Only One Chance: How Contaminants in our Environment Impair Brain Development
Ninth Circuit Court finds Seward coal export facility violating Clean Water Act
September 3, 2014: A federal appeals court unanimously ruled that Aurora Energy Services, LLC, and Alaska Railroad Corporation are violating the Clean Water Act by dumping coal pollution into Resurrection Bay from their coal export facility in Seward, Alaska. In its ruling, the Ninth Circuit reversed a prior district court decision that the facility’s storm water permit shielded them from liability for the pollution. The Ninth Circuit found that the terms of that permit prohibit dumping coal into the bay, and the court sent the case back to the district court for further proceedings.
“This coal export facility has been spewing pollution into Resurrection Bay for many, many years. Today’s court decision that the facility’s permit prohibits those discharges will hopefully force this facility, at long last, to clean up their act and install modern pollution controls that would make the air safer for Seward residents to breathe and prevent further harm to the bay,” said Russ Maddox, a longtime Seward resident and Sierra Club volunteer. Maddox contributed significantly to the citizen action by documenting and reporting violations at the Seward Coal Loading Facility for many years.
The plaintiffs are represented by Brian Litmans with Trustees for Alaska and Peter Morgan and Aaron Isherwood with the Sierra Club Environmental Law Program.
For decades, the Seward Coal Export Facility has allowed coal to fall unchecked from the conveyor system directly into Resurrection Bay, polluting the water and violating the Clean Water Act. Coal dust from the facility coats nearby fishing vessels and local neighborhoods with dust and debris, impacting the health of local Alaskans and their natural resources.
“The latest developments in this case raise the larger question of why coal companies continue to push their dirty product overseas from Alaska,” said Pam Miller, executive director for Alaska Community Action on Toxics. “Globally, coal prices are in decline and demand is dropping. It makes no sense to be a bad neighbor to Seward and threaten Alaskan waters for short-term gains.”
“The court decision is just the latest in a series of community victories, in which decision-makers are siding with local residents against the impacts coal exports in the Pacific Northwest,” said Cesia Kearns, senior campaign representative with the Sierra Club. “Alaskans are standing up to protect their fisheries and resources, and the Northwest is standing with them: Last month, the state of Oregon denied a permit for a proposed coal export facility to protect fisheries and water quality. Northwestern residents know that coal exports are a train wreck financially and for natural resources the states depend on, and we aren’t signing away our states for Big Coal’s benefit.”
Alaska Community Actions on Toxics and the Sierra Club will continue supporting efforts that ensure a healthy community and clean water in Seward.
ACAT will serve you and your family a feast of wild caught Alaska Salmon with all the trimmings of a summer BBQ
To RSVP, call Maricarmen at 222-7714 or send her an email.During the house party, you will also learn how to test your couch to find out if there are toxic flame retardants and if so, which ones.
We look forward to seeing you.
Watch the trailer for Toxic Hot Seat here
Seward Residents Prove Their Air is Polluted and Unhealthy from Coal Dust and Known Cancer Causing Toxin
ACAT along with a coalition of Seward residents and environmental health organizations are releasing a report detailing a year’s worth of air quality data. Residents in Seward, trained by Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT), Global Community Monitor, and Resurrection Bay Conservation Alliance, collected air samples around the Seward Coal Loading Facility. Samples were analyzed by three independent laboratories. The analyzed samples contain unhealthy levels of pollution. The two culprits polluting the air: coal dust and carcinogenic crystalline silica. A forensic laboratory fingerprinted the dust collected by the community monitoring devices and compared it to samples of coal near the Seward Coal Loading facility and confirmed the fingerprints matched.
- 6/9/14, Reception, 6:30 pm, Panel Discussion, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
- @ YWCA, 324 E. 5th Ave., Anchorage
- YWCA Anchorage event flyer | Facebook Anchorage Event
Please join us to hear indigenous women from impacted communities discuss the links between environmental violence and reproductive health and justice.
Panel speakers include indigenous women representing Yaqui Nation, Fond du Lac Band (Anishinaabe Nation), Gwich’in of Arctic Village, Athabascan of Chickaloon Traditional Village Council, and Yupik of Gambell and Savoonga, St. Lawrence Island.
Questions? Call 907-222-7714 or email [email protected]
‘Bringing US Toxics and Environmental Policies and Practices in Line with Indigenous Peoples’ Rights to Reproductive Health, Subsistence and the protection of Future Generations’
Tuesday June 10th, 2014, from 1:30 – 4:00 PM, at the Egan Center Space 12-14
(Dena’ina Civic & Convention Center, 600 W 7th Ave., Anchorage) Event Flyer
- Speakers will address environmental contaminants and their impacts on Tribal communities in Alaska, the US and Globally and beyond including the severe effects on women’s reproductive health, the health of their children and of future generations.
- Presenters will address the failures of US government environmental laws, standards and permitting practices to protect Indigenous Peoples’ rights to Free Prior and Informed Consent, Subsistence, Culture and Health, and will highlight current efforts to change US laws including the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
- Presenters will include representatives of the Kenaitze Tribe, Native Village of Venetie, Native Village of Savoonga (St. Lawrence Island Alaska), Chickaloon Native Village and the International Indian Treaty Council.
- For more information, please contact ACAT at 907-222-7714 or [email protected]
The environmental causes of breast cancer and what you can do to protect yourself and the women you love.
- Connie Engel of the Breast Cancer Fund (in Anchorage 6/4 and in Bethel 6/5)
- Karuna Jaggar of Breast Cancer Action (in Anchorage 6/4 and in Homer 6/5)
- Janet Ackerman of Silent Spring Institute (in Anchorage 6/4 and in Fairbanks 6/5)
- Pamela Miller of Alaska Community Action on Toxics (in Anchorage 6/4 and in Homer 6/5)
- The science linking toxic chemicals and breast cancer
- Environmental risk factors and the precautionary principle
- Prioritizing prevention through individual and collective action
Our goal is to inspire you to make choices that eliminate contaminants linked to cancer from your home and community. We also hope you will join the many breast cancer advocates across the country who are working for public policies that will…reduce the risks of breast cancer.
Questions? Call (907) 222-7714 or email [email protected]
NEWS ADVISORY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 4/16/14
Anchorage consumers return products containing toxic chemicals to Walgreens stores
Customers across the nation demand Walgreens “Gets Tough on Toxics”
Anchorage, AK (April 16, 2014) – Concerned parents and consumers converged on an Anchorage Walgreens today saying that the company has failed to take action to reduce the sale of products containing toxic chemicals. The shoppers pointed to a new study showing that some Walgreens products contain harmful chemicals linked to cancer, learning disabilities, infertility and other serious health conditions. The event was part of a national “Mind the Store” day of action to raise awareness of toxic chemicals in consumer products. Similar events took place at over 45 Walgreens stores nationwide. Read more.