Free 2 day conference – fight the negative health & environmental impacts of freight transportation

Photo: Group photo from the 2016 MFN meeting in Portland

On October 13-14, 2017, more than 600 community leaders, advocates, scientists, and industry leaders will gather in Carson, California to confer, collaborate, and conspire to address the negative health and environmental impacts of freight transportation in communities. For two days, attendees at the 4th International Moving Forward Network conference will engage in panels and workshops to build power to advance an agenda for environmental justice and healthy communities

Low-income and communities of color across the U.S., particularly those near ports and freight corridors, bear the negative environmental and health burden of freight transportation, industrial pollution, and climate change.  Material goods are as close as a click away thanks to the global supply chain that relies heavily on ships, cranes, trucks, trains, warehouses, and practices that exploit and harm workers, communities, and the environment. The real cost of these material goods can be seen in the damaging health impacts of freight operations on millions of low-income communities of color that live near freight transport hubs and the surrounding environments. For example, deadly diesel emissions result from freight transportation has been recognized by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research as a known human carcinogen. Furthermore, freight operations are also responsible for the release of large amounts of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) which traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere and contributes to global climate change.  

The Trump administration and fossil fuel industry has waged an assault on environment and health that roll back decades of hard fought policy that protect our air, water, and lands.  Efforts to repeal the Clean Air Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, dismantle the Clean Power Plan, slash the budget of the U. S. EPA, and exit the Paris Climate Accord, the strongest international climate and environmental protection agreement to date, will create deadly conditions for communities. It also marks the demise of a federal agenda that will no longer protect communities and environments affected by the goods transportation industry.

The 2017 4th International Moving Forward Network conference is a timely and important FREE two-day conference that will bring together community organizers, advocates, regulators, developers, industry representatives, planners, and policymakers to work on solutions to these critical problems and build power to change the political landscape.  Attendees will participate in discussions and strategy sessions as well as capacity building workshops in organizing, coalition and movement building, research, communications, social media, policy, and planning.

About the Network:

In 2010, The Trade, Health and Environment Impact Project (THE Impact Project) organized the third Moving Forward Together conference that drew more than 500 participants from 18 states and 5 countries.  It was at that conference that front line community residents and leaders, scientists and researchers, and labor, health, and environmental advocates envisioned a national network that would connect and support local and regional efforts to address the negative impacts of freight transportation in communities and build power to influence national policy. Seven years later, The Moving Forward Network has grown as a national network of community-based organizations, advocates, scientists, researchers, labor, environmental, faith-based organizations, and others committed to reducing the public health harms our country’s freight transportation system. Presently, the Network is comprised of over 40 organizations from across the country where large ports, rail yards and other freight corridors reside. The Network unites environmental justice organizations from around the United States to work on national campaigns, help build collective capacity through sharing of information and advocacy tools and seeks to elevate community voices through science, policy research and legal support. Here are key take aways from participants at the last Moving Forward Together Conference in 2010.  

“There is already technology that can be used to reduce diesel emissions”

“Direct action is effective. There is truly a global network of people fighting against freight transport” impacts

“Interconnections between labor, environment, freight, transit and possibility for working together

“The global impact of things going on in our neighborhoods.”

“The health impacts”

Join us in October to share your work, meet and learn from other leaders from across the country and around the world, and strategize together about achieving environmental justice and healthy communities for all of our places.

To find out more information about the conference go to www.movingforwardnetwork.com and click on the 2017 Conference tab.

About Conference

Program

Registration

Travel Information

Stipend Application

 

Particulate matter air pollution kills many elderly people in the U.S., even at levels the EPA considers ‘safe’

A study of over 60 million American seniors recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that long-term exposure to particulate matter air pollution raises the risk of premature death of people over 65 years of age, even at levels well below U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards.  

In urban areas, diesel exhaust is one of the main sources of particulate matter, along with coal-fired power plants.

“We are now providing bulletproof evidence that we breathing harmful air.  It is very strong compelling evidence that currently, the safety standards are not safe enough.”  Francesca Dominici,  co-director of the Harvard Data Science Initiative.

The study, “Air Pollution and Mortality in the Medicare Population”, found that the risks of premature death were highest in men, low-income elders, and blacks, with blacks having mortality risks three times higher than the general population.

The study authors reported that lowering particulate matter air pollution in the U.S. by just 1 microgram per cubic meter would save 12,000 lives per year.  The current EPA annual average health standard for P.M. 2.5 is 12 micrograms per cubic meter.

Joel Schwartz, Harvard University professor of environmental epidemiology and the study’s senior author said “This study shows that although we think air quality in the United States is good enough to protect our citizens, in fact we need to lower pollution levels even further.”

To learn more, check out the excellent NPR audio news report or other references below. 

 Study: Even Low-Level Air Pollution Kills the Elderly, Medpage Today

60-Million-Strong Study Shows Clear Link Between Exposure To Air Pollution & Premature Death, CleanTechnica

Air Pollution and Mortality in the Medicare Population, New England Journal of Medicine

New Harvard Study: There is No “Safe Level” of Exposure to Smog or Particulate Matter. Downwinders at risk

Success stories show why weakening the National Environmental Policy Act would harm America

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires that government agencies understand the environmental, health, and other impacts of their actions before they spend our tax dollars, and that the American public be involved and informed. NEPA is designed to ensure that agencies analyze risks and alternatives, and make decisions based on the facts. NEPA studies have improved decision making, prevented many misguided and ill-informed actions, and saved untold numbers of American lives.

Unfortunately, NEPA is under attack by the Trump Administration and the Congress. Donald Trump recently called NEPA studies, “nonsense’, and is proposing to weaken NEPA protections.  These two articles provide a good snapshot of the challenges NEPA faces:

Conservatives pitch environmental rollbacks in highway package, E&E News (June 19)

To Speed Up Infrastructure Projects, Trump Revisits Environmental Regs, Governing (March 13)

NEPA is not ‘nonsense’. NEPA studies have led to better government decision-making that has protected our environment, prevented the Federal government from spending money on ill-conceived projects, and improved the health and safety of virtually every American citizen.  

While NEPA does not guarantee that agencies make the right choices, NEPA processes give them the information to make better decisions – and sometimes to avoid disaster.

Among the many NEPA success stories are the protection of radioactive wastes at Los Alamos National Laboratory from vulnerability to fire that could have spread radioactivity for hundreds of miles when a recent forest fire overran the lab, and the abandonment of a misguided plan to dredge a pristine lagoon – an action that would have cost over $100 million and damaged the lagoon it was intended to protect.

To learn more about the amazing success of the NEPA process, check out these stories.

Trump trashes environmental studies but they stave off disaster, The Hill

Never Eliminate Public Advice: NEPA Success Stories, NRDC 

NEPA Success Stories, Henry M. Jackson Foundation

mark! Lopez of EYCEJ wins Goldman Environmental Prize!

Photo: Courtesy EYCEJ: Mark! Lopez, Dr. Robert Bullard, Taylor Thomas, and Zully Juarez

mark! Lopez, executive director of MFN member East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ) was awarded the 2017 Goldman Environmental Prize yesterday.

mark! is a third generation resident of East L.A, and member of a family with a long history of community activism.  His grandparents cofounded Madres del Este de Los Angeles Santa Isabel (Mothers of  East LA Santa Isabel – MELASI), and he has continued that tradition through years of work with the EYCEJ.

The Goldman Environmental Prize is widely viewed as the highest environmental accolade possible.  It “honors grassroots environmental heroes from the world’s six inhabited continental regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands & Island Nations, North America, and South & Central America” for “sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment…”

To learn more, check out the video and linked news articles below, and read about his award at The Goldman Environmental Prize.

Congratulations mark! Lopez!!

Estadounidense Mark López gana el premio ambiental Goldman 2017 por liderar lucha contra la contaminación de plomo y arsénico en Los Ángeles, Univision

 Goldman Environmental Prize winners work hard to protect planet, SFGate

Margaret Gordon and other EJ speakers at Oakland Voices for Trade Justice: A NAFTA Town Hall – April 20

One of the founders of the Moving Forward Network and most accomplished EJ activists in the U.S., Margaret Gordon, is going to speak on Thursday, April 20 in Oakland about the pollution caused by freight transportation in communities of color, and share lessons learned on how to improve community health.  Her presentation and talks by three other outstanding speakers makes this a “must-attend” event.  Sign up today!

Received by email:

ANNOUNCED! Youth, Public Health, Enviro Justice Speakers @
4/20 Oakland Voices for Trade Justice: A NAFTA Town Hall 

 CaptureWe’re excited to announce a powerful line-up of multi-generational speakers at our April 20 trade justice forum, including activists from the immigration rights, youth, environmental justice, and public health communities.

 

“Migration is Beautiful” butterfly graphic courtesy of Favianna Rodriguez.

RSVP Today! Don’t miss these dynamic presenters:

  • Margaret Gordon, a veteran African-American environmental justice organizer with the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project. She’ll speak to the pollution impacts of trade-related freight transport through low-income communities of color and share about opportunities to improve community health.

  • Joell Echevarria, an African-American youth social justice organizer with Hip Hop for Change and Rooted in Resilience. He will speak on the economic insecurity faced by young adults of color in Oakland.

  • Gerardo Omar Marín, who serves as Co-Director of Rooted in Community and Youth Program Director of The Pollination Project. Rooted in traditional Mexican healing art, agriculture, and music, Gerardo has dedicated his service to boost the power and unity in inter-cultural youth, social justice, and Mother Earth and will speak to the impacts NAFTA has had on Mexico.

  • Malinda Markowitz, Co-President of the California Nurses Association, the state’s premiere organization of registered nurses and a leading advocate of guaranteed healthcare by expanding and updating Medicare to cover all Americans. Malinda will speak about the threats to affordable medicines posed by new monopoly patents that corporations are seeking through new trade schemes.

EVENT SUMMARY: NAFTA has failed people across North America, and unless working people and communities are at the table, Trump’s renegotiation plans could make it even worse. Join the California Trade Justice Coalition for an engaging discussion of the devastating impacts NAFTA has had on workers, migrants, and the environment, hear from local leaders fighting for economic justice, and learn how we can take action to make sure NAFTA renegotiations truly benefit people and the environment.

WHERE: Citizen Engagement Lab, 1330 Broadway, 3rd Floor, Oakland

WHEN: Thursday, April 20th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm

RSVP: Click here to secure your spot!

Cosponsors: California Nurses Association, California Trade Justice Coalition, Citizens Trade Campaign, Friends of the Earth, Global Exchange, Rooted in Resilience, Sierra Club, California Labor Federation

Toward a more just, vibrant, and sustainable future for us all,

Aaron Lehmer-Chang
Director
California Trade Justice Coalition
A Citizens Trade Campaign affiliate
Will Wiltschko
Lead Organizer
California Trade Justice Coalition
A Citizens Trade Campaign affiliate

 More About California Trade Justice News & Alerts

California Trade Justice News is a quarterly publication of the California Trade Justice Coalition (CTJC), a project of Earth Island Institute, and proud affiliate of the Citizens Trade Campaign. The CTJC is a new coalition of labor, environmental, family farm, public health, immigrant rights, human rights, pro-democracy, and socially conscious business leaders — all committed to building a strong California economy that works for all.

PUBLISHER: Aaron Lehmer-Chang, ED

CONTRIBUTORS: Will Wiltschko, Lead Organizer, Jake Soiffer, Social Media & Communications Intern

Like us on Facebook! | Follow us on Twitter! | Support our efforts today!

CONTACT INFO:

California Trade Justice Coalition
436 14th Street, Suite 1216
Oakland, CA  94612
Web: www.catradejustice.org

The Trump Administration Threatens NEPA

The Trump Administration is attacking basic human rights, immigrants, science, women, the environment, low income communities of color. Some attacks are more public than others. We wanted to send you this update on how NEPA can be dismantled without Congressional approval through the administrative/rule making process.

NEPA requires federal agencies to have a review process for the environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making any final decisions; this helps to protect communities from poorly planned federal projects.

Currently, the White House Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) is proposing an administrative rollback of the NEPA process that will likely restrict public input in government decision-making, limit consideration of project alternatives, and impose hard deadlines for project approvals. This rollback would not only diminish public health, savings in taxpayer money, and lasting federal projects, but also further jeopardize low-income, minority, and rural communities that are already disproportionately exposed to pollution and toxins.

Since this is an administrative action it can happen without the input of Congress. NEPA is crucial in order to protect our quality of life, public health, and decision-making process that communities are entitled to.

“Any law that provides broad opportunities for public participation in government decisions that affect the environment and local communities shouldn’t be rolled back, it should be embraced.”

http://protectnepa.org/ceq-anprm-nepa-rollback/

Here is the notice from CEQ:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2018-13246.pdf

The Moving Forward Network will be providing written comments. They are due August 20th, 2018.

Stay in touch with us via Facebook or Twitter to find out how you can get involved.

Moving Forward Network Responds to Dangerous Implication of President’s SOTU Remarks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       CONTACT:  Ira Arlook, Fenton,
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2018                                                          c: 202-258-5437,  ira@fenton.com
 
 
Moving Forward Network Responds to Dangerous Implication of President’s SOTU Remarks…
National Coalition Calls Out Trump’s Deception on Infrastructure Plan: “Streamline” = Removal of Public Health/Environmental Protections
 
Record Shows Clean Air Act & Related Safeguards
Make for Better Projects and Save Taxpayer Dollars
 
U.S. Treasury & Congressional Research Service Say “Lack of Funds” is Major Cause of Delay in Infrastructure Projects NOT Enviro Safeguards
 
Calling President Trump’s SOTU comments deceptive and wholly inaccurate about the need to violate public health and environmental regulations in order to “streamline” his infrastructure plan, a broad coalition of public health and environmental organizations, led by the Moving Forward Network, pledge to oppose efforts to sidestep those protections should they be part of a White House proposal to Congress.
 
Most of the important and common delays in completing major infrastructure projects are “lack of funds,” followed by lack of consensus when multiple public and private entities and jurisdictions are involved, and finally, capital costs increasing faster than inflation, say two studies, one by the US Treasury Department (2016) and one by the Congressional Research Service (CRS, 2011), https://www.treasury.gov/connect/blog/Documents/final-infrastructure-report.pdf
 
According to the CRS, “[T]here is little data available to demonstrate that NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act] currently plays a significant role in delaying federal actions” and “factors outside the NEPA process were identified as the cause of delay between 68% and 84% of the time.” CRS, The National Environmental Policy Act: Background and Implementation 28, 30 (Feb. 29, 2008), available at http://www.cnie.org/NLE/CRSreports/08Mar/RL33152.pdf.
 
The most recent detailed refutation of false claims about delays due to environmental reviews can be found at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/reports/2017/05/03/431651/debunking-false-claims-environmental-review-opponents/
  
President Trump appears to be ignorant of the major actual causes of delays in infrastructure projects given his commitment of only $200 billion federal dollars to his projected program budget of $ 1 trillion. 
“Environmental Justice communities are ground zero for infrastructure needs and often host to poorly designed projects that bring more pollution to our neighborhoods.  We need a seat at the table and an inclusive process to protect our communities from the adverse health impacts of these projects, as well as ensure more zero emission strategies and infrastructure are brought to cities like Newark that need cleaner air, green jobs and healthier tomorrow ,“ stated Kim Gaddy, Environmental Justice Organizer, Clean Water Action and Moving Forward Network New York/New Jersey Regional Representative.
 
“The President’s proposed shortcuts are a direct assault on public health, and community engagement in federal decision-making. We all lose under Trump’s infrastructure scheme; but some worse than others,” said Melissa Lin Perrella, National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Senior Director for Environmental Justice.
 
The Moving Forward Network is a national coalition of community-based organizations, advocates, scientists, researchers, faith-based organizations, and others committed to reducing the public health harms our country’s freight transportation system creates. The Network is comprised of over 50 organizations and academics across the country where large ports, rail yards and other freight corridors reside.
1. Air Alliance Houston 2. Backbone Campaign 3. Bay Area Healthy 880 Communities 4. California Cleaner Freight Coalition 5. Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice 6. Central California Environmental Justice Network 7. Central Valley Air Quality Coalition 8. Charleston Community Research to Action Board/Low Country Alliance for Model Communities 9. Citizens for a Sustainable Future 10. Clean Air Council 11. Clean Water Action, Clean Water Fund 12. Coalition for a Safe Environment 13. Coalition for Healthy Ports (NY/NJ) 14. Comite Civico Del Valle 15. Diesel Health Project 16. Earthjustice 17. East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice 18. Eastern Environmental Law Center 19. End Oil 20. Environmental Health Coalition 21. Global Community Monitor 22. Green Latinos 23. Harambee House, Inc. 24. Ironbound Community Corporation 25. J Gordon Community Development Corp 26. Little Village Environmental Justice Organization 27. Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma 28. National Nurses United 29. Natural Resources Defense Council 30. New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance 31. Puget Sound Sage 32. Regional Asthma Management and Prevention 33. Respiratory Health Association 34. Southeast CARE Coalition 35. Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision 36. Steps Coalition 37. Sunflower Alliance 38. Sustainability Action Network 39. Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services 40. The New School 41. THE Impact Project 42. Union of Concerned Scientists 43. Southern California Environmental Health Centers based at USC 44. Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, Occidental College 45. West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project​

Industrial Lead Poisoning in Los Angeles: Anatomy of a Public Health Failure

Dear MFN colleagues,

Here is a link to a new article about “silos” in government agencies that exacerbated exposure of children, residents and workers to lead from the Exide battery recycling facility in southern California.  Authors are Jill Johnston, who now heads our community outreach and engagement program at the University of Southern CA’s environmental health science centers and I.  Other attendees at last month’s MFN Conference (mark! Lopez, Angelo Logan, NRDC lawyers, Felipe Aguirre, CBE, and more) have all been actively involved in the Exide issue.

Click here to access the article.

Andrea Hricko, USC

 

Senator Booker Announces The Environmental Justice Act of 2017

On October 23rd U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) was joined by local community leaders and advocates from across New Jersey and the nation in announcing a landmark bill that represents a major step toward eliminating environmental injustice.

This Bill would strengthen protections for communities of color, low-income communities and indigenous communities.

More specifically the Bill: 

  • Codifies and expands the 1994 Executive Order on Environmental Justice.

  • Codifies the existing National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) and environmental justice grant programs.

  • Establishes requirements for federal agencies to address environmental justice.

  • Requires consideration of cumulative impacts and persistent violations in federal or state permitting decisions under the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act.

  • Clarifies that communities impacted by events like the Flint water crisis may bring statutory claims for damages and common law claims in addition to requesting injunctive relief.

  • Reinstates a private right of action for discriminatory practices under the Civil Rights Act.

“For too long low income and communities of color in this country have suffered under the weight of cumulative, chronic and disproportionate pollution. This bill is a reminder of how critical it is to protect and restore these communities,” said Ana Baptista, Board Member, Ironbound Community Corporation.

“We must adopt substantive policies that will provide protections for communities Of Color and low-income communities from harmful pollution. This bill would help those communities and we hope everybody gives it the serious consideration it deserves,” said Dr. Nicky Sheats, Esq., New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance.

“As a Newark School Board member and a mother of 3 kids with asthma, it’s clear environmental justice is a civil right. In my city and so many other EJ communities, there’s too much lead in our drinking water, raw sewage in our waterways and diesel emissions sending kids to the ER. Those are the kind of cumulative impacts Senator Booker’s legislation takes on,” said Kim Gaddy, Clean Water Action’s Environmental Justice Organizing Director.

 

More information: https://www.booker.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=685

 

 

Comite Civico Del Valle honored as a Clean Air Hero

Moving Forward Network member Comite Civico Del Valle is being honored with a Clean Air Heroes award today by the South Coast Air Quality Management District for their ground-breaking IVAN Air Monitoring Network, which consists of 40 community-based air quality monitors in selected locations across the Imperial Valley. The award will be accepted by Humberto Lugo, IVAN Air Community & Environmental Policy Advocate.

Whether you are involved in environmental justice, citizen science, or community empowerment, you should understand the scope and breadth of what CCV has done, and consider what a similar approach could do for your community. 

For more information on the Clean Air Hero Awards and the other winners, check out the SCAQMD press release below. 

SCAQMD to Honor Clean Air Heroes at Annual Clean Air Awards Luncheon

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) will host its 29th Annual Clean Air Awards today, Oct. 6, honoring individuals and businesses, public agencies and others who are making significant contributions to cleaner air in the Southland. The awards luncheon is being held at The Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Leslie Lopez, meteorologist for ABC 7 Los Angeles, will emcee the event.

We are always honored to recognize those who are committed to cleaning the air,” said SCAQMD Governing Board Chairman William A. Burke, Ed.D. “These award winners are an inspiring example of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. It’s our hope that others will follow in their footsteps.”

SCAQMD’s 2017 Clean Air Award winners are: 

Award for S. Roy Wilson Memorial Award for Leadership in Government

Congresswoman Karen Bass was re-elected to her fourth term representing the 37th Congressional District in November 2016. She serves on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs where she is ranking member of the Subcommittee on Africa. Her local environmental priorities include:

 Expanding park and recreational facilities;
 Ensuring safe extraction of oil in the Inglewood Oil Field;
 Protecting Ballona Creek;
 Implementing groundbreaking environmental laws in California, such as AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act;
 Reducing pollution by supporting the expansion of public transportation such as the Crenshaw-LAX Light Rail, the Westside Extension Subway, expanded bus routes; and
 Cleaning up brownfields.

Award for Innovative Clean Air Technology

BYD Inc. is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles and the largest manufacturer of battery-electric buses in North America. BYD produced the first long-range battery-electric bus and then leveraged its expertise to launch a heavy industries product line of 100 percent electric buses, trucks, forklifts, and freight equipment. BYD’s buses are built in Los Angeles County, produce zero emissions, integrate easily with any existing transit fleet, and meet roughly 80 percent of urban transit system needs with ranges up to 200 miles on a single charge. BYD is also working with the SCAQMD and other partners to demonstrate zero-emission battery-electric class 8 yard trucks and drayage trucks in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Chevrolet’s Chevy Bolt EV is the first electric car to top 200 miles on a single charge with a price under $40,000. It was selected as the 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year as well as Green Car Journal’s 2017 Green Car of the Year.

Southern California Edison’s two Hybrid Enhanced Gas Turbine facilities add batteries and a new control system to traditional “peaker” power plants. SCE is the first utility in the country to integrate General Electric’s existing gas-turbine power generation with battery energy storage in a dynamic new hybrid system, achieving heightened grid efficiency in fulltime service. Additionally, Wellhead Power Solutions provided the selective catalytic reduction and
ammonia system upgrades, expertise in emissions control systems and calibrating low load operations of EGTs.

The hybrid system produces air quality benefits by allowing the turbine to operate in standby mode without combusting fuel, which lowers emissions, while the battery-stored energy enables immediate response to changing energy dispatch needs. The result of these innovations is that greenhouse gases and particulate emissions from each turbine are reduced by roughly 60 percent and demineralized water consumption drops by 2 million gallons per plant each year. This represents a major milestone in the capability to efficiently and reliably manage fluctuating or intermittent sources like wind and solar.

This innovative technology installation, achieved in ground-breaking partnership with SCE, GE and Wellhead, offers potential for other urban areas to achieve more reliable, economically competitive, and environmentally sustainable electricity systems.

Award for Model Community Achievement

The City of South Pasadena is the first city in the nation to be certified as a Green Zone City by the American Green Zone Alliance for using only zero-emission lawn equipment for all city parks, facilities, and medians.

San Bernardino County Transportation Authority implemented a team of compressed natural gas tow trucks for its Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) program. The FSP tow trucks travel on selected San Bernardino County freeways during peak commute hours to assist motorists with car trouble.

Award for Clean Air Education Outreach

For 50 years, the American Lung Association in California, through its offices in Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire, has educated the public about the impact of air pollution on lung health and worked to build public support and advocacy for clean air and lung health.

The Carson High School ESET Annual Alternative Energy Car Show is an educational and outreach effort that provides students with the opportunity to learn and experience various types of advanced technology and zero-emission vehicles. Approximately 1,500 students and faculty attend each year.

IVAN is an online environmental justice monitoring and reporting tool that connects government agencies and communities to solve environmental problems in seven communities across California including Coachella Valley and Wilmington. In 2016, the program added www.ivanair.org. The website provides air quality data from over 40 air monitoring stations in the Coachella Valley Salton Sea Air Basin including San Diego County. IVAN Air enables
community members to view air quality levels with an easy-to-use air quality index or to register for email alerts in their neighborhood.

Award for Business Leadership in Air Quality

For 50 years Earth Friendly Products has been offering eco-friendly cleaning products manufactured in their carbon-neutral, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified facilities that utilize platinum zero-waste-certified guidelines and are powered by renewable energy. Chief Executive Officer Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks’ leads the family-owned business that makes more than 200 products at four sustainable manufacturing facilities across the country, including its Cypress headquarters.

Award for Youth Leadership in Air Quality

Starting at age 9 — after suffering from asthma for three years — environmental justice activist Nalleli Cobo from South Los Angeles worked with community members to oppose the operation of an oil production site located two blocks from her school. Now 16, she works with People Not Pozos — a member of Standing Together Against Neighborhood Drilling Los Angeles — to oppose oil drilling in local neighborhoods

.
The Robert M. Zweig, M.D. Memorial Award

Dr. Stanley Galant is medical director of the Breathmobile, a mobile asthma treatment clinic, for the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) where he oversees accessible healthcare services for asthma diagnosis, treatment, and education. He is also a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Galant earned his medical degree from the University of California Medical School, San Francisco, has served at CHOC since 1971, and is board-certified in pediatrics, allergy and immunology. 

SCAQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Don’t miss this excellent video on trucks, air pollution, and public health

The California Cleaner Freight Coalition (CCFC) just sent us a wonderful video, which includes appearances by leaders and volunteers from several MFN member organizations, including Ms. Margaret Gordon of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, Humberto Lugo of Comite Civico Del Valle, Silvia Reyes of the Alliance for Children with Asthma, and Nidia Erceg from the Coalition for Clean Air.

Check the video out! 

To learn more about cleaner freight, sign up today for the free Moving Forward Network 4th International Conference.  Attendees will learn and share knowledge on cleaner freight in a number of sessions, including:

  •  Zero Emission Truck Technology Overview

  • Technology Solutions to Reduce Pollution 

  • Zero-Emissions Policy: Barriers and Opportunities

  • Siemen’s Catenary System Pilot Project site visit

 To learn more about the conference and register, click here or on the image below:

 

 

 

Leonardo DiCaprio joins forces with Comité Cívico Del Valle to expand Salton Sea air quality monitoring

To my knowledge, no organization in the U.S. has achieved as much using citizen science as the Brawley, California community and environmental justice group Comité Cívico Del Valle.

Comité Cívico, working with a network of academic, governmental, and other partners, has built a community-based air quality monitoring system consisting of 40 monitors spread across the sprawling and dangerously polluted Imperial Valley; the IVAN environmental reporting system, which allows citizens to document and report environmental problems; a task force that follows up on the problems that citizens report, and much more.

The result? Empowered, knowledgeable, and engaged residents who are committed to make their community a better and healthier place, and have the tools to do it.

Last week, Comité Cívico gained a new ally  – Leonardo DiCaprio, who announced that his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation will donate $100,000 to install and operate 20 new air monitors to monitor deadly chemical-laden particulate matter blowing from the rapidly drying Salton sea – perhaps the biggest environmental health challenge the region faces.

Also last week, perhaps inspired by Comité Cívico’s successes, the California State Legislature passed a bill, AB 617, which authorizes the deployment of community air monitoring systems in polluted communities across the state.

Knowledge is power, and Leonardo DiCaprio’s support will help empower the residents of the Imperial Valley to fight for one of the most fundamental human rights – clean air to breathe.  

To learn more about community-based air monitoring, join members of Comite Civico and dozens of other MFN organizations at the FREE 4th International Conference, and check out the references at the end of this post.

Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation gives $100,000 toward monitoring pollution at Salton Sea (Desert Sun)

How community air monitoring projects provide a data-driven model for the future (Environmental Defense Fund)

In California’s Imperial Valley, Residents Aren’t Waiting for Government to Track Pollution, Yes Magazine

Imperial Valley gets an F grade in air quality by American Lung Association, KYMA

Advancing Environmental Justice: A New State Regulatory Framework to Abate Community-Level Air Pollution Hotspots and Improve Health Outcomes (Goldman School of Public Policy)

CALIFORNIA’S AB 617: A NEW FRONTIER IN AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT…IF FUNDED (Center for Clean Air Policy)

Check out the outstanding speakers and sign up for the free Moving Forward Network international conference!

Come to the free 4th international conference of the Moving Forward Network conference in Carson CA, and network and learn with some of the top environmental justice organizers in the country, plus enjoy exciting and informative speeches by Hong Kong environmental leader Christine Loh, mark! Lopez of East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, Ed Avol of the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, and Fred Potter of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

To learn more and sign up for the conference, click here or on the image below.

 

 

Join us in Carson, CA to advance freight and warehouse worker health, safety and power – October 13-14

Graphic adapted from an AFL-CIO poster.  

Are you an organizer in the goods movement industry or do you work as a port or warehouse worker, or as a truck driver? Are you concerned about freight transportation and warehouse worker health and safety?

The Moving Forward Network shares your concerns and invites you to join us at our international conference on October 13-14 in Carson, California, and participate in the Worker and Labor  track, which will focus on the impacts of freight transport, goods movement systems, and related air pollution on workers and the workforce, and how labor unions, organizations, and coalitions are connecting to build power.

 

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Hurricane Harvey: Union of Concerned Scientists partners on the ground need help ASAP

Received on Friday from the Union of Concerned Scientists:

Since last week, we at the Union of Concerned Scientists have been working to provide reliable, science-based information about storm preparedness and flood risk to people in the path of Hurricane Harvey’s destruction.

We have worked and developed close relationships in this region, and we believe it’s our human duty to do what we can right now–not just for our partners, supporters, friends, and family in the Gulf Coast but for everyone affected.

For several years, UCS has worked hand in hand with an organization called Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (T.E.J.A.S.). With them, we have analyzed the risks to communities living near industrial facilities and provided information in an accessible form to residents. We brought together science experts and Houston community members to raise awareness about environmental justice issues and provide greater scientific support to efforts to mitigate some of the very same risks people in Houston are facing now as flood waters breach chemical facilities and refineries that line the Gulf Coast.

T.E.J.A.S. is in it for the long haul. Recovery from this disaster will take years, and poor communities and communities of color will bear the greatest burden. So today I’m writing to encourage you to make a donation to support T.E.J.A.S. to help in the recovery efforts.

T.E.J.A.S. has always been clear about the connections between global warming, increased flooding, race, and poverty. Last year we collaborated on a report, Double Jeopardy in Houston(1), showing how people of color and people in poverty live closer to chemical facilities and face the greatest chemical risks. And now, over the past few days more than a million pounds of emissions from the oil refineries and chemical plants that border their communities have been released into the Houston air(2). Meanwhile, the city has shut down its chemical monitoring stations as floodwaters rise, leaving residents without a critical safeguard(3) and explosions at chemical facilities have already been reported(4).

We will continue to see these things happen around the world. Global warming’s consequences are well understood: rising ocean temperatures can cause more intense hurricanes(5), and higher sea levels cause devastating storm surges(6). Even as we speak, massive floods in South Asia have caused more than 1,000 deaths (7). People in many parts of the world are suffering, dying, or losing their homes and businesses because of the effects of global warming. Entire communities are being abandoned because of it.

Please help the people most impacted by Hurricane Harvey and our partner organization in Houston with a donation today. If you are interested in helping other hard hit, under-resourced groups, you can find a list of small scale organizations here.

Thank you for your generosity during this catastrophe. UCS will continue to support our partners engaged in recovery efforts and to ensure that people on the ground have access to the scientific information they need to handle this crisis.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Rest, PhD, MPA

Executive Director

P.S. Feel free pass along these resources:

  1. http://www.ucsusa.org/center-science-and-democracy/connecting-scientists-and-communities/double-jeopardy
  2. https://newrepublic.com/article/144606/harveys-hidden-side-effect
  3. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/exxonmobil-texas-refineries-damaged-hurricane-harvey-release-thousands-pounds-pollutants-air
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/30/us/hurricane-harvey-flooding-houston.html
  5. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0129.1
  6. http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/impacts/hurricanes-and-climate-change.html
  7. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/30/mumbai-paralysed-by-floods-as-india-and-region-hit-by-worst-monsoon-rains-in-years
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