A Black Community In West Virginia Sues The EPA To Spur Action On Toxic Air Pollution

This article was originally published at ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. It was co-published with Mountain State Spotlight.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://talkingpointsmemo.com/?p=1469352

Seventeenth, the ranking of the Union Carbide facility in Institute that increases the estimated cancer risk in nearby communitites out of 7,600 facilities across the country, to the tune of 36 times the level the EPA considers acceptable.

Joe Biden, from his Inaugural Address in January 2021:

The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer. We can deliver racial justice.

It seems we cannot. Joe Manchin – are you listening?

I earned my radical chops in 1968, in the Dow Chemical Demonstrations in Madison WI, against the murderous rain of Agent Orange we were using to kill Vietnamese soldiers, and our own soldiers and women and children and elders in that godforsaken War in Vietnam and Cambodia. Do I have to go out and do this again at the age of 72? It seems we will never learn, and never be able deliver more than a “dream of racial justice.” Not to mention the dream of equal justice for Women – after fifty plus years.
Very discouraging.

ETA: I was ten years old when I read Silent Spring by Rachel Carson published in 1962. I wonder if anyone who works now for the EPA has ever considered the truths it contains? One of the things I learned was I should probably not run behind the mosquito foggers for fun, and to definitely not drink the well water at my family home in one of those “cancer valleys” of the Fox River where all the paper mills were. BTW, I have had three malignant cancers in my life, over a period of the last 23 years – Breast, Ovarian, and Endometrial.


The cause is not helped by the Republicans appointing clowns like Scott Pruitt at every single opportunity and simultaneously undermining every effort to reduce pollution and toxins from industry lest we somehow reduce their record quarterly profits.

Quite honestly, I am amazed we still have an EPA.


Nixon created the EPA, IIRC. Since then, every Repub president has gone further in eroding EPA’s reach and power. Reagan put Gorsuch and Watt in charge of EPA and Interior, Bush the Lesser, with a lot of help from Darth Cheney, appointed agency heads that had made their entire careers about destroying the agency they were tasked with leading, and then TDFG went the last step in actively attempting to gut various agencies (moving dept. of ag to Tulsa, for example.) Making America safe for oligarchs.


And yet a lot of these Republicans running for any type of office have in their political ads that they’re some sort outdoorsy person. And yet these same folks are sure on their NIMBY high horses when it comes to their neighborhood.


Mayor Pete on the Sabbath Gasbags being his usual balanced, cogent, humane self. Topic was about TDFG dissing wounded vets.


Well, you go outdoors to play golf on lush green turf that is free of undesirable persons. And to shoot animals and stuff. And to drive your greasy SUV through clean streams and tear up grassy meadows. And the damn gubmint won’t let you hunt the animals to extinction, or drive your bigass 4X4 through wilderness lands. Freedom to destroy Earth will enhance the destruction of the GD gubmint that wants to force health care and clean water on decent folks. MAGA. Not entirely snark. BTW.


The destruction of our earth started well before our “GD gubmint.” It started when people invented deities that told us the earth belongs to humans that worship them, to use the resources of the planet for their own gain. And all of the current flora and fauna of this earth will be destroyed, including the ones that think they can stop it or go and colonize other planets. This is no longer reversible, IMO.



Thank you for posting this. I live in another part of the state and was not aware of this


Union Carbide should have been forced into receivership, with its future profits directed to the victims and families of the 1984 Bhopal disaster.

If corporations are people, why doesn’t really bad shit happen to them?


Hope the dog was worth it
2 adults, 3-year-old child killed in shooting over apparent sale of a dog in Florida (msn.com)


I grew up across the river from Institute, WV. My father worked for Union Carbide in Institute for 35 years. He died riddled of cancer from all of the chemicals he was exposed to. There is a HBCU located in Institute called West Virginia State University, formerly West Virginia State College. My mother and daughter both graduated from that school. I am 70 years old now but when I grew up, there were several other chemical plants (for instance Monsanto) that were located in the vicinity. The residents of Institute and the surrounding communities lived in what amounted to a chemical soup that was trapped in the Kanawha Valley there. It was much, much worse than it is now.


Because it’s a lie. Very special version of “personhood”, spawned by the Stone Age brain that we all still possess.


Then there’s Boeing in Seattle, dumping toxic waste in the river since 1916. Negotiations for cleanup and cost shares are “secret”.


Black communities (and others) suffer from other things as well.


Add another interstate highway interchange project that tore through and destroyed the black community of Milwaukee, WI: I-43 and 1-94. It still looks like a bombed out area of asphalt.

In Syracuse, the Fine Arts Art Museum Board decided to build a new Art Museum in the area flattened like the city of Dresden by bombs in WWII, by the new Interstate I-81 project that cut through the black community houses, tenements, and storefronts. IM Pei was hired to design the building. He looked at the property, and the destroyed area and built a defensive looking concrete structure that looked like a bunker, with a tunnel, and an entrance door that was hard for people to find. It fit the surroundings well. The grounds became a perfect spot for hundreds of skateboarders to gather – unwanted by the Museum. They were all barricaded from the property. A very depressing area with three high rise, HUD built apartment buildings, one for low-income, one for middle income, and one for the very wealthy tenants.


I learned some yrs ago that Big Chem targets small-town communities they believe will not use active, political means to fight them.

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One reason Saint Ronnie got hired was to gut federal agencies.

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