NPR: Members of Ponca Tribe still victimized by air pollution
Posted: Monday, November 7, 2011
"Karen Howe couldn't believe her luck. As a single mom working a minimum-wage job and living with two kids in a crowded one-bedroom apartment in Ponca City, Okla., she was desperate for a three-bedroom house and a lawn.
Howe, a member of the Ponca Tribe, was offered tribal housing in a small, tree-lined subdivision of 11 homes on the southern, rural edge of the city.
"I was just real excited and happy about it because we had more space and the kids would've had their own rooms," Howe recalls. She didn't pay much attention to the neighbor across the fence, the Continental Carbon Co., and its industrial complex of pipes, storage tanks and smokestacks.
But as Howe was about to discover, and as NPR and the Center for Public Integrity documented in a joint investigation, communities across the country continued to struggle with serious air pollution problems and, in some cases, state and federal regulators failed to quickly or effectively protect them."
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