Newsletter: Major Environmental Protection Win
Last week, our office announced its largest environmental recovery to date: Monsanto, an agrochemical company, will pay $52 million to clean up toxic pollution in the District.
We sued Monsanto in May to hold the company accountable for toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that damaged our natural resources—including the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers—and put the health of residents at risk. Monsanto manufactured over 99 percent of the PCBs ever used in the U.S. before the chemical was banned in 1979. We alleged the company knowingly produced, promoted, and sold toxic and harmful products and misled consumers and regulators to maximize profits.
Over the last two years and with support from the D.C. Council, OAG has deployed additional resources to protect our environment and the health of District residents. OAG is deeply involved in the District’s ongoing cleanup of the Anacostia River and recovered $2.5 million from a fossil fuel energy company that illegally polluted the river.
Every District resident deserves clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and a healthy environment to live in. If you are aware of violations of the District’s environmental laws, please report it to the District’s Department of Energy and Environment by calling 311 or using the 311 mobile app.
Karl A. Racine
Holding Neglectful Landlords Accountable
Last week, OAG secured several settlements against neglectful D.C. landlords in Wards 8 and 4 for unsafe and unhealthy housing conditions. Castle Management will pay $3.5 million to D.C. and Ward 8 tenants who were forced to live with vermin infestations, water damage and mold, and security defects that led to persistent gun violence. Ward 8’s Good Hope Laundromat is also required to implement more security measures and pay up to $24k in fines to address rampant drug-related activity on the property. The owners and property managers of Ward 4’s 220 Hamilton St. apartment complex are required to make property repairs and pay a combined total of $50k as a penalty for violating D.C. housing code.
Cure the Streets Spotlight: Cotey Wynn
OAG is launching a new series called “Cure the Streets Spotlight” where we will highlight Cure the Streets staff who are interrupting violence to make their communities safer. Cotey Wynn is a lifelong Trinidad resident and a Program Supervisor in Ward 5. Read about the challenges that Cotey has overcome and his commitment to being a respected professional, a loving father, a devoted friend, and a pillar to the community. Read about Cotey.
WIN: Stopping Deportation of International Students
AG Racine and a coalition of Attorneys General sued the Trump administration last week to stop a new rule that would have forced thousands of students to leave the U.S. if their all of their classes were online. One day after the lawsuit was filed, the Administration rescinded its policy. This reckless and unlawful rule would have upended months of planning by colleges and universities in D.C. and across the country to limit in-person classes during COVID-19 and put the health and safety of students and educators at risk.
Join Us: #Take30 with OAG's High School Advisory Committee
This summer, OAG virtually convened its second cohort of the High School Advisory Committee (HSAC), an initiative designed to teach District youth about advocacy and policymaking and to inform OAG’s work. HSAC has been researching policy options to help educate District students about our country’s history of systemic racism and ways to ensure all students feel safe at school. Join our next #Take30 virtual chat on July 31 at noon to hear from these exceptional young people about their findings. And in case you missed it, check out a recording of last week’s #Take30 about economic equity and supporting minority-owned businesses in the District.
Protecting Student Borrowers from Predatory Schools
Last week, AG Racine and 22 Attorneys General sued the Trump administration over its repeal of protections that allow students defrauded by predatory schools to get financial relief. The administration’s new rule rolls back oversight over unscrupulous and predatory schools. With District residents owing more than $46,000 in federal student loans on average—and a quarter of these owing more than $80,000—it’s crucial that the federal government not roll back borrower protections.
New Resource: Tenant FAQs About COVID-19
As we know, COVID-19 is not just a public health crisis, but an economic one. Tenants across the District are facing tough decisions as rent and other bills are coming due in the midst of this economic turmoil. Check out OAG’s newest resource with answers to common questions tenants have asked during this pandemic.
Last Chance: ANC Nuisance Property Webinars
Are you an ANC commissioner or community leader with questions about nuisance properties? Join one of our virtual trainings to learn what constitutes a neighborhood nuisance, OAG's nuisance authority, and the process of a nuisance case. Learn more and register for one of these free webinars.
July 29 at 6pm: Cure the Streets Grant Information Session
OAG invites potential applicants and current grantees to an interactive informational session to learn more about the FY2021 Cure the Streets Host Site Selection Grant. During the session, participants will receive additional information and updates about the Cure the Streets program, learn more about how to respond the FY2021 Grant Request for Application (RFA), and ask questions about the RFA evaluation criteria. For questions before the session and to register, email: OAGCommunity@dc.gov.