Bicycles, Breathing and Bridges: A Toxic Trio?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

One of the first volunteers for WNYC's 'Bicycle Brigade' monitors the air by wearing an elaborate outfit during her daily commute.

Comments [3]


Science Friday Cycles the City

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Urban bicycling has many benefits, but it comes with risks, including inhaling air pollutants. But scientists haven’t been able to track individual pollution exposure - until now.

Comments [6]


Christie Wins Fight in Exxon Toxic Clean-Up Settlement

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Environmental groups and Democrats have criticized the deal, saying New Jersey is settling for pennies on the dollar.



Environmental Groups Keep Pushing for Rejection of Exxon Settlement

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Superior Court judge is expected to hear arguments on the proposed pollution settlement between ExxonMobil and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Thursday.

Comments [1]


Environmental Group Asks to Intervene in Exxon Mobil Case

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Natural Resources Defense Council says New Jersey breached its duty to protect public resources when it accepted a $225 million settlement with Exxon. 



What's in the Air as You Cycle City Streets?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Fine particles of black carbon are linked to a wide array of heart, respiratory and other health problems. WNYC and Columbia want to know how those air particles affect bike commuters.

Comments [14]

The Takeaway

What the World Pays for Cheap Clothing

Friday, May 29, 2015

We now consume 400% more clothing than we did two decades ago, and a lot of it is affordable, fashionable and disposable clothing that's linked to human rights abuses across the globe. 

Comments [5]

The Takeaway

Obama Pushes for Cleaner Water with Sweeping Rule Change

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Obama Administration is expected to announce a major overhaul for clean water regulations. The decision has already seen opposition from Republicans and oil and gas producers.

Comments [3]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Happy Earth Day, We're All Doomed!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Here's a (totally incomplete) roundup of what's happening to our planet:
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Comments [3]

The Brian Lehrer Show

Brian Lehrer Weekend: Public Shaming, Toms River & Subway Poetry

Friday, April 03, 2015

Three of our favorite segments from the week, in case you missed them: Public Shaming (First) | Toms River Pollution (Starts at 18:44) | Subway Poetry (Starts at 37:53)
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Cleaning Up More Than 100 Years of Spilled Oil in New Jersey

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Between the Bayway and Bayonne refineries, 600 different contaminants have been found in the soil. But ExxonMobil might just pave over the marshes and walk away.

Comments [4]

New Jersey News

Why Did NJ Settle a $9 Billion Pollution Case for Pennies on the Dollar?

Friday, February 27, 2015

New Jersey sought $9 billion from ExxonMobil for the contamination of 1,500 acres of marshland. So why did the Christie administration settle out of court for $250 million?


The Leonard Lopate Show

As Climate Changes, So Do Political and Economic Fortunes

Friday, February 06, 2015

Climate change is transforming economies, playing havoc with corporate calculations, and shifting political power.

Comments [19]

The Takeaway

The Moon Is a Galactic Garbage Can

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

In total, the moon hosts more than 400,000 pounds of man-made material. But is this trash a problem, or just the cost of doing space travel?

Comments [8]

World Weekly with Gideon Rachman

A breakthrough in the fight against climate change

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The US and China surprised the world last week with an outline agreement in which both countries agreed to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. Gideon Rachman is joined by Pilita Clark, FT environment correspondent, and Paul Bledsoe, senior fellow on climate and energy in the German Marshall Fund in Washington, to discuss how big a breakthrough it is.


The Leonard Lopate Show

Holding a Polluter Accountable for a Brain Cancer Cluster in South Florida

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Reporter Sharon Lerner looks at a brain tumor cluster in a small Florida town, and investigates its connection to radioactive waste from a large defense contractor.

Comments [2]

The Leonard Lopate Show

We Don't Have to Drink Polluted Water

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Every year, 80 million pounds of pesticides are used on residential lawns in this country, and the chemicals that we put in our yards seep into our drinking water. But that can change.

Comments [13]

The Takeaway

The Public Health Consequences of Air Pollution

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Politicians often find it difficult to justify climate change legislation. Unlike climate change, air pollution seems to have specific and pressing consequences,  particularly for public health. 

Comments [3]

The Takeaway

Today's Takeaways: Democracy, Loyalty, and a Carbon Competition

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

1. Criticism Mounts Against POW Bowe Bergdahl | 2. Egyptian Democracy Put to the Test | 3. Mastering the Boston Accent is Wicked Hard | 4. China Announces 2016 Emissions Cap | 5. 25 Years After Tiananmen, Activist's Fight Goes On

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Most Radioactive Place in New York Is Now a Superfund Site

Thursday, May 08, 2014

The former location of the Wolff-Alport Chemical Company in Ridgewood, Queens is the most radioactive spot in New York City. Today the EPA added the property to the list of federal Superfund sites. The other two superfund sites in the city are Newtown Creek and the Gowanus Canal. Nate Lavey video producer for The New Yorker talks about the history of the property and the risks to people who work there now.

Work began at the site nearly 100 years ago, with the production of rare earth metals as additives to steel and lighter flints. One of the byproducts of that industrial process is thorium – a radioactive element. “At that time they took their thorium byproduct and dumped it into the city’s sewer system,” said Lavey. “[The owners] would have known that thorium was radioactive…but they probably didn’t have a good idea of how dangerous the chemicals they were handling were.” The contamination is fairly localized to the site, but Lavey noted that the EPA is looking at nearby blocks as well.

Currently the site (at 1125-1129 Irving Avenue) houses an auto-body shop, a deli and a construction company. “The amount of residual radiation is pretty low, especially when you compare it to nuclear disasters we’re all familiar with” said Lavey. While radiation levels are low, they are still elevated. Working on the site is equivalent to getting about 30 chest x-rays a year, which is well below the amount of radiation exposure deemed safe for nuclear power plant workers. The risk to customers is minimal. The EPA has already installed some shielding at the site.

Although the site is now designated for Superfund remediation, it’s unclear how the cleanup will proceed and who will pay for it.