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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life
Oil and chemical refinery plants cover the landscape next to African American communities along the Mississippi River near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images

By Derrick Z. Jackson

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 administration's proposed changes to NEPA has environmental justice leaders up in arms. For them, the silencing amounts to regulatory racism.

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Protestors are seen in Brooklyn on Sept. 27, 2019 holding a sign that reads climate justice. Erik McGregor / LightRocket / Getty Images

Low-income and minority communities are particularly vulnerable to the climate crisis. They tend to be the most affected by extreme weather events, by air pollution, and by chemicals in drinking water. House Democrats put forth an environmental justice bill yesterday to help marginalized communities that have been ignored in the Capitol, according to The Hill.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Mapping Urban Heat through Portland State University / video

Concrete and asphalt absorb the sun's energy. So when a heat wave strikes, city neighborhoods with few trees and lots of black pavement can get hotter than other areas — a lot hotter.

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Six Democratic primary candidates participated in the ninth debate in Las Vegas Wednesday. Mario Tama / Getty Images

The climate crisis got its moment in the sun during the ninth Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Wednesday.

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Pro-environment demonstrators on the streets of Washington, DC during the Jan. 20, 2017 Trump inauguration. Mobilus In Mobili / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Dr. Brian R. Shmaefsky

One year after the Flint Water Crisis I was invited to participate in a water rights session at a conference hosted by the US Human Rights Network in Austin, Texas in 2015. The reason I was at the conference was to promote efforts by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to encourage scientists to shine a light on how science intersects with human rights, in the U.S. as well as in the context of international development. My plan was to sit at an information booth and share my stories about water quality projects I spearheaded in communities in Bangladesh, Colombia, and the Philippines. I did not expect to be thrown into conversations that made me reexamine how scientists use their knowledge as a public good.

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Earthjustice says Louisiana has violated the Clean Water Act and given Formosa Plastics Group the "greenlight to double toxic air pollution in St. James" (seen above). Louisiana Bucket Brigade

By Jessica Corbett

A coalition of local and national groups on Friday launched a legal challenge to a Louisiana state agency's decision to approve air permits for a $9.4 billion petrochemical complex that Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Group plans to build in the region nationally known as "Cancer Alley."

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View of asbestos warning signs at the Turner Construction project in downtown Bellevue, Washington in December 2019. Colleen Michaels / iStock Editorial / Getty Images

By Derrick Z. Jackson

In the U.S., gun violence kills nearly 40,000 people a year and has killed nearly 40,000 or so children and teenagers since 1999, and yet the nation is still without serious gun control. Another 40,000 people die each year in traffic accidents, including 1,200 children 14 and under. Yet we eschew policies used abroad that could cut the toll by half.

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Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) discusses the introduction of the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020 in Washington, DC. Michael Brochstein / Echoes Wire / Barcroft Media / Getty Images

The world is in the midst of a plastic pollution crisis, and the current U.S. waste management system is not dealing with it effectively. Only eight percent of plastic waste in the U.S. is actually recycled. The rest is incinerated, landfilled or shipped overseas to countries even less equipped to process it, where it risks joining the eight million metric tons of plastic that end up in the world's oceans every year.

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350 .org / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

By Julia Conley

In addition to having a disproportionate impact on marginalized communities around the globe which have contributed the least to climate-warming fossil fuel emissions, the climate crisis has exacerbated the human rights violations already perpetrated by the fossil fuel industry, according to a new report.

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Flooding in Pakistan triggers a national emergency. Asian Development Bank, / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Steve Trent

Imagine if you couldn't feed your children and had to leave your home because of fossil fuels burned in a far-off country. That's what people on the front lines of climate change face today.

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People participate in a national mile-long march to highlight the push for clean water in Flint Feb. 19, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. Bill Pugliano / Stringer / Getty Images

The Supreme Court made a decision Tuesday that means Flint residents can sue state and local officials over the water crisis that leached lead into their water and resulted in at least 12 deaths.

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