Tag: Environmental Protection Agency
Twenty years ago, the city of San Francisco moved thousands of its homeless and low-income residents into former military housing on Treasure Island, a small artificial land mass whose 55 years as a Navy base left it covered in toxic radiation. Today, construction on the island has it on track to becoming a bustling, upscale extension of the city. The problem is, some of those residents from 20 years ago are still there. So are thousands of others who have moved in since. So is the radiation.
What I have discovered is that the state of Texas has conspired with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to downplay and cover up toxic and contaminated water supplies in state-run prisons as well as the rural communities which have found themselves in close proximity to these toxic sites. It is not just the prisoners in Texas who are suffering the ill effects. I have also discovered that what is happening in Texas is not unique.
Over $1 billion has been spent by the federal government since 2004 to clean up and remediate one of the most highly toxic and radioactive sites in the U.S., the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco. This Superfund site was home for decades, 1946-1969, to the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory, and large Navy warships were towed there from the Pacific, where they had been placed close to nuclear tests.
So let’s take a look at the work we are doing: 1) attempting to amend the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 2) abolishing prison slavery and, in my case, 3) exposing the pervasive problem of toxic water supplies in Texas and Pennsylvania! Yes, I did say Pennsylvania! We have seen retaliation and obstruction of justice tactics by employees of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
A “space mountain,” “a behemoth,” “a colossus,” “a palace for Jabba The Hut” and “a half-baked baked Alaska” – that’s how columnists have described George Lucas’ $400 million 300,000-square-foot Museum of Narrative Art, a collection of Americana and Hollywood memorabilia. On May 16, 2016, San Francisco Supervisor, Aaron Peskin, appeared on CBS Bay Area talk show “Matier in the Morning,” where he reintroduced Treasure Island as a site for the project.
Prisons inspire little in terms of natural wonder. But prisoners, one could assume, must have little concern for the flowers or for otherwise pressing environmental issues. With all the social quandaries present in their lives – walls of solitude, the loss of basic human rights – pollution, climate change and healthy ecosystems must seem so distantly important: an issue for the free. In actuality, prisoners are on the frontlines of the environmental movement.
On Nov. 13 the San Francisco Chronicle ran a lead story written by the S.F.-based Center for Investigative Reporting. The story was about the radioactive contamination of Treasure Island, a former U.S. Navy base in the middle of the Bay. This story is important in and of itself but also because it once again unearths the region’s role in the birth of the atomic age and also highlights the radioactive legacy that continues to haunt us.
Creating jobs six times faster than the overall job market, the solar industry has become a robust engine of job growth, totaling over 119,000 new jobs as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. These numbers help to solidify the argument that the investment in solar energy has considerable long-term payoffs.
The Coast Guard estimates 5,000 barrels of crude oil a day, 210,000 gallons a day, are pouring out of a damaged British Petroleum well in the Gulf of Mexico. Plans to set parts of the Gulf on fire have been pushed back by bad weather. In 1975, the New Orleans group, The Meters, released their album, “Fire on the Bayou.” In 2010 the idea of a fire on the bayou may well be coming true.
The Gulf Coast Civic Works Campaign welcomes President Barack Obama’s decision to create a federal working group to examine our nation’s long-term recovery policies in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and to extend the mandate of the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Recovery.