News Release

Activist Moms Confront EPA’s “Criminal Negligence” on Sept. 20


Wind is the lead organizer for the new grassroots group SAFE — Scientists, Activists, and Families for Cancer-Free Environments, which has announced a protest at EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 20. The demonstration will feature families, firefighters, and military members from around the country who have been sickened by a host of environmental toxins.

After her daughter, Taylor, was diagnosed with cancer, Susan’s investigative skill set exposed a dirty secret in her town — coal ash from the local Duke Energy power plant was sold and used as structural fill as a substitute for soil to build communities throughout North Carolina. “No one told us, no one helped us,” she said. “Local and state governments, the EPA, the companies — they all failed us.”

See NBC News report from January 2020 on Susan and Taylor “Teen’s cancer uncovers a mystery in one North Carolina town: Why here?

She said today: “Last week, the local press in Baltimore reported on a CSX coal explosion, coating the Curtis Bay neighborhood with coal dust. There’s no mechanism to keep track of this kind of danger while authorities assure the public there’s nothing to fear.”

She added: “In our case, Michael S. Regan, who is now EPA administrator, was then head of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. He made a sweetheart deal with Duke Energy which basically let them off the hook. It did not appear to be the clean-up the media claimed it was going to be. It never addressed all of the coal ash that was used as structural fill.

“The utility company has years to clean it up. A lot of people are going to get cancer and die in the amount of time it takes them to clean it.

“Nationwide, there’s virtually no funding to identify cancer clusters stemming from toxic pollution at industrial plants and military bases. The federal government has promised to keep track of thousands of suspected cancer clusters, but Congress has failed to adequately fund the measure.

“It’s criminal negligence on the part of all the institutions involved. In our case, we organized a 5K run ourselves to raise the money to find out local cancer rates were three times what was expected. Why are the MOTHERS having to do this and not the agencies? Broken indeed.”