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
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.
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:
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.
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
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)
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.
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! MagazineRead More›
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.Read More›
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:
— Guyadeen (@Guyadeen) April 29, 2017
— Franz Matzner – NRDC (@FranzMatzner) April 29, 2017
Kansas City, MO
Long Beach CA
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
— ICC (@IronboundCC) April 29, 2017
Marching with NRDC Executive Director Peter Lehner and NRDC colleagues and members
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)
Neighbors for Clean Air marched in Portland!
The Portland Peoples Climate March was a great event with frontline communities voices front and center.
San Diego CA
NRDC Marching to defend the Paris Agreement
— Earthjustice (@Earthjustice) April 29, 2017
— CleanWaterAction NJ (@CleanWaterNJ) April 29, 2017
— Mustafa Santiago Ali (@EJinAction) April 30, 2017
— Clean Air Council (@cleanaircouncil) April 29, 2017
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: