FROM Liza Tucker
How green is Governor Brown? California Governor Jerry Brown has positioned himself as a leader in fighting climate change. But Consumer Watchdog has a new report questioning whether Brown’s environmental actions live up to the hype.
Will Exxon Get Off the Hook with Refinery Sale In February, the Exxon refinery in Torrance was shut down when an explosion destroyed an air-pollution control device that's 12 stories high. Gasoline prices went up in Southern California, and the refinery is still not back on line. Now Exxon has plans to sell it . Is Exxon trying to buy its way out of accountability? We ask Liza Tucker, who works for Consumer Watchdog , based in Santa Monica.
Cleaning Up Exide, after Decades of Pollution and Misconduct For decades, there've been reports of toxic contamination from the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon. Finally, after the threat of federal prosecution, Exide has been shut down — with promises of demolition and cleanup. That's not due to action by the State Department of Toxic Substances Control, which allowed Exide to operate without a permit for more than 20 years.
How Boeing Blocked a Nuclear and Chemical Clean-Up in LA's Backyard In 1979, a nuclear power reactor at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania suffered a partial meltdown. There was widespread anxiety nationwide. As a reporter at KNBC, Channel 4, I reported that a similar accident, a much smaller research reactor in the Santa Suzanna Mountains, had occurred 20 years earlier — near Los Angeles. Now, all these years later — after decades of studies, reports and regulatory hearings by state and federal agencies, the radioactive residue from that accident has not been completely cleaned up. There had — finally -- been an agreement between the Department of Energy, Boeing, which currently owns the site, and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control — but, during the administration of Governor Jerry Brown — it's been derailed. That's according to a six-month investigation for Consumer Watchdog in Santa Monica by Liza Tucker. The Department of Toxic Substances Control denied our request to appear on this program. However, DTSC spokeswoman Tamma Adamek did provide us with this statement: "The Department of Toxic Substances Control is committed to a complete, science-based cleanup of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory site that fully protects public health and the environment as required by California law. We are holding NASA and the Department of Energy to requirements set in the 2010 Administrative Orders of Consent, and we are holding Boeing to the requirements of the 2007 consent order. All of our decisions have and will continue to be made through a transparent process with full opportunity for the public to participate. The Consumer Watchdog report issued today is fundamentally flawed. Its claim that DTSC has already approved a final cleanup plan for the Boeing portion of the site is simply mistaken. Its selective review of the record misconstrues DTSC’s actions and fails to note that state officials have met with a wide array of interests, including elected officials and the parties responsible for cleaning up the contamination."
Lax Law Enforcement Leads to Outrage At an angry meeting last night in Boyle Heights, elected legislators expressed outrage over what residents and workers say they’ve known for a long time: they and their children have been exposed to cancer-causing, toxic materials, while state and local regulators have failed to enforce tough laws on the environment. It’s all about the Exide lead-battery recycling plant in the city of Vernon, which reportedly has emitted lead, arsenic and other cancer-causing substances into the air and water. Exide’s own inspection video shows leaks in pipes sometimes used for wastewater. But on Monday, Director of the State Department of Toxic Substance Control Debbie Raphael’s department announced a deal with Exide to let it stay open despite its record of violations.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.