Graduation Date

Fall 12-15-2017

Grading Professor

Robert Lewis

Subject Concentration

Health & Science

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


New York City has 520 miles of shoreline--that’s more than Miami and Los Angeles combined. These waterfronts are home to some of the city’s most polluted sites because major part of it is zoned for industrial use. Dozens of industrial plants in this area store toxic chemicals in flood zones: substances that are hazardous to our health, like Benzene, which is used in rocket fuel, toluene, a paint thinner, and lead a neurotoxin. In a flood, these chemicals can easily get caught up in moving waters and pollute entire neighborhoods.

That’s exactly what happened when Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012.

In an attempt to avoid these types of incidents, Congress passed a law called the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act back in the 1980s. Its authors designed the law to help businesses keep their toxic substances tightly sealed and protected from rising waters, with the help of civilian oversight.

The New York City News Service’s Brett Dahlberg and Nicole Acevedo found the city has a funny definition of “right to know” and has been falling short of the promises it made after Sandy to secure those chemicals and minimize industrial pollution near waterways.

The link to the project:

PRINT_Dahlberg_Brett_Acevedo_Nicole_ESP.pdf (276 kB)
Spanish language article

AUDIO_Dahlberg_Brett_Acevedo_Nicole_1.mp3 (6588 kB)
Audio Part 1

AUDIO_Dahlberg_Brett_Acevedo_Nicole_2.mp3 (6684 kB)
Audio Part 2

VIDEO_Dahlberg_Brett_Acevedo_Nicole_1.mp4 (21762 kB)
Audiogram social video to accompany AUDIO 1

VIDEO_Dahlberg_Brett_Acevedo_Nicole_2.mp4 (18840 kB)
Audiogram social video to accompany AUDIO 2

VIDEO_Dahlberg_Brett_Acevedo_Nicole_3.mp4 (354 kB)
Audiogram for social media promotion

PHOTO_dahlberg_brett_acevedo_nicole_1.jpg (1612 kB)
This photo tops our story on Medium. It's an asphalt plant that's repeatedly violated the city's Right-to-Know law.

PHOTO_dahlberg_brett_acevedo_nicole_2.jpg (394 kB)
Infographic showing records we requested and the responses we got from the city, in English

PHOTO_dahlberg_brett_acevedo_nicole_3.jpg (507 kB)
Infographic showing records we requested and the responses we got from the city, in Spanish

PHOTO_Dahlberg_Brett_Acevedo_Nicole_4.pdf (9 kB)
Links to online maps we made and their source data



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