Sex offenders blame island’s water for illnesses, deaths

An Associated Press investigation found that the water system that serves scores of sex offenders held on an isolated Washington state island has been plagued by problems for more than a decade. State health records reviewed by the AP reveal that the water has repeatedly exceeded standards for chlorine-related chemicals. The offenders say the often-brown…

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After Pushback, Oregon Scraps Report Linking Private Forests To Water Quality Risks

Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality drafted a report that identified logging as a contributor to known risks for drinking water quality in communities up and down the Oregon coast. But the report has never been published. It was scrapped by the agency after intense pushback and charges of anti-logging bias from the timber industry and…

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Reuters finds lead levels higher than Flint’s in thousands of locales

Flint, Michigan, is likely the most well-known lead hotspot in America. But a Reuters examination of lead testing results across the country found that Flint doesn’t rank among the nation’s most dangerous areas for lead poisoning. Reuters found almost 3,000 places with poisoning rates much higher than the Michigan city. To identify these locations, Reuters…

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National Guard inaction exposes communities to lead

America’s National Guard armories host community events from weddings to school sleepovers. They also house indoor firing ranges where part-time soldiers once tested their skills. Every time someone pulled the trigger, a bullet cast off bits of lead.  The Oregonian/OregonLive’s 18-month investigation found that the Guard’s neglect allowed lead dust to build up and contaminate…

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Industrial air pollution often comes from a group of ‘super polluters’

Almost a third of all toxic air pollution in the United States in 2014 was due to 100 facilities in the country, according to a nine-month investigation by The Center for Public Integrity. In partnership with the Weather Channel and the USA TODAY Network, The Center for Public Integrity reported on the health impacts of…

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Minnesota schools failing to follow guidelines on testing for lead in water

KSTP News in Minnesota found that school officials across Minnesota are not following the state’s recommendations to test for lead in school water systems at least once every five years. Although these are recommendations and not regulations, a leading authority on lead amounts in water said that this issue was a critical health concern for…

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Auto body fumes a frequent complaint in San Diego

Complaints about fumes coming from San Diego-area car painting operations are among the most frequent reported to air authorities, according to a report by inewsource. An analysis of records found that more than 10 percent of air complaints in San Diego County cite auto and truck painting. While the industry has taken steps to move…

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Houston chemical facilities are putting citizens at risk

A yearlong Houston Chronicle investigation found that hundreds of chemicals threaten public safety across the country and in greater Houston, the capital of the nation’s petrochemical industry. Often these dangerous chemicals are stored at largely unregulated facilities that many residential neighbors don’t even know exist. In November 2014, four people died after a gas leak…

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North Portland residents ignored by Department of Environmental Quality

In Oregon, environmental regulators fail to conduct thorough investigations of air and odor complaints, according to an examination by EarthFix.  Over a period of six years, one family filed almost 40 complaints with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality about the air pollution in their area. Since 2010, the DEQ has received more than 2,000…

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Documents show extensive pollution on U.S. base in Japan

The largest U.S. Air Force installation in Asia is the Kadena Air Base in Japan, and according to an investigation by the Japan Times, documents show that there has been extensive pollution on the active base. The base provides work for 3,000 Japanese employees, and over 20,000 American service members, contractors and their families also…

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