Environmental Justice Campaign

EPA-EJ_ReportCoverGraphic-250pxWLisa Arkin interviewed on Jefferson Public Radio’s “Jefferson Exchange”

Find out about the latest EJ Task Force meeting–>>



Majora Carter on the Connection Between Race, Class, Environment and Health

In close partnership with Centro Latino Americano Beyond Toxics launched the West Eugene Industrial Corridor Environmental Health Project. The project grew out of concerns expressed from neighbors in the area of West Eugene immediately downwind from a (then) proposed biomass energy plant, which is now operating and burning forest by-products. These affected neighborhoods have higher percentages of minority, elderly, disabled and poverty level residents. Furthermore, these families are disproportionally affected by higher concentrations of industrial air pollutants from surrounding industrial sources. This collaborative project received two Environmental Justice grants from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); the first grant in 2010 was one of only six awarded in the entire Northwest.

  • Read Joel Iboa’s blog posts, “Who are YOUth?” and “Near Nightmare on Roosevelt Boulevard.”
  • History
    In the summer of 2010, Beyond Toxics employed five canvassers to go door-to-door to gather data about environmental health issues that concern residents. See our report to the EPA. According to preliminary results, neighbors believe that they have been exposed to cumulative multiple air pollutants and suffer health consequences because of the effect of cumulative pollution. The issue The environmental issue that we seek to address is air pollution from industrial and transportation sources in the Industrial Corridor of West Eugene, an area that is home to higher densities of low-income residents, many of whom are Latino families. According to the EPA EnviroMapper, fifty air and toxic release sites and two Superfund sites are listed within the nine square mile area of West Eugene. The Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area is located at the southern end of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The area is dubbed “the toe of the sock” because it is cupped by mountains on the south, east and west sides. Frequent air stagnations caused by topographical barriers and wind patterns result in the accumulation of local pollution and wind-borne air pollution from other larger metropolitan areas up the valley (Portland-Beaverton and Salem-Keizer).

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Community Partners:

  • Active Bethel Citizens
  • Bethel School District
  • Centro LatinoAmericano
  • Exito Magazine

Action
Beyond Toxics, through the work of this project, is actively encouraging area residents to take part in proactive solutions they feel will improve their health. As part of our educational outreach, we are organizing several asthma awareness workshops in the West Eugene area to help residents learn of the dangers of asthma to their families and especially to children who are more vulnerable to pollution. We are collecting data, mapping relationships between air pollution sources and families with asthma and organizing community responses. (See the latest slide show )

Purpose of the project
Enhance the community’s understanding of environmental pollutants.
Improve the community’s ability to communicate their environmental health concerns.
Mobilize community and business partnerships to help minority and low-income neighborhoods reduce their exposure to toxics.

This environmental justice project promises to create a new era of cooperation between environmental groups and those working for social justice in the Willamette Valley.

MORE:

2012 EJ Bus Tour Info.



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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!