Archives for posts with tag: Earthjustice

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In this film, Earthjustice Managing Attorney David Guest talks about the threat to the health and wealth of Florida’s citizens posed by toxic algae outbreaks. The outbreaks are caused by pollutants from sewage, fertilizer and manure that big business pump into Florida’s waterways. Earthjustice, on behalf of several local groups, has filed suit to establish limits on these pollutants that will help end this problem.

Learn more and take action to help clean Florida’s waterways here.

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The Moapa River Indian Reservation, tribal home of the Moapa Band of Paiutes, sits about 30 miles north of Las Vegas and about 300 yards from the coal ash ponds and landfills of the Reid Gardner Power Station. Coal ash is the toxic ash and sludge left at the end of the coal burning process. It’s laced with arsenic, mercury, lead and other heavy metals. It’s the second largest waste stream in America and it’s currently unregulated.

If the conditions are just wrong, coal ash picks up from Reid Gardner and moves across the desert like a toxic sandstorm sending the local residents running for their homes. The reservation has lung, heart and thyroid disease rates that are abnormally high and the power plant is currently seeking to expand its coal ash storage capability.

The film An Ill Wind tells the Paiute Indians’ story.

View and interactive presentation of the story here.

Watch the complete film here.

And learn more about coal ash here

From Green (New York Times Blog):

In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, BP sought and obtained permission to use dispersants, detergent-like compounds, to break up the 200 million gallons of Louisiana sweet crude, into tiny droplets that would mix throughout the water column, trying to lessen the immediate impact of the oil slick on fragile coastal ecosystems.

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A review has now been published by Earthjustice, in collaboration with Toxipedia, an online toxicology Wiki, of all the scientific literature concerning the potential health impacts of these 57 chemicals. The report finds that “Of the 57 ingredients: 5 chemicals are associated with cancer; 33 are associated with skin irritation from rashes to burns; 33 are linked to eye irritation; 11 are or are suspected of being potential respiratory toxins or irritants; 10 are suspected kidney toxins; 8 are suspected or known to be toxic to aquatic organisms; and 5 are suspected to have a moderate acute toxicity to fish.”

While words like “associated with” or “linked to” may sound weak and unconvincing, the syntax highlights just how little is actually known about these chemicals. For 13 of the dispersant ingredients, no relevant data could be found.

“BP had a particular set of dispersants on hand and no one at the time seemed to know if they were safe, whether they were safer than other dispersants products that could be used or even whether they were safer for people and the environment than oil alone,” said Marianne Engelman Lado, a lawyer with Earthjustice. “BP chose Corexit because it was the dispersant on hand, not because it was the safest. However, regulation of dispersants is so inadequate that BP didn’t have enough information to figure out how it compared with other dispersants or oil alone.”

Nick Thorp, a project manager at Toxipedia, said:

There is just not a lot known about these chemicals and their linkages to potential health impacts. More research is really necessary to determine what exposure levels are, and aren’t safe. Ideally these questions would have been answered before the dispersants were approved for use. We’re now backtracking trying to answer these questions, after the public and the environment have already been exposed.

Earthjustice is calling for “more research, greater disclosure of the information that is known, comprehensive toxicity testing, establishment of safety criteria for dispersants, and careful selection of the least toxic dispersants for application in oil spill response.”

More.

Download Complete Report: The Chaos Of Clean-Up

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From Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Two southwestern Pennsylvania fly ashdisposal sites are among 28 such sites in 17 states that have contaminated groundwater by leaking toxic, cancer-causing hexavalent chromium, according to a new report by Earthjustice and two other environmental groups.

Unsafe hexavalent chromium levels were found in groundwater near a landfill used by Allegheny Energy’s 1,710-megawatt Hatfield’s Ferry power plant in Greene County; and around an unlined pond and landfill near the GenOn’s Seward power plant in New Florence, Indiana County, the report found.

Another Pennsylvania fly ash disposal site, an unlined pond used by PPL’s Martins Creek power plant in Northhampton County, in the eastern end of the state, was also on the report’s list.

Hexavalent chromium was made famous by the 2000 film “Erin Brockovich.”

The report released Tuesday calls for tighter drinking water limits for chromium and federal regulations designating coal fly ash as a hazardous waste. The report was released on the eve of scheduled Senate testimony by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson about the public health concerns of contaminated drinking water and hexavalent chromium exposure.

“It is now abundantly clear that EPA must control coal ash disposal to prevent the poisoning of our drinking water with hexavalent chromium,” said Linda Evans, Earthjustice senior administrative counsel.

Studies by the EPA, the state of California and the agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry have found that exposure in drinking water to small amounts of hexavalent chromium can increase human cancer risk.

More.

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