Environmental Justice Are there adequate safeguards in place to protect disadvantaged communities from industrial by-products? Environmental Racism in the U.S. Background Studies and Reports 1897-1992 James Hamilton 1997 Los Angeles, Hazardous waste facilities 2007 University of Colorado, Boulder 1993 Seema Aurora and Timothy Carson 1987, 2007 United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice 2007 Report Findings National Disparities for location of commercial hazardous waster facilities Host neighborhoods = 56% people of color Non-host neighborhoods = 30% people of color. Neighborhoods with Clustered Facilities - Neighborhoods with hazardous waste facilities clustered close together have populations with 69% people of color, while neighborhoods without clustered facilities have populations with 51% people of color. State Disparities - Out of 44 states that have hazardous waste facilities, 40 of these states have disproportionately high percentages of people of color living within 3 kilometers of the facilities. Prominent Examples of Environmental Hazards Lead Waste Sites Air Pollution Pesticides Wastewater (City Sewers) Wastewater - (Agricultural Runoff) Warren County 1982 - Warren County PCB Landfill Commission for Racial Justice http://www.ejrc.cau.edu/WarrenPhotoEssay.html Close to Home http://rogersroad.wordpress.com/ History of Legislation The Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides the theoretical legal basis fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income A 1994 Presidential Executive Order directed every Federal agency to make environmental justice part of its mission by identifying and addressing the effects of all programs, policies, and activities on "minority populations and low-income populations." Just because exposure occurs does not mean that there are not safeguards to protect the community Clean Air Act address the public health and welfare risks posed by certain widespread air pollutants Programs under the act work to: reduce concentrations of air pollutants that cause smog, haze, and acid rain reduce emissions of toxic air pollutants that are known/thought to cause cancer serious health effects phase out production and use of chemicals that destroy the ozone layer Section 112: emissions of hazardous air pollutants “maximum achievable control technology” Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water Safe Drinking Water Standards for disposal of waste underground to avoid contamination of drinking water (Injection Systems) Clean Water Act specify the maximum allowable levels of pollutants that may be discharged Similar to the CAA, do not require use of a specific technology Knowledge is Power Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act This law is designed to help local communities protect public health, safety, and the environment from chemical hazards. ensure that state and local communities are prepared to respond to potential chemical accidents Emergency training and system reviews MSDS reporting requirements specifically provide information to the local community about mixtures and chemicals present at a facility and their associated hazards “A local emergency planning committee, upon request by any person, shall make available a material safety data sheet to the person’ inventory of routine toxic chemical emissions from certain facilities Chemical Incident Prevention the facility must rigorous, step-by-step hazard analysis of processes, equipment, and procedures to identify each point at which an accidental release could occur audits must be completed every three years and reported to the EPA Human and mechanical errors are the most likely to cause faults – require maintenance and employee continued education Compliance check sheets are distributed to the community to ensure the industry is following the rules if they feel that the checks done by EPA and OSHA are not frequent enough Economics is a driving force behind decision making …Zoning Out… first instated in New York City during the industrial times residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural a system of land use regulation that governs the size, shape and types of activities that are allowed for lots and structures Industry regulations often include: proper waste disposal, “dead area” around the factory, and barriers to mark the land Industry’s Innovations Responsible Care “voluntary initiative of the global chemical industry to safely handle our products from inception in the research laboratory, through manufacture and distribution, to ultimate reuse, recycle and disposal, and to involve the public in our decision-making processes” to improve environmental and safety performance of CMA members and thereby to improve public perception changing collective behavior provide a forum for the transfer of valuable information Sensationalism and Responsibility Bhopal Self-fulfilling prophecy Reverse discrimination Not In Anybody’s Backyard (reprise) Accountability Underlying issue is that toxic wastes are produced. There need not be a victim or a party in the wrong. Environmental Racism v. Environmental Justice Environmental Justice Environmental justice - beyond the procedural and distributional equity to a more general anti-toxins effort concerned with the clean-up of abandoned waste sites, and now with the actual production and use of hazardous chemicals. Anti-toxins effort Love Canal (Niagara Falls, New York) Stringfellow (Riverside, California) Times Beach (Missouri) National Environmental Policy Act (1970), Federal Clean Air and Water acts (1970 and 1972), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (1976), Community Right-to- Know Act (SARA Title III) Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Should the quest for environmental justice merely stop with an equitable distribution of negative externalities? All have an equal opportunity to be polluted--or the flip side--protected from pollution, however ineffectively. Environmental justice demands more than mere exposure equity - must incorporate democratic participation in the production decision itself. Move beyond cosmetic change in the distribution of environmental problems across communities and dares not challenge control of the decision to pollute, and thus produce, in the first instance. Powerful vested production interests define the political agenda in an "either/ or" manner, where we are given a choice of race or class discrimination, jobs or environment, health or economic development. Environmental Justice Groups Citizens Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste (CCHW) Greenpeace the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice Discussion What would be an ideal world with “justice for all”? Who is willing to make sacrifices to take action? What sacrifices need to be made? Who is ultimately responsible? Government? Industry? Shareholders? What are their responsibilities?
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