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Category Archives: Environmental Law

The Most Detailed Map of Cancer-Causing Industrial Air Pollution in the U.S.

ProPublica: “It’s not a secret that industrial facilities emit hazardous air pollution. A new ProPublica analysis shows for the first time just how much toxic air pollution they emit — and how much the chemicals they unleash could be elevating cancer risk in their communities. ProPublica’s analysis of five years of modeled EPA data identified more than 1,000 toxic hot spots across the country and found that an estimated 250,000 people living in them may be exposed to levels of excess cancer risk that the EPA deems unacceptable. The agency has long collected the information on which our analysis is based. Thousands of facilities nationwide that are considered large sources of toxic air pollution submit a report to the government each year on their chemical emissions. But the agency has never released this data in a way that allows the public to understand the risks of breathing the air where they live. Using the reports submitted between 2014 and 2018, we calculated the estimated excess cancer risk from industrial sources across the entire country and mapped it all. The EPA’s threshold for an acceptable level of cancer risk is 1 in 10,000, meaning that of 10,000 people living in an area, there would likely be one additional case of cancer over a lifetime of exposure. But the agency has also said that ideally, Americans’ added level of cancer risk from air pollution should be far lower, 1 in a million. Our map highlights areas where the additional cancer risk is greater than 1 in 100,000 — 10 times lower than the EPA’s threshold, but still high enough to be of concern, experts say…”

This New Tool Lets You See Floods From Around the World, Dating Back to 1985

Smithsonian Magazine: An innovative interactive map could aid future disaster planning, especially for vulnerable countries in the developing world. “Last month, the United Nations University released a free tool that generates high resolution maps of floods worldwide since 1985. The new resource comes after a year of historic water-related disasters, including severe floods in Western… Continue Reading

DC Fall Foliage Map

Casey Trees: “Check out our Fall Showstoppers of DC Map and see what trees you can spot on your walk or while you’re hanging in the park and see what color-changing trees you may find along the way. This map highlights the five showstopper fall color trees, as well as trees with significant fall color… Continue Reading

Stunning, Ultra-HD Short Films of National Parks

Kottke.org: “For the past 5 years, More Than Just Parks, an organization established by two self-professed “National Park nuts”, have been making short films about America’s National Parks and Forests. Each ultra-HD video is only 3-4 minutes long, extended trailers for the beauty and grandeur of parks like Zion, Grand Teton, and the Badlands and… Continue Reading

Global State of Democracy in 2021 Report

“Democracy faces perfect storm as the world becomes more authoritarian Many democratic governments are increasingly adopting authoritarian tactics, accentuated by the Covid-19 pandemic, while autocratic regimes are consolidating their power. The world is becoming more authoritarian as autocratic regimes become even more brazen in their repression. Many democratic governments are backsliding and are adopting authoritarian… Continue Reading

This camera uses AI to automatically identify the birds in your yard

Fast Company: “A new camera designed for use with bird feeders promises to tell you when there are birds visiting your yard—and even use machine learning to identify what types of birds they are. The Birdfy, from Netvue which also makes surveillance cameras and video doorbells, has raised more than $38,000 on Kickstarter, with pricing… Continue Reading

Infographic: The 100 most polluted cities in the world

Aljazeera:  Out of the world’s 100 most polluted cities, 94 are in India, China, and Pakistan…How is air quality measured? Air quality is determined by the levels of air pollutants PM2.5, PM10, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide.Particulate matter (PM) comprises tiny particles that negatively impact health. PMs vary in size, most damaging… Continue Reading

Recyclable vs compostable packaging

BBC News – Plastic pollution: New meat tray ‘could save tonnes of waste’ America’s Plastic Manufacturers – “Our Recycling System Needs a Refresh – We Can Recycle More Plastic Packaging. Lots More.” Plastic wrap – Biodegradable Compostable PLA Vegetable Packaging Bags – “Our compostable vegetable bags is a great alternative to regular plastic bags. These bags… Continue Reading

New nationwide ebike battery recycling program

Fast Company: “…E-bike battery recycling programs are common in Europe, where e-bike use has been more popular, but in the U.S., the infrastructure is lacking. In 2022, though, that will change, with the launch of an industry-wide electric bicycle battery recycling program, a joint effort from PeopleForBikes, a bicycle trade association and advocacy organization, and… Continue Reading