EJ NEWS & PRESS RELEASES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
2/8/2008 Physicians for Social Responsibility Applauds Federal Court Decision to Force Stronger Mercury Controls on New Coal Plants
The D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated the Clean Air Act when it removed oil and coal-fired power plants from a list of sources of hazardous air pollutants. In 2005, Physicians for Social Responsibility, 14 states and a collection of other health and environmental groups filed a lawsuit challenging EPA’s Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR), which would have allowed coal plants to trade mercury pollution credits with other less-polluting power plants. EPA’s mercury cap-and-trade scheme was rebuked by the federal court ruling, and EPA must now develop stronger standards for mercury and other toxic pollutants from new and existing power plants. To view the full press release please click HERE.
1/23/2008 Precedent Setting VICTORY for Civil Rights in the SOUTH BRONX!: NY State Supreme Court Rules City Must Disclose Clandestine Prison Planning
Since May 2007, efforts by Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx) to obtain information on the City’s plans for a new 2000 inmate jail have been rebuffed by the City’s Economic Development Corp. led by outgoing Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, and the Dept. of Corrections led by Commissioner Martin Horn. SSBx information regarding the proposed new $375M jail construction under the Freedom Of Information Law (FOIL). Both city agencies refused to comply with the legal request. Last week, the NY State Supreme Court ruled that the City’s reasons for not complying were invalid, and set the deadline for the City to produce the documents - and full explanations for any redactions - at 60 days from the Jan. 11, 2008 ruling. To view the full press release please click HERE.
12/19/2007 Green Jobs Act of 2007 Signed: Authorizes $125 Million for National Green Job Training
On Wednesday, December 19, President Bush signed the Green Jobs Act of 2007, authorizing $125 million for green job training programs across the country! The Green Jobs Act is part of the Energy Bill, a bundle of policies that is otherwise a mixed blessing. Conservatives stripped out some of the best parts of the package -- like big boosts for solar and wind energy and an end to tax giveaways for oil companies. To view the full press release please click HERE.
12/14/2007 What's missing from the climate talks? Justice!
Peoples from social organizations and movements from across the globe brought the fight for social, ecological and gender justice into the negotiating rooms and onto the streets during the UN climate summit in Bali. Inside and outside the convention centre, activists demanded alternative policies and practices that protect livelihoods and the environment. In dozens of side events, reports, impromptu protests and press conferences, the false solutions to climate change - such as carbon offsetting, carbon trading for forests, agrofuels, trade liberalization and privatization pushed by governments, financial institutions and multinational corporations - have been exposed. Affected communities, Indigenous Peoples, women and peasant farmers called for real solutions to the climate crisis, solutions which have failed to capture the attention of political leaders. To view the full press release please click HERE.
12/13/2007 U.S. Representative Alcee L. Hastings Reintroduces Critical Environmental Justice Legislation
U.S. Representative Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) and a coalition of 24 colleagues today reintroduced legislation to require that federal agencies establish and integrate environmental justice programs into their everyday activities. The Environmental Justice Access and Implementation Act of 2007 establishes offices of environmental justice in almost two dozen federal departments and agencies, promotes agency integration of environmental justice objectives, and increases public access to information about environmental hazards. To view the full press release please click HERE.
12/6/2007 House Passes Solis’ Green Jobs Act as Part of Comprehensive Energy Reform Bill
The U.S. House of Representatives passed The Green Jobs Act of 2007, legislation introduced by Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis (CA-32) to train workers for “green” collar jobs – such as energy efficiency retrofit and service, green building construction, and solar panel installation. The bill was passed as part of H.R. 6, the Energy Independence and Security Act, historic energy reform legislation which will put the United States on a path toward energy independence. To view the full article please click HERE.
9/28/2007 Joint Center Forms Partnership to Bring More African American Voices Into Climate Change Debate
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies (Joint Center) is launching an effort to engage the African American community on the issue of climate change. The move is being funded by the Bipartisan Policy Center which is providing the Joint Center with a $500,000 grant to expand its capacity to conduct climate change research and outreach. For more information please click HERE.
7/27/2007 Congressman Davis Secures Second Chance for Nation's Black Farmers: Relief for 73K black farmers in Pigford case included in Farm Bill reauthorization
After more than three years of work seeking recourse for black farmers whose claims were never heard in the Pigford case against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, those farmers will now have an opportunity for justice with the passage of the farm bill reauthorization. For more information please click HERE.
7/27/2007 Senator Clinton Announces Bill to Step Up Federal Commitment to Environmental Justice: Leads First-Ever Senate Hearing on Environmental Justice
Kicking off the first-ever Senate hearing on Environmental Justice, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton today announced that she will introduce legislation to step up the Federal government’s efforts to ensure environmental justice. Senator Clinton convened today’s hearing as Chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee’s Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health. For more information please click HERE.
7/25/2007 Activists Expose Federal Government’s False Claims Regarding Toxic Exposure in Historic African American Community
A report released today uncovers governmental data showing that major industrial companies are responsible for the African American residents of Mossville, Louisiana having levels of dioxins in their blood that are three times higher than that of the general U.S. population. In addition, the governmental data shows that Mossville residents have significant levels of dioxins contaminating their household dust and yard soil, as well as the foods they eat. Deemed the most toxic chemical known to science, dioxin is a group of cancer-causing chemicals that are the by-product of manufacturing processes at several industrial facilities surrounding the Mossville community. For more information please click HERE.
6/19/2007 GEORGIANS OUTRAGED OVER PROPOSED NUCLEAR POWER EXPANSION: Concerned Citizens Travel to Atlanta to Deliver Health Study & Alert
Concerned residents and clergy from the Burke County-Augusta area will hold a press conference during their visit to Atlanta. The citizens are making the trip to inform decision makers on the detrimental impacts of
a proposed expansion of nearby nuclear plant Vogtle on the health of their community. The residents will deliver a Burke County health study to Governor Perdue1s office, the Environmental Protection Division and the
Georgia Public Service Commission. When: Thursday, June 21, 2007. Press conference begins at 12:15 p.m. For more information please click HERE.
5/8/2007 Citizens File Suit to Stop Shipment of VX Waste across 8 States to be Burned in Texas by CWWG
Complaint Alleges Multiple Violations of State and Federal Laws Meant to Protect Human Health and the EnvironmentAfter the Army, Indiana environmental regulators and even the Indiana State Police ignored repeated requests to require VX nerve agent by-products to be tested before being shipped from Newport, Indiana to a Port Arthur, Texas incinerator, citizens groups and individuals have been forced to file a lawsuit in order to have their concerns heard. In a 60+ page complaint filed today in federal court in Terre Haute, citizens from both Indiana and Texas claim, among other things, that the untested shipments, which began three weeks ago, violate the federal Resource, Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and pose "an imminent and substantial endangerment to the public health and the environment." Under RCRA, citizens are allowed to sue if they believe actions by anyone, including the U.S. Government may present such endangerment. To view the full article press release please click HERE.
5/2/2007 EPA Resumes Quietly Dismantling Library System: Environmental Prosecutions at Risk from Loss of Original Documents and Cost by Common Dreams NewsCenter
Despite promises to consult with Congress before proceeding with dismantlement of its library system, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered its libraries to “disperse or dispose of their…contents,” according to agency directives released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The move to eliminate physical collections comes as EPA’s own enforcement branch warns about the risks of hampering environmental prosecutions. To view the full article please click HERE.
4/10/2007 Toxic Waste and Race: Report Confirms No Progress Made in 20 Years: Response to Katrina Catastrophe Is Not an Anomaly, Researchers Say
Environmental injustice in people-of-color communities is as much or more prevalent today than 20 years ago, say researchers commissioned to conduct a follow-up to the 1987 landmark study, "Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States."
The new report, ”Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty: Grassroots Struggles to Dismantle Environmental Racism in the United States” shows that 20 years later, disproportionately large numbers of people of color still live in hazardous waste host communities, and that they are not equally protected by environmental laws. To view the full press release please click HERE. (PDF).
9/25//2006 Environmental Justice for All: Tour '06 Videos
Environmental Justice for All: Tour '06 brings together environmental justice, social justice, public health, human rights, and workers' rights groups from all over the country to host a national tour of communities directly impacted by industrial pollution to meaningfully link these communities together in a public call for safe solutions to unnecessary toxic contamination. To view the videos from the tour please click HERE.
9/19/2006 Government Report Shows EPA Fails Minority and Low-Income Communities: Public Health at Risk
Washington, D.C. - The Office of the Inspector General (IG) released a report in which it found that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is failing to conduct environmental justice reviews of their programs, policies and activities. The report found that the EPA "cannot determine whether its programs cause disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on communities of color and low-income populations." Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis said, "This report is yet more proof that the Administration and its senior officials have ignored their responsibility to protect the health and welfare of working families across this county. The continued failure of this Administration and its senior agency officials to protect the health of low income and minority communities is unacceptable. They must be held accountable."
12/20/2005 National Fair Housing Alliance Uncovers High Rate of Housing Discrimination Against African-American Hurricane Evacuees
WASHINGTON, D.C., The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) released today a report documenting a significant incidence of housing discrimination against African-American persons displaced by Hurricane Katrina. NFHA also announced the filing of five race-based housing discrimination complaints against rental housing complexes located in Dallas, Texas; Birmingham, Alabama; and Gainesville, Florida. These complaints, filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), are based on evidence uncovered by testing conducted in seventeen cities. These are the first in a series of complaints to be filed against apartment complexes throughout the South and Southwest because rental managers denied housing or gave untruthful information to African-Americans who identified themselves as people displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
12/7/2005 SouthWest Organizing Project Executive Order a Step Toward Healthier Communities
New Mexico recently took a step toward healthier communities when Gov. Bill Richardson signed the executive order on environmental justice. This order affirms our right to live in a clean and healthy community. The Executive Order recognizes the existence of environmental injustice within the state of New Mexico which disproportionately impacts people of color and low-income communities. This Executive Order is the result of the hard work of people and organizations across the state demanding the action to fix the problems caused by pollution in their communities. Last year environmental justice listening sessions were held in Las Vegas, Deming, Acoma Pueblo and Albuquerque. The resounding theme was the right of the community to be involved in the decision-making process and that the health and safety of our communities comes before profits.
11/16/2005 FAIR HOUSING CENTER FILES DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT AGAINST HOUSING AUTHORITY OF NEW ORLEANS
On November 16, 2005, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) filed a housing discrimination complaint against the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO). The complaint, filed with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, accuses HANO of violating a 2003 enforcement agreement entered into between former St. Thomas Housing Development residents, the City of New Orleans, HANO, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during the HOPE VI redevelopment of St. Thomas, now known as River Garden.
7/6/2005 National Children's Organization Appoints New Executive Director
The Children's Environmental Health Network (CEHN), a national environmental health organization, appointed Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, MPH, as their new Executive Director on July 5, 2005. A multi-disciplinary organization founded in 1990, the Network's mission is to protect the fetus and the child from environmental health hazards and to promote a healthy environment through outreach, education and advocacy.
4/15/2005 MTA Ordered to Expand Its Fleet of Rapid Buses, By Sharon Bernstein, Times Staff Writer
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority must put 134 new buses into its Metro Rapid fleet under a legal order issued Thursday. The agency's ability to pay for the vehicles by eliminating regular local buses on the routes the new Rapid lines serve is limited by the order. The court action by Special Master Donald Bliss is a victory for the Bus Riders Union. Earlier this year, the transit advocacy group accused the MTA of flouting a consent decree requiring the agency to improve bus service for Los Angeles County residents. The MTA said Thursday that it was in compliance with the decree. For the full article please click HERE.
4/12/2005 First Black National Wildlife Chair
Jerome Ringo, a veteran outdoorsman who has spent decades fighting to preserve the nation's parks, wildlife, and other natural resources, was recently elected board chairman of the National Wildlife Federation. The 50-year-old Louisiana native becomes the first African American to hold such a high-ranking post at a major conservation organization. For the full article please click HERE.
4/8/2005 EPA Cancels Controversial Pesticide Study
The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday canceled a controversial study using children to measure the effect of pesticides after Democrats said they would block Senate confirmation of the agency's new head. Stephen Johnson, as EPA's acting administrator, ordered an end to the planned study, a reversal from the agency's position just a day earlier when it said it would await the advice of outside scientific experts. For the full article please click HERE.
4/5/2005 Activists' ally snared in security net By Mark Schleifstein, Staff writer Times-Picayune
For 27 years, Willie Fontenot has had a unique job in the office of the Louisiana attorney general. As a community liaison officer, he has helped residents living next to polluting industries learn more about the environmental problems plaguing them, helped them set up numerous nonprofit environmental groups, and helped them maneuver their way through the paperwork necessary to complain to public officials. He's also helped reporters and various groups from across the nation find the right people and places in Louisiana to explain its environmental problems. Two weeks ago, while accompanying one of those groups, this one of 15 university students from New England, on a tour of a Baton Rouge neighborhood being bought out by the ExxonMobil refinery, the group was stopped and questioned by law enforcement concerned about homeland security after taking pictures of the plant. For the full article please click HERE.
1/18/2005 Blacks in South Carolina Say That They Were Left Behind During Evacuations
Some residents of the New Hope community claim emergency officials deliberately stranded them for hours in the toxic chlorine plume while quickly evacuating more affluent areas. Residents near the site initially were told to stay in their homes to avoid the chlorine gas. For the full article please click HERE.
10/1/2004 First African Women Wins Nobel Peace Prize
In October, 2004, Wangari Maathai, a professor and environmental justice activist from Kenya, became the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Professor Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement where, for nearly thirty years, she has mobilized poor women to plant some 30 million trees. Click HERE for Nobel Peace Prize presentation and photographs.
4/19/2004 First African American Wins 2004 Goldman Environmental Prize
Margie Eugene Richard made history by becoming the first African American to win the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, an award that begun in 1990. The Goldman Environmental Prize is the world's largest award for grassroots environmentalism and carries a cash award of $125,000 for each winner. The awards ceremony, attended by 3,000 guests, was presented in San Francisco. For a full write up please click HERE.
1/12/2004 Environmental Racism Landfill Remedied, But No Reparations for Residents
After waiting more than two decades, an environmental justice victory finally came to the residents of predominately black Warren County, North Carolina. Since 1982, county residents lived with the legacy of a 142-acre toxic waste dump. State and federal agencies spent $18 million to detoxify 81,500 tons contaminated soil stored at the Warren County PCB landfill but no reparations have been paid to local residents. For details click HERE. To view the photo essay click HERE. To view some of the reactions from environmental justice leaders around the country on the importance of the Warren County, North Carolina struggle click HERE.
12/2/2003 EJ Leader Wins 2003 Heinz Award Pittsburgh
Peggy M. Shepard, environmental advocate, community leader, author and founder and executive director of West Harlem Environmental Action, from New York was selected as the 2003 winner of the prestigious Heinz Award in the Environment category. To view full story click HERE. To view her profile on the Heroes and Sheroes of EJ please click HERE.
10/23/2003 Black Neighbors Know U.S. Still Ignores Environmental Justice
For residents of a smoggy black neighborhood in a small Georgia city, federal agencies' failure to address environmental racism -- documented in a scathing new government report -- is felt each time they take a breath. To view the article by Pacific News Service please click HERE.
10/16/2003 Chevron to pay 282.5 million dollars, cut air pollution
ChevronTexaco Corp. will spend 275 million dollars to curb air pollution and settle charges it violated the US Clean Air Act. The oil giant also will pay a 3.5 million dollar civil penalty and spend more than four million dollars on other environmental projects in communities around its refineries, the US Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency said in a joint statement. To view the news article click HERE
10/6/2003 Youth Activist Fight for Climate Justice: Summer CorpsFights for Communities on the Frontlne of the Effects of Climate Change and its Industrial Causes
Various locations, U.S.A. Communities threatened by the impacts of global warming have a new set of soldiers in their fight. The Climate Justice Corps, ten young organizers and researchers selected by the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative (EJCC), will support communities across the continental United States and Alaska that are on the front line in the struggle against the political and industrial causes of global warming. To view the complete release please click HERE.
8/31/2003 Suburban Sprawl Adds Health Concerns, Studies Say
People who live in sprawling suburbs where they must drive to school, to work or to the store are likely to weigh six pounds more than their counterparts in more walkable cities, studies show. For those who still try to exercise, sprawl brings an added concern: Pedestrians and bicyclists are much more likely to be killed by cars in America than in parts of Europe where cities are engineered to encourage physical activity; the Europeans studied also weighed less and lived longer than the average American. The studies call on urban planners and zoning commissions to consider public health in designing neighborhoods. To view the article please click HERE.
8/21/2003 $700 Million Deal Announced in Anniston PCBs Cases
Solutia Inc. and Monsanto Co. have agreed to pay $700 million to settle claims by more than 20,000 Anniston residents over PCB contamination, plaintiff's attorneys said Wednesday. The agreement, which will end a long-running trial in state court over decades-old pollution from a chemical plant in the east Alabama city, includes payments to homeowners and cash to fund a PCB research laboratory, lawyers for the residents said in a statement. To view the Associated Press article please click HERE
3/19/2003 New York Requires Environmental Justice Review for Permits
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation addopted a general policy to promote environmental justice and incorporate measures for achieving environmental justice into its programs, policies, regulations, legislative proposals and activities. This policy is specifically intended to ensure that DEC's environmental permit process promotes environmental justice. To view the general po;icy please click HERE.
10/28/2002 Environmental Justice Summit Draws Over 1,200 Delegates
Environmental justice leaders convened the Second National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit (Summit II) in Washington, DC. Summit II organizers planned the four-day meeting for 500 participants. Over 1,200 delegates from grassroots and community based organizations, faith-based groups, organized labor, civil rights, youth, and academic institutions made their way to the nation's capital to participate in the historic gathering. To view the news article click HERE.
8/27/2002 Blacks Call for Environmental Reparations at World Summit
More than three hundred environmental justice leaders from around the world gathered at the Shaft 17 Education Center in Johannesburg to participate in the Environmental Justice Forum. The four-day forum, sponsored by the South African-based Environmental Justice Networking Forum (EJNF), served as a pre-summit kick-off to the opening of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and the Global People's Forum-a meeting of nongovernmental organizations that run parallel to the official government meeting. Please click HERE for more information
8/19/2002 HBCUs Supporting the National Black Environmental Justice Network Meet the Challenges of the WSSD
Representatives from two historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) will assist the National Black Environmental Justice Network (NBEJN) in participating in the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). The NBEJN is a network of black groups that will attend this international summit to fight global environmental racism, eradicate poverty, and promote health and sustainable communities. The Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark University (directed by Robert D. Bullard) and the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (directed by Dr. Beverly Wright) are assisting the NBEJN participate in the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). For a complete press release please click HERE.
6/19/2003 Better safe than sorry
SF Precautionary Principle Ordinance SAN FRANCISCO is poised to become the first city in the nation to adopt the Precautionary Principle -- a new policy framework widely used in western and northern European countries for developing laws that protect our health and environment. To view the news article click HERE.
4/7/2003 First Park for Historic Princeville, NC
The town is the first in the nation to be incorporated by freed slaves after the Civil War. These 11 acres of a former mobile-home park, destroyed by Hurricane Floyd in 1999, will be developed as the Riverside Heritage Park, which will contain playgrounds, picnic areas, sports fields and a community center. TPL helped the town apply for a grant from The Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation, which matched funds for the project from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.
6/7/02 NBEJN Delegation in Bali WSSD Prepcom IV
The National Black Environmental Justice Network (NBEJN) was part of a eight-person delegation that participated in the World Summit on Sustainable Development Prepcom IV meeting held in Bali, Indonesia. The meeting was held on June 4-7, 2002 and was attended by government and nongovernmental leaders from around the world. As part of a delegation sponsored by the Ford Foundation, NBEJN members also linked up with other environmental justice and social justice advocates from around the world. For a complete write up on the activities please click HERE.
3/19/02 U.S. Supreme Court Throws Out MTA Appeal! Bus Riders Union Wins Huge Legal Victory!
The U.S. supreme Court refused to hear the case against the MTA, thereby letting stand the five lower court victories in favor of the BRU. Far from an end to our civil rights lawsuit, this Supreme Court victory unlocks a new multi-year period of our legal and mass movement work where the stakes are even broader than the billion and-a-half dollars that we could win for new, clean fuel buses for 400,000 working class bus riders. Please click HERE for more information on this victory or please click HERE to view a related article by the L.A. Times.
12/11/01 World-Leading Environmnetal Justice Campaigner to Visit Scotland
World-leading environmental campaigner, writer and orator Dr. Robert D. Bullard is set to visit Scotland. During his time there Dr. Bullard will address a number of public meetings, meet with Parliamentarians, go on a 'toxic' tour of Scotland and meet with communities affected by environmental injustice. "Although the injustices and the institutional barriers which communities in Scotland face may be different to those we face in America I can see many similarities and it will be interesting to learn more about those." To view the news release click HERE.
11/30/01 Civil Action Suit Filed Against MARTA
Attorneys for the Disability Law and Policy Center of Georgia, Inc. filed a civil action suit against MARTA. The lawsuit filed is the first formal action against Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) violations. Represented by attorneys for the nonprofit Disability Law and Policy Center and cooperating counsel from the Decatur law firm Hill, Lord and Beasley, the six plaintiffs in the class action suit allege consistent, blatant discrimination against MARTA riders with disabilities. More specifically, the suit alleges noncompliance with the Americans with Disabilities and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which provide a specific set of guidelines for public transportation systems serving people with disabilities. For more information on this civil suit please click HERE. For more information on this and other MARTA equity issues please click HERE.
11/20/01 The University of North Carolina Wilmington Documentary Explores Growth Issues in six states
Paving the American Dream: Southern Cities, Shores & Sprawl, , UNC Wilmington examines what led to the explosive growth occurring along the eastern seaboard and offers some solutions. To view the news release click HERE.
10/31/01 Protesters Take Coffins to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
A group of protesters gathered in Trenton and delivered mock coffins to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). Demonstrators were protesting the NJDEP granting a permit to the Canadian-based St. Lawrence Cement Company to operate a plant in the mostly poor and minority South Camden Waterfront community. The protest was reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Representatives from South Camden Citizens in Action and Camden Environmental Justice Coalition delivered an invitation to NJDEP Commissioner Robert C. Shinn to spend the night in the Waterfront South community in Camden. To view the letter click HERE. To view protest photos click HERE.
10/19/01 MTA Loses the Latest Round in Bus Battle
This past Tuesday, October 16, 2001, the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected MTA's appeal of the Bus Riders Union's civil rights Consent Decree, upheld the authority of the federal court to rule on the Consent Decree, and ordered MTA to buy the first 350 buses to reduce bus overcrowding. This was the fourth time the MTA appealed and the fourth time that the Bus Riders Union and civil rights won. For more information on the Bus Riders Union and the Consent Decree click HERE.
9/1/01 - Our Planet Examines Poverty, Health, and the Environment.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) magazine for environmentally sustainable development, Our Planet, looks at poverty, health and the environment. To view the full contents of the current 2001 Our Planet issue click HERE.
8/31/2001 NGO Language on Environmental Racism is Finalized
The language to be included on the NGO declaration against racism was finalized. Environmental Justice groups from around the world met this week at the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa.
8/29/2001 Urgent Need for Strong Measures Against Environmental Racism Says Global Coalition
Local South Africans and multi-racial group of environmental justice leaders seek an end to racist environmental practices in light of Sapref's suspected oil leak
8/23/2001 U.S. Environmental Racism at the World Conference Against Racism
Black Environmental Justice Advocates to Turn World Spotlight on Discrimination in U.S. Environmental and Health Protection
8/13/01 Environmental Justice Scholar to Address UN Racism and Public Policy Conference
August 13, 2001, Atlanta, GA - Robert D. Bullard, director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University, will deliver a paper on environmental racism at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) conference on "Racism and Public Policy" to be held from September 3-5 in Durban, South Africa. Click HERE to view highlights of Bullard's paper.
5/25/2001 Judge's Ruling Keeps Camden Environmental Racism Lawsuit Alive Camden, NJ
In the first civil rights decision after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in April that plaintiffs could not sue under civil rights regulations, Judge Stephen Orlofsky of the Federal District Court in Camden, NJ ruled that plaintiffs could use a Civil War-era statute to enforce the regulations. Judge Orlofsky held that the plaintiffs could use a federal statute, 42 USC Section 1983, to bring the civil rights suit to block a cement plant from opening in the South Camden neighborhood, which is 91 percent people of color. Judge Orlofsky's earlier landmark decision that the State of New Jersey had violated Camden residents' civil rights in permitting the cement plant, based on civil rights regulations, was called into question by the Supreme Court's ruling just five days later. The new decision, allowing Camden residents to use a different path to the same end, has national implications beyond environmental justice advocacy: all civil rights plaintiffs now have a road map to enforcing their rights. The immediate impact of the Judge's decision is to keep the St. Lawrence Cement plant, a $60-million facility in South Camden, closed. To read the judge's full opinion click HERE.
4/25/2001 Monsanto Settles Lawsuit for $40 Million
After two weeks of trial, settlement was reached in a toxic exposure lawsuit between Monsanto Company's chemical spin-off Solutia, and a Group of 1500 Anniston, Alabama plaintiffs in the federal District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The Honorable Inge Johnson has approved the terms of the settlement, which concludes nearly six years of litigation. In monetary terms, the settlement is worth $42,800,000 dollars. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are members of the Sweet Valley/Cobb Town Environmental Task Force who lived on or near the fence line of a chemical company that at the time was called Monsanto. To view press release click HERE. To view the Associated Press Article click HERE.
4/23/2001 Major EJ Court Victory in New Jersey
Federal District Court Judge Stephen Orlofsky issued an injunction prohibiting St. Lawrence Cement Co. from operating its $60,000,000 cement grinding plant from operating. The decision is based on the failure of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to make a meaningful investigation as to the civil rights consequences of such operation in a minority low-income area, which already suffers very poor health and already has pollution and odor releasing facilities. Potentially Judge Orlofsky's ruling may affect where industrial facilities are located, the technical design of such facilities and the stricter enforcement of environmental regulations. To view Judge Orlofsky's 140-page opinion click HERE.
4/23/2001 Two Years After Bombing Accident, Vieques Still Political Flashpoint
by David Mortenson Virgin Islands Daily News ST. THOMAS, V.I.
As Navy officials and anti-Navy Puerto Ricans gather today to mark the second anniversary of the fatal Navy bombing accident that killed a civilian guard on Vieques, both sides remain locked in an intense conflict with mounting political stakes.
2/20/2001 Global Warning Will Hit Poor Hardest
Global warming is expected to increase crop yields in temperate northern regions while harming agriculture in the tropics, further widening the gap between rich, industrialized countries and poor developing nations, according to a new analysis by a influential network of scientists. To view the "Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability" report click HERE.
2/17/2001 Ward Valley Victory Gathering to Celebrate Defeat of Proposed Nuclear Waste Dump
Native Nations & Environmental Allies To Tell New Federal Administration to Abandon Any Thoughts of Reviving Dump Plan
Needles, CA -- After a decade-long struggle to stop the proposal for a nuclear waste dump at Ward Valley, California, hundreds of environmental and Native American activists will celebrate their victory this weekend at the desert valley.
2/13/2001 Citizens Sue to Halt Funding for Polluting Roads
A coalition of national, regional and local citizens groups filed suit in federal court today to stop metro Atlanta transportation officials from spending millions of taxpayer dollars on sprawl-inducing highways before cleaning up the region's notorious smog. The lawsuit is the nation's first to seek enforcement of the Clean Air Act's prohibition against funding new highway projects in areas such as Atlanta where air pollution exceeds national health standards.
1/25/2001 Study Says Coal Plant Pollution Kills 30,000 a Year
This report summarizes the findings of the Abt Associates study, reviews the contribution of power plants to fine particle pollution, and discusses policies that will reduce power plant fine particle pollution and thus save thousands of lives.
1/24/2001 Environmental Groups Lambast Assault on Free Expression (Mossville Environmental Action Now, Inc.* Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund * Louisiana Bucket Brigade * Student Environmental Action Coalition )
Citizens Fear Sheriff Lundy's Threats to First Amendment Rights Local Residents Alarmed as Condea Vista Flare Burns
Concerned citizens, local ministers, and environmental groups gathered today on the courthouse steps to demonstrate their first amendment rights, standing together in opposition to Thursday's Lagniappe cover that showed Sheriff Lundy aiming a gun at a peaceful protester wearing a Greenpeace T-shirt. "I have given those t-shirts to my children and to high school and college students at bucket brigade trainings," said Laura Cox-Filo, a concerned Lake Charles mother who has long fought industrial abuses. " This photograph sends a message that children may be in danger for wearing the Toxic Patrol T-shirt and participating in environmental work." The groups are calling for a public apology from Sheriff Lundy.
For more information contact:
Laura Cox-Filo (433) 8404 or 802-1227
Mr. Mouton (337) 625-8414
Anne Rolfes, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, (504) 914 - 3164
1/18/2001 U.S. Secretary of Transportation Slater Selects Two High Speed Maglev Projects
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater today announced the selection of two projects in Maryland and Pennsylvania to be advanced into the next phase of the competition to build and demonstrate the first magnetically levitated (maglev) high-speed train system in revenue service in the United States. Read the EJRC's comments on the proposed Atlanta- Chattanooga Maglev project in Georgia.
1/9/2001 New Report Unequal Exposure To Ecological Hazards: Environmental Injustices In The Commonwealth Of Massachusetts. by Daniel R. Faber, Project Director, Associate Professor of Sociology Northeastern University and Eric J. Krieg, Project Associate, Assistant Professor of Sociology Buffalo State College
Download the complete report http://www.nupr.neu.edu/news/0012/environment.pdf
This report analyzes both income-based and racially-based biases to the geographic distribution of some 17 different types of environmentally hazardous sites and industrial facilities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Our findings indicate that these ecologically hazardous sites and facilities, ranging from highly-polluting power plants to toxic waste dumps, are disproportionately located in communities of color and working class communities. We conclude that striking inequities in the distribution of these sites and facilities are placing lower-income and people of color populations at substantially greater risk of exposure to environmental health hazards. We advocate the adoption of a number of measures, including a comprehensive environmental justice act, to reduce pollution and address unequal exposure to ecological threats.
12/4/2000 MATEC Challenges True "Smart Growth" in Atlanta via Administrative Complaint Filed With U.S. DOT at Conference Designed to Curb Sprawl
Several organizations, including The Metropolitan Atlanta Transportation Equity Coalition (MATEC), which filed an administrative complaint against MARTA for a litany of alleged discriminatory practices towards its minority and disabled passengers, will outline those charges at a press conference Wednesday, December 6th. The press conference will take place at 10:30 a.m. in the 8th floor atrium at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel, located at 210 Peachtree Street, in Atlanta.
11/30/2000 Native Delegation Participates in Global Treaty on Toxic Chemicals Bemidji, Minnesota - American Indian and Alaska Natives are departing this week to Johannesburg, South Africa, to take part in a United Nations international meeting on a group of life threatening chemicals called POPs - persistent organic pollutants. Starting next week, over 120 countries, including the United States, will begin their final negotiations on a global and legally binding treaty for the elimination of toxic chemicals. The final signing of the treaty is scheduled for May 2001 in Stockholm, Sweden
11/29/2000 Greenpeace Bus Removed From Blocking Toxic Shipments; Activists Arrested to Highlight Need for Global Toxic Chemical Ban.
Lake Charles, LA. (5:15 pm EST)-The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Department destroyed the Greenpeace coach today, which was set up on the railroad entrance to block shipments of vinyl chloride in and out of chemical company PPG. Earlier, a school bus used to blockade another plant entrance was towed and nine activists were arrested. In total, 11 activists on board the two vehicles were arrested.
"The pollution that is threatening Louisiana is the United States' dirty little secret," said Gean Doppler, Greenpeace activist who was arrested. "If the world knew about the suffering going on in Louisiana at the hands of corporate polluters there would be thousands upon thousands of people outraged and protesting with us."
Citing PPG as a principle source of dioxin and other contamination in southwest Louisiana, Greenpeace set up the blockade early Wednesday morning, calling for PPG and other chemical companies in the area to reinvest profits into viable and existing alternatives to chlorine production. The environmental group also asked for a meeting with the Governor of Louisiana and the CEO of PPG to discuss a reasonable phase out of chlorine production.
This action comes just days after Greenpeace released an alarming report, exposing illegal permitting, suspicious tax breaks and lax enforcement of Louisiana's environmental laws. The report cited PPG for allegedly operating on an illegal 16-year interim permit. The report further points to PPG as a leader in manufacturing vinyl chloride, which produces dioxin, one of the most dangerous chemicals known to science.
Residents from Mossville, Louisiana plan to take their message all the way to South Africa next week. Louisiana residents will testify in Johannesburg, during negotiating meetings for a legally binding and global ban on persistent pollutants. In negotiations so far, the U.S. has been one of a handful of nations refusing to support an elimination of the most dangerous chemicals.
CONTACT: Carol Gregory 202-251-3998 (mobile/on location); Lisa Finaldi 202-462-1177; Kymberly Escobar 202-319-2494 (D.C. office). www.greenpeaceusa.org/toxics
11/27/2000 Climate Change to Hit Low-Income, Minority Communities Hardest; Groups Urge Action to Protect Those Most Vunerable to Global Warming.
Oakland, CA-People of color communities and those living in poverty will suffer the most from climate change, environmental justice leaders and Redefining Progress told an audience of international negotiators, NGOs and press at the sixth international conference on global warming in The Hague last week. They urged U.S. negotiators to protect the health and quality of life of these already-vulnerable Americans as a top priority in global climate change policy.
11/19/2000 Alternate Summit Opens with Call for Climate Justice- The Hague-In sharp contrast to the formal climate negotiations, representatives of communities affected by the fossil fuel industry, countries threatened by global warming's rising tides and grassroots groups working for international environmental justice opened the First Climate Justice Summit today.
11/16/2000 Study Disproves "Jobs vs. Environment" Myth; States Ranked on Economic & Environmental Health
States with the best environmental records also offer the best job opportunities and climate for long-term economic development. That's the conclusion of a study released today by the Institute for Southern Studies, a non-profit research center in Durham, North Carolina.
9/22/2000 The World Organization Against Torture has complied the Status of Compliance by the U.S. Government with the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Edited by Shama Mir and Morton Sklar World Organization Against Torture USA EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND INDIVIDUAL SECTION SUMMARIES September, 2000.
9/20/2000 The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination Initial Report of the United States of America to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, September 2000.
The Government of the United States of America welcomes the opportunity to report to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on the legislative, judicial, administrative and other measures giving effect to its undertakings under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, in accordance with Article 9 thereof. The form and content of this Report follow the General Guidelines adopted by the Committee in July 1993 (CERD/C/70/Rev.3).
9/18/2000 Grassroots Groups Hold National Rally at 2000 CBC Conference
9/6/2000 Broad Coalition to Protect Chinatown Cornfield Files Lawsuit Against City of Los Angeles.
7/26/2000 U.S. Transportation Secretary Slater Says Atlanta Can Move Forward, Transportation Plan Will Meet Clean Air Standards
U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater today announced that a revised transportation plan for the Atlanta area will meet air quality standards for the area and that the region now can move forward to implement those plans. U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater today announced that a revised transportation plan for the Atlanta area will meet air quality standards for the area and that the region now can move forward to implement those plans.
6/21/2000 Dallas Action for Environmental Justice
Help Stop the Impacts of Uranium Mining on Indian Lands and Nuclear Waste Dumping in Texas and New Mexico Communities! Friday, July 7, 2000
8 - 9 AM
CITIZENS' ACTION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE RALLY/STREET THEATER/ PRESS CONFERENCE/SPEAKERS
Uranium Resources, Inc./Hydro Resources, Inc. Corporate Headquarters
12750 Merit Drive -- North Dallas
10 - 2 PM
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE LEADERSHIP SUMMIT
Sheraton Park Central Hotel
7750 LBJ Freeway -- North Dallas
(1 block from URI)
Events will feature South Texas Opposes Pollution (STOP), Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining (ENDAUM), and Friends of Ward County. Coordinated by the Water Information Network (WIN) of New Mexico, in collaboration with numerous organizations, individuals, and the faith-based community. GET IN TOUCH AND GET INVOLVED!
E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org or CALL 505-255-4072.
Agua es Vida, Tó eii beiiná át é, Water is Life
6/16/2000 The Bus Riders Union (BRU) has just won a major victory for 370 clean-fuel buses against the seemingly unstoppable push by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) to buy diesel buses. This is a win for environmental justice, civil rights, and for our on-going efforts to build a high-visibility organizing model showing how multiracial working class communities in other major U.S. cities can build similar movements to win control of powerful public agencies like L.A.'s Metropolitan Transit Authority.
5/13/2000 Fishing for Justice-Island Creek Park on the Hudson River
Albany, NY, May 13, 2000-It was a great day to celebrate the history of our wonderful "Heritage" river-the mighty Hudson! The storms of the night before had faded into a sunny spring day, the kind of "after the rain" day that is good for fishing. About sixty youth from Arbor Hill came to fish, picnic, and learn about the river that defines their City. Blessings on the event were given by Tah-wah-dah-qui from the Tuskarora Nation and Bishop Rube Bethea and Brother Herman from the Church of Jesus Christ. Sivia Hill shared her lovely voice with the crowd who sang along with her "Amazing Grace." Dr. David Carpenter from the SUNY School of Public Health told the audience of about 120 people that although the fish that the kids were catching may look fine, they harbor PCB's, a toxic chemical that accumulates in the body and does not break down.
5/11/2000 GRTA Puts Regional Transportation Spending on Hold
The Georgia Regional Transportation Authority or GRTA postponed its vote on a three-year $1.9 billion transportation spending plan. The GRTA board found too many unanswered questions in the plan submitted by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC). For the full text of the GRTA board resolution, click on the title.
5/7/2000 Black Farmers Protest FBI Investigation of Black Farmers in USDA Class Action Suit and Still Seeking Justice
Tillery, North Carolina - Black farmers will be leading a protest against unlawful FBI investigations of Black family farmers in the Pigford vs. Glickman class action law suit, and continuing their call for justice, Monday, May 8, 2000, starting at 10 am at the USDA office, Independence Avenue, Washington, DC.
"Black farmers have suffered every possible racial, economic, legal, and human indignity by USDA, the US Justice Department and the federal government, and now we must suffer being investigated by the FBI," reports Gary Grant, president of the Black Farmers & Agriculturalists Association (BFAA). "Our office has received distressing calls from a number of Black farmers complaining about FBI agents showing up in their communities and at their homes making inquiries about them and their family members, and about their personal finances," said Grant.
4/27/2000 Notice of Public Hearing! MARTA will be holding three public hearings discussing the proposed fare increase on Wednesday, May 3, 2000. Come out and let your voice be heard!
4/20/2000 Press Release from The EA2K Project
4/17/2000 Public Housing Residents at Superfund Site Relocated to Integrated Housing Opportunities: Agreement is a Landmark Victory in Environmental Justice Movement
4/10/2000 "Days of Outrage and Action" in Memphis Photo Highlights April 1-3, 2000
3/29/2000 "Days of Outrage and Action" in Memphis to Expose Health Crisis of Children and Communities of Color Living Near Contaminated Federal Facilities. The newly formed Interim National Black Environmental and Economic Justice Coordinating Committee (INBEEJCC) and the National People of Color and Disenfranchised Communities Environmental Health Network (NPOC/DCEHN) will join forces with local groups including the Memphis affiliate of the National Congress of Black Churches, the Defense Depot of Memphis Tennessee Concerned Citizens Committee, and Youth Terminating Pollution for three days of activities entitled, "Days of Outrage and Action Against Environmental Racism."
3/9/2000 The American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy and Resources has instituted a web-based update service for new developments in the law of environmental justice. The electronic service, which is free of charge, is designed to provide continuous updates to the ABA's book, "The Law of Environmental Justice," published in August 1999. The service may be accessed HERE. This page provides information about the book, and upon hitting "Update Information" the updates appear, summarizing new judicial and administrative decisions, settlements, studies, and the like. Readers are invited to submit information about new developments tot he editor by hitting the "Submit Updates" button.
3/7/2000 View " Urban Growth Seen from Space" as presented by scientists at the 2000 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, DC. To view please click HERE.
2/24/2000 New NASA images show that sprawl-driven development in "Hotlanta" is altering local weather patterns. MSNBC reported this story in "NASA Eyes Show Earth's Sprawl." Click HERE to view the online report.
2/4/2000 Detroit Coalition Claims Victory in Incinerator Shut Down
Groups Remain Cautious, Seek Short Time Line
1/15/2000 End Toxic Terror in Black Communities:
National Black Environmental Group Declares State of Emergency on Environmental Racism and Economic Injustice
1/13/2000 Black victims of toxic exposure and policy experts to declare a national state of emergency on environmental racism and economic justice.
12/12/1999 Blacks hold emergency meeting to demand an end to environmental racism and economic injustice.
8/7/1999 Dana Ann Alston, a giant among environmental justice leaders, passed from this earth on Saturday, August 7, 1999.
6/25/1999 No 40 Acres and a Mule: An Interview with a Displaced Black Farmer
5/24/1999 Groups take their case against environmental racism to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
5/1/1999 Article from Environmental Science and Technology "Still Searching for Environmental: Communities want improved environmental conditions, a goal that is bogged down by strong views on poverty, racism, and development." by Catherine M. Cooney. To view please click HERE
4/19/1999 Mossville Environmental Action Now: Dangerous dioxin levels trigger citizen-based task force.
4/1999 Victory at Ward Valley! A Dream Come True!
12/5/1998 Louisiana Citizens welcome the NEJAC!!
10/22/1998 Sierra Blanca, Texas License Denied!! The Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission denied the license for a nuclear power dump in Sierra Blanca TX today! From the courtroom, Sierra Blanca Legal defense Fund reps said "This is the biggest victory for the TX MEX Border in history. This just might be a total victory for Sierra Blanca." The decision was unanimous- all three judges voted NO on the license. An appeal of the decision can be made by the Texas Low-level Radioactive Waste disposal Authority within the next 20 days. Concern now focuses on the Waste Control Specialists hazardous waste dump in Andrews County, TX which is attempting to expand to take radioactive waste and the Envirocare proposed dump in Andrews county.
9/22/1998 Shintech Throws in Towel on Environmental Racism Case
6/23/1997 Sugar Law Center Ruling Enjoining State Of Michigan From Issuing Any New Permits Until It Reforms System of Environmental Protection
1/12/1998 Court Decisions Issued On City of Chester
7/1/1997 NRC Finds Environmental Racism Rejects Facility Permit