Podcast: The Poison Beneath Us ProPublica’s podcasts on iTunes Whiff of Phenol Spells Trouble by Abrahm Lustgarten for ProPublica The stench of phenol was overpowering, wafting from mud taken from a layer of rock thousands of feet beneath southern Ohio. It [...]
Iowa is ground zero for undercover investigations of livestock facilities by animal rights activists. It is also the first of four states to try to ban them. One former investigator goes public for the first time to offer a rare glimpse at how these videos are made, and what's at stake for farmers, animals and consumers.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a press release in May regarding an “air quality study near Marcellus Shale natural gas operations in Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, and Tioga counties.” Eight sites were sampled over three five-day periods to determine if specific pollutants were a threat to anyones air quality in acute amounts.
While state regulators and the drilling industry say the rules should help resolve concerns about the safety of drilling, critics and some toxicologists say the requirements fall short of what’s needed to fully understand the risks to public health and the environment. The regulations allow companies to keep proprietary chemicals secret from the public and, in some states, from regulators. Though most of the states require companies to report the volume and concentration of different drilling products, no state asks for the amounts of all the ingredients...
The safety plan for any nuclear power plant reads like a doomsday book. Earthquakes, floods, airplane crashes, mass evacuations, terrorist attacks, hurricanes, tornadoes — all are disaster scenarios deemed a risk to reactor safety. The most likely threat, however, involves none of these headline cataclysms. Fires regularly occur at the 104 U.S. nuclear plants nearly 10 times a year on average. About half the accidents that threaten reactor cores begin with fires that can start from a short circuit in an electric cable, a spark that ignites the oil in a pump, or an explosion in a transformer.
A February 2009 investigation by the Center revealed the threats of coal ash on the environment and human health near ponds, landfills, and pits. In November, the Center spotlighted the toll coal ash has taken on citizens in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia who live in the shadows of one of the nation’s largest coal ash ponds — Little Blue Run, owned by First Energy. Coal ash, the residue in the production of electricity, typically is dumped in unlined or partially lined sites near the more than 500 coal-fired power plants nationwide.
The Ohio EPA's reliability to regulate based on industry funded science has resulted in a state-funded public relation department safeguarding companies on the public dollar. Now, even peer-reviewed science hailed from state universities is being discarded for company research, simply because companies had more dollars to dispose (citing Danielle Ivory's work for The Huffington Post Investigative Fund »