, Environmental Justice Health Alliance, Flint Rising, Indigenous Environmental Network, Just Transition Alliance, Los Jardines Institute, Natural Resources Defense Council, Public Citizen, Southeast Environmental Task Force, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc., Water You Fighting For.   Judge McMahon said while she was not scheduling oral argument, she may pose questions to the side by filing them in the docket. Inner City Press will be monitoring it.

The case is NRDC et al. v. Assistant Administrator Susan Parker Bodine, et al., 20-cv-3058 (McMahon).

May 4, 2020

Residents of Birshin Fulani village in Bauchi Local Government Area of Bauchi State have accused a construction company, Triacta Nigeria Limited of polluting their environment while blasting a rock located in the area for gravels and cracking their buildings.  Speaking with journalists, some of the residents lamented that the activities of the construction company make life unbearable for them as it causes both noise and air pollution which they alleged also pose threat to their health

April 27, 2020

UNintended consequences: "With many businesses closed, Alabamians are getting outdoors more, and that is leading more people to notice new things in their environment. And that is leading to an increase in complaints about water pollution to both state regulators and environmental watchdogs. "

April 20, 2020

Prince William has hailed the reductions in air pollution since the coronavirus lockdown began, adding that he hopes attitudes towards working from home will change once restrictions are lifted.  Speaking alongside the Duchess of Cambridge on BBC Breakfast this morning (April 17), the Prince was asked about the large drops in air pollution reported in the UK and abroad since the lockdown began almost a month ago.  ‘Absolutely, I’ve noticed that,’ he said. ‘That is a positive isn’t it?’  ‘The environmental impact of no one travelling around the place has made a huge difference all around the world....

April 13, 2020

  As with another Federal agency, but deeper in the process so more understandable, the EPA churns on, here

April 6, 2020

A group of Senators led by Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) on Friday called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to halt any rulemakings or guidance documents that could cause in increase in toxic chemicals or air or water pollution, and therefore increase the risk of illness or death from the coronavirus.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the coronavirus may pose a higher risk of serious illness to people who have chronic lung disease, asthma, heart conditions, diabetes, or other chronic illnesses or who are immuno-compromised.

March 30, 2020

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reviewed a request from the American Petroleum Institute (API) — to soften enforcement of air and water pollution during the Covid-19 pandemic.  A few days later, the EPA invoked a temporary policy that does just that — easing enforcement of environmental laws during the outbreak.  EPA’s “temporary enforcement discretion” applies to civil violations during the outbreak — and frames the policy as more of a reporting and “routine monitoring” matter — as does the petroleum group.

March 23, 2020

Computer scientists from Loughborough University in the UK have developed a new AI system that predicts air pollution levels days in advance.  The system developed analyzes air data through sensors installed in cities to predict the pollution levels.

March 16, 2020

Luxembourg is introducing free public transport and Manchester is building a walking and cycle network, but declining town centers, dividing cities into separate zones for home, business and retail, and allowing out-of-town development can tie people to journeys for everyday tasks.  

March 9, 2020

The Break Free From Plastic Act of 2020 aims to curb plastics pollution by shifting the responsibility from consumers to the companies that produce plastic.  The bill, introduced by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), would hold major plastic polluters, such as Nestlé, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, accountable for their pollution by requiring them to finance waste and recycling programs.

March 2, 2020

Twelve of the US' top 100 polluting plants are in Louisiana. The study also says in 2018, these 100 plants, which all have at least 250 people living within a mile of them, were responsible for 39% of the country’s toxic air emissions.

February 24, 2020

Cleaning up air pollution has made winters milder Research reveals that cleaner skies allow more of the sun’s energy to reach the earth’s surface and have altered high altitude wind patterns

February 17, 2020

South Sudan: "The oil rich area around Paloch, a city in Upper Nile state, is dotted with exposed pools of toxic water. A chemical junkyard in Gumry town, about 45 minutes from Paloch, was strewn with overflowing containers of black sludge that seeped into the ground and were surrounded by toxic waste" - AP

February 10, 2020

...Coal provides more than a third of the world’s electricity  ....

February 3, 2020

from Colorado: Denver among top 10 worst US cities for hazardous air pollution, 2 new studies say Denver residents have been inhaling hazardous air pollution at elevated levels on more than 260 days a year for the past two years, federal records show, as two new studies released this week ranked metro Denver among the top 10 worst U.S. cities for air quality.

January 27, 2020

This week, Malta: “The NAPCP on page 44, table 2 says that in the scenario ‘with measures’ Malta will emit a total of 4.9 kilotons of NOx when the limits are only 2kt. With so called ‘additional measures’ proposed in the draft action plan emissions go down marginally to 4.5kt...

January 20, 2020

US 9th Circuit Dismisses