Eugene, nationally recognized as a bike city, a community near nature and a place where we value sustainability, would not normally attract attention around environmental human rights and justice issues. Which is why for one day, Beyond Toxics and Centro LatinoAmericano invited city and agency officials, students and community leaders on an environmental justice bus tour to West Eugene where we got the opportunity to see how families live through the lens of “environmental justice”.
Executive Director Lisa Arkin and I made the three hour drive to Medford, Oregon to give an Asthma Care Workshop. A long trip for us, but well worth it. Last summer, UNETE, a farmworkers’ advocacy organization, invited us to collaborate with them in doing a workshop (see our pictures from the workshop) for the people they serve.
It sure is lucky for the owners of Seneca Biomass that our tongue can’t collect toxic emission data admissible in a court of law. If there was a monitor as sensitive as the human tongue--or as sensitive as the lungs of an asthmatic child, we wouldn’t have any trouble proving the case that their biomass plant in West Eugene is fouling our air.