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5 Things To Know About Communities Of Color And 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” Dr. Robert Bullard

5 Things To Know About Communities Of Color And Environmental Justice Jasmine Bell, Center for American Progress, 4/25/16

1. Communities of color have higher exposure rates to air pollution than their white, non-Hispanic counterparts. A Yale University study found that non-Hispanic whites had the lowest exposure rates for 11 of the 14 pollutants monitored in the study. Meanwhile, Hispanics had the highest exposure rates for 10 out of the 14 pollutants, and African Americans had higher exposure rates than whites for 13 out of the 14 pollutants. Some of the pollutants studied have been connected to asthma, cardiovascular issues, lung disease, and cancer. For example, a case study of The Bronx, New York, found that individuals who lived close to noxious industrial facilities and waste sites were 66 percent more likely to be hospitalized for asthma. Significantly, these same individuals were 13 percent more likely to be people of color.

2. Landfills, hazardous waste sites, and other industrial facilities are most often located in communities of color. A report titled “Toxic Waste and Race at Twenty” reviewed data collected over a 20-year time period and found that more than half of the people who live within 1.86 miles of toxic waste facilities in the United States are people of color. A report by the Center for Effective Government found that people of color are nearly twice as likely as white residents to live within a fenceline zone of an industrial facility. These facilities contribute to air pollution, safety issues, and health concerns.

3. Lead poisoning disproportionately affects children of color. Children of color who live in urban areas are at the highest risk for lead poisoning caused by lead-based paint. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that 11.2 percent of African American children and 4.0 percent of Mexican-American children are poisoned by lead, compared with 2.3 percent of white children. Lead poisoning can result in a wide range of health problems, such as anemia, seizures, and brain development issues. Even with the restrictions on lead paint usage, children of color who live in low-income communities continue to suffer the most. For example, a 2004 report revealed that African American children and Hispanic children in Chicago were 12 times and 5 times more likely to be poisoned, respectively, than white children.

4. Climate change disproportionately affects low-income communities and communities of color. The effects of climate change, such as extreme weather conditions, have devastating consequences for communities of color and low-income communities. These extreme weather events can displace residents and even cause death. In the aftermath of such disasters, efforts of city officials to rebuild communities of color and low-income communities are often inadequate compared to efforts to rebuild higher-income and white communities. Perhaps the most powerful example of this inequity is the communities of color in New Orleans that were affected by Hurricane Katrina. Black homeowners received $8,000 less in government aid than white homeowners due to disparities in housing values. In 2013, about 80 percent of the mostly black residents of the city’s Lower 9th Ward had not returned to their community due to inadequate building efforts. 

5. Water contamination plagues low-income areas and communities of color across the nation. Studies have documented limited access to clean water in low-income communities of color. Water contamination has largely affected children of color who live in rural areas, indigenous communities, and migrant farmworker communities. Contaminated water can cause an abundance of health-related issues, particularly for young children. Depending on the contaminant, possible health problems can include waterborne diseases, blood disorders, and cancer. Indigenous people of the Navajo Nation, for example, have suffered for years from water contamination due in part to the residual effects of uranium mining in the region during the 1950s, as well as the recent Gold King Mine toxic spill. In St. Joseph, Louisiana, residents are forced to live on water that is tinted brown and yellow but that the state continues to claim is safe to drink. African Americans make up three-quarters of the town’s population and nearly 40 percent of the residents live in poverty.

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Featured

Annual Member’s Appreciation Picnic – September 15th 11am – 3pm

Sunday, September 15, 11am – 3pm, at East Bay Regional Parks’  Lake Temescal Streamside Picnic Area, 6502 Broadway Terrace, Oakland, CA. Directions

Join us for a day of BBQ, lawn games, networking, frisbee and more! Family, kids, friends and dogs welcome!

The event is free to members – NCRA will provide all food and drink!  Non-members are encouraged to chip in $5; no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

RSVP by 9/10/19.

Need a ride? We can help, just let us know.

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Tri-CED Tour and Board Meeting, August 22

TRI-CED TOUR AND BOARD MEETING, AUGUST 22

For the past 25 years, non-profit Tri-CED has been recycling urban household waste and yard debris and managing a buy-back recycling center under contracts with the Cities of Union City and Hayward. The direct benefits to the community and the culture of Tri-CED’s recycling activities are enhanced by employment and job training opportunities for low-income residents of the community.

The tour starts at 4pm at Tri-CED in Union City and the Dinner/Board Meeting is at 6pm at the City of Fremont Development Services Center, Niles Conference Room. Registrants do not need to attend both, but NCRA staff will follow-up with attendees to determine attendance at Meeting/Dinner. Register

Note: Due to the CRRA Conference in mid-August, the monthly meeting is one week later then usual.

 

 

August Legislative Report

By Doug Brooms, ZWAC Co-Chair
NCRA Letters of support for the following 13 State Bills have been re-addressed and sent to the Appropriations Committee Chairs, via the online CA Legislature Position Letter Portal, (FYI, individuals are also welcome to submit letters.) Generic versions of the NCRA support letters are available at the website.

AB 142 Garcia, Cristina D Lead-acid Battery Recycling
AB 161 Ting D “Skip the Slip” paper receipts on request
AB 187 Garcia, Cristina D Used Mattress Recovery and Recycling Act
AB 614 Eggman D “Farm to Food Bank” tax credit
AB 729 Chu D Carpet recycling: Carpet stewardship
AB 792 Ting D Recycling: Plastic beverage containers: Minimum recycled content
AB 827 McCarty D Solid waste: Commercial and organic waste: Recycling bins
AB 1080 Gonzalez D (SB 54) CA Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act
AB 1162 Kalra D Lodging establishments: Personal care products: Small plastic bottles
AB 1583 Eggman D The California Recycling Market Development Act
AB 1718 Levine (SB 8) Smoking Ban for State Parks and Beaches
SB 8 Glazer (AB 1718) Smoking Ban for State Parks and Beaches
SB 54 Allen D (AB 1080) CA Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act

Remaining key dates:

Aug 12 – Legislature reconvenes
Aug 30 – Last day for bills to pass Appropriations
Sept 6 – Last day to amend on the floor
Sept 13 – Last day for each house to pass bills, final recess upon adjournment
Oct 13 – Last day for Governor to sign or veto bills
Jan 1 – Statutes take effect
Jan 6 – Legislature reconvenes

Your comments are welcome!