The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines environmental justice as the following: “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” People are exposed to varying amounts risks and opportunities that may affect their ability to cope with and confront issues of environmental injustice. Some communities may be more vulnerable to environmental toxins than others.
A widely-publicized study from the University of Minnesota revealed that both race and class are indicative of one’s exposure to toxic pollutants. In the US, communities of color are almost 40% more likely to be exposed to air pollutants than their white counterparts. A health survey conducted in 2010 found that in the industrial corridor of West Eugene, 60% of residents detected air pollution in their communities. Large concentrations of Eugene’s low income residents and Latinos reside in this area. Furthermore, 1/3 of these residents rely on food stamps and 20-30% qualify as disabled. By raising awareness and empowering communities to take action on issues of environmental justice, Beyond Toxics works to find solutions that promote the well being of the environment and communities.
In order to raise awareness of environmental injustice, Beyond Toxics has put forth 2 efforts: The West Eugene Industrial Corridor Environmental Justice Project Environmental Justice Bus Tour
Won’t you join us in imagining, and working for, a world beyond toxics?
Beyond Toxics is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all contributions are fully tax-deductible. Please consider giving a gift of a Beyond Toxics membership to a friend or family member!