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Savannah sparrow, Bolsa Chica

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Making America great again?

Michele Permberton : Indy Star

The new head of the EPA talks about how jobs and a clean environment are not mutually exclusive. The people in East Chicago, Indiana who are suffering from lead and arsenic contamination from an abandoned superfund site, might beg to differ. I have read several interesting articles of late on how the ex governor, now the Vice President, Mike Pence, basically left this city to rot. Read Pence hosed East Chicago on his way to Washington.
Saying East Chicago already was getting enough help, the former GOP governor rejected Mayor Anthony Copeland's request for a federal disaster declaration to aid families caught in the quagmire of a lead and arsenic contamination nightmare. About 1,000 residents of the West Calumet Housing Complex found out last summer the ground under their public housing project was laced with a toxic stew of lead and arsenic stemming from manufacturing operations decades ago.Environmental studies of the West Calumet area first began in 1985, and it became part of the USS Lead Superfund site in 2008. Indiana entered into a federal consent decree in 2014, but Copeland said the city was not a party to the decree. State environmental officials apparently didn't consider warning local officials about the toxins that residents lived near...Meanwhile, Trump has cast a cloud of doubt over cleanup efforts in East Chicago. Last week, he issued an order suspending all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency activities, and it's unclear whether that will suspend efforts in East Chicago. Cleanup work ended in December with more than 600 homes still in need of remediation. Work is expected to resume in the spring, but Trump's order provides new concern for residents who may not agree he's "making America great again," let alone East Chicago.
Is it elitist to want your rivers blue?
Exposure to lead causes lowered i.q's and learning disabilities. The idea of leaving environmental regulations to the states is simply ludicrous. I have written previously about the lack of regulations in states like North Dakota and Wyoming.

What happens if one state's toxic cloud visits its neighbor? Is it every state for their self? Without a strong Federal watchdog, I think that it bodes disaster for our country. And after reading the EPA Director's emails it is obvious that Pruitt gets his marching orders straight from the polluters.
Pruitt made his name suing the EPA 13 times, repeatedly joining oil, gas and coal players ― including Oklahoma Gas & Electric and the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance, an industry-backed group ― in filing lawsuits to stop federal regulations. Pruitt championed the rights of Exxon Mobil Corp. in investigations into whether the oil giant committed fraud by covering up evidence that burning fossil fuels changes the climate. During his confirmation hearing, he claimed he was unsure how much lead was safe for humans to consume. Between 2002 and 2016, he received more than $300,000 in donations from the fossil fuel industry, and even more money went to a political action committee and a super PAC that paid for the former Oklahoma attorney general’s trips to Hawaii and New Orleans.
One would have hoped better from Pruitt and from Mike Pence, the man next in line to inherit a presidency. How many more Flints and East Chicago's will arise in the next four years?


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