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On August 6, 2012, a fire and explosion at a Chevron refinery in Richmond, Calif. caused 15,000 people to seek medical treatment.

Pam Nixon lives in an area of West Virginia called “Chemical Valley,” where she is surrounded by facilities that handle dangerous toxic and flammable chemicals. Many times during her 65 years there she’s had to shelter in place, tape up windows and huddle in her home after being alerted about a chemical leak nearby.

Deep in the heart of northern Maine, the wild landscape of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument offers an escape for hikers, kayakers and thrill-seeking white water rafters. It has also been an economic boon to Maine’s Penobscot County. Since former President Obama designated Katahdin Woods and Waters as a monument in 2016, the new status has significantly increased tourism and bolstered local business. But all is not well in Penobscot County.

Activist Yudith Nieto holds an air sampler in Hartman Park, in the Manchester neighborhood of Houston, Texas.

Scott Pruitt spent much of his energy as Oklahoma attorney general suing the EPA. Now that he’s heading the agency, Pruitt is trying another tactic—delaying new rules that protect our air and water, rather than challenging them head-on in court. Earthjustice is fighting to defend these rules—because for every delay, lives are lost. The following statistics show how communities have been impacted by Pruitt's deadly delays.

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

Editor’s note:  As the Trump administration considers the fate of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, the monument’s place as a climate change refuge for numerous plants and animals is even more important. Guest author Dr. Pepper Trail, an ornithologist and conservation biologist, highlights three species that call the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument home.

Steve, Afton and May Surwillo talk to Rocio Rodarte, Legislative Aide for Colorado Senator Michael F. Bennet, during an Earthjustice clean air fly-in meeting in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington D.C.

Afton Surwillo journeyed from Colorado to Capitol Hill last week to join with moms, doctors and faith leaders to voice concerns over congressional attacks on clean air protections. She had several reasons for making the trip and enduring D.C.’s record temperatures and “orange alert” air quality. A big reason was her son Luc.   

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About the Earthjustice Blog

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.