Take Two

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Alex Cohen & A Martínez

Why some environmental disasters get more attention than others

by Leo Duran | Take Two

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Toxics regulators announced an additional $7 million for testing and cleanup in an expanded area around the now-closed Exide plant in Vernon, but it did little to mute criticisms from activists who say that lead contamination should be prompting faster response. Molly Peterson/KPCC

The natural gas leak in Aliso Canyon continues to spew as it has since late October 2015.

It's taken months for the alarm over it to grow, and just this week both the state and LA county filed criminal charges against the facility owner SoCal gas.

But environmental disasters happen more often than we care to admit.

In Michigan, for example, it took months before the whole nation was aware of what was happening in the city of Flint: that tap water in that community's homes could be dangerous.

Even in Southern California, residents in Watts and Vernon have coped for years with lead that's tainted the ground surrounding their homes. Meanwhile, Porter Ranch has gotten most of the spotlight, lately.

What does it take to turn an environmental disaster into a disaster that the country rises up and takes notice of?

Take Two speaks with Dan Fagin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of, "Toms River," which chronicled a New Jersey community affected by industrial chemical pollution for decades.

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