Lois Gibbs did not shrug her shoulders and say "I don't have the time or what difference would it make?" when calamity struck her and her neighbors. It's easier than we think to start turning things around. We have to believe so and show up.
Waste is no longer an unavoidable liability, but a potential asset: power plants might sell their coal ash to the cement industry; pharmaceutical manufacturers might offer their slurry outflow as fertilizer to farms.
Residents worry about spills in the river, and wonder if oil lapping at the coast has affected their faucet water. Local, state and federal authorities, however, say the city's tap water meets and, under some criteria, exceeds their standards.