Tagged Articles

public safety 25 articles

Gas Explosions Devastate Massachusetts Communities, Displace Thousands

Dozens of natural gas explosions blasted through three Massachusetts towns Sept. 13, killing one teen, injuring at least a dozen people, and triggering structural fires that displaced thousands of residents. Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency Friday in response to the gas explosions and sent officials to inspect homes and businesses door-to-door in the towns of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover just north of Boston. The governor said that the crews were inspecting structures for safety before residents would be allowed to return. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is leading a federal investigation of the gas ... Read More

Duke Energy Dump Spills Tons of Coal Ash in Florence Floods

Toxic coal ash from a shuttered Duke Energy plant in Wilmington, North Carolina, was released from a primitive dump as heavy rains from Hurricane Florence lashed the coast. As of Monday, the city of Wilmington was inaccessible by land due to widespread catastrophic flooding in the city and surrounding areas, so Duke Energy and state environmental officials haven’t determined how far the spilled coal ash – enough to fill about 180 dump trucks – has migrated. According to the Associated Press, the toxic coal ash from Duke Energy’s L.V. Sutton Power Station “likely flowed into the Cape Fear River.” With waterways ... Read More

High Lead Levels Prompt Detroit to Shut All Public School Taps

Dangerously high levels of lead in the Detroit public school system have prompted the city’s Public Schools Superintendent to order the taps in all of the city’s 106 public schools to be closed. Students who started school on Tuesday, Sept. 4, were provided water from coolers and bottled water. Superintendent Nikolai Vitti took over Michigan’s largest school district last year after it had been under state management for years.  He ordered the testing of every water outlet in every public school building in the spring – a decision motivated largely by the water crisis in the neighboring city of Flint ... Read More

HPI Products Endangering the Public and Environment, Authorities Claim

The U.S. and Missouri have asked a federal court to hold HPI Products Inc., a Missouri-based pesticide manufacturer, and its owner in contempt for its failure to comply with a 2011 environmental settlement governing the storage of hazardous chemicals and toxic waste. The U.S. Department of Justice said it filed the motion against HPI of behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which was represented by the state Attorney General. HPI and its owner William Garvey operate a pesticide formulating business with six facilities in St. Joseph, Missouri. The ... Read More

Consumer, Environmental Advocates Sue To Stop Trump’s ‘Irrational’ Anti-Regulation Order

Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen has joined forces with other groups to take legal action against the Trump administration over a brawny executive order signed Jan. 30 that directs federal agencies to repeal two federal regulations for every new regulation passed. The order also sets a budget of $0 for rulemaking this fiscal year, without taking into consideration the value the rule would have on public protections. Because the executive order poses sweeping, potentially destructive threats to the American public, Public Citizen teamed up with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) to sue ... Read More

Railing Collapse Injures Dozens At New Jersey Concert

More than 40 people were injured at a Snoop Dog and Wiz Khalifa concert near Philadelphia Friday night when a railing collapsed, causing a crowd of concertgoers to fall about 10 feet to the concrete pavement below. The partition that gave way separated a sloping lawn at the BB&T Pavilion from a secondary stage where the rappers were performing when the accident happened. Underneath the lawn section of the outdoor venue is a covered section. The BB&T Pavilion is located in Camden, N.J., directly across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. Videos taken during the event showed Snoop and Wiz yelling for ... Read More

Alarming Levels of Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs Found In U.S. Meat

The presence of antibiotic-resistant superbugs in U.S.-produced meat has soared to alarming levels, Consumer Reports has found. The results of a three-year study, published online by Consumer Reports last week in an article called “Making the World Safe from Superbugs,” indicate that the systematic overuse and abuse of antibiotic drugs in the agricultural industry has allowed bacteria to evolve so that antibiotics are useless against them. These are the potentially lethal “superbugs,” which include methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and bacteria resistant to three or more types of antibiotics. In the section of the report titled “Our Flawed Food Supply,” Consumer ... Read More

Nuclear contractor settles whistleblower allegations for $2.7 million

General Electric Hitachi Nuclear Energy has agreed to pay the U.S. government $2.7 million to resolve allegations made by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act that the company concealed potentially disastrous flaws in an advanced nuclear reactor it designed and made false statements and claims to federal authorities and agencies about the reactor. General Electric Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC (GE Hitachi), headquartered in Wilmington, N.C., provides nuclear products and services to the federal government. The company is a jointly owned subsidiary of Fairfield, Conn.-based GE and Hitachi of Tokyo, Japan. According to the U.S. Justice Department, GE Hitachi ... Read More

Philadelphia building collapse report calls for updated state building code

An investigative committee of the Philadelphia City Council said that the state of Pennsylvania must update its building codes to reduce a serious public safety threat like the deadly June 5 building collapse that killed six people and injured 14 others in a Salvation Army thrift store. In a report issued last week, the Philadelphia City Council Special Investigative Committee urged the Governor, state legislature, and Uniform Construction Code Review Advisory Committee (RAC) to adopt model building codes to ensure the safety of all buildings, not just in Philadelphia but in the rest of Pennsylvania. “Model building codes include the ... Read More

Transvaginal mesh was in use long before it was approved by FDA

Johnson & Johnson sold a surgical mesh device used in pelvic floor surgeries for three years before it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Now, more than 550 women have filed lawsuits against the company claiming they were injured by the transvaginal mesh. Transvaginal mesh is a type of surgical mesh that is used to treat conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. The mesh is implanted into the vaginal wall to shore up organs such as the bladder or uterus. The devices have come under fire in recent months after mounting complaints of injuries ... Read More