Broken Ground | Season 5 | Episode 7

Lesson 7: Do It Again

An announcement late on the Friday of a holiday weekend is a classic move. And in the case of the Byhalia Pipeline it is an end so abrupt many don’t believe it. But it’s true. What quickly becomes apparent is that, while Memphis has won this battle, the war against environmental racism and the systems that support it is far from over. From coal ash to Superfund sites, Memphians are now applying the lessons they learned to the continuing fight for thriving communities, ones with the clean air and clean water that is every person’s right.

Episode Transcript

Broken Ground Season 5 Episode 7

Final Transcript

September 21, 2022


Lesson 7: Do It Again



Host: For six episodes, we’ve been talking about Memphis’s battle against the Byhalia Connection crude oil pipeline. Well … it’s time to tell you now how that story ends. In our last episode, we left you with Ward Archer, founder of Protect Our Aquifer, as he received an alert that Plains All American – one of the partners in the Byhalia pipeline project – had filed an obscure financial document. It’s July 2nd, 2021.

Ward Archer: And I said, ‘Well, I wonder what this is.’ And I opened it up and there in this little bitty type was, you know, ‘We’re abandoning the pipeline.’ 

Host: Ward couldn’t believe what he was reading. So he texts Sarah Houston, the executive director of Protect Our Aquifer. 

Sarah Houston: And he’s like, did you see this and it was like an SEC filing. I’m not, (plpppph) I’m not watching Security Exchange Commissions filings, like, what are you talking about? So I read it. This is like a formal federal government filing saying that they are abandoning this plan. Call Ward and we’re like, is this for real?

Ward Archer: What really convinced me it was real was the fact that it was Friday afternoon before the 4th of July. And that’s where you plant the bad stuff or the good stuff, as it turned out to be.


Sarah Houston: And then we shared it, you know, with everybody, we’re like sending it all around and we’re like, y’all I think the pipeline’s canceled. 

Ward Archer: It didn’t take long. I mean, it’s 30 minutes later. It was in the newspaper, you know? 

Carrington Tatum: I do remember because it was a Friday evening. 

Host: MLK50 reporter Carrington Tatum.

Carrington Tatum: Everybody was signing out of Slack saying good night, have a good weekend. And only a few minutes after supposed quitting time I had to jump back in Slack and say, ‘Hey guys. I know y’all really excited to get to the weekend, but pipeline’s canceled.’ 

Anchor: The company behind the controversial Byhalia oil pipeline announced it is no longer pursuing the project, blaming lower oil production during the pandemic. 

Samuel Hardaway: Breaking news, Oof. I thanked God, first thing. 

Host: Samuel Hardaway, our Boxtown tour guide.

Samuel Hardaway: Be honest with you, I fell on my knees and said, thank you. I really did.

WREG Anchor: News of the pipeline’s cancellation spreading fast this afternoon. County mayor Lee Harris tweeting, it’s a good day.

Kathy Robinson: One of my friends from Memphis texted me and was like, did the pipeline withdraw their application? They’re saying it on the news. And I was like, are you serious? 

Host: MCAP co-founder Kathy Robinson was home in Nashville. 

Kathy Robinson: Text Kizzy, she calls me and she was like, whoa. Um, is this true? I was like I don’t know. 

Kizzy Jones: Cause I was on my way to Texas, I was like Kathy, you gotta be kidding me. Then I got a call from, uh Carrington. I said, Carrington, tell me you lying. And he was like, no, I’m not lying. It’s over. How you feel? I said, I’m, I’m literally crying on the expressway. I couldn’t, I couldn’t believe it. I could not believe it. 

Kathy Robinson: Just seeing how happy on Facebook everybody in the community was and then it just like hit me, like man, we did it. And that, that was, that was a great feeling. 

Justin J. Pearson: Dr. Jeff Warren calls me. 

Host: MCAP co-founder Justin J. Pearson. 

Justin J. Pearson: And he’s like, “The pipeline’s been canc – ” … I just start screaming.

Justin J. Pearson: (on Facebook video) Yessssss! God be glorified! 

Justin J. Pearson: How a normal day becomes one of the days you’ll always remember. That’s what it was.


Host: This is Broken Ground, a podcast by the Southern Environmental Law Center. I’m Leanna First-Arai, your host. Here at Broken Ground, we dig up environmental stories in the South, and introduce you to the people at the heart of them. People like … Well, all of the people you just heard a moment ago. You’ve met them all over the course of six episodes. Six episodes building up to this: the pipeline’s cancellation. 


Kizzy Jones: Can y’all believe it?

Host: It felt like a sudden turn to MCAP co-founder Kizzy Jones, and I imagine it might feel like one to you, too. Remember that the fight against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline took a full six years. But Byhalia?

Kizzy Jones: It was over in months, not even a whole year. 

Host: Kizzy, Kathy and Justin had formed MCAP only 9 months earlier.

Kizzy Jones: We’re bracing ourselves for this to be some years on down the line. That’s what we kept hearing. But God said otherwise. 


Host: Not surprisingly, the speed of the cancellation made some folks wonder what the pipeline company was really up to. A pipeline is a longer term investment, so would a short-term decline in oil demand because of the pandemic really cause them to bow out?

Carrington Tatum: The company says the pandemic stopped the pipeline …

Host: Carrington Tatum again.

Carrington Tatum: But I think there are plenty of other people who, who would beg to differ. 

Scott Crosby: It happened so suddenly. I’m still surprised and still suspect. 

Host: Burch Porter & Johnson attorney Scott Crosby.

Scott Crosby: I mean, I still think it’s like, you know, the monster in a horror movie, you’re like, are they really, are they really gone? You know? So I guess I’ll believe it eventually.

Host: SELC attorney George Nolan was equally skeptical.

George Nolan: I did not believe it at the time I heard it.

Host: He was thrilled by the news of course, but quickly developed his own theory about the cancellation.

George Nolan: I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the pipeline company decided to cancel the project just a few days before Judge Felicia Corbin-Johnson was scheduled to rule.


Host: Remember the eminent domain case against Scottie Fitzgerald and Clyde Robinson that was put on pause? In less than a week, the judge was due to decide a burning question: did Byhalia, in fact, have the power to use eminent domain in Memphis – and more broadly, anywhere in the state of Tennessee? As attorney Scott Crosby saw it … 

Scott Crosby: I think they thought this is not going their way. We are not going to win this. 

Host: By canceling the pipeline, the company effectively ended the judge’s ability to rule on that big question of eminent domain.

George Nolan: It rendered those issues moot, is what lawyers say. 

Host: So – yeah – the fear of an eminent domain ruling could definitely be one explanation for the sudden cancellation. But don’t forget what City Council was up to. 


Host: Councilman Jeff Warren had been pushing for a new pipeline ordinance for FIVE months when he got the news that the pipeline was canceled. 

Jeff Warren: At first I didn’t believe it. You know, I wanted to say, okay, what’s the catch? What’s really going on here? 

Host: The ordinance Dr. Warren and his colleagues had been considering, could have empowered city council to prevent crude oil pipelines from being built in Memphis. So Byhalia likely hoped that the ordinance – like the eminent domain case – would die if the pipeline did. But bad news for Byhalia. 

Chairman: (City Council audio) Welcome to the, uh, September 21st, 2021 regular meeting of the Memphis city council …

Host: MCAP keeps the pressure up on the Council, which easily could have moved on to other topics. Then, approximately three months after the cancellation … 

Chairman: (City Council audio) Cast your votes.

Host: The City Council passes the first of what will be two ordinances. This one for “wellhead protection.” It will prevent any future pipelines from crossing too close to the aquifer’s wellfields. It’s a big win.

Chairman: (City Council audio) Thank you. That item passes. Well done.


Host: Eight weeks later, City Council passes a second pipeline ordinance – this one called “rights of way.” It will require pipeline companies to secure city council approval before they can cross city property. 


Justin J. Pearson: (on Facebook video) Today we passed another law in Memphis history. Let’s go! 

Host: Justin J. Pearson and Sarah Houston post a late-night update on  MCAP’s Facebook page to thank supporters.

Sarah Houston: (on Facebook video) So if they try again, they gotta go through this new process we’ve set up. And so we will be watching every move.

Justin J. Pearson: (on Facebook video) Woo! All right. 

Sarah Houston: (on Facebook video) All right. (laughing) Good night. Y’all good night Justin. 

Justin J. Pearson: (on Facebook video) Nighty night. Nighty night everybody. Night, Sarah.

Host: City Councilman Jeff Warren was nearly as delighted, even though, technically … 

Jeff Warren: Not one thing I put forward got passed, but we got what we needed as a community. So it was a win. I was really proud and I was really relieved.

Host: So … fear of the city council ordinances was likely another reason Byhalia called it quits. Of course, you’re probably thinking. Wait a minute. Wasn’t there ANOTHER big force at work behind the pipeline’s cancelation? MCAP co-founder Kizzy Jones has a theory – one echoed by just about everyone we interviewed for this podcast – about why Byhalia pulled out. 


Kizzy Jones: I want to go out on a limb and say, I believe that had something to do with, uh, three young activists who let the world know what was going on. 

Kizzy Jones: (from Facebook video) What do you need to go away? 

Justin J. Pearson: (from Facebook video) The path of least resistance. That’s what they called Boxtown!

Kathy Robinson: I don’t care if I live in Russia. If it comes to Southwest Memphis, I’m fighting for it. 

Justin J. Pearson: (from Facebook video) We’re going to win! Right here in Memphis, we’re going to win! 

Kizzy Jones: It had to be three people. I don’t think one of us could have done it. I don’t think two of us could have did it. I’m just a firm believer that it had to be three of us. Kathy reading that one article. Me being that feisty one. And Justin being a talker.


Justin J. Pearson: It was people power. And it was a lot of people. From across the city, across the state, across the country. We even got some petitions signed from across the world. And so it was a beautiful convergence of what is the best that we all can bring? Let’s offer that, right? On the altar of justice and see what happens. 

Kathy Robinson: This community, OUR community was not supposed to beat a billion dollar oil company. We were supposed to just cower and say, this is just the way it is. 

Host: Like George Nolan and Scott Crosby and lots of other folks in Memphis, Kathy Robinson didn’t buy the pipeline company’s reasoning about lower oil demand. 

Kathy Robinson: We knew that it was absolutely a crock of crap. 


Host: But a couple of important things happen in the wake of the cancellation that help convince everyone here that the pipeline might really be dead. 

Judge Corbin-Johnson: Before we get started, let me just go around as we normally do … 

Host: First, that rescheduled court hearing that was supposed to answer the eminent domain question. Now Judge Corbin-Johnson’s goal is simply to wrap up the case. 

Judge Corbin-Johnson: I see we have about 40 people on… 

Host: The hearing starts the same way as usual – with attendees introducing themselves. And by this point … you’ll probably recognize a lot of voices.

Justin J. Pearson: Good morning, your honor. I am Justin J. Pearson 

Scottie Fitzgerald: This is Scottie Fitzgerald 

Ward Archer: My name is Ward Archer. 

Sarah Houston: Sarah Houston.

Carrington Tatum: Carrington Tatum. I’m a news reporter with MLK50. 

Amanda Garcia: My name’s Amanda Garcia 

George Nolan: George Nolan with the Southern Environmental Law Center. 

Judge Corbin-Johnson: Yes sir, good morning! 

Host: At this final court hearing, the pipeline lawyers, who had previously paused their case against the landowners, agree to dismiss it for real – this time with PREJUDICE. Which means, in legal speak, that those lawsuits against Scottie Fitzgerald and Clyde Robinson can’t come back. EVER.

George Nolan: So based on all that, your honor… 

Host: SELC and MCAP are comfortable enough to withdraw their own lawsuit against the company. 

George Nolan: … MCAP has decided to voluntarily dismiss its claims for declaratory judgment.

Host: Folks here in Memphis really begin to relax once Byhalia asks the Army Corps and TDEC to rescind the permits they had issued for the pipeline.

Kizzy Jones: I knew we was going to be successful. That’s the honest truth. That’s the honest truth. I just didn’t know how long it would be. If I had to do it again, I would, I would for this community.


Host: So there you have it. An incredible story about environmental injustice with a remarkable happy ending. Except … every way we looked at it … ending here felt … abrupt. Not just because of how suddenly the pipeline company pulled out, but because there is still so much environmental justice work to be done in Memphis. 


Host: Pick almost any predominantly Black area here … Frayser, Smokey City, Riverview … and you’ll find it has its own share of polluting facilities – from toxic landfills to chemical manufacturers – facilities that generally aren’t found in the whiter, wealthier neighborhoods. The Byhalia pipeline would have just been the latest injustice. Kathy, Kizzy and Justin are just the freshest faces in a long line of people who’ve been fighting for environmental justice here in Memphis for decades. Trust me when I say there are so many more stories to be told. 

Frank Johnson: (speaking at rally) It starts with our communities and it spreads, because then they show you, they can do it here, they can do it anywhere.

Host: One of those stories belongs to Frank Johnson, an adviser to MCAP. He spoke at a rally midway through the pipeline fight. And as you’ll hear, so many of the lessons he shared with MCAP are ones they put into action.


Frank Johnson: (speaking at rally) So as I stand with you in this fight, I’m going to say be loud. Disrupt. We don’t have time for respectability, because guess what? These are our lives. The people that are putting this pipeline in, they’re not going to have to deal with it. They’re not going to have to deal with the fallout. And I can tell you dealing with the fallout I had to watch my mother succumb to this brain cancer and then turn around and go through it again when the same exact brain cancer showed up in my sister … So my people that’s fighting this pipeline, fight hard … Pick up the allies … Fight this corporate power, fight politicians … Call them out … Don’t be afraid to throw – as we say in South Memphis – to throw them ‘bows. 


Host: Frank Johnson and I have actually been working together on a long-form print story about the toxic facility in his neighborhood – the one he believes caused his family’s cancer. We’ll put a link to that story on the Broken Ground website. But I want to spend a few more minutes with Frank now. 

Siri: In 1.2 miles, the destination is on your right. 

Host: Frank’s story will give you just a glimpse into one of the decades-long environmental justice battles that have been unfolding in Memphis since the Sanitation Workers’ strike back in 1968, and that unlike Byhalia, have received minimal attention at the national level. Frank and I have been talking since the Byhalia pipeline fight began, but the Broken Ground team and I met him for the first time in person this February. 

(car doors opening/closing)

Eli Motycka: Frank? What’s up? How you doing?

Host: We rendezvoused in a parking lot in South Memphis, about 10 miles east of Boxtown. Across the street is the former Defense Depot, a site that’s now host to a rather nondescript industrial park. But a few decades ago, it was a bustling, more than 620-acre warehousing and disposal site run by none other than the U.S. military.

Frank Johnson: This was the main storage site for anything that the Department of Defense used to kill people from Second World War up until the first Iraq war. So this is where they came to store it. This is where they came to get it. And we’re talking about napalm, uh, mustard gas chambers. But anyway, good morning. I’m Frank Johnson. I didn’t mean to come out of the car straight out talking … (laughter) 

Host: Frank works for a Memphis non-profit called the Center for Transforming Communities. He’s also a former school teacher, an opera singer and president of his community association, in a neighborhood that lies along the south-east edge of the Defense Depot. It’s called Alcy-Ball – and it was built in the 1950’s and 60’s.


Frank Johnson: These were prestigious Black communities. And look what you had right in the middle of it. Every one of our prominent Black communities has a site like this. 

Host: The Defense Depot opened in 1942 and was still operational when Frank was in high school in the nineties.

Frank Johnson: We would be walking, you smell those smells, you found dead birds everywhere. It was really crazy. Cause we didn’t think about it at the time, but a lot of our teachers were, because a lot of our teachers were seeing behavioral changes.

Host: He remembers how kids would lash out in class. And there were physical problems too. Girls developing rare, aggressive uterine cancers. And lots of chronic health conditions like eczema and asthma. 

Frank Johnson: Over the decades, neighbors were putting this together. Like, what is happening over here? Why are we seeing these rare cancers? Why are we seeing these birth defects? Why are we seeing these things?

Host: Frank says, as early as the seventies, there was a group that started to organize and demand answers. 

Frank Johnson: They fought against it. And then within a couple of years, that group had died out from cancer.

Host: Then, another group picked it up in the nineties, led by a family friend of Frank’s, Ms. Doris Bradshaw. 

Frank Johnson: And then she said, ‘We look around, and all of them had died out from cancer.’ They even had a cancer that they call the “Depot cancer” to where you would be diagnosed on Sunday and be dead by the next Sunday. 

Host: After Frank’s mother was diagnosed with brain cancer, he started to dig into some Defense Depot research of his own.

Frank Johnson: And as I’m doing that, my sister falls sick. Cancerous tumor, same spot as my mom’s. And then two days later, my auntie was diagnosed with brain cancer in the back of her head. So I’m like, this is happening too much. This cannot be, ‘it’s just running in the family.’

Host: The years of unresolved health issues, of behavioral problems in children – that was taking its toll in broader ways.

Frank Johnson: One of the things that we started to hear being from these communities after a while was, “Oh, well, you know, those kids over there are bad.” It was easier to write us off than to actually deal with the problem. And even now they still don’t want to deal with it.

Host: Thanks in part to the tireless organizing and advocacy from residents Frank told us, the EPA declared the Memphis Defense Depot a Superfund site in 1992. Testing would later reveal a long list of contaminants known to make people sick. 

Frank Johnson: If it was not for community leaders, if it wasn’t for the regular people in these neighborhoods, we wouldn’t even know what we know now. Here our people are working, doing what they were supposed to do.They just want to live a peaceful life, raise their children. We were just like any other community. And this is what’s happening to you. You know, the very environment that you live in is killing you. 


Host: In 1997, right as the Depot was being decommissioned by the U.S. military, the Memphis City Council approved a redevelopment plan for after the site was cleaned up. It included a new business park, a police compound, a golf course. But Frank said lots of community members felt excluded from the process. Residents knew all along what THEY wanted redevelopment to look like ….

Frank Johnson: They had it surveyed using their own money, by the way, and they said that these two sites would actually have, would have been perfect for renewable energy farms. So solar panels, wind turbines. And then they even suggested that we draw power. Like let these communities draw power from, from these solar panels as one form of reparations for what you did, you know, that’s just part of the way that you can pay us back for the decades of, uh, illnesses that you caused us. This is what our community was thinking of in 1997. 

Host: Today, the Depot remains a Superfund site, some of it still undeveloped, and not a solar panel in sight. But Frank keeps pushing for reparations to be made, for money from the sale of the Depot facility to be invested in the neighborhood, for what happened here to be remembered. He’s soon to launch a new group called Depot Communities United. And he says the pipeline’s defeat has helped re-energize long-running battles like his.

Frank Johnson: The energy is changing. It’s, it’s really changing because we’re seeing us fighting back and stopping this stuff. 

Host: We talked to Frank for nearly five hours, during which he came to this realization about the Byhalia pipeline fight: 

Frank Johnson: That was like a culmination of all of these other attempts that had been going on the last few years. You just really made me think about it. Like y’all, they’re going after all of our neighborhoods doing this stuff in and they’re giving us the same reasons, path of least resistance. 


Host: In the wake of the pipeline’s cancellation, MCAP is now working to make sure that no other community is seen as the path of least resistance. They’ve widened their reach and changed their name; they’re now Memphis Community Against POLLUTION. And their next fight is focused on toxic coal ash. 


Justin J. Pearson: (on Facebook video) Hey everybody. We’re canvassing, letting people know about the toxic coal ash plans of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Host: It’s a long story, but when TVA finally closed the coal-fired power plant that sits below Boxtown’s bluff in 2018, it left millions of tons of the toxic ash in massive unlined pools on top of the aquifer there. 

Anchor: More news right now at 10, crews are finally removing a huge pile of toxic coal ash near the old Allen fossil plant. 

Host: That’s the good news. The bad news, according to SELC’s Amanda Garcia? 

Amanda Garcia: They’re moving it, unfortunately, to the South Shelby landfill, which is in south Memphis. 

Host: So from one Black neighborhood to another Black neighborhood 20 miles away. 

Anchor: The task so immense, it will take literally dozens of trucks, hauling tons and tons of this toxic ash away every day for the next 10 years before it’s gone.

Host: To add insult to injury, TVA developed its coal ash removal plans with no real community input. In fact, the plans had been finalized for six months before TVA made them public. 

Amanda Garcia: I think there are a lot of concerns about that decision and how the Tennessee Valley Authority and our state environmental agency made the decision. 

Host Justin says this while canvassing: 

Justin J. Pearson: (on Facebook video) We’ve been out here over an hour we’ve yet to meet one person who says they were informed by the Tennessee Valley Authority about what was happening and that they were supportive of the plan.

Host: MCAP and its allies are now demanding a site-specific environmental impact statement. They want to understand the health and environmental consequences of TVA’s plan. And they want to be sure that no better, safer alternatives have been overlooked – intentionally or unintentionally.


Host: When it comes to dealing with long-lasting sources of pollution like coal ash, Justin sees a dark historic parallel in the way communities of color are boxed out of the decision making process – and left living in some of the most dangerous places. 

Justin J. Pearson: There are slow lynchings that are occurring. And our community is awakened to the intensity of the problem. And now we want the attention on the matter to reach the levels of government that we’ve had to work with through the pipeline. 

Host: And Justin is convinced: if they can help the people who have suffered the most from these environmental injustices, everyone stands to benefit.


Justin J. Pearson: If you improve the quality of air in Southeast and Southwest Memphis our entire county might move from having an F – because our entire county has an F right now in air quality – to a B or an A. All of our lives are better. We stopped the pipeline in south Memphis, but ALL of our water is protected. That is how we have to start thinking about this work.


Host: While MCAP broadens its scope, Kathy and Kizzy have taken the energy THEY were pouring into the pipeline fight and formed a new organization called Southwest RISE. In July, they held a big community cleanup in 38109, and they’re now planning a block party and rally against violence for November. As Kathy says, the pipeline fight awakened a spirit in her to fight for this community. 

Kathy Robinson: How could I ever get too busy to fight for the people that mean the world to me.

Host: And there’s lots left to fight. It’s a HUGE deal, of course, that there won’t be a new crude oil pipeline cutting through Southwest Memphis. But much here is still unchanged. Remember Ms. Mozell Smith from that pipeline meeting in White’s Chapel in Boxtown? 


Mozell Smith: It’s just too much. We got the refinery. We got the steam plant. We got all that foul odor coming into the neighborhood. 

Host: All that is still here. 

Kathy Robinson: You know, we still have 17 toxic facilities. 

Host: Those are businesses included on the EPA’s “Toxics Release Inventory” list, all located within a three mile radius of White’s Chapel. 

Kathy Robinson: Four times the national cancer rate. Plains All American didn’t cause that. 

Host: As Justin sees it … 

Justin J. Pearson: The Byhalia Connection pipeline revealed the history of environmental racism and injustice. It didn’t create it. 


Host: So what exactly do the activists think should be done with this area that has essentially become a ‘sacrifice zone,’ now that there’s one less threat?

Justin J. Pearson: It needs to be de-industrialized. All the toxic-release inventory facilities in this community need to be much more highly regulated and need to be forced to reduce their level of emissions. And then we need to look at what do environmental reparations look like. Because see we’re dealing with coal ash and its transport, 200 trucks a day going up and down the roads. But see, for 60 years it was burned here. That went into the air and that went into people’s lungs. And so what does healthcare look like for the people in this community who had to endure that and our grandparents who had to endure that and pass that on through their genes to their children who now are on asthma pumps or other steroids in order to survive? 

Host: The co-founders of MCAP all have visions for the community they were born into … the community that raised them.

Justin J. Pearson: Five years from now, I – I pray that the air is going to be much cleaner, uh, for a kid to be born into and to breathe, uh, and for a lot of these industries to be gone.

Kizzy Jones: Our health depends on it. Whether it’s the food desert, whether it’s the Valero plant. Don’t forget about us. We are people, citizens. Don’t forget about us. 

Kathy Robinson: I just want to see it back the way that it used to be. And that’s just a beautiful community where families are thriving. Where children are being educated. It’s an area that you can always feel proud of. And there will be people fighting for you and your neighbor will be fighting for you. That is what I want for Southwest Memphis. 

Samuel Hardaway: I’m very proud that they stepped forward. 

Host: In Memphis, as Samuel Hardaway told me, MCAP came just in time. 

Samuel Hardaway: Because our age, we, we’re dying out. There’s only a few of us left. It’s not that many. But if the young people do like they did during the Byhalia pipeline, I think we will see a whole lot better changes. 


Host: That does it for this season of Broken Ground. If you’d like more information on the Byhalia pipeline fight, MCAP, SELC, Protect Our Aquifer, or any other part of this season-long story – or if you have any ideas for our next season – head to our website at Broken Ground Podcast dot org. I’m Leanna First-Arai. Thanks for listening. 


Pria Mahadevan: Broken Ground is a podcast by the Southern Environmental Law Center, one of the nation’s most powerful defenders of the environment rooted in the South. It’s produced by Emily Richardson-Lorente, Pria Mahadevan, Leanna First-Arai and Jennie Daley, with assistance from Eli Motcyka and Ko Bragg. Our theme music is by Eric Knutson. To learn more about SELC, MCAP or Protect Our Aquifer, head to Broken Ground Podcast dot org. And if you’ve enjoyed this episode, we’d love it if you’d subscribe and write us a review on your favorite podcast app. 


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