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Monday, June 24, 2024

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America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Spokane joins lawsuit as city deals with 'forever chemicals' contaminating water

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Monday, April 22, 2024   

Spokane has joined a lawsuit against the manufacturers of toxic chemicals known as PFAS after the discovery of the chemicals in parts of the city's drinking water.

PFAS, also known as forever chemicals, are linked to cancer and other health effects and have been found at high levels in the West Plains near Spokane International Airport.

Chuck Danner lives in the area and said a test found he had twice the average rate of the chemicals in his blood. He stopped drinking water from his well and noted the body metabolizes the chemicals eventually.

"But it takes up to 40 years to metabolize one of the chemicals out of your body, and it's a lengthy thing," Danner pointed out. "I won't live that long, so it's going to be with me forever."

Danner argued the PFAS crisis has hurt his property value and caused him mental anguish. He added his daughter has thyroid disease, which could be connected to PFAS in his water well. The organization West Plains Water Coalition has been working to bring justice for community members.

The PFAS came from firefighting foam used at the Spokane airport.

Jeff DeBray, eastern Washington director for the progressive group Fuse Washington, said the airport and West Plains are in part of the city represented by Commissioner Al French, who served on the Airport Board. DeBray emphasized the commissioner initially put roadblocks in the way of investigating this issue.

"We're interested in protecting public health for people, and immediately to me that is centered around accountability," DeBray asserted. "We have a basic expectation that our public officials will be invested in protecting the health of citizens."

In response, French said it is a national issue and he has been working alongside state and federal governments to unveil a solution this week. He also noted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency only recently unveiled a PFAS water standard.

Danner said he expects a response to rectify the issue.

"I would like to see them accept responsibility and be held accountable for what has taken place," Danner stressed. "The least of that would be to provide a filter system for my well and/or clean drinking water."

Disclosure: Fuse Washington contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Health Issues, Human Rights/Racial Justice, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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