We're Building A Better Tri-State Together
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Founder of Franklin group to speak at protest over how EPA prevents, investigates cancer clusters

Kari Rhinehart, co-founder of the Franklin group If It Was Your Child, in 2018.
Steve Burns
/
WTIU
Kari Rhinehart, co-founder of the Franklin group If It Was Your Child, in 2018.

Organizers of a Washington D.C. protest on Sept. 20 hope it will spur the federal government to do more to prevent cancers caused by industrial pollution.

Kari Rhinehart, co-founder of the Franklin group If It Was Your Child, will speak at the event at the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters.

The group leading the protest is called Scientists, Activists, and Families for cancer-free Environments or SAFE. Among other things, SAFE wants the EPA to update limits for toxic chemicals and fund scientific investigations free from industry’s influence.

Rhinehart’s teenage daughter Emma Grace died from a rare brain tumor in 2014. Members of If It Was Your Child suspect contamination from old industrial sites in the area are behind rare child cancers in Franklin.

Rhinehart said instead of being treated like victims of pollution, people in Franklin and across the country have had to prove their cancer cases are worth investigating.

“Instead of agencies proactively doing their job, they react to moms with sick kids who have to start doing the work for them," she said.

Trevor’s Law — a federal law meant to help the government track and investigate cancer clusters — passed six years ago, but was never implemented.

READ MORE: Why it's hard for the state to say Franklin has a cancer cluster.

Contact reporter Rebecca Thiele at rthiele@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @beckythiele.

Rebecca Thiele covers statewide environment and energy issues.