Streams

EPA Watch List

Monday, November 14, 2011

Elizabeth Shogren, who covers environmental stories on the national desk at NPR, and Jim Morris, project manager at the Center for Public Integrity, discuss a joint project from NPR and CPI, which found that the Environmental Protection Agency maintains a watch list of the worst polluters in the country.

→ To see the EPA watch list obtained by NPR and CPI, click here. 

→ An interactive map of possible polluters in your area, searchable by zip code, is available here.

Guests:

Jim Morris and Elizabeth Shogren
News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
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Comments [12]

Amy from Manhattan

Some people seem to be more worried about the EPA supposedly "killing jobs" than about polluters killing people.

Nov. 15 2011 01:54 AM
Peter Bergen from Port Washington, NY

The Clean Air Act has been a huge success in reducing air pollutant emissions across the country since 1970. Your story's inference that most smokkestacks are spewing "pollutants" fails to acknowledge that the vast majority are in compliance with emission standards and permit requirements - Thus an electric generator that emits CO2 or oxides of nitrogen in compliance with its permit is not, in fairness, a "polluter" - I think the folks that went without electricity after last months snowstorm would agree that reliable electric power is a necessity, and not a amenity. Peter Bergen

Nov. 14 2011 12:30 PM
popejon from ridge, ny

John from NYC,

"Have fun in the old Eastern Europe and the old Soviet Union." Way over simplifies the issue. Guess what? they have capitalism now and are super corrupt and still pollute the crap out of their environment. Unregulated free markets will always take the path of least resistance and always have taken the path of least resistance. Please name just one environmental self regulated practice the free market has ever instituted that was not brought on by litigation. I cant think of one, can you?

Nov. 14 2011 12:07 PM

Response to John:

If you'll notice, I didn't say capitalism was bad, I said our "one goal capitalism" is bad. The reality is we've given corporations legal standing as individuals but they've grown into Frankenstein creations with the only goal of profits and nothing else. So you have corporate leaders who actually have claimed cigarettes don't cause cancer, mercury pollution and agricultural runoff don't cause neurological damage or environmental harm, air pollution doesn't contribute to asthma or acid rain, etc etc.

I never said the word "socialism", and am all for capitalism. What I'm not for is the current system where profits are private and the costs are public. I'm saying the "costs" should be included on the revenue statement.

...you can always tell a FOX news listener when they try and turn every argument into a red scare story about socialism.

Nov. 14 2011 12:03 PM

EPA regulations are expensive. Pollution is cheap. Even cheaper when you figure the cleanup and health costs are later "paid" by individuals, municipalities and the federal government.

Republican presidential candidates are framing EPA initiatives as a "tax" on business, but the reality is right now the pollution is a back-end "tax" on people's health and the Medicare system.

Nov. 14 2011 11:50 AM
John from NYC

You can always tell a WNYC listener.

meatwnyc writes: "At the end of the day that method has been more profitable though, and that's what counts in our "one goal only" capitalist system."

Have fun in the old Eastern Europe and the old Soviet Union.

In the old Soviet Union, they built nucular plants WITH NO CONTAINMENT.

In East Germany, just about every child born in my niece's town had a birth defect.

But hey, there was no capitalism, so it couldn't be happening.

Nov. 14 2011 11:49 AM
Robin J from Essex County

Perhaps this is a little off-topic, but it seems relevant to mention the documentary "Gasland." I just watched it a few days ago and it is quite alarming.

Additionally, even though the film focuses on water pollution, the film certainly connects air pollution to fracking.

Nov. 14 2011 11:42 AM

It's really to bad that the EPA is a constant target of the Republican presidential candidates. Right now the big polluters spend billions in lobbying politicians and marketing to the public rather than spending money to clean up their acts. At the end of the day that method has been more profitable though, and that's what counts in our "one goal only" capitalist system.

Nov. 14 2011 11:39 AM
John from NYC

I teach at an art school in NYC. We had some excitement a couple of years back when the EPA fined us something like $250,000 for improperly stored paint, etc.

Real fun.

Nov. 14 2011 11:36 AM
Robert from NYC

Another guest who doesn't know. So, then, uh, how does this help us?

Nov. 14 2011 11:34 AM
Robert from NYC

What good is being on a watch for? Shouldn't something be done about the pollution? We now just watch pollution growth (for lack of a better term).!

Nov. 14 2011 11:33 AM
superf88

great public service for the last decade:

http://scorecard.goodguide.com/

(lists biggest polluters, etc, by zip code)

Nov. 14 2011 10:21 AM

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