As part of the latest assault on public health from the Trump administration, the EPA earlier this month shut down a website that allowed citizens to track pollution across the country. By removing this vital tool, the administration has put lives in danger and allowed corporations to continue their assault on our health and the environment without someone looking over their shoulder. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.
Earlier this month, a website called Tox Map put out by the federal government using data compiled by multiple different uh, and departments in the federal government, but mostly from the EPA was shut down. December 16th. The Tox Map was totally shut down, retired as the administration called it. So this information is no longer available. Okay, so you’re probably asking you at this point, what kind of information was this? Why should I care about Tox Map? Well folks, Tox Map was a resource interactive. You could clip anywhere on this map of the United States, go to any city, any part anywhere and see the pollution. You could see how bad the air quality was for that area. Up to the hour. You could see all the pollution coming from nearby plants coming from all the nearby manufacturing facilities coming from the local power plant. Everything was right there on the map. And it even included all those toxic super fund sites that could also be radioactive. So you could go anywhere and say, Hey, I’m thinking of moving to this area. Let me go check Tox Map to find out if this is a safe place to live, and now you can’t. Now the administration claims that most, most of the information is still available. You just got to go to each individual department’s website to know exactly what you’re trying to find and then navigate the website and hope you can find it. Although of course some of it obviously is not available anymore. We decided to retire some of that information about pollution and how it affects your health. This is just the latest assault on science launched by this administration and this is nuts folks. This is pure total nuts. It makes no sense. It’s not like they were hemorrhaging money off of Tox Map. It’s not like it was actually harming the public. No, it was letting them know. If you go here, expect to have an asthma attack, and now it’s gone and nobody noticed and most people don’t even care. What this is is a massive gift to corporations. No longer are you going to have the public looking over your shoulder to see how much you’re polluting their hometown. No longer will the federal government be offering the public all of this up to the minute data about how bad you really are. That’s what this is all about. This is going to harm public health. People could very easily die as a result of removing this website, but hey, if it means corporations don’t have to worry about us looking over their shoulders, then heck yeah, that’s a win for this administration.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced