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toxic 146 articles

Duke Energy says customers will pay its hefty coal ash cleanup costs

Duke Energy’s CEO Lynn Good said that its customers will pay the costs of cleaning up dozens of the company’s toxic waste sites throughout North Carolina, many of which are contaminating the groundwater with arsenic and heavy metals. Last week, a North Carolina Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the Southern Environmental Law Center, ordering Duke to take “immediate action” to stop its 33 coal ash ponds across the state from further contaminating the groundwater with arsenic, mercury, lead, and several other toxic heavy metals and contaminants. The order was issued after one of Duke’s coal ash ponds spilled ... Read More

Autopsy finds baby boy poisoned after accidentally eating laundry detergent pods

An autopsy of a 7-month-old Florida boy has confirmed that his death was the result of poisoning after ingesting a laundry detergent packet, the Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner’s office announced. The infant, Michael Williams, was coughing when paramedics arrived at the battered woman’s shelter where the boy was staying with his mother last August. Distraught, the mother claimed she had stepped away from the baby while he slept in bed. When she returned, he was eating laundry detergent packets provided by the shelter, which she had placed in a laundry basket in the bed next to the boy. Shelter staff helped remove ... Read More

Government sues importers of children’s products to stop flow of dangerous toys to U.S.

The U.S. government has taken legal action against four California companies and six individuals in an effort to halt their illegal importation of dangerous children’s products containing lead, phthalates, small parts that pose a hazard to young children, and other potentially deadly defects. The U.S. Justice Department, acting on a request of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), filed an injunction in California federal court against Toys Distribution Inc. (TDI International); S&J Merchandise Inc., BLJ Apparel Inc., and All Season Sales Inc. Individuals named in the injunction are identified as Loan Tuyet Thai, Lan My Lam, Paul Phuong, Cuc T. ... Read More

Toxic coal ash sludge blankets more than 70 miles of riverbed, lake bottoms

While North Carolina environmental regulators have been downplaying the risks posed by Duke Energy’s massive coal ash spill, U.S. officials said Tuesday that the highly toxic coal ash has coated the bottom of the Dan River up to 70 miles downstream of the spill site. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said that near Duke Energy’s Dan River facility, the toxic sludge has formed a giant pile 75 feet long and 5 feet deep. More than 82,000 tons of coal ash containing arsenic, heavy metals, and other toxins flowed into the Dan River Feb. 2 from a 27-acre ash pond ... Read More

N.C. toxic coal ash cleanup mired in political interests

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources asked a judge last week to throw out its own proposed settlement with Duke Energy over pollution leaking from waste dumps at its power plants. The state agency requested the action the day after an Associated Press (AP) story was published, describing the settlement as a “sweetheart deal” between state regulators and Duke Energy, the nation’s largest electrical company. The proposed settlement would have had Duke pay fines of just $99,111 for pollution that spilled from coal ash dumps in Asheville and Charlotte. State regulators and Duke reached the settlement before ... Read More

Citgo hit with $2 million fine for toxic emissions and migratory bird deaths

Citgo Petroleum Corp. said it will appeal a Texas federal judge’s decision to fine the oil giant more than $2 million for illegally operating oil tanks in Corpus Christi, Texas, without covers, which exposed nearby residents to a multitude of toxins, and for intentionally allowing migratory birds to die within those tanks for several years. U.S. District Judge John Rainey issued the fines to Citgo and subsidiary company Citgo Refining & Chemicals Co. for violations of the federal Clean Air Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). The fines stem from the corporations’ 2007 jury convictions that Citgo operated oil-water ... Read More

North Carolina power plant spills tons of toxic coal ash into river

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A Charlotte-based energy supplier blamed a broken storm water pipe at a shuttered power plant for spilling up to 82,000 tons of toxic coal ash into the Dan River near the Virginia border. Duke Energy Corp. said that coal ash, a waste product created  by burning coal to generate electricity, spilled into the river from a 27-acre ash pond at the Dan River Steam Station about 30 miles north of Greensboro. The plant has been inactive since 2012, but the site was never cleaned up. The company said that a 48-inch pipe underneath the ash pond broke ... Read More

Study finds chemical exposure may have increased cancer rates in IBM employees

Employees at IBM’s Endicott, New York, facility may have been prone to develop certain types of cancer and other disease due to exposure to tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and other toxic chemicals in the workplace, according to the results of a government-led statistical analysis. Endicott residents concerned about toxic exposure at IBM pushed for the study, which researchers with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted during a five-year period using $3.1 million in federal funding. The comprehensive analysis examined the health of 34,494 workers who were employed at IBM’s Endicott facility between 1969 and 2001. The study found ... Read More

Litigation swells in chemical exposure from 2012 bridge collapse, train derailment

Lawsuits alleging personal injury and financial losses continue to mount against Consolidated Rail Corp. (Conrail) and affiliated rail companies after a 2012 bridge failure in Paulson, N.J., sent four tanker cars laden with vinyl chloride into New Jersey’s Mantua Creek, a waterway that feeds into the Delaware River. A group of 27 plaintiffs, including individuals, businesses, and business owners, accuse the Consolidated Rail Corp., CSX Transportation Inc., and Norfolk Southern Railway Co. of negligence in overseeing and maintaining the bridge, which collapsed on Nov. 20. The bridge failure derailed 82 Conrail freight cars and released more than 12,000 gallons of ... Read More

Twice as many U.S. teens started vaping in 2012, CDC says

Twice as many U.S. middle- and high-school teens took up vaping in 2012 than the previous year, indicating that many young people could be getting set up for a lifelong addiction to nicotine, according to a new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC reports that 10 percent of the high school students and 2.7 percent of middle school students it surveyed vaped last year, up from 4.7 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, in 2011. The CDC estimated that nearly 1.8 million middle- and high school students vaped for the first time in 2012. Electronic ... Read More