Kotzebue, Alaska, has around 3,500 residents, most of whom fish and hunt for food in the traditional way. But the small town above the Arctic Circle is listed by the EPA as the most toxic community in America. In 2016, Kotzebue released 756 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the environment. Those chemicals find their way into the air, the sea, the seals and caribou that people eat, and into the water supply. It comes from the Red Dog Mine, one of the world’s largest lead and zinc operations. The company that runs the mine complies with state and industry regulations, yet the National Park Service, which monitors the Cape Krusenstern National Monument, report high levels of lead and cadmium in the area that the…
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