Category: Environmental Justice

Wyoming Wind River tribes want water on their territory to run strong, but they don’t control it

  FORT WASHAKIE, Wyo. – Jason Baldes stands next to a bridge facing the Wind River diversion dam, a concrete reminder that his Eastern Shoshone tribe does not have the right to use the water on their lands as they want. Instead, dams and diversions move water toward the many farms in the region, leaving […]

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Newburgh, N.Y., councilman: Water is basic human right, no matter income level

NEWBURGH, N.Y. – When Newburgh’s city manager declared a state of emergency last year after tests found dangerous levels of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid in the city’s water supply, Nancy Colas scheduled blood tests for everyone in her family. “My 17-year-old, he pretty much grew up here, and he’s been drinking that water all his life,”  she […]

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Episode 6: African American neighborhood in North Carolina left behind

One neighborhood at the edge of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was left off the grid for decades as municipal water systems expanded around them. The Robert Eubanks community, a historically African American neighborhood, had to rely on private wells, which were often contaminated. They watched – and waited – as the white neighborhoods around them […]

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High school students chronicle East Texas city’s toxic legacy

PHOENIX – Patsy Oliver wanted the white picket fence dream, so the single mother jumped at the chance to to move to the Carver Terrace subdivision in Texarkana, Texas, where she could have a yard and garden. “It was an affluent, black neighborhood. Everybody wanted to live in Carver Terrace,” said Bess Gamble-Williams, Oliver’s daughter […]

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Episode 4: Lead problems in Milwaukee

Milwaukee still has about 70,000 lead pipes that connect to homes. The city has slowly replaced old lines with copper, but some advocates say they’re not working quickly enough. Those advocates call for more action on the part of the city, say the toxic metal jeopardizes the health of families. Reporter Michael M. Santiago takes […]

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Georgia ‘Water Lady’ campaigns against cancer-causing chemicals in water

WAYCROSS, Ga. – Janet McMahan has a message for southeast Georgia, and it is the one printed on her T-shirt: “No cure until you stop the cause, test your water, get a filter.” In 2014, McMahan became committed to improving water quality after she lost her 28-year-old son to a rare form of cancer she […]

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Study: Latinos more likely to distrust tap water, seek other sources

PHOENIX – Dolores Escobar takes a 30-minute bus ride every Sunday from her house to the closest water-vending machine and carries eight empty gallon jugs with her to refill them. During hot seasons, she travels twice a week. She spends nearly $50 a month on the water, plus her bus tickets. The Phoenix resident said […]

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Milwaukee native uses music to spread awareness about city’s water problem

MILWAUKEE – When Milwaukee native Tory Lowe found out about the lead service lines running through Milwaukee, he took a different approach to help spread the word that the water is unsafe to consume. Along with producer Godzilla and rapper Eric “EP” Perkins, they formed The Midwest Connect and wrote a song titled “Don’t Drink […]

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Episode 3: Water truck serves Navajo Nation residents

Darlene Arviso, a member of the Navajo Nation, drives a diesel truck with a big tank to dozens of rural homes near Thoreau, New Mexico, every day. Navajo families depend on her for clean drinking water because much of the groundwater in their wells is contaminated with uranium from Cold War-era mines. Reporter Lauren Kaljur […]

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East Chicago resident fights to educate others about contaminated water near Superfund site

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. – Growing up in the Calumet neighborhood of East Chicago, Maritza Lopez, 54, has experienced a significant number of health issues that she believes have been a result of living in a city that has lead-contaminated drinking water. She said she lives in “ground zero.” East Chicago is populated with mostly low-income […]

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