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​

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

 

 

Toxic Dust, Love and Asthma: A Mother’s Story in the Imperial Valley

Share Onyx and Humberto’s conversation and support the #ZeroEmissionsNow campaign.

Onyx Bazulto lives in the Imperial Valley in Southern California, where air quality is poor and one in five children has asthma. Her community of Brawley is located between the Salton Sea and the border crossing at Calexico-Mexicali, along a heavily traveled freight corridor.

Humberto Hugo, policy advocate with Comite Civico Del Valle, spoke with Onyx about what motivates her to do community health and education work. Here are excerpts from their conversation, which you can hear on StoryCorps.me.

ONYX BAZULTO: I decided to take that step to change my community because I, for one, care for my family and their health. Both my daughter and I and my mom have asthma and ever since we moved to the Imperial Valley we’ve had many issues of allergies — having to go to the hospital plenty of times because of symptoms of asthma.

 

The first step I took to do something in our community was research and speaking out to family, friends and neighbors who were dealing with the same issues.

 

We live in a dust bowl, below sea level. Every other coastal area — all their pollution surrounds us and sinks in, as well as the incoming diesel contamination from the international exchange of goods.

 

Where I live, not even 10 feet away … trucks have found our nearby gas station to be a truck stop. Every day, every night, you’ll see a long row of semis idling their vehicles for long periods of time. And you know I live right next to the gas station. So I can see a lot of dust enter my home. And then you can smell the smog. So I never have my windows open. And it causes a lot of coughing for my daughter. I always have to be careful. She can’t even play outside.

 

I frequently have to dust, sweep, mop my home to lift the dust and dirt. I have to change AC air filters more than two times a month. It’s a rare joy to open my door and windows. When I do, a lot of dust comes in.

 

I would really love to have our community become more aware of their surrounding environmental justice issues and have them advocate to defend themselves.

PLEASE JOIN Onyx Bazulto and Humberto Hugo in the #ZeroEmissionsNow campaign to reduce diesel emissions in our communities. Share their conversation and show your support.

LEARN MORE about the work they are doing to improve the quality of life in the Imperial Valley by following Comite Civico Del Valle.

LISTEN to other conversations in our StoryCorps project, with people who are fighting for #ZeroEmissionsNow in their communities across the United States.

A Grandson Returns to East L.A. to Fight For Clean Air

Share mark!’s conversation with his grandparents and support the #ZeroEmissionsNow campaign.

mark! Lopez was born into a family of organizers and is driven by an early memory of a community march when he was just a toddler in a stroller. He majored in Environmental Studies and earned a masters degree in Chicano studies and returned to the community where he grew up, to work for Communities for A Better Environment and then East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, where he is now the executive director.

mark! was interviewed by his grandparents, Juana and Ricardo Gutierrez. Here are excerpts from their conversation, which you can hear on StoryCorps.me.

JUANA GUTIERREZ: Cual fue el primer paso que tomaste para convertirte en un agente de cambio en nuestra comunidad y que te motivo para dar ese paso?

JUANA GUTIERREZ: What was the first step you took to become a change agent in your community and what motivated you to take that step?

MARK! LOPEZ: Pues no fue un paso creo que uno de los recuerdos que tengo ni de un ano o dos anos creo fue una marcha. Anduvimos en una marcha en 6th street u otro bridge pero estábamos cruzando y yo andaba en un stroller. Y recuerdo la danza Azteca, el tambor y pues ahí con toda la familia y la comunidad marchando. Y me imagino que fue por el prison, pero ese es uno de mis primer recuerdos de mi vida. Ese recuerdo me motivo y es como un guía para ensenarme que es funcionar en comunidad y creci haciendo este trabajo de la comunidad entonces siempre pense que este era algo normal que tenia que hacer.

MARK! LOPEZ: It was not a step. One of my first memories when I was one or two years old was when we were in a march. This march on 6th street, or another bridge, but we were crossing it and I was in my stroller. I remember the danza Azteca, the drums and being there with family and the community marching. This memory is my motivation and my guide as to how to be part of a community. Since I grew up doing this community work, I thought this was the norm and something I had to do.

RICARDO GUTIERREZ: Puedes compartir un tema importante que estás trabajando y tu visión para un futuro mejor?

RICHARD GUTIERREZ: Can you share one important thing you are working on right now and what your visión for a better future looks like?

MARK! LOPEZ: Pues creo que algo que hemos aprendido mucho en el movimiento el que nosotros tenemos que ser los que luchan, nadien va a venir a nuestro rescate. Entonces por ese nosotros tenemos que tener una visión para lo que queremos. Porque si solo les decimos que no queremos solo van a traer mas ideas que nos afectan y no va ha ser algo de beneficio para la comunidad. Entonces en todo el trabajo que hacemos tenemos que empezar con entender el problema, como nos impacta y averiguar que es lo que podemos hacer, que hay de opciones, que es lo que están haciendo otras comunidades y si no hay ejemplos ver lo que podemos crear o pensar. Entonces eso creo que estamos haciendo con el freeway 710, con la alternativa comunitaria 7, es lo que estamos haciendo al nivel nacional.

En anos pasados quien creía que podíamos tener trocas sin contaminación y ahorita estamos en esa lucha que empieza con nosotros. Las comunidades cerca de los puertos ya tienen muchos anos con mucha contaminación entonces esas platicas, ese movimiento que los puertos para asegurar que los puertos no tengan contaminación en el futuro empieza con nosotros. Como ustedes empezaron a luchar aquí en Boyle Heights y en el este de Los Angeles y yo la siguiente generación de la familia y ahora la generación tercera viendo a Xole y a Luna que vienen después de mi y los demás creo que nos aseguramos que la comunidad va estar en buenas manos.

MARK! LOPEZ: I think one thing we have learned from the movement is that we have to be the ones that fight for ourselves, no one is coming to our rescue. This is why we need to have a vision of what we want. Because if we only tell them what we don’t want they will only bring more projects/ideas that will negatively impact us instead of being a benefit to the community. So in the all the work that we do we must first understand the problem, how it will impact us, and figure out what we can do about it. What are the options, what are other communities doing to fight back and if there are no examples we need to figure it out ourselves. This is what I think we have done with the 710 freeway, with Community Alternative 7. This is also what we are doing at the national level.

Before no one could image we could have trucks without pollution and right now we are in that struggle, but it starts with us. Communities living close to ports have a long history with pollution and its impacts so those conversation around making sure the Ports no longer pollute starts with us. Just like you started the fight here in Boyle Heights and East LA, I am the next generation in my family and now the third generation seeing my daughters Xole and Luna that come after me we are making sure that our community is in good hands.

PLEASE JOIN mark! Lopez and his family in the #ZeroEmissionsNow campaign to reduce diesel emissions in our communities. Share their conversation and show your support.

LEARN MORE about the work they are doing to improve the quality of life in East L.A. by following East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice.

LISTEN to other conversations in our StoryCorps project, with people who are fighting for #ZeroEmissionsNow in their communities across the United States.

From Ecuador to Seattle, a mother driven by belief in the right to a healthy environment

Share Paulina’s interview and support the #ZeroEmissionsNow campaign.

Paulina López moved to Seattle from Ecuador, where she was involved in community organizing with indigenous people on issues such as health and education. She is the mother of three boys in elementary school and has contributed her time for a decade as the volunteer president for South Park Information Resource Center, a grassroots community organization that supports the civic engagement of recent immigrants, with special focus on women. She is passionate about advocating for underrepresented communities, and has been concerned with environmental justice issues uniquely affecting South Park’s recent immigrant communities, such as the clean-up of the Duwamish River.

Paulina was interviewed by Dionne Foster, who was a Policy Analyst at Puget Sound Sage at the time of the interview (and now works for the city of Seattle), about what motivated her activism and what hopes she has for the future. Here are excerpts from their conversation, which you can hear on StoryCorps.me.

PAULINE LOPEZ: A long time ago, when I moved here to South Park, I realized the need we had to get people more involved in civic engagement, civic process – just people more involved in how to build a community.

 

Big decisions were being (made) and the neighbors were not being part of the decisions. For example, in 2005 there was a big document that the city was writing on how to make South Park a better community, and the participation from Latinos was zero. So I started to wonder, “Why are the voices of the main population that exists in South Park not at the table?” … and that’s how the South Park Information Resource Center came up.

 

Unfortunately the environment is very poor … I love my neighborhood, I love South Park, but it does make you wonder if you’re doing the right thing by having your little ones here.

 

One of the things that struck me once – I was talking to a teenager, and we were explaining about the asthma rates being so high in South Park, and she was saying, “You know I always grew up with asthma but I thought it was a normal thing because all my classmates in school have it.” And I thought, “What?!” It can be so big that they think it’s a normal part of life to have asthma.

 

South Park has a lot of needs, but I always concentrate on the assets. We have a very strong community of advocates … We have a very large immigrant and refugee population here … The Vietnamese population is closer to the highway so they were very concerned about emissions from the trucks. They have been very active on what can we do to improve. They’ve been giving us ideas. So I think it’s been important to hear from everyone.

 

Sometimes words like “environmental justice” doesn’t really read to them until you explain: “health” for you. “Oh, health, yes, health, I’m very worried about the health of my kids.” So I hope whatever we can do together will benefit the grassroots level of our community in ways that will be meaningful to them.

PLEASE JOIN Paulina López and Dionne Foster in the #ZeroEmissionsNow campaign to reduce diesel emissions in our communities. Share their conversation and show your support.

LEARN MORE about the work Paulina and Dionne are doing to improve the quality of life in Seattle by following South Park Information and Resource Center and Puget Sound Sage.

LISTEN to other conversations in our StoryCorps project, with people who are fighting for #ZeroEmissionsNow in their communities across the United States.

Environmental Health Coalition hosts Climate Change Workshop in Barrio Logan

The Environmental Health Coalition (EHC), located in the Barrio Logan community of San Diego, fights for social and environmental justice, and against environmental racism, “policies and activities of governments, corporations, educational institutions or other large organizations with the power to influence many people that, either intentionally or unintentionally, result in people of color and/or low-income people being exposed to greater environmental hazards.” This work includes several focus areas, including Toxic Free Neighborhoods and Climate Justice.

To ensure the communities they serve have a voice in State of California climate change plans, the EHC recently hosted a climate change workshop for the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee and the California Air Resources Board.  The meeting attracted over a hundred people who  talked about air pollution from the many industries located in their neighborhoods, the impact of climate change, and other topics, and provided ideas and recommendations for the draft update of the CARB Scoping Plan, which defines how California will reduce greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020.

While welcoming the state’s intent to reduce greenhouse gases, Leticia Ayala, EHC Associate Director of the Healthy Kids Campaign noted that “there seems to be a tremendous disconnect between our state’s goals for addressing climate change and local projects that move us further from those goals, such as freeway expansions before investments in better public transit”, and emphasized that “Climate change is a global crisis, and our communities have great ideas and proposed solutions. Now, we need the resources to make things happen.”

To learn more, check out the EHC blog post, Thanks for urging the California Air Resources Boart to Protect #HealthHoods and the San Diego Free Press article linked below.

San Diegans Voice Concerns to State Officials About Air Quality, Environmental Justice, and Climate Change, San Diego Free Press

Take a cruise and pollute the cities you love (unless you choose carefully)!

Photo by By kees torn – Harmony of the Seas, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48998971

Most cruise ships are huge polluters. They typically burn high-sulfur bunker fuel while at sea, and switch to lower sulfur bunker fuel when within 200 miles of the US coast.

However, even low sulfur bunker fuel has 100 times the toxic sulfur of a diesel truck, and also contains the toxic metals nickel and vanadium, which, as we recently reported in Children near ports may suffer lung damage from ships burning fuel oil, are suspected of causing lung damage to children.

Emissions from a large cruise ship compared to the equivalent numbers of cars, the Guardian

 

Like container ships, cruise ships are getting bigger and dirtier with each generation. For example, experts say that huge new Royal Caribbean “Harmony of the Seas” cruise ship  probably emits more sulphur than several million cars, more NO2 gas than all the traffic passing through a medium-sized town and more particulate emissions than thousands of buses.

Pollution from cruise ships has resulted in battles in some cities, such as Charleston SC, where cruise ship air pollution threatens the health of those in and near the city’s historic district, and the port authority has vigorously fought efforts to install shore power so cruise ship engines can be shut down while in port, or to dock cruise ships further from town.

Given the bad actors in the industry (both cruise lines and port authorities), what can you do to avoid contributing to the problem?

One approach is to travel by another mode.  Air travel, for example, is much less polluting than travel by ship.  But if you must cruise, check to see if your cruise line has the capabilities of running on shore power (also called cold ironing), and if they can use it in the ports your cruise will visit.

To learn more, check out a few of the resources below:

The Guardian Harmony of the Seas launch inconsistent with Royal Caribbean’s commitment to sustainability, Friends of the Earth

The world’s largest cruise ship and its supersized pollution problem, The Guardian

Massive cruise liners ‘each spew out as much sulphurous emissions gas per day as 376 MILLION cars’ it is revealed as experts call for action on the pollution they cause in port cities, Daily Mail

Charleston port tries to prevent shoreside power for cruise ships, despite pollution reductions, Southern Environmental Law Center

The Earth Thanks You: More Cruise Ports Are Going Green, Cruise Critic

Responsibletravel.com, a directory of environmentally friendly vacations

The shipping industry may soon be forced to cut its air pollution emissions

International shipping is a case study in uncosted externalities – costs imposed on others by those who profit from an economic activity.  

While shipping generates huge amounts of revenue – $155 billion annually for the containerized shipping industry alone –  global shipping emits huge quantities of global-warming carbon dioxide (see chart below), and its other air pollution kills an estimated 60,000 people per year and costs the world as much as $300 billion annually in lung and heart disease alone.

World CO2 Emissions by Sector, IEA

Source: International Energy Agency

Huge increases in shipping and its air pollution emissions are projected in coming years. Container shipping to and from the US is projected to increase 300 percent between 2010 and 2040, and international shipping emissions  are expected to increase by 50 to 250 percent by 2050.  By that year shipping is projected to be responsible for almost a fifth of worldwide air pollution.

In spite of international shipping’s horrible toll on human health and global warming, and its growing threat, the shipping industry and many of the nations that support it have thus far successfully fought efforts to cut air pollution emissions.  Thanks to the recalcitrance of the U.N. International Maritime Organization, the Paris climate agreement included no caps on shipping emissions.

The problem isn’t technological.  During the economic slump after 2006, one major shipping fleet cut their CO2 emissions by 30 percent simply by running their ships more slowly.

But that may soon change. Pressure is building to force the shipping industry to set targets for capping CO2 emissions, which will affect other air pollution emissions as well.  For the latest on these developments, see the references below.

Experts Say Shipping, Aviation Emissions Must Peak Soon to Achieve Paris Goals, UN Climate Change Newsroom

Can the shipping industry cut its own emissions?, Deutsche Welle 

After Paris, A Move to Rein In Emissions by Ships and Planes, Yale University Environment 360

Transport Emissions Must Peak Soon to Hit Paris Targets, Environment News Service

Feds propose to measure interstate highway air pollution, freight movement, and more

In an effort to begin managing and improving the performance of our highway transportation system, the U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed that states begin measuring key metrics, including air pollution emissions, reliability, congestion, and freight movement.

This is an important move, because traffic congestion is a huge contributor to air pollution emissions, as well as a major cost to shippers and consumers.

Transportation, including freight transportation, accounts for almost 1/4 of the greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.  These emissions also cause serious health problems. Traffic related air pollution is linked to a large and growing list of adverse health effects, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease risk, premature birth and low birth weight, and premature death.

This information will be used to support the U.S. DOT Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program, which supports highway projects that contribute air quality improvements and provide congestion relief, with an emphasis on reducing particulate matter air pollution.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said “The department is taking a major step to improve accountability and address the costly congestion problem that is plaguing our nation every day. Commuters and truck drivers from every state and region will be able to learn valuable information about how transportation investments are performing in delivering reliable highway travel with minimal delays and less air pollution. We are also taking a hard look at how to track progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, and I’m looking forward to what we hear back on this important topic.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the folks who build roads are not keen for outcomes to be measured.  Politico quotes Nick Goldstein, vice president for regulatory affairs with the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, as complaining that “Everybody says they want more infrastructure projects, but they’re constantly throwing more regulatory hurdles in the way,”

For more information, see the news articles or review the notice of proposed rulemaking below.

A new Obama emissions play, Politico
Federal Rule Could Create New National Traffic Data Website, Government Technology
Tracking Carbon Pollution from Transportation Plans, NRDC
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – National Performance Management Measures; Assessing Performance of the National Highway System, Freight Movement on the Interstate System, and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, U.S. Department of Transportation

The Trump Administration Threatens NEPA

Share Tweet Share +1 RedditThe 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 […]

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

Share Tweet Share +1 RedditFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       CONTACT:  Ira Arlook, Fenton, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2018                […]

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

Share Tweet Share +1 RedditDear 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 […]

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Senator Booker Announces The Environmental Justice Act of 2017

Share Tweet Share +1 RedditOn 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. […]

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California plans to eliminate diesel exhaust black carbon within 10 years

The California Air Resources Board CARB) issued an outstanding report this week, Proposed Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy, which provides a model for the Federal government and other states to improve public health and slow climate change,

In the report, the CARB details the ground-breaking work California has done to reduce black carbon, and proposes an approach to doing even more.

Black carbon is a potent climate change forcer which kills millions of people worldwide every year.  In U.S. urban areas, diesel engine exhaust – primarily from diesel freight trucks, is the primary source of black carbon.  Diesel exhaust black carbon is particularly insidious, because it is covered by as many as 40 carcinogenic and toxic compounds, and acts as a very effective toxin delivery system. When inhaled, the black carbon particles and their toxic payload is absorbed into the bloodstream, which delivers the poisons to every organ in the body, including the brain.

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