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

 

 

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)

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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Comite Civico and Loma Linda University Medical Center train and empower students to be citizen scientists and monitor air pollution

The Brawley, California community organization Comite Civico Del Valle has tremendous accomplishments under its belt, including installation of a very robust set of fixed air pollution monitors throughout the region, and establishment of the IVAN environmental reporting system, used by residents in the Imperial Valley and communities across the state.

Working with long-time partner Loma Linda University Medical Center. Comite Civil and other partners are now expanding their services. They are training high school students to be citizen scientists, and encouraging residents to install Purple Air monitors to measure air quality in real-time outside of their homes to ensure the air they breathe is safe before engaging in outdoor physical activities.  This will be especially valuable to children and others with asthma. To learn more, check out the resources below and the article that follows.  

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

AIResiliency on Twitter     

I.V.A.N., Identifying Violations Affecting Communities, IVAN Online                                                                                                                                                                 

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Tell EPA how to improve the powerful Environmental Justice tool EJSCREEN

EJScreen is a very powerful tool that puts capabilities previously available only to mapping experts in the hands of environmental justice groups and others.  

If you or your organization have used EJScreen, please let EPA know how they can improve it by filling out the EJScreen User Survey.  Just follow the instructions below.   

To learn more about this great tool, check out the links at the end of this blog post.

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Moving Forward Network members and friends at People’s Climate Marches across the US!

The Moving Forward Network is composed of over 40 member organizations, and virtually every organization participated in the People’s Climate Marches in Washington, DC, or at a sister march in another city.  Check out a few examples:

Chicago IL

Concord NH

 

Kansas City, MO

Long Beach CA

2017-04-29 - 12 - LA Climate March, Tesoro

Los Angeles CA

This photo was provided by Comite Civico del Valle, one of many MFN members who marched in the Wilmington neighborhood of Los Angeles to call attention to an urgent regional issue – the expansion of the Tesoro Oil Refinery.

New York City NY

 

NRDC at the NYC peoples climate march 2017

Marching with NRDC Executive Director Peter Lehner and NRDC colleagues and members

Oakland CA

Sierra Club at the Oakland Climate Change march

No coal in Oakland

In the San Francisco Bay Area, several thousand people converged on the shores of Oakland’s Lake Merritt for a rally that included indigenous leaders and local environmental justice groups. There, 70-year-old Margaret Gordon, an organizer with a group called No Coal in Oakland, summed up the crowd’s concerns with a fiery one-minute speech from the stage. “Keep the fossil fuels in the ground. Clean up our air, water, and soil,” she said.  (Source http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/indigenous-communities-lead-massive-peoples-climate-march-dc)

Portland OR

Neighbors for Clean Air Portland Peoples Climate March

Neighbors for Clean Air marched in Portland!

The Portland Peoples Climate March was a great event with frontline communities voices front and center.

NeighborsforCleanAir PCM

San Diego CA

Washington, DC

NRDC at the DC climate march

NRDC Marching to defend the Paris Agreement

 

 

Zero emissions truck manufacturers working to run dirty diesel off the road

Photo: East Bay Express.

Zero emissions Class 8 heavy-duty Class 8 18-wheelers are a reality today.  The innovative Kansas City company Orange EV is the first and only company to make all-electric big rigs commercially available.  Their electric terminal trucks are operating throughout the country.

However, over-the-road electric Class 8 trucks are another story – to date only prototype and demonstration zero emissions Class 8 trucks capable of operating on public highways have been produced.

But, the marketplace is changing rapidly, and other companies, some established and some new, are jumping into the fray.  As a result, within a few years we may see a strong shift from dirty diesel to zero-emissions trucking on public highways.  A few examples, followed by references for more information:

As we reported late last year in Nikola announces “The end of diesel engines”… electric Class 8 heavy-duty trucks using power generated by hydrogen fuel cells will be truly zero-emissions if the hydrogen is generated by solar energy.  Nikola Motors has an ambitious and innovative plan to do that on the national level by 2020, with solar-powered refueling stations on major truck routes throughout the country.  Their solution has a number of other innovative features, and they have produced a very impressive demonstration vehicle.

By the end of 2016, Nikola reported that they had received over 7,000 preorders worth over $2 billion.

“Say goodbye to the days of dirty diesel…” 

                                                             Trevor Milton, CEO of Nikola Motor Company

Mercedes-Benz is also moving into this market, and has promised to deliver prototypes of its all-electric mid-range (124 miles) Urban eTruck this year, and produce it commercially in 2020.

Last week, two more firms joined the zero emissions trucking race – Tesla announced that they have an electric semi under production, and Toyota developed a prototype hydrogen-electric drayage truck for use at the Port of Los Angeles.

For the latest news, check out the articles below.

Rail Management Services Orders 9 More Orange EV T-Series All-Electric Yard Trucks, CleanTechnica

Big Rigs to Pickups — Toyota Could Develop Full Hydrogen Fuel Cell Truck Line, Trucks.com

Mercedes’ electric Urban eTruck will hit the road this year, Road Show

Toyota Rolls Out Hydrogen Semi Ahead Of Tesla’s Electric Truck, Forbes

Morgan Stanley likes the idea of a Tesla semi-truck, Business Insider

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

California report finds electric and other low emissions vehicle technology accelerating faster than expecting

Just as electric vehicles can be quicker off the starting line than fossil fuel vehicles, the technology for zero and low emissions passenger vehicles is advancing faster than most thought possible.  A report just released by the California Air Resources Board finds that the California greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards currently in place for model years 2022-2025 are readily feasible at or below the costs estimated back in 2012 – when the standards were adopted with support from many automakers. Continuing on the path to meeting the 2025 standards will deliver significant clean-air and public health benefits for Californians and cost-savings for consumers.

The 667-page Midterm Review of Advanced Clean Cars Program report released this week confirms that the previously adopted package of GHG standards, technology-forcing zero-emission vehicle standards, and the most health-protective particulate matter standards in the world are appropriate. The report indicates that existing programs in California will add at least 1 million zero-emission vehicles on its roads and highways by 2025.

“The recent Detroit auto show shined a spotlight on the fact that we are fully engaged in a global transformation towards autonomous vehicles, with hybrid cars an industry norm and electric models appearing across models and platforms,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “Our standards need to recognize and keep pace with that market reality to keep California and the nation fully competitive in the global automobile marketplace. The conclusion is inescapable: California’s vehicle future is electric.”

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