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  • Our work in the Chattahoochee River has begun in the West Atlanta Watersheds of Proctor, Sandy, and Utoy Creeks. The entire West Atlanta Watershed includes two additional watersheds that are not shown on this map, Peachtree and Nancy Creeks, however these two watersheds had a number of organizations working with them and a number of resources available to them when NWF started its project so we chose the work where there was a greater need, these three watersheds. Other organizations including our primary partner organization, the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, have been successful working in and mobilizing citizens to actions in the more affluent and resource heavy watersheds, Peachtree and Nancy, but few have had much sustainable progress in these three. Because of NWF’s grassroots, bottom up approach and sensitivity to ways to work with diverse audiences, we have not only been successful in moving citizens in these three watersheds from awareness to action, but in putting these under-served watersheds on the map. We started our work in Proctor, Utoy, and Sandy Creek because they represent the most polluted tributaries of the Hooch in the metro Atlanta area and because they are home to previously underutilized constituencies in conservation and watershed protection work. We have been working with this constituency to help them change their reality of being the most overburdened with environmental stressors and pollution and the least represented at environmental decision making tables to being a citizenry recognized as being attentive and active on issues impacting their watersheds and communities.
  • Source: U.S. EPA (1996). All data from Landview III CD-ROM, 1992 census data.
  • Phsci talk updated

    1. 1. Presented By: Na’Taki Y. Osborne, MPH National Wildlife Federation West Atlanta Watershed Alliance Spelman College – Environmental Science & Studies Program Environmental Justice: A Tool for Reducing Environmental Health Threats in Low Income and Communities of Color
    2. 2. What is Environmental Racism?
    3. 3. Environmental Racism <ul><li>Encompasses any environmental policy, practice or directive that, intentionally or unintentionally, differentially impacts or disadvantages individuals, groups or communities based on race, color, or ethnicity. </li></ul><ul><li>It also refers to the exclusionary and restrictive practices that limit participation by people of color in decision-making boards, commissions and staff, and other regulating bodies. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Environmental Racism: Themes <ul><li>Disproportionate share of environmental exposures </li></ul><ul><li>Unequal protection under the law </li></ul><ul><li>Poor and unhealthy land use decisions & planning </li></ul><ul><li>Exclusion from decision-making process </li></ul>
    5. 5. Environmental Inequities Themes <ul><li>Inequitable distribution of benefits vs. risks and burdens </li></ul><ul><li>Discrimination in residential and development patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Poor land use practices and facility siting </li></ul><ul><li>Transport of hazardous materials through low-income neighborhoods </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of access to planning and decision making </li></ul><ul><li>Missing factors in design of impact assessments </li></ul><ul><li>Disparities in quality and quantity of services </li></ul><ul><li>Disparate access to information </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Bullard, 1998) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Disparate Outcomes: Issues to Consider <ul><li>Is the decision making process fair, equitable, and consistent? </li></ul><ul><li>Do the same rules apply to everyone? </li></ul><ul><li>Do decisions have regressive impacts? </li></ul><ul><li>Are some locations favored? </li></ul><ul><li>Who benefits and who pays? </li></ul><ul><li>Who makes the decisions for whom? (Bullard, 1998) </li></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>Everybody produces waste, but everybody does not live near waste facilities. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Environmental Justice: A Short History <ul><li>1968: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. travels to Memphis TN is support of striking black sanitation workers </li></ul><ul><li>1979: Houston TX lawsuit to keep landfill out of suburban black neighborhood </li></ul><ul><li>1982: Warren County NC struggle against a new PCB landfill </li></ul>
    9. 10. Environmental Justice: A Short History <ul><li>Late 80’s: Landmark study/statistical analyses on disproportionate burden of toxic land uses in communities of color – Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States </li></ul><ul><li>1991: First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>17 Principles of EJ created </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>EPA Office of Environmental Justice and NEJAC Created </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1994 Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-income Populations </li></ul><ul><li>Follow-up to landmark study released, Toxic Wastes and Race Revisited </li></ul><ul><li>2002: Second National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit </li></ul><ul><li>2007 – Toxic Wastes and Race at 25 </li></ul>
    10. 11. What Is Environmental Justice? <ul><li>Environmental Justice is the fair treatment of people of all races, incomes and cultures with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. </li></ul>
    11. 12. Fair treatment implies that no person or group of people should shoulder a disproportionate share of negative environmental impacts as a result of a country’s domestic or foreign policies.
    12. 13. What is Environmental Justice? According to EJ Activists <ul><li>The Environment as People: Environment is where we live, work, play, worship, and learn </li></ul><ul><li>Based on the premise that, “We speak for ourselves.” </li></ul><ul><li>Convergence of civil rights, environmentalism, and public health </li></ul><ul><li>Multicultural and Multi-ethnic </li></ul><ul><li>Grassroots </li></ul><ul><li>A global struggle </li></ul><ul><li>Focused on social justice and pollution prevention </li></ul>
    13. 14. Major Elements of EJ <ul><li>Equal enforcement of laws for all people </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying and eliminating discriminatory practices and policies </li></ul><ul><li>Addressing environmental and health disparities </li></ul><ul><li>Pollution prevention and right-to-know </li></ul><ul><li>Occupational safety and health </li></ul><ul><li>Community empowerment </li></ul><ul><li>Citizen involvement in decision making (Bullard, 1998) </li></ul>
    14. 15. Community Solutions to Environmental Injustices <ul><li>Grassroots Community Organizing </li></ul><ul><li>Community-based Participatory Research </li></ul><ul><li>Legislative Initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>Direct Action </li></ul><ul><li>Developing Partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Leveraging Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Education/Mobilization </li></ul>
    15. 16. Building Partnerships <ul><li>Community Empowerment Models </li></ul><ul><li>Grassroots Leadership Development </li></ul><ul><li>Hazard Reduction Plans </li></ul><ul><li>Citizen Monitoring/Citizen Science </li></ul><ul><li>Good Neighbor Agreements </li></ul><ul><li>Technical, Scientific, and Legal Assistance </li></ul>
    16. 17. Local Environmental Justice Case Study: Atlanta, GA
    17. 21. West Atlanta Watershed: Environmental Hazards <ul><li>2 Combined Sewer Overflow Outfall Facilities </li></ul><ul><li>Landfills </li></ul><ul><li>Wastewater Treatment Plants </li></ul><ul><li>Incinerators </li></ul><ul><li>CERCLA (Superfund) Hazardous Waste Sites </li></ul><ul><li>Diesel Truck Stops </li></ul><ul><li>Rail Yards </li></ul><ul><li>Rock Quarries </li></ul><ul><li>Concrete and Metal Recycling Facilities </li></ul><ul><li>Dilapidated Housing </li></ul><ul><li>Major Highways </li></ul><ul><li>Car Repair/Maintenance Shops </li></ul>
    18. 22. West Atlanta Watershed: High Health Burden <ul><li>Asthma and Other Respiratory Illnesses </li></ul><ul><li>Lead Poisoning </li></ul><ul><li>Cancer </li></ul><ul><li>Infant Mortality </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s Health Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Health is a function of multiple factors including overall urban ecology and cumulative exposures </li></ul>
    19. 23. The West Atlanta Watershed
    20. 26. A LEGACY OF INJUSTICE: THE ATLANTA SEWER SYSTEM <ul><li>Sanitation originally limited to the central business districts and adjacent upper class white neighborhoods </li></ul><ul><li>Waste was dumped in heavily populated neighborhoods and above water reservoirs of the poor </li></ul><ul><li>As the system expanded, it primarily serviced middle and upper class whites </li></ul>
    21. 27. THE PROBLEM WITH ATLANTAS COMBINED SEWERS. <ul><li>An overflow usually occurs during heavy rainfalls </li></ul><ul><li>Pollutants in the overflow can impair water quality of the receiving stream and affect aquatic life </li></ul><ul><li>Pollutants in the overflow can pose human health risks </li></ul>
    22. 28. CSOs AND DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS CSO 1-Mi. Radius Population % Black % White % Other Median Income Clear Creek 9,390 9.1 88.8 3.9 $54,551 Tanyard Branch 11,053 10.4 86.7 5.2 $50,899 North Avenue 5,948 80.5 18.4 2.9 $13,865 Greens-ferry 17,135 99.3 0.3 0.8 $15,718 Utoy Creek – North 12,561 98.2 1.6 0.3 $26,360
    23. 29. CSOs AND DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS Cont. CSO 1-Mi. Radius Population % Black % White % Other Median Income Utoy Creek – South 14,280 97.8 2.0 0.4 $28,256 McDaniel Street 16,077 93.3 6.3 1.1 $14,045 Custer Avenue 10,864 54.6 33.0 28.0 $25,098 Intrench-ment Creek 5,846 87.5 11.6 36.4 $22,422
    24. 30. 5 of 7 areas serviced by combined sewers are predominantly black communities
    25. 31. A Question of Environmental Racism?
    26. 32. National Environmental Justice Case Study: New Orleans, LA
    27. 38. Over the Years… New Orleans Communities have been plagued by the impacts of…
    28. 39. Environmental and health hazards
    29. 40. Water Pollution…
    30. 41. Air Pollution…
    31. 42. Today, the struggle continues…
    32. 50. 17 Principles of Environmental Justice <ul><li>1. Environmental justice affirms the sacredness of Mother Earth, ecological unity and the interdependence of all species, and the right to be free from ecological destruction. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Environmental justice demands that public policy be based on mutual respect and justice for all peoples, free from any form of discrimination or bias. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Environmental justice mandates the right to ethical, balanced and responsible uses of land and renewable resources in the interest of a sustainable planet for humans and other living things. </li></ul>
    33. 51. Principles of EJ Continued <ul><li>4. Environmental justice calls for universal protection from nuclear testing, extraction, production and disposal of toxic/hazardous wastes and poisons and nuclear testing that threaten the fundamental right to clean air, land, water, and food. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Environmental justice affirms the fundamental right to political, economic, cultural and environmental self-determination of all peoples . </li></ul><ul><li>6. Environmental justice demands the cessation of the production of all toxins, hazardous wastes, and radioactive materials, and that all past and current producers be held strictly accountable to the people for detoxification and the containment at the point of production. </li></ul>
    34. 52. The Principles... <ul><li>7. Environmental justice demands the right to participate as equal partners at every level of decision-making including needs assessment, planning, implementation, enforcement and evaluation. </li></ul><ul><li>8. Environmental justice affirms the right of all workers to a safe and healthy work environment, without being forced to choose between an unsafe livelihood and unemployment. It also affirms the right of those who work at home to be free from environmental hazards. </li></ul><ul><li>9. Environmental justice protects the right of victims of environmental injustice to receive full compensation and reparations for damages as well as quality health care. </li></ul>
    35. 53. EJ Principles Continued... <ul><li>10. Environmental justice considers governmental acts of environmental injustice a violation of international law, the Universal Declaration On Human Rights, and the United Nations Convention on Genocide. </li></ul><ul><li>11. Environmental justice must recognize a special legal and natural relationship of Native Peoples to the U.S. government through treaties, agreements, compacts, and covenants affirming sovereignty and self-determination. </li></ul><ul><li>12. Environmental justice affirms the need for urban and rural ecological policies to clean up and rebuild our cities and rural areas in balance with nature, honoring the cultural integrity of all our communities, and providing fair access for all to the full range of resources. </li></ul>
    36. 54. 17 Principles of EJ Cont... <ul><li>13. Environmental justice calls for the strict enforcement of principles of informed consent, and a halt to the testing of experimental reproductive and medical procedures and vaccinations on people of color. </li></ul><ul><li>14. Environmental justice opposes the destructive operations of multi-national corporations. </li></ul><ul><li>15. Environmental justice opposes military occupation, repression and exploitation of lands, peoples and cultures, and other life forms. </li></ul>
    37. 55. EJ Principles... <ul><li>16. Environmental justice calls for the education of present and future generations which emphasizes social and environmental issues, based on our experience and an appreciation of our diverse cultural perspectives. </li></ul><ul><li>17. Environmental justice requires that we, as individuals, make personal and consumer choices to consume as little of Mother Earth's resources and to produce as little waste as possible; and make the conscious decision to challenge and reprioritize our lifestyles to insure the health of the natural world for present and future generations. </li></ul><ul><li>Adopted today, October 27, 1991, in Washington, D.C. </li></ul>