The citizen regulators taking on big polluters when the EPA won’t

The citizen regulators taking on big polluters when the EPA won’t

As environmental agencies reel from a Republican-led assault on regulations, local activists are taking up the fight

The headaches, asthma attacks and serious nosebleeds that plagued Diego Mayens as a child in West Long Beach, California were all triggered by one basic activity – playing outdoors. He suspects the foul emissions from nearby refineries and other heavy industry were behind his problems.

“It had to do a lot with the air quality in the area,” Mayens told the Guardian. “I feel particularly bad seeing kids playing outside and people who live here walking around who might not know what they’re breathing in.”

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