Previous Pollution News 2023

At COP28, a Growing Sense of Alarm Over the Harms of Air Pollution 12-06-23A study released on the eve of the conference found that 8 million people around the world die annually from air pollution. And experts say the crisis is worsening.

UN Declares PFAS Pollution in North Carolina a Human Rights Violation 12-01-23

Its declaration marks the first time the international body has used such a framework to address the threat of “forever chemicals” in the U.S. Read more

Georgia has world’s largest wood pellet factory, and state says its exceeding pollution limits 12-01-23

“They are just completely blowing past the legal limits for hazardous air pollutants and have been for some time,” said Heather Hillaker.

Polluting Industries Say the Cost of Cleaner Air Is Too High 11-13-23

As the Biden administration prepares to toughen air quality standards, health benefits are weighed against the cost of compliance. Read more

Navy base’s wretched reminders not just petroleum in soils 11-02-23

Petroleum spilled and partially cleaned up at a long-abandoned U.S. Navy base at Cape Hatteras recently reemerged in clumps of peat soil after a storm.

Lawn equipment spews ‘shocking’ amount of air pollution, new data shows 10-30-23

“Really inefficient engine technology is, pound for pound, more polluting than cars and trucks.” Read more

How the ‘circular economy’ went from environmentalist dream to marketing buzzword 08-09-23

Can plastics be circular? At a recent conference, companies’ answer was a resounding yes. Read more

Did plastic straw bans work? Yes, but not in the way you’d think. 08-04-23

Plastic straws used to be “environment enemy number one.” Read more

Study is first to sample NC rivers, streams for microplastics 07-31-23

A recent study estimates that 230 billion tiny pieces of plastic the thickness of a human hair and 670 million microplastics about than the size of a grain of sand flow into the Pamlico Sound from the Neuse River Basin each year. Read more

Here are the chances your water supply is contaminated by ‘forever chemicals’ 07-07-23

If you live in America, it’s a coin toss. Read more

Clothed in chemicals: A new book sheds light on the toxic substances we wear daily 07-28-23

A Q&A on the fashion industry’s toxic chemicals problem — and how we can protect ourselves. Read more

As Plastics Keep Piling Up, Can ‘Advanced’ Recycling Cut the Waste? 06-01-23

Proponents of a process called pyrolysis — including oil and gas companies — contend it will keep post-consumer plastics out of landfills and reduce pollution. Read more

Opinion: UN plastics treaty should prioritize health and climate change 05-31-23

Delegates should push for a treaty that takes a full-lifecycle approach to plastic pollution. Read more

Burning trash for the planet? Climate cash sets off branding frenzy. 05-29-23

Incinerators, plastics companies and big agriculture among polluters racing to position as green as billions in federal subsidies flow. Read more

The EPA’s proposed PFAS regulations ignore a major source of drinking water contamination 05-18-23

A new study suggests unregulated “precursor” compounds account for half of total PFAS pollution at sites around the country. Read more

A simple way to prevent heaps of methane pollution: Composting 05-15-23

A new study says the practice could slash landfill emissions by as much as 84 percent. Read more

Green groups sue EPA over decades-old water pollution rules 04-12-23

Technologies to control wastewater contamination have come a long way since the 1980s. Regulations haven’t. Read more

EPA announces rules curbing cancer-causing pollution from chemical plants 04-06-23

The agency claims the proposed rules will result in a 96% reduction in the population facing cancer risk from 200 polluters. Read more

As Enforcement Lags, Toxic Coal Ash Keeps Polluting U.S. Water 03-23-23

Despite rules requiring remediation, only a few of the nearly 300 U.S. power plants storing toxic ash — the residue of burning coal — have started cleanups or have plans to do so. Read more

Microplastics Are Polluting the Ocean at a Shocking Rate 03-08-23

Some 11 billion pounds of plastic particles are blanketing the surface alone. But a new study points to hope—if countries act now. Read more

In a growing petrochemical hub, the East Palestine derailment triggers ‘an uneasy feeling’ 03-01-23

The Upper Ohio River Valley has been layered in industrial pollution for centuries, and residents are fed up. Read more

Any Way the Wind Blows 02-16-23

A Koch-owned chemical plant in Texas spent years running from the Clean Air Act. New evidence suggests it bent the law until it broke. Read more

Coal Ash Along the Shores of the Great Lakes Threatens Water Quality as Residents Rally for Change 02-05-23

More than 100 coal ash waste sites, many unregulated, sit just feet from the Great Lakes, raising concerns for nearby communities and the 30 million people who rely on the lakes for drinking water. Read more

Will California’s new oil and gas laws protect people from toxic pollution? 01-09-23

California will soon have the largest oil drilling setbacks in the U.S. Experts say other states can learn from this move. Read more