" So far such residents have often been left to fend for themselves. Across the country at any given time, countless “kitchen table activists,” as Enck calls them, toil in relative obscurity, struggling to get help from the agencies that are supposed to protect them. To get the agencies’ attention, they need to organize, hire lawyers and technical experts, collect evidence of the pollution’s impact and drum up publicity. Regulators have a “tremendous amount of discretion” about how deeply they investigate citizen complaints, she added. “It’s always interesting to see agencies respond when there’s embarrassing stories in the media.” "
Raw throats, burning eyes, strong acid smells. Air monitoring that showed chemicals linked to leukemia. Barbara Weckesser and her neighbors told regulators that air pollution was making them sick. The law let them ignore her.