Hazardous Waste

(Half of these people represent industry. Half are environmentalists. Can't tell which ones? That's a good thing.) Should a bag of concrete be like an organic banana or a new chair made out of recycled wood and get "certified" as being responsibly-sourced, or "sustainable?" And if so, what's the criteria for making such a judgment, and who's making it? Those are the complicated questions […]

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It's 2014. Distant parts of the globe are connected within micro seconds. Some of us are driving electric cars. Our phones are more powerful than all the computers it ever took to put a human being on the Moon, combined. And we use five gallon buckets from Academy to collect and store industrial hazardous waste. […]

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After a brief honeymoon, is it Splitsville for the 2012 clean-up agreement between Exide and the City of Frisco? And if their shotgun marriage is breaking apart, what are the implications for Frisco residents and the surrounding area, including Lake Lewisville, a source of drinking water for Dallas that sits directly downstream of what now […]

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In a $2 billion deal, Raleigh, North Carolina-based aggregate and crushed stone manufacturer Martin Marietta Materials (a separate spin-off on the more well-know aerospace conglomerate) bought Dallas' own TXI Cement, which opened its first cement kiln in Midlothian in 1960.  This year, that kiln, along with the three other obsolete wet kilns at TXI's Midltohian […]

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Homeowners within a half mile of the former Exide lead smelter site and other lead-contaminated properties in Frisco are seeing a 15% drop in their property value from the stigma associated with the toxins, according to a new economic analysis done by an independent North Texas economist hired by local environmental groups. “There are double-digit […]

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Know Your History

by jim on November 25, 2013

We've written about the founding of the modern environemental health movement at Love Canal, and the rise of housewife-to-hellraiser Lios Gibbs. As part of its "Retro Report" series of mini-films on past headline-making stories, the New York Times takes a look back and finds a continuing "Legacy of Doubt."

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On the heels of the World Health Organization declaring air pollution a carcinogen, a study published this week from the University of California-Irvine and University of Michigan found higher levels of specific carcinogens in communities downwind of Canadian "oil, gas and tar sands processing zones", and higher rates of Luekemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma among men […]

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For the first time in 30 years recycling rates in the UK are going down and a influx of incineration capacity is being blamed. New European Union directives favoring waste burning over recycling are now spreading throughout Great Britain and having a big impact. Landfill disposal has gone down by almost 50% in just over […]

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There was a great deal of official news fluttering last Thursday when the EPA and Department of Justice announced a national settlement with Kansas-City based Ash Grove Cement that confirmed the company's Midlothian plant, site of The Last Wet Kilns in Texas™, would shut down and covert to one large dry process kiln by September […]

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Coming down the hill from the west is a freight train full of woe for Exide. It's carrying at least five shareholder lawsuits aimed at the company for not disclosing its environmental liabilities, including those stemming from the operation of its Vernon, California smelter. That would be the same smelter California state officials shut down […]

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West to Dallas: Zoning is Important.

by jim on April 24, 2013

For many of us dealing with the Texas "environmental regulatory system" the shock isn't that something like the West disaster happened, it's the fact that similar accidents don't happen more frequently. Still, it seems like it combined a perfect storm of all-too familiar circumstances 1984 – the company moves two large pressurized tanks of liquid […]

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A funny thing happened to Dallas Morning News automobile columnist Terry Box while he was out test driving a new Dodge pick-up truck – it self-immolated and burned to ashes on the side of the road. As he writes about it, his experience is both funny and terrifying. But something he noted in how cars […]

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The President of the company at the center of the current Dallas drilling controversy was Vice-President and General Counsel of a hazardous waste disposal firm that was forced to close its California plant site after a long history of environmental violations. Thomas Blanton is President of Keystone, the parent company of Trinity East, which is […]

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We missed this the first time around, so we're glad that "Living on Earth" caught it again. A group of scientists, including marine biologist Chelsea Rochman, recently signed an article in the magazine Nature that called for classifying plastic as a hazardous waste. What's the rationale? It turns out to be pretty solid and based […]

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Despite denying that it was submitting comments on the state's plan for cleaning up the recently closed Exide lead smelter, the Environmental Protection Agency turned in a sometimes scathing assessment of Austin's proposal to allow the company to treat prohibited hazardous waste that still lies buried in its landfills in Frisco. "The landfill is not […]

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Under the guise of "gas drilling," Dallas City Hall and industry are pressing for approval of a permit that would locate a gas refinery only 600 feet from the new Elm Fork soccer complex, and immediately give birth to one of the ten largest air polluters in the City of Dallas, as well as one […]

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