Georgia Water Coalition member the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) has launched Broken Ground, a new podcast that amplifies the voices of communities, accidental environmentalists, and conservationists by sharing their stories, unearthing important – yet often overlooked – environmental issues throughout the South.
Through compelling stories from Southerners of all walks of life, Broken Ground shows the real-life impacts of environmental policies for individuals and communities who, when forced to bear the brunt of bad decisions, often become unlikely heroes as a result.
“When you start to chip away and get at what’s behind bad environmental policies, that’s where you often find the real story,” said Claudine Ebeid McElwain, host of Broken Ground. “Understanding why we are making bad environmental choices locally, regionally, and nationally is how we figure out what needs fixing.”
Over the course of four episodes, the first season explores the past, present, and future of energy decisions across the South. From the environmental and personal costs, to the ongoing threat of bad decisions, to our future possibilities, Broken Ground shines a light on the people and stories at the heart of the matter.
The first episode of Broken Ground revisits one of the worst environmental disasters in American history, when a man-made, earthen dike holding back millions of gallons of coal ash sludge broke at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston coal plant in 2008. The horrific event inundated a small community with coal ash that devastated residents’ properties and nearby waterways. However, it took nearly a decade to uncover the full damage of this spill when it became apparent that workers tasked with cleaning up the coal ash were becoming sick and dying.
“Storytelling is one of the most important tools we can use to shed light on how environmental issues affect all of us,” said April Lipscomb, Staff Attorney in SELC’s Atlanta office. “Our hope is that through this podcast, we can elevate Southern voices and inspire others across the South to share their personal experiences with decision-makers to influence change.”
Broken Ground can be found on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever listeners consume their podcasts.