Cleansing the Air at the Expense of Waterways

photo: 'smokestacks' at power plant. Cleansing the Air at the Expense of Waterways

Father Rodney Torbic, the priest at the St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, lives across the road from Hatfield’s Ferry and sees people suffering. Photo: Damon Winter/The New York Times [published in 2009]

MASONTOWN, Pa. — For years, residents here complained about the yellow smoke pouring from the tall chimneys of the nearby coal-fired power plant, which left a film on their cars and pebbles of coal waste in their yards. … [more…]

How Privatizing Water Systems Costs Taxpayers — & Endangers Them

How Privatizing Water Systems Costs Taxpayers — & Endangers Them

Illustration by Lisa Lee Lucas for Heavy

A yearlong investigation by Heavy found that privatized water management has been a disaster for American towns, with residents paying 59% higher fees for water, on average; suffering high-profile health problems; and bracing for an infrastructure time-bomb.

Residents of contracted towns, from Indiana to Florida, are commonly paying almost $200 more each year, while some Eastern cities have found life-threatening lead in tap … [more…]

How a private water company brought lead to Pittsburgh’s taps

photo: Pittsburgh funicular rivers

Credit: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

“The levels in Pittsburgh are comparable to those reported in Flint”

In the summer of 2015, Metropolis Magazine named Pittsburgh one of the world’s “ most livable ” cities and gushed about its infrastructure, “The city has more vertical feet of public stairways than San Francisco, Cincinnati, and Portland, Oregon, combined.” But the magazine hadn’t done its research.

Around the same time, the city’s water

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U.S. Steel dumps more toxic chromium near Lake Michigan, faces lawsuit

U.S. Steel dumps more toxic chromium near Lake Michigan, faces lawsuit

Six months after U.S. Steel dumped a plume of toxic metal into a Lake Michigan tributary, the company quietly reported another spill at the same northwest Indiana plant and asked state environmental regulators to keep it secret, according to newly released documents.

The 56.7 pounds of chromium released in late October by the company’s Midwest Plant was 89 percent higher than its water pollution permit allows over 24 hours, U.S. … [more…]