Previous Environmental Justice News 2017-2020

2017     2018     2019

He thinks we’re on the cusp of a green building boom 12-22-20

Growing up in a one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment, Donnel Baird and his family relied on a cooking stove for heat. Now, as cofounder and CEO of BlocPower, he strives to retrofit buildings across New York City with safer, greener, more efficient heating and cooling systems. Read more at Grist

The Forest Loses its Trees 12-15-20

California’s iconic giant sequoias, Joshua trees, and coast redwoods had resiliently survived centuries, weathering fires and droughts. They are among the oldest living things on earth. But this year’s massive wildfires, fueled by the climate crisis, burned four million acres of California and many of its majestic trees. Read more at Our Daily Planet

2020 Hurricane Season Winds Down After Record-Breaking Storms 12-01-20

As the 2020 hurricane season draws to a close, scientists are reflecting on the devastating records set by this year’s storms. Read more at Our Daily Planet

Once Called Naïve for His Focus on Returning Land to Black Farmers, Thomas Mitchell Is Now a MacArthur Genius 12-09-20

The call for African Americans to receive redress for the farmland they’ve lost to systemic racism has snowballed in recent years. Read more at Civil Eats

Mustafa Santiago Ali describes the path forward for environmental justice 12-03-20

Over the his 24-year career with the EPA, Santiago Ali helped lead the agency’s environmental justice programs, working to undo the toxic burden of pollution in minority, Indigenous and poor communities. Read more at High County News

Q&A: A young environmental justice leader on the value of getting youth of color into nature 11-24-20

“Before decisions are made we need to practice what we preach when we say that we stand for justice and equity.” Read more at Environmental Health News

Shingle Mountain 11-16-20

How a pile of toxic pollution was dumped in a community of color. Read more at The Washington Post

Here’s what it will take for Biden and Harris to deliver on environmental justice 11-11-20

Environmental justice featured more prominently in the 2020 election than it did in any other presidential election in U.S. history. Read more at Grist

Protection for the Rich, Retreat for the Poor 10-14-20

How the United States’ implementation of climate change adaptation programs is exacerbating inequality and breeding a new form of climate gentrification. Read more at Hakai Magazine

How Europe’s wood pellet appetite worsens environmental racism in the US South 10-05-20

An expanding wood pellet market in the Southeast has fallen short of climate and job goals—instead bringing air pollution, noise and reduced biodiversity in majority Black communities. Read more at The Daily Climate

Black Microbiologists Push for Visibility Amid a Pandemic 09-28-20

A week of talks, panels and discussions seeks to counter an impression “that this talent pool just does not exist.” Read more at The New York Times

Too many Americans live in ‘sacrifice zones.’ Let’s fix that 09-04-20

Coronavirus transmission rates may be down in New York City, but in the Bronx, my community is still facing the effects of three pandemics: COVID-19, white supremacy, and climate injustice. Read more at Grist

The rise of environmental justice 08-24-20

In the midst of a pandemic and an uprising for racial equity, advocates for communities of color near industrial facilities seize the moment. Read more at C&EN

Kamala Harris Brings Food Justice to the Democratic Ticket 08-18-20

As vice president, experts say Harris would be able to advance her years-long focus on hunger, worker rights and protections, and environmental justice. Read more at Civil Eats

Covid Killed New York’s Coastal Resilience Bill, and People of Color Could Bear Much of the Cost 08-16-20

The proposal would have provided $3 billion in funding to reduce flood risk linked to climate change. Read more at Inside Climate News

Kamala Harris goes big on environmental justice as Biden considers her as running mate 08-06-20

Conservative outside groups spent nearly a year airing ads in Michigan attacking Democratic Sen. Gary Peters and boosting his main Republican rival, John James. Read more at The Washington Post

John Lewis fought for equal protection. That means tackling pollution, poverty, and policing. 08-03-20

In the two months since George Floyd’s death at the hands of police, Americans have marched, protested, rallied, and spoken out about the need for systemic change. Read more at Grist

African-Americans are 75 percent more likely than others to live near facilities that produce hazardous waste. Can a grass-roots environmental-justice movement make a difference? 07-28-20 Read more at The New York Times

Exclusive: Kamala Harris to introduce comprehensive environmental justice bill in Senate 07-30-20

Fifteen years ago, Kamala Harris — San Francisco’s District Attorney at the time — created an environmental justice unit in her office. The goal was to go after the perpetrators of environmental crimes that were hurting some of the city’s poorest residents. Read more at Grist 

Minority groups more likely to have limited access to nature, new report finds 07-21-20

African Americans, Hispanics and other minority groups are three times more likely than whites to live in areas with limited access to nature, according to a new report from a pair of nonprofit advocacy groups. Read more at The Washington Post

Our racist fossil fuel energy system 07-13-20

The fossil fuel economy is killing Black Americans. Read more at The Boston Globe

‘The Wrong Complexion For Protection.’ How Race Shaped America’s Roadways And Cities 07-05-20

The highways and public spaces that shape our cities were often intentionally built at the expense of Black, Latino and other minority Americans. Read more at Northern Public Radio

National Economic Transition Platform 07-03-20

We envision a future where the communities hit hardest by the decline of the coal sector build locally driven, vibrant, inclusive, and resilient economies with thriving, locally owned businesses and quality,family-sustaining jobs. Click here for the full plan

Democrats Detail a Climate Agenda Tying Environment to Racial Justice 06-29-20

The policy road map, expected on Tuesday, could guide the party if it gains control of Congress and the White House in November. Read more at The New York Times

This plastics company is trying to stop Black residents from visiting a slave burial site on Juneteenth 06-18-20

A group of Black residents from St. James Parish, Louisiana, got the green light on Thursday to hold an hour-long Juneteenth prayer service on a burial plot containing the remains of formerly enslaved people. Read more at Grist

Climate Change Tied to Pregnancy Risks, Affecting Black Mothers Most 06-18-20

Women exposed to high temperatures or air pollution are more likely to have premature, underweight or stillborn babies, a look at 32 million U.S. births found. Read more at The New York Times

Across America, Five Communities in Search of Environmental Justice 06-17-20

From New York to Los Angeles, Minneapolis to the Gulf Coast, people of color suffer disproportionately from pollution, callous government and climate change. Read more at Inside Climate News

Earth scientists #ShutDownSTEM — and reckon with racism in their departments 06-16-20

By noon on June 10, the day of the Strike for Black Lives across higher education, nearly 6,000 scientists had signed a pledge to #ShutDownSTEM: to cancel their lab meetings, halt their research projects, and actively confront entrenched racism in academia. Read more at Grist

Why America Needs Environmental Justice 06-16-20

In recent weeks, our nation has been forced to come to grips with the variety of ways in which inequality harms minority communities. Read more at EcoWatch

Wait … Chevron said ‘black lives matter’? 06-12-20

As Americans took to the streets to protest police brutality and racism over the past two weeks, they found an unlikely ally: Big Oil. In public statements and notes to their staff, Shell, BP, and Chevron have all responded to the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. Read more at Grist

Inside Clean Energy: The Racial Inequity in Clean Energy and How to Fight It 06-11-20

The industry is growing, but jobs and financial benefits are not distributed equally. Read more at Inside Climate News


Minority areas already have high pollution. Trump’s coronavirus response makes it worse, critics say. 06-11-20

President Trump’s efforts to prop up the economy during the coronavirus pandemic may end up doing more harm than good for poor and minority neighborhoods facing chronic pollution, administration critics say. Read more at The Washington Post

The joys and challenges of exploring nature while black 06-10-20

The great outdoors isn’t always that “great” for people of color, whether that’s because of a lack of access, visibility, or acceptance. Read more at Grist

Fighting Climate Change Isn’t Just an Environmental Issue — it’s a Social Justice Issue Too 06-10-20

We constantly hear the narrative that climate change impacts us all. And while that’s true, the issue is disproportionately impacting people of color, especially Black, Latino, and Native Americans. And when it comes to environmental justice, we just aren’t talking about social equity enough. Read more at EcoWatch

Hurricanes disproportionately harm communities of color. TV news ignores that fact. 06-05-20

When Hurricane Florence slammed into southeastern North Carolina in September 2018, the worst-hit communities were already dealing with a litany of hazards: poverty, pollution from coal ash ponds and lagoons filled with livestock wastechemicals in the drinking water, not to mention many were still in the process of rebuilding after Hurricane Matthew tore through two years earlier. Read more at Grist

‘Another Blow to the Black Community’: Trump Waives Environmental Law That Gives Public a Voice in Infrastructure Projects 06-05-20

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday mandating federal agencies bypass key environmental reviews of energy and infrastructure projects. Read more at EcoWatch 

Why racial justice is climate justice 06-04-20

The worst disasters are never colorblind. Read more at Grist

As Protests Rage Over George Floyd’s Death, Climate Activists Embrace Racial Justice 06-03-20

Friends of the Earth tweeted #BlackLivesMatter, and the head of the NRDC promised “to be fully and visibly committed to the fight against systemic racism.” Read more at Inside Climate News

The Energy 202: Green groups back protesters. But they’re grappling with how best to address their own issues with race 06-02-20

Green groups are expressing full-throated support for demonstrators protesting the killing of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis police custody — even as they struggle with their own long-standing issues with addressing racial inequality and a lack of diversity in their ranks. Read more at The Washington Post

#BlackBirdersWeek Takes on Systemic Racism 06-02-20

Sheridan Alford’s love of bird-watching stems from a simple fact: “Anybody can do it.” Read more at Grist

Flooding disproportionately harms black neighborhoods 06-02-20

When Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas in 2017, the neighborhood that suffered the worst flood damage was a section of southwest Houston where 49% of the residents are nonwhite. Read more at E&E News

We Don’t farm Because it’s Trendy; We Farm as Resistance, for Healing and Sovereignty 05-27-20

Farming is not new to Black people. Read more at Environmental Health News

A Jail Built on a Landfill is at the Center of America’s Coronavirus Outbreak 04-08-20

New York City is the epicenter of the country’s COVID-19 outbreak — and perhaps nowhere is that outbreak more dangerous than in the city’s most notorious jail complex: Rikers Island. Read more at Grist

Report: Utilities are less likely to replace lead pipes in low-income communities of color 03-12-20

Aging water infrastructure needs constant attention and investment to ensure safety for everyone — especially if the U.S. wants to avoid another Flint water crisis. Read more at Grist

5 Women Environmental Leaders You Should Know 03-06-20

Women have long been at the forefront of the effort to protect the earth and its creatures. Some of them, like Greta Thunberg and Jane Goodall, are household names. Read more at EcoWatch

House Democrats Roll out Environmental Justice Bill 02-28-20

Low-income and minority communities are particularly vulnerable to the climate crisis. Read more at EcoWatch

Racism and ecological injustice combine in ‘reckless, racist’ Atlantic Coast Pipeline fight 02-03-20

Although it is not new, under the current administration, powerful and wealthy corporations are given free rein to despoil and destroy our sacred and treasured lands. Read more at NBC News 

Environmental Justice Is Not Merely a Box to Be Checked’ 01-23-20

When concerns about a pipeline were dismissed by regulators, a rural black enclave went to court — and won. Read more at The New York Times

‘Important Victory’ for Historic Black Community Over the Atlantic Coast Pipeline 01-08-30

A historic African American community in Virginia has dealt another blow to the embattled Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Read more at EcoWatch

New York’s ambitious climate and environmental justice laws are in effect. Here’s what’s next. 01-06-20

New York state’s landmark climate legislation has finally reached the finish line after a four-year marathon through Albany. And that means it’s reached the starting line for the state’s race to net-zero emissions. Read more at Grist 


The Stink and Injustice of Life Next to an Industrial Hog Farm 12-20-19

Will the world’s leading pork producer be held responsible for making life unbearable in rural Southern communities? Read more at The Nation

‘We’re just waiting to die’: the black residents living on top of a toxic landfill site 12-11-19

In the 1980s, black New Orleanians were encouraged to buy houses built by the city on top of a toxic landfill. Three decades later it is one of Louisiana’s worst cancer hotspots, but residents of Gordon Plaza are still fighting to be relocated . Read more at The Guardian

The disturbing link between environmental racism and criminalization 12-09-19

How powerful institutions are criminalizing populations by locking people up and deeming them undeserving of clean air, water and healthy housing. Read more at Environmental Health News

A (Proposed) Pipeline Runs Through It 12-03-19

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would divide mountains, farmland, and sacred Native American land along its 600-mile route, but it’s uniting a diverse community of activists determined to halt its progress. Read more at bioGraphic

Tracing water, memory and change through Black experiences along and near Pennsylvania’s Route 65 11-21-19

Talking to Black residents living in communities along and near Route 65 about where they live and their experiences in these places, in the context of their connections to water. Read more at Environmental Health News

Providence shows other cities how environmental justice is done 11-01-19

This Spring, right before Earth Day, New York City passed its very own Green New Deal — an ambitious plan for eliminating carbon emissions by 2050. Los Angeles launched its own plan with the same name and goal just a few weeks later Read more at Grist

Environmental Racism and Dominion Energy 10-31-19

A textbook example of environmental racism has unfolded in Union Hill, Virginia. Read more at Getting More on the Ground

The Stark Inequality of Climate Change 10-17-19

As Hurricane Florence moved across the Atlantic in early September of 2018, state officials issued evacuation orders for communities along the Virginia and Carolina coasts. Read more at The New Times

Elizabeth Warren debuts ambitious plan to tackle environmental racism 10-09-19

Contender’s proposal builds on her platform to fight climate crisis by investing $3tn in next decade to combat global heating. Read more at The Guardian

‘Can You Imagine People Ignoring All This If We Were White?’ 09-30-19

Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, has served Collegeville, a predominantly Black neighborhood, for 115 years. Today, the church is dealing with a new era of injustice: Its historic neighborhood sits on toxic land. Read more at Scalawag Magazine

Inaction is Unjust: A Story of Wind, the NIMBY Effect, & Environmental Justice 09-21-19

Americans know that we need to take action on climate change. Around 70% of us are worried about climate change. Read more at RCC

The fight for environmental justice in America’s segregated cities 09-06-19

‘Abolitionist climate justice’ is an evolving movement that aims to tackle the disparate effects of climate change across race and class Read more at Geographical

CODE RED 09-02-19

Baltimore’s Climate Divide

URBAN HEAT ISLANDS VIVIDLY ILLUSTRATE the price humans will pay in the world’s growing climate crisis. With an abundance of concrete and little shade, they get hotter faster and stay hotter longer. And the people who live there are often sicker, poorer and less able to protect themselves. Read more at HOWARD CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM | CNS | NPR

How Workers Can Demand Climate Justice 09-02-19

A Bargaining for the Common Good approach to the climate crisis

As Greenland experiences a record melt, Europe recovers from record-breaking heat, California braces for another fire season, and Puerto Rico still struggles to rebuild nearly two years after Hurricane Maria, it is becoming ever clearer how profoundly the climate crisis is changing everything, and how imperative it is that we act now if we hope to avert an existential disaster. Read more at The American Prospect

The Energy 202: Here’s why Newark’s lead crisis is different 08-21-19

For more than a week, thousands of Newark, N.J. residents have been lining up, enduring midday summer heat, and waiting for free bottled water. Read more at The Washington Post

New Trump Admin Plan for Bears Ears National Monument ‘Recklessly Weakens Protections’ 07-29-19

Conservation groups and congressional Democrats slammed the Trump administration Friday over its destructive new management plan for the “illegally reduced” Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. Read more EcoWatch

Farmers and Ranchers Head to DC to Level the Playing Field 07-19-19

Saying they’ve endured years of unfair contracts, discrimination, and retaliation from a handful of big companies that control the industry, farmers and ranchers are asking USDA to enforce the GIPSA rules. Read more at Civil Eats

‘We won’: Environmental activists claim victory after Detroit incinerator closes 07-09-19

Citing poor air quality and environmental racism, residents of the majority Black neighborhood surrounding the plant had long fought for its closure.  Read more at Energy News Network

A New Produce Warehouse in Los Angeles Will Prevent Millions of Pounds of Food Waste 06-27-19

Food Forward’s new Produce Pit Stop will bring fresh food to more people in need in eight Southern California counties, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Read more at Civil Eats

How a Top Chicken Company Cut Off Black Farmers, One by One 06-26-19

The Trump administration has weakened legal protections for farmers and eased off enforcing rules on powerful meat companies. Read more at ProPublica

Why Low-Income Households Need to Be Part of the Clean Energy Revolution 06-16-19

Tony Reames focuses his work on the growing energy divide between rich & poor Americans and talks about why it is important to give low-income communities better access to affordable clean energy technologies. Read more at Yale Environment 360

No, climate action can’t be separated from social justice 06-11-19

Elites who divorce climate policy from social justice are almost as out of touch as those who deny climate science altogether Read more at The Guardian

CNN ran a ‘climate justice’ segment and this is progress 05-31-19

Now that climate change is finally becoming a thing on cable news, networks also seem to be catching on to the existence of climate injustice. Read more at Grist

Why Racial Disparities in Asthma Are an Urban Planning Issue 05-20-19

African-Americans are three times more likely to die from asthma as whites. In Philadelphia and elsewhere, how can outcomes improve with changes to housing quality and pollution control? Read more at Next City

Natural Disasters Are Getting Worse. People With the Least Power Are Most at Risk. 04-25-19

The federal government estimated in Oct. that there were nearly $1.3 billion in immediate and direct timber damages in Florida’s panhandle. Read more at The Center for Public Integrity

A highway runs through it 04-17-19

Inside the push to tear down an Oakland freeway. When a government official takes a reporter out to see some concrete colossus, it’s usually to show it off. Not this time. Read more at Grist

The Farmworkers Who Pick Your Halo Mandarins Just Organized a Massive Labor Strike 04-08-19

Nearly 1,800 fruit pickers—many undocumented—spontaneously walked out of The Wonderful Company’s citrus orchards earlier this year to oppose a pay cut and third-party labor contracts. Read more at Civil Eats

Duo say organic farming can boost rural jobs, environment and health 04-1-19

Bob Quinn and Liz Carlisle believe there’s a way to revive Montana’s struggling rural economies, preserve good soil and save lives at the same time: organic, sustainable farming of nutritious foods. Read more at the Missoulian

‘They chose us because we were rural and poor’: when environmental racism and climate change collide 03-08-19

The environmental movement has a long history in America’s south – yet people of color and impoverished communities continue to face dangerous pollution. Read more at The Guardian

Breathing while Black or Latino in California is disproportionately hazardous to your health 02-26-19

It’s no secret that communities living near big polluters have worse air quality than other neighborhoods, but it’s been trickier to get a grasp on the impact of emissions from moving sources of pollution like cars and trucks. Read more at Grist

Al Gore, civil rights leader William Barber call on Northam to seek forgiveness through action 02-21-19

The little front porch seemed like a pulpit as the Rev. William Barber II outlined a path to redemption for Virginia’s troubled governor, Ralph Northam. Read more at The Washington Post

Why It’s Crucial to Get More Women Into Science 02-16-19

Amid growing signs that gender bias has affected research outcomes and damaged women’s health, there’s a new push to make science more relevant to them. Read more at National Geographic

Solar-Power Benefits Aren’t Reaching Communities of Color 01-30-19

A new study in Nature Sustainability finds racial and ethnic disparities in rooftop solar adoption, even controlling for income and homeownership. Rear more at Citylab

Trump’s border wall would trample on indigenous land and culture 01-24-19

The boundary between the United States and Mexico cuts not only through desert terrain and pristine wilderness, but also indigenous territory. Specifically, the territory of the Tohono O’odham Nation, which is located in both countries. Read more at Grist

“All Life is Interrelated”: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Environmental Justice Legacy 01-18-19

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is remembered for his powerful civil rights legacy and his nonviolent protests that inspired half a century of peaceful protest in support of equality. As a visionary orator and leader, he shepherded the movement against segregation and racism in the 1950s and 1960s that transformed America. Read more at National Wildlife Federation


The Interior Department Is Sidelining Environmental Justice 11-13-18

In early September, DOI quietly rescinded two memos that provided guidance on protecting vulnerable communities and Native American sacred sites. In early September, DOI quietly rescinded two policy memos that provided specific guidance on how to implement principles of environmental justice. Read more at The Investigative Fund

A Just Recovery is the Only Way Forward in North Carolina 10-09-18

Thousands of families and communities in North Carolina are still reeling from the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

Those hardest hit by the storm are dealing with threats to their immediate and long-term survival. As North Carolinians and co-conveners of the North Carolina Climate Justice Collective, we’ve been partnering with frontline communities across our state and know their leadership is key to ensuring that recovery moves beyond quick fixes and media sound bites. Read more at Climate Justice Alliance

Environmental Negligence vs. Civil Rights: Black and Hispanic Communities Get More Pollution, Fewer Jobs 10-02-18

One of President Donald Trump‘s stated justifications for rolling back environmental regulations has been to bring back jobs in highly-polluting industries like coal.

But a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of SciencesMonday found that, for “communities of racial/ethnic minorities,” welcoming polluting industries for the sake of employment is a tradeoff that doesn’t make any sense. Blacks and Hispanics in the U.S. are both less frequently employed at industrial facilities and more likely to be exposed to toxic air pollution from these sites. Read more at EcoWatch

‘A light waiting ahead’: Students displaced by Hurricane Harvey return to their schools, if not their homes 09-18-18

The smell of fresh paint lingers in the hallways of C.E. King Middle School. The floors are newly tiled. The choir room, which Hurricane Harvey’s floods turned into a four-foot-deep and moldy swimming pool a year ago, gleams with new carpeting. Read more at The Washington Post

How can we address the effects of climate change on communities of color? 08-13-18

Climate change is a massive, complex, globe-spanning issue that affects every facet of our lives. And like most problems at its scale, it’s bound to affect the poor and people of color most significantly. Read more at The Miami Herald

800 Miles with Bears Ears Prayer Runners 08-08-18

Amid a frenzied conversation over shrinking public lands, Native Americans run hundreds of miles to honor—and take back—the land that’s sacred to them

Everyone ran the final miles to Bears Ears National Monument together. It was a sunny, blue-sky day in March, and 45 pairs of feet shuffled down a road of soft red dirt, kicking up a dust cloud. Read more at Outside

Smithfield Foods Ordered To Pay Millions In Damages To Neighbors Of Hog Farms 08-04-18

The North Carolina farms “generate many times more sewage than entire towns.”A federal jury decided Friday that the world’s largest pork producer should pay $473.5 million to neighbors of three North Carolina industrial-scale hog farms for unreasonable nuisances they suffered from odors, flies and rumbling trucks. Read more at Huffington Post

Green Upgrade: How California Is Pioneering ‘Energy Justice’ 07-30-18

California has the world’s 4th largest greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program, which raises billions of dollars for the state. Some of that revenue is being used to bringing renewable power and energy efficiency to some of the state’s most disadvantaged communities. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Being Black in America Can Be Hazardous to Your Health 07-10-18

In Baltimore and other segregated cities, the life-expectancy gap between African Americans and whites is as much as 20 years. One young woman’s struggle shows why.Read more at The Atlantic

Black Churches, Powerful Cultural Forces, Set Their Sights on Food Security 07-09-18

The Baltimore-based Black Church Food Security Network is building a community-centered food system to combat ‘food apartheid’ by connecting Black farmers with historically African-American churches. Read more at Civil Eats

What Fossil Fuels and Factory Farms Have in Common 05-30-18

Hint: They’re both issues of environmental injustice.

In 2008, Cabot Oil and Gas started fracking operations inDimock, Pennsylvania. It was around that time the community started noticing their water was turning brown and making people and animals sick. One woman’s water well exploded.Fracking had come to town. Read more at Yes! Magazine

North Carolina is launching an environmental justice advisory board 05-18-18

The state hopes to reckon with its long history of environmental injustices.

In 1973, the state of North Carolina made plans to dump 31,000 gallons of the highly-carcinogenic compound polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) in a landfill built in Shocco, a rural town in the northeastern part of the state. Read more at Think Progress

In The South, A New Environmental Movement Seeks To Put Justice First 05-11-18

“The voices of resistance of those most directly impacted are not always being heard.”

When Danna Smith spots an old, gnarled tree in the forest wetlands of the South, she sees a plant that gives life. But she says the wood pellet industry doesn’t see it that way and that for them these twisted trees are “waste wood” and fair game to harvest. Read more at Huffington Post

Giant Hog Farms Are Fighting for the Right to Keep Polluting. The Trump Administration Is on Their Side. 05-05-18

“This industry in particular has incredible influence over all levels of government.”

If you enjoy bacon or ham, chances are you’ve eaten pork from North Carolina, where about 16 million hogs—10 percent of the US total—are raised each year. The great bulk of that production takes place in a handful of counties on the state’s coastal plain. Read more at Mother Jones

Environmental justice groups reach settlement with DEQ over federal complaint, hog farms 05-03-18

The NC Department of Environmental Quality has settled a long-standing federal civil rights complaint that environmental and community groups had filed with the EPA.

The Waterkeeper Alliance, NC Environmental Justice Network and REACH (Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help) filed the complaint in September 2014, the complaint alleged that the state’s general permitting process for swine farms disproportionately burdens communities of color. Read more at NC Policy Watch

EPA Violated the Law by Failing to Investigate Civil Rights Complaints, Court Rules 04-03-18

A court ruled today that the Environmental Protection Agency violated its duty to respond to civil rights complaints in a timely way. The case involved five organizations that had waited years for the EPA to respond to complaints filed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, creed, or color. Read more at The Intercept

Native American tribes come together to protect Bears Ears from Trump 03-23-18

This story was originally published by HuffPost and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Members of the Native American tribes that once came together to petition for the creation of Bears Ears National Monument gathered near the site Sunday to share stories about their connections to the sprawling landscape that the Trump administration recentlystripped of certain federal protections. Read more at Grist

Putting a Face on the Rural Fight Against Corporate Farms 03-20-18

The Western Organization of Resource Councils has been an unrelenting grassroots critic of Big Ag for decades. Now its members want to enlist urban eaters in the fight. Read more at Civil Eats

The Environmental and Human Cost of Making a Pair of Jeans 03-08-18

Americans do love their denim, so much so that the average consumer buys four pairs of jeans a year. In China’s Xintang province, a hub for denim, 300 million pairs are made annually. Just as staggering is the brew of toxic chemicals and hundreds of gallons of water it takes to dye and finish one pair of jeans. The resulting environmental damage to rivers, ecosystems and communities in China, Bangladesh and India is the subject of a new documentary called The RiverBlue: Can Fashion Save the Planet?. Read more at EcoWatch

Strike a Deal 03-05-18

The 48th lowest-earning teachers in the country are eight days into a strike that demands a 5 percent pay raise. They’re frustrated by rising health care costs and, y’know, working at Hardee’s on the weekends to make ends meet. Read more at Grist

Pollution, Race and the Search for Justice 03-05-18

African-Americans are more likely to live near landfills and industrial plants that pollute water and air and erode quality of life. Because of this, more than half of the 9 million people living near hazardous waste sites are people of color, and black Americans are three times more likely to die from exposure to air pollutants than their white counterparts. Read more at EcoWatch

Africatown, A Small Historically Black Town Fighting a Billion Dollar Company That’s Devastating Its Community with Toxic Waste 02-25-18

In the spring of 1860, a year before the Civil War, a wealthy Alabama shipbuilder and plantation owner named Timothy Meaher chose to toy with the escalating tensions between North and South by making a despicable wager. Read more at Atlanta Black Star

In 46 States, People Of Color Deal With More Air Pollution Than White People Do, Study Finds 02-22-18

The study adds to years of research suggesting that people of color encounter the most air pollution in the US, increasing their risk of asthma, heart disease, and other illnesses.

People of color face more air pollution than white people, and black people bear the biggest environmental burden of any group, according to a new study by EPA scientists. Read more at BuzzFeedNews

Remember the legacy of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Florida environmentalist 02-15-18

The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has thrust Douglas’ name into the headlines this week as the nation grapples with the tragic and violent deaths of 17 people. But the events now bearing her name are the antithesis of Douglas’ legacy of protecting the life and landscape of Florida. Read more at Grist


Dr. King’s Interconnected World 12-22-17

Fifty years ago Sunday — Christmas Eve 1967 — the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood in his pulpit at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and told the congregation that in order to achieve peace on earth, “we must develop a world perspective,” a vision for the entire planet. Read more at The New York Times

Critics highlight Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s environmental justice impact 12-1-17

On September 15, 1982, high-profile protests over the siting of a toxic waste dump in Afton, North Carolina – an overwhelmingly African American town an hour northeast of Raleigh – set in motion a wave of reforms to prevent polluters from targeting people of color and the poor. Read more at Southeast Energy News

Analysis: The metabolic legacy of environmental injustice 11-20-17

We need to address the disproportionate exposures of African Americans and Latinos to diabetes-promoting chemicals

The impacts of racism and segregation continue to reverberate in the health of communities of color—and one of the starkest disparities is in diabetes rates.

Strikingly, a growing body of research suggests that toxics may be partly to blame. Read more at Environmental Health News

Analysis: The metabolic legacy of environmental injustice 11-20-17

We need to address the disproportionate exposures of African Americans and Latinos to diabetes-promoting chemicals

The impacts of racism and segregation continue to reverberate in the health of communities of color—and one of the starkest disparities is in diabetes rates. Read more at Environmental Health News

Peak Pig: The fight for the soul of rural America 11-13-17

In North Carolina, hog workers are Guinea pigs of antibiotic resistance and the state’s industry titans consistently battle with neighbors in court. In Iowa, a bipartisan undercurrent of rebellion is pushing for local control and a re-imagining of 21stCentury farm life. Read more at Environmental Health News

Despite Some Progress, Poultry Workers Still Face Workplace Woes 10-23-17

As the poultry industry pushes for faster line speeds, advocates take stock of improvements and challenges. Read more at Civil Eats

Big Food Is Worried About Millennials Avoiding Animal Products 10-17-17

Hundreds of leaders from fast-food chains, marketing agencies and poultry production companies recently gathered in North Carolina for the 2017 Chicken Marketing Summit to play golf and figure out how to make you eat more animals. Read more at EcoWatch

Deaths of farmworkers in cow manure ponds put oversight of dairy farms into question 09-24-17

Alberto Navarro Munoz had been working on the farm for only two weeks when he encountered one of the most gruesome hazards that a dairy worker can face. His tractor tipped over into a pit of cow manure, submerging the Mexican native under several feet of a “loose thick somewhat liquid-like substance,” according to the police report documenting his death in southern Idaho Read more at The Washington Post

Hurricane Irma’s Overlooked Victims: Migrant Farm Workers Living at the Edge 10-17-17

Hurricane Irma knocked millions of dollars worth of oranges and grapefruits to the ground. Its high winds mowed down thousands of acres of sugarcane, toppled nursery plants, and decimated the avocado crop.

The damage will cost the state’s agricultural industry billions, but for the migrant workers who pick these crops and work in the fields, the storm means real hardship that will test lives already on the edge. Read more at Inside Climate News

How Environmental Justice Got Attacked in 100 days 09-26-17

Environmental justice (EJ) is at the nexus of many issues and institutions the Trump administration has promised to dismantle—climate science, environmental protections, and industrial regulation. Click here to read full article

Crumbling pipes, tainted water plague black communities 08-14-17

Deep in the winding mass of crumbling back streets in Campti, Leroy Hayes sets a glass of water from his faucet in a patch of sunlight on the railing of his porch and watches specks of sediment float to the top.

Hayes said the town’s water system has been bad for years, with water often coming out brown and smelling like bleach. The family uses bottled water for drinking and cooking and often has to drive to the city of Natchitoches, 11 miles away, to wash their clothes. The Campti water leaves their clothes with a yellowish tint.

“Don’t nobody drink that mess,” Hayes said. Read more at NEWS21

Justice for All 06-05-17

As Trump ignores enviro justice, congressional reps step up.

Grist 50-er Nanette Diaz Barragán of California, Pramila Jayapal of Washington, and Donald McEachin of Virginia introduced a package of bills aimed at ensuring communities disproportionately effected by climate change, pollution, and environmental contamination are not forgotten. Read more at Grist

Paramilitary security tracked and targeted DAPL opponents as “jihadists,” docs show 06-01-17

As people nationwide rallied last year to support the Standing Rock Sioux’s attempts to block the Dakota Access Pipeline, a private security firm with experience fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan launched an intrusive military-style surveillance and counterintelligence campaign against the activists and their allies, according to internal company documents. Read more at Grist

Chief Environmental Justice Official at EPA Resigns, With Plea to Pruitt to Protect Vulnerable Communities 03-18-17

The head of the environmental justice program at the Environmental Protection Agency has stepped down, departing the government with a lengthy letter to Scott Pruitt, the EPA’s new administrator, urging him not to kill the agency’s programs. Read more at Inside Climate News.

‘Just racist’: EPA cuts will hit black and Hispanic communities the hardest 03-03-17

Planned cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency are set to fall heaviest upon communities of color across the US that already suffer disproportionately from toxic pollution, green groups have warned. Read more at The Guardian.