Saturday, August 13, 2022

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Voting-rights groups sue AZ to block 'Election Security' Bills; U.S House vote expected today on the new Inflation Reduction Act; the Attorney General moves to release details on search of Trump s home.

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Local election officials detail how election misinformation is fueling threats; Media outlets ask a court to unseal the search warrant of Donald Trump's home; and the CDC changes its approach to COVID-19.

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Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

EPA Green-Lights Cleanup of TN Superfund Site

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Friday, April 1, 2022   

Tennessee soon will receive federal funding to clean up a 260-acre toxic-waste site in Shelby County.

The Environmental Protection Agency recently added the National Fireworks Superfund site, along with 11 other sites across the country, to its National Priorities List.

Sarah Houston, executive director of the Memphis-based group Protect Our Aquifer, said the Biden administration's infrastructure law, which passed last year, reinstated a "polluter pays" tax that lapsed in the 1990s, resulting in chronic underfunding of the EPA's Superfund cleanup program.

"These are old sites, pollution that happened well before the EPA was even established," she said, "and those sites are what takes federal dollars to actually clean up - so, taxpayer dollars and financing from oil and gas operations."

The reinstated tax holds polluters accountable for more 40 hazardous chemicals designated by the EPA. According to federal data, there are currently more than 1,300 sites on the National Priorities List for cleanup, located in all 50 states.

Houston said residents living near Superfund sites breathe in air loaded with elevated levels of chemicals that can cause respiratory issues. These substances also can seep into groundwater sources and aquifers that communities rely on for drinking water.

"And so then," she said, "they're drinking low levels of these toxic elements that, over time, compound within the human body and can cause a variety of ailments, including cancers."

Research has linked living near a Superfund site to infant mortality, cancer, cognitive problems and reduced lifespans. The National Fireworks site, east of Memphis, made munitions for the U.S. military in the 1940s.


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