environmental justice


Beginning a Courageous Journey: Connecting Science & Justice

Dr. Brian R. Shmaefsky, , UCS

One year after the Flint Water Crisis I was invited to participate in a water rights session at a conference hosted by the US Human Rights Network in Austin, Texas in 2015. The reason I was at the conference was to promote efforts by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to encourage scientists to shine a light on how science intersects with human rights, in the United States as well as in the context of international development. My plan was to sit at an information booth and share my stories about water quality projects I spearheaded in communities in Bangladesh, Colombia, and the Philippines. I did not expect to be thrown into conversations that made me reexamine how scientists use their knowledge as a public good. Read more >

Angie Chung/Flickr
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The Trump Administration’s Disappointing Efforts to Prevent Lead Poisoning in Children

, Research Analyst

One of the longest running epidemics in the history of the US is the poisoning of our children with lead. But, as we discuss in our new report on children’s health, the Trump administration is failing to enact or enforce comprehensive measures based on the science that protect children from lead poisoning. Read more >

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The EPA’s New Shameful Tactic: Avoid People Poisoned by Coal Ash

, Research Analyst

Imagine you live next to a coal-fired power plant. Near the power plant, you may have seen heavy machinery dumping loads of greyish substance into an open pit or a pond. You learn that the greyish stuff is called coal ash, a substance that’s chockful of toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, and selenium – all of which are cancer-causing agents – and that 140 million tons of coal ash is produced in the US every year. You may notice that serious health issues are arising in your community, so you can’t help but wonder: is there a connection between your community’s health problems and the dumping of this coal ash? Is this stuff getting into your drinking water?

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An oil refinery stands in the background as children play on a basketball court in Port Arthur, Texas, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

A Conversation with the NEPA Ninja

, Senior Climate Justice and Health Scientist

The Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that came out a couple of weeks ago on NEPA is inexcusable and disgraceful. I find it hard to believe that an environmental organization like CEQ would engage in activities designed to put lives in grave danger, all so that companies who stand to benefit from more lax environmental laws can do so. Once again–profit over people. The National Environmental Policy Act (fondly known as NEPA) requires federal agencies to engage in a review process to identify any significant environmental, economic, social, or health impacts a project may have before decisions are made and construction begins. Read more >

AP Photo/David Goldman
Adrienne Hollis
Dr. McClain
Adrienne Hollis
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How Environmental Justice Became a Matter of Governance

, Research Analyst

“All my life I’ve been sick and tired. Now I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

One of the leaders of the civil rights movement, Fannie Lou Hamer, famously said these words during the 1964 Democratic National Convention to protest the injustices that the Black community had endured in their fight for the right to vote. In the 1980s and 1990s, her words became a rallying cry for a burgeoning grassroots movement that protested the dumping of environmental hazards on the doorsteps of marginalized communities, called the environmental justice movement. Read more >

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