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Cinema Verde Presents: The Story of Lumshnong
Cinema Verde Presents: The Story of Lumshnong

Now Playing | "The Story of Lumshnong" by Aarti Srivastava highlights ‘mindless’ limestone mining by cement companies. Lumshnong is a village situated in the Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya, India, which is rich in reserves of limestone. These rich reserves of limestone have attracted cement companies to set up their plants in the village, thus creating a hazardous environment for the local population. The documentary talks about “unthinkable stupidity of the cement companies”. There are as many as eight cement plants in a radius of just five kilometres in Lumshnong village. Limestone mining, as claimed in the documentary, has turned the Lumshnong village into a “dusty, waterless and barren” piece of land. “Studies revealed that loss of forest cover, pollution of water, soil and air, depletion of natural flora and fauna, reduction in biodiversity, erosion of soil, and degradation of agriculture land are some are some of the hazards of limestone mining,” the makers of the documentary stated. They added: “The hazards will not just be limited to the areas around the mines and cement factories but will spill to other regions if environmental checks are not put in place. It will also affect the lives of the people who live around the area.” The visuals of cement plants in the foreground, while the vegetations begins to look grey, and locals pointing at the shortcomings of limestone mining paint a sordid and truthful picture of what is happening in Lumshnong.

GoGreenNation News: Biden administration unveils new rules to curb toxic emissions at 200 U.S. chemical plants
GoGreenNation News: Biden administration unveils new rules to curb toxic emissions at 200 U.S. chemical plants

The Environmental Protection Agency issued new rules Tuesday to force hundreds of chemical plants across the U.S. to reduce cancer-linked toxic chemicals they emit into the air.Why it matters: The rules come as a win for environmental advocates and advance the Biden administration's push for environmental justice. The administration also said the rules are part of President Biden's initiative to lower cancer levels in the U.S., which has been dubbed the "cancer moonshot."The big picture: Around 104,000 people in the U.S. live within about 6 miles of the facilities that use chemicals linked to cancer higher risks, according to EPA estimates. Those living near such facilities are disproportionately poor and are more likely to be Black or brown.Zoom in: The new rules primarily target two chemicals: ethylene oxide (EtO) and chloroprene, which are used at around 200 plants spread across Texas and Louisiana and other parts of the country.EtO is widely used for medical device sterilization and as a fumigant for certain food products, while chloroprene is used to make a variety of common polymers and resins. Long-term exposure to them have been shown to increase a person's risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as lymphoma, leukemia and liver and lung cancers.How it works: The new regulations will require companies to monitor for toxic emissions along a facility's boundary beginning at least two years from today.If a company detects emission levels that go above a limit set by the EPA, they will be required to find the source of the pollution and make repairs. The data gathered through the monitoring will be made public online by the EPA, the agency said.What they're saying: EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement on Tuesday that the new rules will help communities like St. John the Baptist Parish west of New Orleans, which is home to one of the largest sources of chloroprene emissions in the country."We promised to listen to folks that are suffering from pollution and act to protect them," Regan said. "Today we deliver on that promise with strong final standards to slash pollution, reduce cancer risk, and ensure cleaner air for nearby communities."Zoom out: The new rules are also meant to crack down on the emission of other common toxins, like benzene, which has a wide variety of uses, and ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride, which are primarily used in the production of PVC plastic.The administration said it also expects the rules to slash more than 6,200 tons of toxic air pollution and and 23,700 tons of smog-forming volatile organic compounds each year.Go deeper: EPA issues landmark rules to curb auto emissions, bolster EVs

GoGreenNation News: Industrial plant emissions linked to health hazards, study reveals
GoGreenNation News: Industrial plant emissions linked to health hazards, study reveals

A recent study highlights the severe health and economic impacts of flaring and venting at industrial plants, including premature deaths and exacerbated asthma cases.Victoria St. Martin reports for Inside Climate News.In short:Flaring and venting activities at industrial plants are causing significant health issues, including asthma exacerbations in children and about 710 premature deaths annually.The study, involving researchers from Boston University and others, found that these practices cost the U.S. approximately $7.4 billion each year in health damages.Texas, Pennsylvania, and Colorado are the top states affected by these emissions, impacting nearly half a million Americans living close to oil and gas facilities.Key quote:“We know that PM 2.5 is bad for health, we know that ozone is bad for health, but to see the amount of asthma exacerbations that were attributed to nitrogen dioxide, I think that was surprising to us.”— Erin Polka, a doctoral student in the Department of Environmental Health at Boston University’s School of Public HealthWhy this matters:Industrial plant emissions are a significant concern for both environmental health and public well-being, contributing to a range of issues that affect ecosystems, air quality, and human health. In 2020, researchers linked air pollution from burning off excess natural gas to preterm births for babies, with the most pronounced impacts among Hispanic families.

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