environmental justice


Houston, We Have a Problem: Still Fighting Against Environmental Injustice

Juan Parras, , UCS

As my dear friend Maria Jimenez often has stated, the story of the neighborhoods of Manchester and Galena Park in Houston are examples of environmental racism. And having read the recent report “Double Jeopardy in Houston” makes it perfectly clear that she is without a doubt correct in her remarks. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Installing solar panels in PA

The Clean Power Plan’s Clean Energy Incentive Program

, lead economist and climate policy manager

Today is the comment deadline for the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP), a voluntary component of the Clean Power Plan. The program encourages early investments in renewable energy and targeted investments in efficiency and renewables in low-income communities. In our comments, we urge every state to join the program and take advantage of the CEIP’s incentives, and also offer the EPA some recommendations to help improve it. Read more >

Public Source
Bookmark and Share

ucsusa_64898389-1

New UCS Report Documents Chemical Pollution “Double Jeopardy” For Houston Communities

Ron White, , UCS

Imagine you live in a community surrounded by oil refineries, a large metal shredding facility, chemical and cement manufacturing facilities, as well as numerous other heavy industries that emit toxic pollution. Now add the stress and health impacts from frequent industrial facility incidents that result in the release of toxic chemicals into your community. For the residents of two east Houston communities, Harrisburg/Manchester and Galena Park, they don’t need to imagine this frightening scenario—this is their everyday reality. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

csd-blog-cleveland-skyline

Cleveland Can Beat the Heat by Planting Trees—But Don’t Forget Environmental Justice

, Kendall Science Fellow

Climate change presents many threats to cities, compromising their ability to protect public health, or deliver critical services like sewage disposal or adequate protection against storm surges and flooding. Many cities are acutely aware of these threats, and are developing climate adaptation plans with strategies to mitigate, and adapt to, climate change impacts. Read more >

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library
Article (doi:10.1175/WCAS-D-15-0026.1) Declet-Barreto, J.; Knowlton, K.; Jenerette, G. D. & Buyantuev, A. Effects of urban vegetation on mitigating exposure of vulnerable populations to excessive heat in Cleveland, Ohio Weather, Climate, and Society, 0, 0, null Abstract: AbstractHot weather is a threat to human health, especially in cities, where Urban Heat Islands (UHIs) are elevating temperatures already on the rise from global climate change. Increased vegetation can help reduce temperatures and exposure to heat hazards. We conduct an ensemble of Geographically Weighted Regressions (GWR) on Land Surface Temperature (LST) for May-October to estimate potential LST reductions from increased vegetation and assess the effect of temperature reductions among vulnerable populations in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. We apply possible tree canopy increases to our results, finding that LST reductions can range from 6.4 to 0.5 °C for May-October, and are strongest from May-July. Potential LST reductions vary spatially according to possible canopy increases, are highest in suburban fringe neighborhoods and lower in downtown areas. Among populations at high heat-related health risks, the percentage of the population 65 years of age or older in Cleveland is negatively associated with LST, while percentages of Hispanics and those with low educational achievement are most positively associated with higher LST. Percent Hispanic also has the lowest potential temperature reductions from increased vegetation. Neighborhoods with the highest potential temperature reductions had the highest percentages of Whites. Three sub-populations associated with high heat health risks are negatively correlated (African-Americans, the elderly) or not correlated (persons living in poverty) with LST, and the relationships to LST reduction potential for all three are not statistically significant. Our estimates of the effect of vegetation increases on LST can be used to target specific neighborhoods for UHI mitigation under possible and achievable, policy-prescribed tree canopy scenarios in Cleveland.
Bookmark and Share

csd-blog-standing-rock-protest

Native Rights and Concerns at Standing Rock: The Important Role of Science

, director, Center for Science & Democracy

Over the past months, we have all had an opportunity to see democracy in action with all its challenges.  No, I don’t mean the endless coverage of the presidential campaign.  I am talking about people taking action to protect the rights, health, safety and culture, standing with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other Lakota nations in North Dakota. Read more >

Photo: Joe Brusky, CC BY-NC 2.0/Flickr
Sources: Esri, HERE, DeLorme, USGS, Intermap, increment P Corp—NRCAN, Esri Japan, METI Esri China (Hong Kong), Esri (Thailand), MapmyIndia, copyright OpenStreetMap contributors, and the GIS User Community
Bookmark and Share