Brownfields and Superfund Sites: Climate Change Is Exacerbating Our Toxic Waste Problem

When floods, hurricanes, and wildfires hit toxic waste sites, what are the economic, health, and justice implications for nearby communities?


From old petroleum sites to chemical dumping grounds, toxic waste sites are disproportionately located in low income and minority communities, and carry lots of adverse health and environmental impacts. And today, climate change threatens to make it even worse, with floods, hurricanes, and wildfires ravaging brownfields and spreading toxins into these communities. Today, we cover what brownfields and Superfund sites are, what problems they create, and some strategies for how to clean them up. With special guest Dr. Lemir Teron: Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. This episode is part of Covering Climate Now’s Living Through the Climate Emergency joint coverage week, reporting on the realities of climate change and its solutions through the week leading up to Earth Day 2021.

The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from PBS flagship station The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at

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The Sweaty Penguin
The Sweaty Penguin is a digital news source and podcast aiming to make environmental issues less overwhelming and politicized and more accessible and fun.


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