When a developer proposed replacing seven city-blocks’ worth of rundown homes in the southern part of Kansas City with an $80-million retail project to be called Citadel Plaza, officials in our neighboring state were enthusiastic. The thrilling prospect of bustling redevelopment, however, has long since been replaced by the dismaying reality of 35 acres of new brownfields right in the city. Brownfields are parcels of land that can’t be developed because they’re contaminated, and Citadel Plaza is newly polluted with asbestos.
Gogebic Taconite, a subsidiary of Cline Resource and Development Group, has made preliminary steps toward the development of a $1.5-billion taconite, or iron ore, mine near Ashland, Wisconsin. The project had already sparked controversy over its possible environmental impact, because the local geology suggests the presence of sulfide rock. If released into local streams and wetlands, opponents say, it could harm waterways and downstream habitats.
A company that was in the process of demolishing and replacing an old hotel has just been slapped with a $25,000 fine for violating the federal Clean Air and Clean Water acts. It was also ordered to pay $6,855 in restitution to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services for its expenses in monitoring the cleanup of construction materials containing asbestos that the company had dumped illegally. On top of the fine and restitution, the cleanup reportedly cost the company in excess of $50,000.
It has long been suspected that oil and gas drilling workers may be at risk for asbestos-related illnesses from exposure to drilling mud, in which asbestos is often used as a thickener. The question of whether asbestos-laced drilling mud is an inherently deadly product seemed to have been answered two years ago when a Louisiana jury awarded $322 million to a former drilling rig worker who was diagnosed with asbestosis so bad that he requires oxygen 24 hours a day.
When a woman learns she is expecting a child, she probably takes certain steps to ensure the safety and health of her baby. She may stop consuming certain foods and beverages and may refrain from participating in very strenuous activities. There are some things that an expecting mother has little control over, though.
Diesel fumes may have the same carcinogenic properties as asbestos and other similar harmful substances, according to a new release from the World Health Organization. If this is the case, it is not just professional truck drivers who are at an increased risk of contracting lung cancer, but every driver and passenger who travels on streets and highways in Illinois and throughout the country.