This week, NPR began a four-part report titled Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities, naming and pinpointing 1600 plants and businesses across the country operating in violation of the Clean Air Act for years, even decades. Funding cuts, lack of enforcement resources, and a system that allows companies to estimate their own toxic emissions (voluntary reporting) are largely responsible for this enormous failure to protect the health of the environment and people near these sites.
Click here to listen to the NPR report, and here to view the interactive map that shows exact locations and company names of these chronic polluters. Zoom in to Northern Michigan to see who’s violating here. Clicking on any dot will bring up a box showing the violator’s name and location. Click inside the box to read the full EPA report and specific violations.
It must be said that Congress is working diligently, having passed several bills to date, to further loosen environmental regulations of industry for the dubious sake of creating jobs by allowing companies to save money through spending less on health and environmental safeguards. Reducing regulatory burdens on BP and the oil industry caused the massive 2010 oil spill, creating immeasurable environmental damage to the Gulf Of Mexico, and costing Gulf residents and businesses untold billions in loss of livelihood for decades to come.