skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, May 27, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

At least 15 dead as severe weather sweeps across central US; on Memorial Day, IA labor leaders honor fallen workers; Medical center installs microgrid to safeguard clinic power supply; 'Second look' laws gain traction, but MS sticks to elderly parole; Will summer heat melt New Mexicans' cravings for ice cream?

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

One congressman cites ways Biden could get more support from communities of color. A new Louisiana law reclassifies two abortion medications as controlled substances. And Ohio advocates work to boost youth voter turnout.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

“Sacrifice Zone:" Port Arthur in Path of Industrial Pollution

play audio
Play

Thursday, April 21, 2022   

The latest American Cancer Society research estimates more than 139,000 Texans will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in 2022. One of the "hot spots" for industrial air pollution is the Port Arthur area, where residents are voicing their health concerns.

Southeast Texas is home to three large oil refineries and other industrial facilities. These businesses are touted as the sources of living-wage jobs.

John Beard Jr., founder and CEO of the Port Arthur Community Action Network (PACAN), said the pollution they emit can be fatal to the residents of the mostly Black community. He calls it a "sacrifice zone."

"We challenge any and all expansions of the industry -- whether it be by pipeline or new petrochemical facilities, or LNG facilities -- we challenge their air permits," Beard explained. "We also challenge them, with regard to their federal permitting on the environmental level and on the environmental justice level, as well as the community impact."

PACAN filed a complaint last August with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency against the Oxbow Carbon plant, which releases as much as 22 million pounds of sulfur dioxide into Jefferson County air. The complaint has not yet been resolved.

A recent ProPublica analysis lists Port Arthur as one of more than 1,000 hot spots in the nation for cancer-causing industrial pollution.

The ProPublica research found pollution levels of each individual facility might be "acceptable," but the combined output of multiple facilities increases cancer risk.

Beard wants the county and state to stop downplaying those risks.

"We were declared a 'cancer cluster' in 2010 by the U.S. EPA," Beard pointed out. "Basically, Port Arthur then was declared a showcase environmental city. Being given this title, we were also told that Port Arthur had more than twice the state and national average of cancer, heart, lung and kidney diseases."

The cancer mortality rate for Black residents of Jefferson County is about 40% higher than for Texans overall, according to the Environmental Integrity Project.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Ice cream makers in the U.S. produce more than 1.38 billion gallons of ice cream annually, with consumption usually peaking in July. (auremar/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

In addition to honoring fallen service members, Memorial Day has come to be known as the unofficial start of summer, which can mean lots of ice cream…


Social Issues

play sound

Memorial Day commemorates Americans who lost their lives while serving in the military. But the Iowa Federation of Labor takes the opportunity to …

Health and Wellness

play sound

This Memorial Day, Connecticut health experts are guiding caregivers on how to keep people with Alzheimer's safe. People with the various forms of …


The latest Living Planet Index report finds freshwater migratory fish saw an average 81% collapse in monitored population sizes between 1970 and 2020. This includes massive declines in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Groups in Connecticut are preparing to celebrate World Fish Migration Day on Friday. The biennial event celebrates migratory fish species and their …

Social Issues

play sound

Fewer than 8% of people in Alabama prisons are granted parole when they apply for it. Criminal justice experts got together for a discussion of how …

The median length of stay in juvenile detention has increased in Pennsylvania. The average and median lengths of stay have increased, from 17 and 11 days in 2018 to 27 and 14 days in 2022. (Seventyfour/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new report is sounding the alarm on Pennsylvania's juvenile-detention capacity challenges, citing understaffing and long wait times for the young …

Environment

play sound

It's Latino Advocacy Week in Washington, D.C., and leaders in the Hispanic community are pushing for improvements in the upcoming Farm Bill. The …

Environment

play sound

As Michiganders hit the road this holiday weekend, state lawmakers are brainstorming ways to help close the state's $3.9 billion road funding gap…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021