30 episodes

Broken Ground is a podcast produced by the Southern Environmental Law Center digging up environmental stories in the South.

Broken Ground Southern Environmental Law Center

    • Government
    • 4.8 • 247 Ratings

Broken Ground is a podcast produced by the Southern Environmental Law Center digging up environmental stories in the South.

    How Memphis Beat The Odds To Stop A Pipeline, Trailer

    How Memphis Beat The Odds To Stop A Pipeline, Trailer

    Hear how a small group of neighbors in southwest Memphis built a coalition strong enough to defeat a crude oil pipeline. And listen for lessons you can take back to your own community.  
    Join us this season as we head to Boxtown, Tennessee to uncover the stories behind how this community and its allies secured a victory once thought impossible through grassroots organizing, legal advocacy, and unwavering determination. 
    Learn more at brokengroundpodcast.org. 



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    • 2 min
    Lesson 7: Do It Again

    Lesson 7: Do It Again

    An announcement late on the Friday of a holiday weekend is a classic move. And in the case of the Byhalia Pipeline it is an end so abrupt many don’t believe it. But it’s true. What quickly becomes apparent is that, while Memphis has won this battle, the war against environmental racism and the systems that support it is far from over. From coal ash to Superfund sites, Memphians are now applying the lessons they learned to the continuing fight for thriving communities, ones with the clean air and clean water that is every person’s right.
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    • 31 min
    Lesson 6: Hold On

    Lesson 6: Hold On

    With a federal permit approved and state officials supporting the project, in the spring of 2021 the Byhalia Pipeline has momentum on its side. But opponents aren’t giving up as they bring national attention to the project and turn to local elected officials for help, all while still in court questioning a private oil company’s right to take property owners’ land. It’s a season of two steps forward, one step back. 
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    • 29 min
    Lesson 5: Embrace Your Allies

    Lesson 5: Embrace Your Allies

    As aquifer advocates and the residents of southwest Memphis in the path of the pipeline began looking for help pushing back against Byhalia’s plans, they quickly learned not to assume who would join their cause. From city councilpeople and county commissioners to attorneys and media outlets, the first people to step up weren’t always who they expected.
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    • 31 min
    Lesson 4: Call 'Em Out

    Lesson 4: Call 'Em Out

    While pipeline developers deploy common tactics to secure support, like spreading donations around the community, organizers look for allies among their elected officials. Reporter Carrington Tatum also starts covering the story and amplifying voices going unheard. Many of those voices belong to Black landowners getting legal notices that pipeline developers plan to take a portion of their land, forever, in exchange for a meager one-time payment. But a few of them aren't sold on the deal. 
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    • 29 min
    Lesson 3: Dig In

    Lesson 3: Dig In

    All of Memphis drinks from a world-class underground source, known as the Memphis Sand Aquifer. The realization that the Byhalia Connection crude oil pipeline, planned for southwest Memphis, could endanger they city's water draws new allies into the pipeline fight. Soon, environmentalists like Ward Archer and Sarah Houston of Protect Our Aquifer are organizing alongside MCAP co-founders Kathy Robinson, Kizzy Jones, and Justin J. Pearson. The fight, which started as a neighborhood struggle against environmental racism, becomes a city-wide crusade for clean water. As Kathy Robinson says, "If it affects one of us, it affects all of us." 
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    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
247 Ratings

247 Ratings

theonceovertwice ,

Wonderfully produced

An important and meaningful season! Great storytelling, lots of voices and audio from the community, excellent sound and editing. Worth a listen!

Hobby0621 ,

Byhalia Pipeline story

I have listened in the past to the Broken Ground podcasts, but the Boxtown/Byhalia pipeline story is excellent. It incorporated the voices of the participants so well that I felt like I knew them personally by episode 7. The use of true life suspense in aid of the podcast kept me excited about the release of each new chapter.

ahickcox ,

Great environmental justice podcast

I have been listening to Broken Ground for a while now and have enjoyed the interviews with environmental justice activists and lawyers. Season 5 takes the podcast to another level in telling the story of citizens of Memphis in their fight against a oil pipeline and for a healthy community. I couldn’t wait for the next episode each time!

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