Author Archive

No Running Water – First Nations in Canada

December 19, 2013 Leave a comment

First Nations communities face poor drinking water and sanitation services. One report documents how more than 40 per cent of the homes on Canadian First Nations without running water are in Manitoba, even though Manitoba has only 15 per cent of the country’s reserve housing stock. Canadian data (2010) from the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada documented that 3,401 households did not have plumbing service.

The Winnipeg Free Press has a series on water and sanitation insecurity among the communities in Manitoba, Canada  –> check out the documentary No Running Water


The Environmental Disaster You’ve Never Heard Of: The Kirtland Air Force Base Jet Fuel Spill

December 19, 2013 Leave a comment

La Jicarita


The fighter jets and military planes that blast into the skies each day above Albuquerque’s Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) consume millions of gallons of jet fuel each year. In order to serve this fleet, the Air Force stores enormous amounts of fuel and distributes it throughout the base via a network of tanks, pipes and pumps. In the early 1950s, the base replaced leaking tanks and aging pipelines with a new fuels facility it promised would modernize and make more safe the handling and distribution of jet fuel. The facility received its first trainload of jet fuel and aviation gas in 1953. Almost immediately, and for the next 45 years, it leaked jet fuel into the surrounding soil.

The “leak” continued, undetected, until 1992 when workers observed a huge surface plume in the soil surrounding the fuel facility. The Air Force largely ignored requests by the…

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Investigating environmental justice in 2014

December 19, 2013 Leave a comment

I envision that 2014 will offer opportunities for the blog to investigate new challenges for the environmental justice community. The “energy-water” nexus will increase in importance as the hydraulic fracturing and rural community water systems draw from the same groundwater source to supply their constituents.  The increased growth of desalination plants in Texas and beyond also require further inquiry as the energy required and waste produced have consequences beyond the immediate production site.  The continued challenge of providing safe drinking water to the most vulnerable will require further consideration –whether it means addressing old infrastructure, new technological fixes for water delivery, or alternative regulatory or governance structures.  The final themes that requires deeper engagement is that of climate change and adaptation and social vulnerability to hazards.  While not new in the environmental justice community, the increased frequency and intensity of environmental change require us to address these issues directly in the coming year.

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The invisible valley: Study shows environmental disparities between East and West Coachella

July 25, 2013 Leave a comment

Youth Media for Building Healthy Communities

Researchers at the University of California Davis completed a report on the relative environmental vulnerability of people living in different parts of the Coachella Valley.  The report includes a map showing the cumulative environmental health hazards of living in the Eastern Coachella Valley, and a demographic comparison between the eastern and western portions of the Coachella Valley.  A write up of the report, and interviews with the lead investigators, is on Coachella Unincorporated.


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The Activist Who Went to Seed in a Field of New York Manure

July 25, 2013 Leave a comment

New York poop in Pecos County, Texas. What are the politics of trash in this case?

The Trash Blog

What we were looking for in Sierra Blanca, Texas, was a field covered with New York poop. Surprisingly, New York poop does not look shockingly different from anyone else’s poop; for that matter it isn’t very different from cow poop, which is plentiful around Sierra Blanca. But the problem may be that I don’t have very extensive training as a scatologist.

In 1992, New York City made a deal with a company called Merco to take treated sewage from New York to Sierra Blanca where it would be spread on fields as fertilizer. According to the sludge permit: the “sludge will be beneficially land applied on approximately 78,500 acres.” The sludge was applied for about 10 years before the contract expired and was not renewed. Some people said the sludge shipments stopped because New York found a better place, while others said it was because of the public opposition.

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Chennai Desalination Plant Draws First Blood

July 25, 2013 Leave a comment

Desalination is not the answer to the “water crisis” – it simply feeds into the existing system of privatization of the world’s water for the world’s richest.

Chai Kadai

10:08 p.m. Many of you may have read about the ill-advised Nemmeli desalination plant set up in Sulerikattukuppam village, Kanchipuram district. This 100 mld desalination plant was set up despite and overriding the objections of local fisherfolk who feared that the plant’s marine structure will erode their beach and render them without a means to practice their livelihood. More problematically, they feared that the erosion caused by the plant will make them more vulnerable to the vagaries of the sea. Their protests were met by police action. On June 23, 2013, as the nation was awash with stories about Uttarakhand, 19 fishermen begged their way to bail after spending a month in jail. Their crime: Voicing their fear that the desalination plant will pose a danger to their lives and livelihoods.

Today, July 10, 2013, R. Chittibabu, aged around 26 and recently married, was the first casualty in Chennai’s…

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Raising Holy Hell about Mountaintop Removal is “Holy Spirit Work.”

July 25, 2013 Leave a comment

Dawn Morais

Environmental activists in  Massachusetts plan to publicly express  their solidarity with the people of Appalachia and others who are protesting the destructive coal mining practice of mountain top removal.

Pat Gozemba, a member of Salem Alliance for the Environment invites public participation in a short protest march and rally this Sunday July 27, 2013. Her note follows:

Brayton Point coal and gas plant in Somerset, MA burns Appalachian coal. Want to stand in solidarity with KY, Colombia, and the working class folks of Southeastern MA?

Come to Somerset on Sunday 7.27.13 at 8 am

SAFE and Allies,

Through solidarity and working in coalition we pushed the Salem Harbor coal and oil plant to schedule a complete shutdown in May 2014. Our allies from Somerset and Fall River played an important role in staying united with us to close Salem. Now it’s our turn to stand with those folks. On…

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A Radical Geography Community

The Channichthyidae

experiments in science

La Jicarita

An Online Magazine of Environmental Politics in New Mexico

The Trash Blog

Finding Away

Human-Environment Research Group

Geography @ Texas A&M University

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