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This is a new concept I had, so let's give it a go.  Maybe I'll do this weekly if my fellow environmentalists here think it is important to keep some of these stories in the spotlight.

Our lead story:

California county considers toxic waste dump expansion

Officials overseeing a tiny farming community in central California are expected to make a decision Tuesday on the proposed expansion of the largest toxic waste dump in the West amid growing concerns about a spike in the town's number of birth defects...

Of 20 children known born in Kettleman City between September 2007 and November 2008, five had a cleft in their palate or lips, according to a health survey by activists. Three of those children have since died. Statewide, clefts of the lip or palate routinely occur in fewer than one in 800 births, according to California health statistics.

Story #2:

A good move for South L.A. neighborhood

Los Angeles officials are close to completing a deal that would relocate a metal finishing company that has long been the bane of a poor neighborhood -- the final piece of an ambitious quarter-billion-dollar plan to bring affordable housing to a pocket of South L.A....

According to government officials, Palace Plating generated hazardous waste, including cyanide and chromium, and faced charges of illegal dumping. The waste gave the nearby students nosebleeds, headaches and worse, according to residents and lawsuits.

Story #3:

ConocoPhillips fined for California spill

Regulators in San Francisco hit supermajor ConocoPhillips with a $490,000 fine for discharging toxic waste into the San Pablo Bay in 2008.

The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board said ConocoPhillips released between 2.5 million to 7.6 million gallons of toxic chemicals from its Rodeo refinery during a five-month stretch in 2008.

Anyone else think that this fine is laughably low?

Story #4:

One year later: TVA Kingston disaster continues with no regulation in sight

It’s been one year and piles of coal ash still remain. Train cars full of the toxic waste move from Kingston, Tennessee to Perry County, Alabama. The few remaining residents along the Clinch and Emory Rivers say the cleanup goes on, but not much of the scenery has changed. They describe it as a moonscape, a war zone, a sad sight.

One year ago, a billion gallons of coal ash--the leftovers from coal-fired power plants that contain high levels of arsenic, selenium and other toxins--burst through a dam at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston Plant. It spread across 300 acres, destroying numerous homes and poisoning the Emory and Clinch Rivers.

Story #5:

The e-waste threat is growing

Mumbai- With newer models of electronics entering the market faster than ever, e-waste is growing in India at an alarming rate. As much as 1.46 lakh tonnes of electrical and electronic waste is generated in the country annually, over 80% from households.

Most of this waste is not recycled in an eco-friendly manner. It is often dumped or recycled on the roads. According to a Greenpeace report, India generated 380,000 tonnes of e-waste in 2007. Only 3% of this made it to authorised recycling facilities.

Story #6:

BBC settles Trafigura libel case

The BBC today made what it presented as a tactical climbdown in its libel battle with the oil trading company Trafigura.

After negotiations with Trafigura director Eric de Turckheim this week, the broadcaster agreed to apologise for a Newsnight programme, pay £25,000 to charity, and withdraw any allegation that Trafigura's toxic waste dumped in Africa had caused deaths.

But at the same time, the BBC issued a combative statement, pointing out that the dumping of Trafigura's hazardous waste had led to the British-based oil trader being forced to pay out £30m in compensation to victims.

I don't have much to add in terms of analysis, as these stories pretty much speak for themselves.

Originally posted to geodemographics on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 11:13 AM PST.

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