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‘Plastic Rain’ Is Pouring Down in Nati...

The plastic crisis has polluted the world’s oceans and created mountains in landfills. Microplastics have been identified wafting on the sea breeze and raining down on top of the Pyrenees. They travel on the winds and slowly drop down from the skies. Now, a new study has found that some of the most untouched areas of the U.S. are seeing 1,000 tons or more of microplastics rain down every year, according to The New York...

‘Another Blow to the Black Community’:...

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday mandating federal agencies bypass key environmental reviews of energy and infrastructure projects. Trump said the rule was designed to stimulate the economy in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but critics say the move will disproportionately impact communities of color amidst ongoing national protests following the police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor...

Corporations Don’t Have to Pay Pollution Fin...

Corporations that flouted environmental regulations and spewed pollutants into the air and dumped them into waterways will not be required to pay the fines they agreed to during the pandemic, according to The Guardian. The forbearance of payments totals $56 million from ten corporations for a variety of violations across the country, including polluting air and water in already vulnerable communities, like East Chicago,...

As U.S. lakes and rivers warm, reports of harmful ...

Heavy downpours contribute to the problem by washing nutrients into waterways. During summer in central New York, residents often enjoy a refreshing dip in the region’s peaceful lakes. But sometimes swimming is off-limits because of algae blooms that can make people sick. “Some of the algae may produce chemical toxins that can have harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, terrestrial and marine mammals, and birds,” says...

COBALT IS CRITICAL TO THE RENEWABLE ENERGY TRANSIT...

May 14, 2020 — Its name conjures an image of vivid deep blues. But when cobalt is dug out of the ground in ore form, there’s barely a hint of the rich hue it lends its name to. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which produces more than half of the world’s supply, it takes the form of heterogenite, a dull brownish mineral that could easily be mistaken for small clods of dirt. But people die for this mineral. Children...

Air Pollution and the Coronavirus: The Connection ...

Most Americans have spent the past couple weeks focused on staying safe and protecting their families during the coronavirus pandemic. For President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), however, this time has been spent differently. Trump’s EPA has been on a mission of late to quickly relax regulations and give fossil fuel companies a free pass to pollute – all at a time when we’re learning that the quality of the...

Human Pollution Reaches Underground Cave Ecosystem...

Not even underground ecosystems are safe from human pollution. New research published in PLoS ONE May 6 examined how water runoff from the surface impacted the communities of microbes in the Monte Conca cave system in Sicily. The answer? Quite a lot. Potentially human-introduced bacteria made up less than 4 percent of the microbial community during the dry season, but shot up to almost 90 percent during the wet season, after...

Trump EPA Won’t Regulate Toxic Drinking Water Chem...

In defiance of a court order, the Trump administration Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not regulate perchlorate, a toxic chemical used in rocket fuel that contaminates drinking water and harms the development of fetuses and small children. The move is in keeping with other Trump administration decisions not to impose recommended limits on toxic chemicals, such as its decision not to ban child-harming...

Lead Poisoning Reveals Environmental Racism in the...

Reports that the new coronavirus is disproportionately killing African Americans in the United States are no surprise to the country’s public health researchers. Numerous examples, from polluted water in Flint, Michigan, to parasites like hookworm in Alabama, have long shown that African Americans are more exposed to environmental dangers and ill-health than white Americans. But a study into one of the most enduring of...

Did The Plastics Boom End Before It Even Started?

Three years ago, the UN declared plastic pollution a global crisis, more than three decades after the discovery of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch–a collection of marine debris 2x the size of Texas. The Year 2020 was supposed to be a watershed moment for the plastic industry after dozens of state and local policymakers planned to make the ultimate shift away from plastics. They clearly underestimated the sheer tenacity...

Trump Signs Executive Order That Will Accelerate C...

President Donald Trump issued an executive order late Thursday that environmentalists warned will accelerate the corporate exploitation of oceans by relaxing regulations on and streamlining the construction of industrial offshore aquaculture facilities, which critics deride as “floating factory farms” that pump pollution and diseases into public waters. The Don’t Cage Our Ocean Coalition, which was formed...

Trump’s EPA Weakens Justification for Life-Saving ...

As many Americans fight for their lives in the midst of a respiratory pandemic, the Trump administration Thursday axed the justification for a mercury pollution rule that saves more than 10,000 lives and prevents as many as 130,000 asthma attacks each year. The new rollback leaves mercury emission standards in place for now, but changes how their benefits are calculated so that the economic cost takes precedence over public...

Coronavirus doubters follow climate denial playboo...

Whether denying coronavirus or climate change, many deploy the same unfounded strategies and messages. For the climate community, observing U.S. national political leaders’ responses to the coronavirus pandemic has been like watching the climate crisis unfold on fast-forward. Many – particularly on the political right – have progressed through the same five stages of science denial in the face of both threats. For climate...

Four Ways COVID-19 will Change Food Systems and Fo...

It’s too early to have precise answers on the coronavirus pandemic’s long-term impacts on the ways food is produced, processed, distributed, eaten, recycled and appreciated. But my experience managing food policy issues in Toronto for one of the world’s leading city-based public health departments gives me some questions that can help anticipate possible answers. These questions provide a robust framework that can support an...

Environmental Racism in Action: The Trump Administ...

The Trump administration is trying mightily to gut the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the law that mandates rigorous, science-based environmental impact reviews for major infrastructure and construction projects prior to federal permitting. NEPA also reserves significant time for the public to weigh in on the impact of projects to their communities. The loss of public input in the...