Environmental Justice Plunge 2007 by kenlaundra

VIEWS: 101 PAGES: 16

									The People’s Grocery

What is “Environmental Justice?”
This sign was located in our parking garage! This map of the SF/ BayView area shows higher concentrations of minorities wherever toxic sites are located

A human rights principle that all people should have access to a clean and healthy environment including:
• Safe air, water and soil. • Safe living and working environments, free from toxic exposures to harmful chemicals in our air, water and soil…and the dangerous consequences of global warming too! • Access to adequate health care and health care information regarding toxins. • Access to the decision-making process involving the siting of hazardous facilities. • Access to legal and scientific resources to study local and global hazards.

Race/Class/Gender Differences in Sitings & Siting Decisions
Landfills, hazardous chemicals, nuclear waste, corp. farming

Race/Class/Gender Differences in Exposure; Health Consequences
Air pollution, water contamination, toxic exposure Life expectancy and rates of disease

Race/Class/Gender Differences in Political Power
Decision-making process, political pressure

Access to Legal & Scientific Resources
Company research = company conclusions Regulatory action (or lack thereof); Superfund

A Clean Environment is a Human Right
Civil rights and environmental equality Site: Bay View San Francisco, CA

Environmental Justice & Environmental Racism
"Racism is the intentional or unintentional use of power to isolate, separate and exploit others. . . Racism is more than just a personal attitude; it is the institutionalized form of the attitude" -National Council of Churches Racial Justice Working Group ―Now all of the issues of environmental racism and environmental justice don't just deal with people of color. We are just as much concerned with inequities in Appalachia, for example, where the whites are basically dumped on because of lack of economic and political clout and lack of having a voice to say no and that's environmental injustice.‖ -Dr. Robert Bullard

Direct Action in the Bay Area San Francisco, CA 2007

The People’s Grocery

Mission: ―People's Grocery is a community-based organization in West Oakland that develops creative solutions to the health, environmental and economic challenges our community faces every day. We believe everyone deserves healthy food, regardless of income. In our view, it's about "food justice" - the human right to healthy food for everyone.‖

The People’s Grocery
• HELP!...I can’t find my flyer with those stats about liquor stores vs. grocery stores, etc….fill in please!

Mission: ―Breast Cancer Action carries the voices of people affected by breast cancer to inspire and compel the changes necessary to end the breast cancer epidemic.‖

Information And Advocacy

―BCA is committed to the precautionary principle of public health: First, do no harm. We work with other organizations to encourage the use of environmentally safe alternatives to ways of doing business that we know—or have reason to believe—are harmful. BCA also sifts through the stacks of misinformation that now circulate about breast cancer.‖

WHAT WE KNOW • Breast cancer is increasing by about 1% per year • Use of chemicals in the U.S. is rising by 3.3% per year • Incidence varies internationally: o Highest in industrialized nations o Rates increase with immigration • ENVIRONMENTAL INJUSTICE • Unequal distribution of environmental benefits and burdens: o Less access to parks o Less access to healthy foods o Living in more polluted areas o Working in higher risk jobs o Lower income more likely to be uninsured

Mission: “Greenaction mobilizes community power to win victories that change government and corporate policies and practices to protect health and to promote environmental justice.”

Facts About Bay View (click to see full report):
•Poorest community in SF area; houses majority of poor and minority residents in concentrated area (3.5 miles); surrounded by highest percentage of hazardous waste facilities. •Leading causes of death include heart disease and breast cancer. •Hospitalization rates for children and adults is double the city average (about ¼ of all residents annually). •Hospitalization rates for asthma are higher than any other area. •Local exposure to: •Water treatment facility (stores almost 90% of all city waste •Diesel emissions (idling of industrial trucks) •Power plants (coal-burning) emit dioxins and sulfates

• •


Top center: Bay View is the only area where two major highways merge; residents live near these highways and other industries. Top right: After a successful Greenaction campaign to notify residents about contaminated water in the bay, the city agreed to post warning signs (signs are incomprehensible!) Bottom left: High-income housing development under way (adjacent to old atomic bomb making plant); gentrification will raise cost of living for low-income residents in the area. Bottom center: Marie points to an old U.S. Navy facility that contaminated a large section of shoreline (underground petroleum leak); fires continue to burn underground and contaminate the bay. Residents warned not to eat fish in the bay (can you find the sign that says that?) Bottom right: Recent closure of PG &E (coal plant) due to Greenaction protest.

…other pollutants in the air
Noise Pollution

Left: The garbage truck whizzing by is just one example of the constantly high noise level in these poorer districts in the Richmond, CA area.
I’m gonna puke!

Right: Students gasp at the smell of a water treatment facility in Bay View, SF. This one facility accepts almost 90% of all the sewer waste in the entire city and is located in the center of the poorest area of SF. Children in this area have the highest incidence of asthma anywhere in the city.


Toxic Tour of Richmond, CA (just outside San Francisco)
•400 hazardous facilities exist in Richmond – one of the poorest communities in CA •16.2% of residents live below the poverty line, mostly Black and Latino. •Chevron refinery: •Stores over 11 million pounds of toxic chemicals; refines 300,000 barrels daily •After a fire at the refinery, wealthy whites across town were warned byChevron thru direct phone calls; Minorities living adjacent to the plant were not notified. •Benzene (from gas fuel) and other toxins leak into this community daily, resulting in higher rates of asthma, leukemia, birth defects, etc.. •In a span of less than 10 years, Richmond residents were exposed to 55 major industrial accidents, making it the 11th worst area in the U.S.

Final Thoughts
“I really enjoyed the environmental justice plunge because it helped me put a face to environmental injustice. We could actually see the smoke rising from the factories and refineries and smell the chemicals in the air. Also, all the people in the group had a great time hanging out and becoming friends.” "It’s hard to deny that environmental inequalities exist, especially after personally witnessing several situations that force people to live in dangerous and unhealthy surroundings. Refusing to make changes to create a safe, clean environment is essentially a matter of destroying an entire population’s wellbeing." "It wasn't until I physically saw the negative environmental impacts in person that I realized what is happening to the world is real.”

“Racism took on a whole new meaning for me after our toxic tour of Bayview- Hunter's Point.”
"The toxic tours were easily some of the most ethically disturbing scenarios I have ever come across. The social, racial, and environmental injustices occurring in Bayview/Hunters Point were so clearly evident, yet they continue to persist in our society today as a result of system which makes it easier to profit from wasteful and harmful practices. As Americans, we rely on politicians and the beauracratic process to organize our justices... this is obviously not working."

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