Native Americans Are More Likely To Have Trouble Accessing Water Than Any Other Group, Report Finds
Advocates said they knew anecdotally that water access is a massive problem for the tribes but when they went looking for data it didn't exist. A new report lays out the full scope of the problem. In other environmental health news: asbestos cases, childhood cancer and shale gas drilling, a $9.4 billion chemical plant, and toxins in the water.
Many Native Americans Can't Get Clean Water, Report Finds
For many people, turning on the tap or flushing the toilet is something we take for granted. But a report released Monday, called "Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States," shows that more than 2 million Americans live without these conveniences and that Native Americans are more likely to have trouble accessing water than any other group. The nearest water station for Darlene Yazzie is 9 miles away at the Dennehotso Chapter House — a community center — in the Four Corners region of the Navajo Nation. On Tuesday, she counted her dimes and nickels to pay for water. It costs $1.10 plus gas money to fill up two 50-gallon barrels, and she has just been told the price is going up next month. (Morales, 11/18)
The Wall Street Journal:
Baltimore Fights To Clear Massive Backlog Of Asbestos Cases
The Baltimore court system is locked in a legal and political battle with a powerful Maryland lawyer who owns the Orioles baseball team over efforts to reduce one of the country’s largest backlogs of asbestos litigation. Baltimore’s courts have nearly 30,000 asbestos cases pending, a legacy of three decades of litigation during which the city became a leading venue for suing companies over illnesses tied to the dangerous fibers. (Randazzo, 11/18)
The Associated Press:
Pennsylvania Families Demand Investigation Into Rare Cancers
The families of young people diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer confronted Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday over what they called his administration’s insufficient response to a health crisis they blame on pollution from the shale gas industry. Dozens of children and young adults have been diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma and other forms of cancer in a four-county region of southwestern Pennsylvania where energy companies have drilled more than 3,500 wells since 2008. (Rubinkam, 11/18)
What Could Happen If A $9.4 Billion Chemical Plant Comes To 'Cancer Alley'
One evening in early July, a stream of people filed into a nondescript building on a bend of the Mississippi River in St. James Parish to fight over the permits to build a new chemical plant. Four years earlier, the Taiwanese plastics company Formosa had applied to build a $9.4 billion petrochemical complex about 20 miles north. If approved, it would be one of the largest and most expensive industrial projects in the state’s history. (Younes, 11/18)
North Carolina Health News:
DEQ Records Show Repeated Releases Of Probable Carcinogen Into Haw River
For nearly two years, state regulators have required Greensboro and Reidsville to monitor monthly for the probable carcinogen 1,4 dioxane at their wastewater treatment plants. The data, which the state never made public before Friday, show alarmingly high concentrations of the chemical being released repeatedly into the Haw River from December 2017 until September 2019. (Barnes, 11/19)