Presentation on theme: "On a post it note, write down one word that comes to mind when you think about each word above. Environment Use Yellow Post it Note Justice Use blue Post."— Presentation transcript:
On a post it note, write down one word that comes to mind when you think about each word above. Environment Use Yellow Post it Note Justice Use blue Post it Note Post it Note
Introducing Students to Environmental Justice: A North Carolina Case Study Dana Haine, MS UNC Superfund Research Program
“One in four Americans lives within four miles of a toxic dumpsite” – US EPA Source: US EPA, 2014 Figure shows Brownfields Properties, Hazardous Waste Sites, Superfund Sites
Cleanups in North Carolina
ENGAGEMENT Read the scenario provided.
The Problem Community leaders who are upset about this situation believe that the landfill site was intentionally selected due to its being located in a poor, rural, predominantly minority community. They are determined to fight this decision and prevent the landfill from being constructed.
EXPLORATION How might the community be both positively and negatively affected by the siting and construction of the PCB Landfill?
Identify the key groups in this story Concerned Citizen Group Media Scientists/Public Health Experts EPA (Federal Government) NC Department of Natural Resources (State Government) Town and County officials (Local Government)
EXPLANATION Read A North Carolina Case Study Afton, NC (Warren County)
Hazardous Waste: How did it get there?
Ward Transformer, Morrisville, NC, reconditioned electrical transformers from 1964 – Ward sprays 30,000 tons of PCB-contaminated oil along 243 miles of NC roads in 14 counties EPA moves soil to new landfill in Warren County NPL Site: PCB Spills Population 69% minority, over 20% low-income Spurred the Environmental Justice Movement
PCB Landfill Detoxification PCB contaminated soil (82,000 tons) was treated by indirect thermal desorption (Aug October 2003) 4,500 gallons of concentrated PCB oil was recovered and taken to a hazardous waste facility
It has been documented that… Minorities and poor more frequently live near environmental hazards; the 2007 Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty report found people of color make up more than 56 percent of the residents living in neighborhoods within two miles of commercial hazardous waste facilities.
It has been documented that… Superfund site listings in minority and poor areas are discovered to a lesser extent despite legislation designed to prevent the disproportionate environmental effects of federal programs and policies on minority and low-income populations. Source: Superfund: Evaluating the Impact of Executive Order
What is Environmental Justice? Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Definition from USEPA:
Principles of EJ Adopted by the delegates at the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit held in October “served as a defining document for the growing grassroots movement for environmental justice”
The Role of Community What strategies can community members use to address environmental injustices?
The Role of Government What should the role of government be in preventing environmental injustice?
The Role of Youth What is the role of youth in addressing environmental injustices?
DISCUSSION: How can you make this topic relevant to your students? What local issues (past or present) have negatively impacted a subset of the population in your community?
Ecojustice Education The ecological crisis is really a cultural crisis… a crisis in the way people have learned to think and thus behave in relation to larger life systems and toward each other. This approach acknowledges the reality of environmental injustice but sets it in a larger context that includes injustice to all life that is caused by a toxic disposal site.