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Rebecca Woolington - Assistant Investigations Editor

Assistant Investigations Editor

I joined the investigative team at the Times in 2018 to cover the environment and climate change. I’m a native Oregonian, who spent eight years working at my hometown paper in Portland before coming to Florida. I’m passionate about holding the powerful accountable, bringing wrongdoing to light and listening to people who have been overlooked.

  1. Federal lawmakers say Gopher Resource should face penalties in the wake of a report that found toxic gasses reached life-threatening levels and contaminated dust covered the plant’s floor.
  2. County regulators identified a host of problems at Gopher Resource in Tampa, including hazardous-liquid leaks and life-threatening levels of carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide.
  3. Lead dust fills a section of Gopher Resource's Tampa plant. Late this month, Moody's Investors Service downgraded the company's credit rating.
  4. Civil rights and personal injury attorney Benjamin Crump (center) and co-counselors announce the filing of a lawsuit against Gopher Resource on behalf of Colin Brown (in headphones). Colin's parents Ko Brown (third from right) and Tomika Brown (second from right) are suing the lead factory, alleging that dust from the plant poisoned their son. Colin's blood-lead levels only subsided after his father, a former factory worker, left the plant. The Wednesday press conference in Tampa was held outside of the George E. Edgecomb Courthouse.
  5. Consultants and workers have documented problems with fumes spilling out from the furnace into the workspace at Gopher Resource for years.
  6. Neighbors who live near Gopher Resource, Florida's only lead smelter, showed up for a community meeting at Kenly Park on Wednesday to hear from local leaders. Health officials say they will offer lead testing for local residents. Wednesday, April 21, 2021 in Tampa.
  7. An aerial view of the Gopher Resource on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 in Tampa.
  8. A collage of videos and images from inside Gopher Resource.
  9. Photos taken by workers at Gopher Resource in Tampa show a factory plagued with problems.
  10. El polvo cubre la maquinaria en 2014, el mismo año en que OSHA inspeccionó la fábrica por última vez en busca de problemas de plomo.
  11. Gopher Resource is seen on Tuesday in Tampa. On Monday regulators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration began inspecting at the company.
  12. A worker inside Gopher Resource passes through a cloud of dust laced with the neurotoxin lead. The factory recycles 50,000 used car batteries a day. It is the only factory of its kind in Florida.
  13. A worker inside Gopher Resource passes through a cloud of dust laced with the neurotoxin lead. The factory recycles 50,000 used car batteries a day. It is the only factory of its kind in Florida.
  14. Mar. 31• CENTRO
    Un trabajador dentro de Gopher Resource atraviesa una nube de polvo mezclada con la neurotoxina de plomo. La fábrica recicla 50,000 baterías de automóviles usadas al día. Es la única fábrica de este tipo en Florida.
  15. Dust covers machinery in 2014, the same year that OSHA last inspected the factory for lead issues.
  16. A worker inside Gopher Resource passes through a cloud of dust laced with the neurotoxin lead. The factory recycles 50,000 used car batteries a day. It is the only factory of its kind in Florida.
  17. A worker inside Gopher Resource passes through a cloud of dust laced with the neurotoxin lead. The factory recycles 50,000 used car batteries a day. It is the only factory of its kind in Florida.
  18. Dr. Eric Pantaleon, right, was part of a team that won a no-bid contract to test Floridians for COVID-19. The state severed ties with him last week after the Tampa Bay Times asked questions about his history.
  19. A client is tested for the coronavirus by RN Amy Streicher, right, Florida Department of Health on April 27 at the Childs Park Recreation Center, St. Petersburg.
  20. A patient is transported by ambulance from the Freedom Square Seminole Nursing Pavilion, 7800 Liberty Lane, on April 17 in Seminole.
  21. Iliana Medina, 26, a medical lab technician with Advent Health, works on a non-coronavirus sample at the Microbiology Department on March 18 in Tampa.
  22. A client drives through the Childs Park Recreation Center parking lot on April 27 in St. Petersburg, as they received their coronavirus test.
  23. Iliana Medina, 26, a medical lab technician with Advent Health, holds the devices used to test for a coronavirus (COVID-19) sample at the Microbiology Department on March 18 in Tampa. AdventHealth in Tampa has begun testing for COVID-19, better know as coronavirus.