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Fracking has led to an increase in truck traffic, one of the reasons for worsening trends on air quality in areas with oil and gas drilling. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

How has the US fracking boom affected air pollution in shale areas?

The fracking boom has led to a large increase of hydrocarbon emissions in rural areas, reversing some regional air toxics trends.
Abandoned industrial buildings at San Francisco’s Pier 70, with a smokestack in the background. Lindsey Dillon

Cleaning up toxic sites shouldn’t clear out the neighbors

Cleaning up and reusing contaminated sites, known as brownfields, can create jobs and promote economic growth. But it also can drive gentrification that prices out low-income residents.
Cleanup at the GE Housatonic Superfund site in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 2007. Years of PCB and industrial chemical use at GE’s Pittsfield facility and improper disposal led to extensive contamination around the town and down the entire length of the Housatonic River. USACE/Flickr

Cutting Superfund’s budget will slow toxic waste cleanups, threatening public health and property values

President Trump's budget would cut funding for Superfund, which cleans up the nation's most toxic sites, by nearly one-third. An economist explains how Superfund cleanups benefit local communities.
The Flint water crisis was one of the few cases of environment-related social injustices that reached national attention in recent years. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Will we reverse the little progress we’ve made on environmental justice?

Addressing social and health inequalities from pollution is no longer a priority at the EPA. What did the Office of Environmental Justice do and what will happen if it's shut down?
Activists, federal workers and union representatives rallied for environmental protection policies at the EPA. American Federation of Government Employees

In planned EPA cuts, US to lose vital connection to at-risk communities

The EPA served as a conduit between the federal government and at-risk communities. Communications scholars look at how environmental justice issues could be set back in scaled-down EPA.
US domestic carriers won’t face emissions curbs until the rest of the world’s airlines do too. Lasse Fuss/Wikimedia Commons

Without a global deal, US curbs on airline emissions are hot air

Greenhouse emissions from the aviation industry are still largely unregulated. The prospect of regulations for US flights sounds like progress, but it won't happen without an elusive international consensus.

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