The Manhattan Project and the Cold War have left a legacy of toxic and radioactive waste at sites across the nation, requiring the largest environmental cleanup in US history. Now many experts fear that the federal government, which has always underestimated the problem, will prioritize increasing nuclear armament over tackling nuclear waste under the Trump administration.
Climate justice activists are building a bulwark of political will in cities and states. Regardless of what the federal government does, states are invested in building a clean energy future, says Jordan Estevao, a senior strategist for People's Action, a network of grassroots groups stretching across the country.
Residents of Flint, Michigan, declared a victory this week after state officials agreed to replace the city's lead pipes within three years as part of a $97 million legal settlement to address a longstanding drinking water crisis. Local activists said the settlement is proof that communities facing lead pollution should demand justice when elected official fail to protect public health.