Millions at Risk from Vinyl Chloride on American Railways

February 23, 2024
Hosted by Jill Buck

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Guest Information

Episode Description

On February 3, 2023, five train cars containing 887,400 pounds (115,000 gallons) of vinyl chloride¹ ² ?, the key building block for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, derailed and were subsequently burned, setting off a major environmental health disaster that sickened area residents and first responders³, killed wildlife4, and contaminated East Palestine, Ohio and surrounding communities.5 A similar disaster struck Paulsboro, New Jersey in 2012. In both cases, the train cars carrying cancer-causing vinyl chloride were on their way to plastics manufacturing plants in New Jersey owned by OxyVinyls (a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum)¹ 6, where factories make PVC plastic for flooring and other building materials sold at major retailers like The Home Depot. OxyVinyls is responsible for the transport of rail cars filled with vinyl chloride across an enormous distance and through a number of major and minor population centers, putting communities across the country at risk. A new report quantifies that risk, and today we will talk with one of the authors, Mike Schade, as well as Jess Conard, a resident of East Palestine turned activist after the disaster near her home.

Go Green Radio

Friday at 9 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel

Go Green Radio examines the most pressing environmental issues of the day. From environmental justice to climate change, the global water crisis or sustainability in schools, host Jill Buck interviews subject matter experts to empower listeners to create positive change in their own communities. For over fifteen years, Buck has interviewed U.S. Senators, four-star Generals, CEO’s, scholars, journalists, activists, and so much more. Her panoramic view of sustainability themes has given her listeners unparalleled access to the world’s most captivating topics and problem solvers. Whether you are new to sustainability or a professional looking for a deep dive into the most current green technologies, Go Green Radio is the place for you to hear from leaders who are working to create a healthy and just future for all.

Jill Buck

Jill is an international featured speaker at business, public policy and environmental conferences, and has been featured in such publications as U.S. Mayor, National School Boards Association Quarterly, Working Mother Magazine, Women’s Health Magazine, Ebony Magazine, and Diablo Magazine’s “Women to Watch.” In 2002, Jill founded the Go Green Initiative, a 501©3 that is the global leader in environmental education, operating in all 50 U.S. states and in 73 countries around the world. The program has been endorsed by the National School Boards Association (NSBA), National Recycling Coalition, 9 State PTA’s, California Integrated Waste Management Board (now CalRecycle), California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA), and many more. Jill serves on the editorial board of the Green Schools National Network’s quarterly publication, Catalyst Magazine; and is a member of the Executive Committee for the K-12 Technical Council of CRRA. Jill Buck is a former Naval Officer. While stationed at the Fleet Training Center, San Diego, she served as the Legal, Physical Security, Admin, and Command Inspection Officer, as well as a Damage Control Instructor. She is an honor graduate of the Military Justice School, and a graduate of the Navy’s small arms weapons course, taught by former Navy Seals. Jill holds a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois, and a M.S. in Education, specializing in Online Teaching and Learning, from California State East Bay.

Episode Directory

April 2024

March 2024

February 2024

  • 2/23/2024: Millions at Risk from Vinyl Chloride on American Railways Listen Now
  • 2/16/2024: Encore Newark, NJ Public Schools: A Case Study of Sustainability Listen Now
  • 2/9/2024: Encore 45 Colorado Public School Districts to Monitor IAQ with Attune Listen Now
  • 2/2/2024: Encore Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in Schools Listen Now


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