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Environmental Racism

A presentation about environmental racism for a graduate school class.

Erika Spring

on 13 May 2013

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Transcript of Environmental Racism

Tim Burge, Callie Hill, Erika Spring Environmental Racism
in the United States What is it? Case Study #2:
Homer, Louisiana Theological/Ethical
Reflections Case Study #1:
South Camden, New Jersey Where:
Waterfront South
One of Camden’s 23 neighborhoods, southeast corner
Hosts 20% of the city’s contaminated sites
City of Camden is 48.1% Black
47.0% Hispanic or Latino origin
36.1% below the poverty level, compared to 9.1% in NJ Scripture & Themes
Genesis 2 & our responsibility to the earth
God's covenant w/Noah & God's promise for us & the earth
Luke 4 & Jesus continuing to care for the oppressed and for the land
James Cone
Marguerite Spencer
Nancy Wright US GAO study:

Blacks are majority in 75% landfill places

26%, income
below poverty level UCC study:

3/5 African American and Hispanics live in places
with uncontrolled toxic
waste sites

1/10,000 chance Lawsuit Victory 1983 1987 1997 Light pink =
minority pop higher
than national avg Red = minority pop higher than national avg AND where 5+ uncontrolled toxic waste sites are CANT sued LES for
racial bias in placement
of uranium enrichment
plant, and WON! Landfills
Chemical waste facilities
Sewage treatment plant /
wastewater treatment plant
Compost facility Biomedical waste storage facility
Biomedical waste generator
Biomedical waste treatment facility
Mechanical biological treatment plant
Uranium enrichment plant
Biomass gasification facility Who:
South Camden Citizens in Action (SCCIA)
New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection (NJDEP)
St. Lawrence Cement Co. What:
South Camden Citizens in Action v. NJDEP and St. Lawrence Cement Co.
1998- St. Lawrence Cement Co. decided to open a plant in Waterfront South Neighborhood
-Feb. 13, 2001- SCCIA file claim against NJDEP
-April 19, 2001- District court granted SCCIA’s request for a preliminary injunction. April 24, 2001- Supreme Court issued its decision in Sandoval case. This eliminated the basis for the district court’s injunction and St. Lawrence moved to dissolve it.
There was some legal back-and-forth over how Sandoval case applied to SSCIA’s case.
Dec. 17, 2001- Third Circuit Court ruled in favor of NJDEP and St. Lawrence Cement Co.
Oct 6, 2008 - Research confirms St. Lawrence Cement Plant Pollutes Nearby Camden Waterfront Neighborhood Need for new legislation in wake of Sandoval ruling
Despite loss, case brought attention to issues of environmental racism and politics
Resulted in the EPA conducting several studies in the region and making a commitment to clean up hazardous sites
Community organizing is essential to these efforts Lessons learned How to get involved Hold town meetings
Write letters to senators and representatives
Get the word out about the issue
Use local churches & organizations
Contact larger environmental organizations 2001 Lawsuit Feb. 13 -
South Camden citizens
file claim against
NJDEP Environmental
Sierra Club
GreenFaith (local) LES = Louisiana Energy Services Uranium enrichment
depleted uranium (DUF6), released, harms ozone
accidents 78 sites......................28.35%
37 sites......................36.78%
6 sites........................64.74%
Final site...................97.10% Within a 1 mile radius... Intentional or unintentional
environmental policies and practices
that disproportionately affect
minorities (on the basis of race
or color). How the People Won town meetings
enlisted help from those outside the community
formed CANT (Citizens Against Nuclear Trash)
found support from around the country & globe
waited out 8 long years for the NRC to deny LES' permit & 5 and 1/2 years of legal proceedings
sent busloads of people to the hearing each day
Never gave up! kjhfvkjhrfv
Full transcript