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Health and Environment

NYC's Superfund Neighborhoods Are Booming

In the past five years, three toxic city sites have been enrolled in a federal clean-up program. Early on there were fears the label would inhibit development. Those have proven unfounded.

Dig Deep Into Superfund New York

Archive articles, federal documents, slideshows and more on the three Superfund cleanups now underway in New York.

Take a Video Visit to the Superfund Site Near You!

Beauty and toxins, industry and wildlife mix in Newtown Creek, along the Gowanus Canal and near the old Wolff-Alport Chemical Company on the Brooklyn-Queens border.

From the Archives: A Postmortem of NYC's 'Undetermined' Fatalities

Each year, nearly 200 deaths in New York City are categorized as "events of undetermined intent." These are cases in which the city’s medical examiner cannot determine whether the person died of natural causes, accident, suicide or murder.

City Finally Beating Back Queens Floodwaters

After decades of regular flooding in the borough's southeast, a $6 billion infrastructure project is having an impact. Some want DEP to go further and pump out rising groundwater.

Key Nutrition Program Hits Snags at Farmers' Markets

When the WIC program took steps to get more fresh produce into recipients' diets, the results were promising. But the initiative is being held back by administrative flaws and, yes, a political battle over white potatoes.

Questionable Claims by Anti-Drug Program

In at least two recent sessions, a drug education program associated with the Church of Scientology that has visited dozens of New York City schools and programs made medically unfounded statements about drugs.

Bushwick Rallies for Better Parks

Advocates are pressing City Councilmembers and the mayor for repairs to two green spaces. Parks funding is set to increase, but not enough to meet community needs, they say.

Impatience Grows Over Promised Brooklyn Waterfront Park

The space on the East River in Sunset Park was expected to be open more than two years ago. City officials say it's 95 percent complete, but the current design falls short of some promises.

City's Fire Investigation Bureau Stretched Thin

Since 2002, the city has cut the number of fire marshals by about half, though fire investigators have seen a 17 percent increase in cases sent to their desks.

Arson Investigation Techniques Catching Up with Science

Across the country, fire investigation has come a long way, but some investigators think it still has farther to go.

How New York City Beat Arson

The decline in arson in the city was as dramatic as—but less heralded than—the fall in murders and other crimes, perhaps because arson is a tougher crime to track.

Unlikely Key to NY's Mass Transit Hopes: The Automobile?

A new toll proposal reflects transit truths: Many drivers have few transit options, many subway lines couldn't handle large numbers of drivers who gave up their cars, and toll revenue is critical.

Child Welfare Effort Avoids Taking Kids from Home by Giving them One

There's growing interest in using supportive housing to help families whose children might otherwise end up in the foster-care system.

Report Details Woes for NYC's Electric-Cab Experiment

Documents obtained by City Limits outline a litany of obstacles that the city's pilot project has so far been unable to surmount.

Residents Demand City Build Bridge to Reconnect Van Cortlandt Park

Activists and pols say it’s the least DEP can do in light of the over-budget billions they're spending on the filtration plant.

For Clients Sick or Not, Hospitals Serve as Safe Havens

One aspect of the hospital crisis is that city hospitals exist not just to treat illness, but to protect vulnerable people from violence, homelessness and other threats.

Only Two Electric-Cab Drivers On the Road in NYC

Five of the seven electric cars in the city's taxi and for-hire fleet are idle, but Luis Castro is still making battery-powered stops in the Bronx.

Brownsville Board Says Home Runs Threaten Motorists

The local community board wants a higher fence at the Brownsville Rec Center to prevent softballs from striking cars on Linden Boulevard. But the center has a long list of other needs.

Report Sees Long-List of Post-Sandy Needs

A report from the Brooklyn Recovery Fund makes neighborhood-specific and borough-wide recommendations—both for action needed now, and for planning that's necessary before the next storm.


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City Limits' investigative reporting covers health and public health, parks and green spaces, and environmental justice.

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BLOG ENTRIES

Long Before Today's Ebola Scare, City Fended Off Smallpox - Jarrett Murphy

A small 1947 outbreak was halted when the city vaccinated 600,000 in a week and at least 2.5 million overall.

In Wheelchairs, They Marched to Stop Climate Change - Sarah Mortimer

The dangers associated with floodwaters and power outages that come with storms like Sandy are magnified when you use a wheelchair or breathe through a ventilator.

Take a Video Visit to the Superfund Site Near You! - Jarrett Murphy

Beauty and toxins, industry and wildlife mix in Newtown Creek, along the Gowanus Canal and near the old Wolff-Alport Chemical Company on the Brooklyn-Queens border.

Tree Pruning Problems: Some Species Are Special Risks - Jarrett Murphy

The city comptroller has found flaws in how the city tracks tree pruning. Here's some helpful background from a 2012 City Limits special report.

Clinic Protests Continue as Abortion in NYC Plummets - Jarrett Murphy

There were 20,000 fewer such procedures in 2012 than a decade earlier.

Race, Fear and the Risk of Drowning - Estelle Cottingham

A new focus on water safety in the wake of several fatal accidents raises questions about the large number of all races—but larger number of blacks and Latinos—who cannot swim.

Firefighter's Death Will Trigger Search for Answers - Jarrett Murphy

It likely won't be until the period of public mourning is over that we'll learn what caused the demise of Lt. Gordon Ambelas.

Scientology-Sponsored Anti-Drug Program Responds - Jarrett Murphy

"The article that was written against the Foundation for a Drug Free World is utterly biased, an attempt to undermine a positive non-profit and an attempt to gain publicity by creating false controversy."

Study: Green Carts—Those It Could Find—Are Working - Jarrett Murphy

A new study finds that the city's Green Carts are delivering fresh produce to low-income people in under-served neighborhoods and giving entrepreneurs a foothold in the marketplace. But many permitted Green Carts could not be located.

Know Your Enemy: Background for City's Battle vs. Rats - Jarrett Murphy

The de Blasio administration is launching a new offensive against "rat reservoirs," tackling a problem we wrote about last year.

Seniors Push for Funding On Eve of De Blasio Budget - Jarrett Murphy

In their annual Advocacy Day at City Hall, senior citizens pressed Councilmembers to shore up funding for naturally occurring retirement communities and to prevent elder abuse.

Water Rate Hike Lower, But Not Enough for Critics - Jarrett Murphy

Some background on the “rental payment" that has the mayor and a councilman facing off.

Celebrate Earth Day: Find Pollution Near You! - Jarrett Murphy

Online tools let you see which companies release which toxic substances in your neighborhood and borough. There's good news and bad news in the numbers.

Widespread Fixes Needed to Protect Disaster Workers - Jarrett Murphy

More than a dozen years after rescue workers and others toiled in toxic fumes amid the ruins of the World Trade Center, a report recommends changes to practices—and culture—before the next disaster.

Report: NYCHA Needs to Gear Up for the Next Sandy - Jarrett Murphy

Better communication and more resilient power systems are necessary, says a new report.

Public Advocate Sounds Call: School Lunch for All - Jarrett Murphy

Advocates hope to end the stigma around – and resulting lack of participation in – school lunch by making everyone eligible,

The Letters: One Family After the Superstorm - Jarrett Murphy

A year ago, filmmaker Karla Ann Cote met John and Veronica Petersen amid the ruins of the their home on the south shore of Staten Island. A year later, she went back to see what life is like a year after Sandy.

Deadline Looms for Food Stamp Families - Jarrett Murphy

Beyond the shutdown, and besides the debt-ceiling deadline, another date approaches for cuts to the Food Stamp program on which some 1.9 million New Yorkers depend.

What's the Next Stop for CitiBike? - Oliver Morrison

The project plans to target neighborhoods next to the areas it's already serving. Some would rather it target a clientele that's more diverse, and less affluent, than the current ridership.

Group Wants More in Mayor's Post-Sandy Plan - Jarrett Murphy

A coalition of community and labor groups responded to Mayor Bloomberg's infrastructure plan.

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CONVERSATIONS/OPINONS

Australia's Gun-Control Lesson for NYers

By Gerard May

Australia's Gun-Control Lesson for NYers

Mass shootings are happening more often in the U.S., but tighter national gun control seems impossible to achieve. An Australian in New York recounts his country's response to a massacre.

Nonprofits Must Practice Intergenerational Generosity

By Danielle Moss Lee

Nonprofits Must Practice Intergenerational Generosity

Experience can be a gem or a fossil. New ideas can be a boost or a fetish. As the city ages and a new generation of leaders emerges, nonprofits have to figure out how to get the best out of everyone.

Are We Overmedicating Kids in Foster Care?

By Dawn Post

Are We Overmedicating Kids in Foster Care?

A third of the kids in foster care diagnosed with ADHD have been treated with off-label antipsychotic drugs. That's too many children getting medicine we know too little about.

Can NY Fight Global Warming Without Nuclear Power?

By Richard Thomas

Can NY Fight Global Warming Without Nuclear Power?

The experience of California, Germany and Japan is clear, the author argues: Close nuclear plants and CO2 emissions soar as other power sources fill the gap.

Time to Enact a Life-Saving Truck Guard Law

By Sen. Rubén Diaz

Time to Enact a Life-Saving Truck Guard Law

A state senator says a simple law could bring New York City a step closer to the mayor's Vision Zero.

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MULTIMEDIA

Criminalizing Communities: NYPD Abuse of Vulnerable Populations

Report says NYPD tactics and attitudes unjustly target blacks, Latinos, gays, transgender people, vendors and sex workers.

Homes Underwater: Forebearance Alternatives for Sandy-Affected Homeowners

A report by Franklin Romeo and Jennifer Ching of (Queens Legal Services and Legal Services NYC) explores foreclosure risks in neighborhoods hit hard by Sandy and finds that some of the steps taken by banks in the wake of the storm "[create] a situation where a homeowner is likely to fall into a mortgage delinquency."

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