Archive | Waste Disposal

Ocean Conservancy Picks Up Seven Million Pounds of Coastal Trash

Citing the Ocean Conservancy’s 23rd clean up day, over 400,000 volunteers came together and collected over 7 million pounds of trash a long 17,000 miles of coastal land all over the world. This shows how great of an impact people can have in one day of cleaning up coastal areas all over the world and it also sites how careless people can be when littering and polluting their environments.

Some of the trash collected included:

  • 26,585 car tires
  • 937,000 bottle caps
  • 942,000 food containers
  • 1.4 million plastic bags
  • 3.2 million cigarette butts

Volunteers collected about 11.4 million items overall, which weighed a total of 6.8 million pounds. They snagged more than 1.3 million cigarette butts in the U.S. alone, about 19,500 fishing nets in the United Kingdom and more than 11,000 diapers in the Philippines.

The Ocean Conservancy’s mission is to eliminate litter and raise awareness about properly disposing of wastes and recycling. Participating in proper waste disposal not only helps the environment, but it also creates safer habitats for it’s indigenous wild life.

Click here to read the full article.

Posted in People, Recycling, Recycling & Waste, Waste Disposal0 Comments

China's Eco-Challenge

COULD IT BE THAT CONTINUED ECONOMIC GROWTH
REQUIRES GREATER ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION?
CHINA, USA, INDIA – 1995 vs. 2005
Energy Graph between the United States, India, and China
China’s economy has grown by nearly
14 times in the last ten years

Editor’s Note: Back in early 2001, using 1995 data, we published an analysis of global energy production trends entitled “The Good, the Bad, & the BTUs,” where we calculated if everyone on earth were to require 100 million BTUs of energy per year, on average, energy production on earth would have to double to nearly 700 million BTUs. And with global energy production topping 500 BTUs last year, we are well on our way.

Something else happened over the past decade, however, something difficult to explain, which may provide an encouraging note as we struggle to find enough energy to complete the industrialization of the world. Referring to the chart that accompanied our 2001 story (BTUs & GNP by Nation), we noted that in 1995 the major developing nations were far less efficient at turning energy into wealth than the developed ones. In 1995, for example, China required 46,666 BTUs to generate one dollar of GNP, and India required 30,759 BTUs to do the same. In the USA back then, by contrast, only 12,583 BTUs were needed to generate one dollar of national wealth.

The table “CHINA, USA, INDIA – 1995 vs. 2005″ tells a dramatic and encouraging story: In the last decade, the energy intensity – the efficiency with which a nation turns energy into wealth – has flipped-flopped, and China and India are now able to turn energy into wealth more efficiently than the USA. While the USA has logged a commendable achievement in the last ten years, improving its energy intensity by 44%, China has improved its energy intensity by 86%, and India’s national energy intensity has improved by 85%. The numbers are almost unbelievable: China’s BTU’s per GNP has plummeted from 46,666 to 6,608, and India’s have dropped from 30,759 to 4,541. This incredible achievement should encourage anyone who hopes global energy production can level off quickly enough to allow clean energy technologies to catch up.

Yet challenges are remain daunting as these massive nations transform themselves at breathtaking speed. With a real growth rate of over 11% per year, China, whose GNP has increased nearly 14x in the last ten years, is poised to have a larger economy than the USA by 2009! And with a population nearly four times larger than the USA, China’s economy is going to keep on growing well beyond parity with the USA.

This article by Gordon Feller explores some of the tradeoffs China faces as they wrestle with issues of economic growth, environmental protection, and sustainability in both areas. Increasingly, it is evident in China that environmental protection is a prerequisite for ongoing economic growth – it is not always one at the expense of the other. That realization is encouraging as well, as the Middle Kingdom awakens.

- Ed “Redwood” Ring

China’s Eco-Crisis – Could it be that continued economic growth requires greater environmental protection?
by Gordon Feller, October 24, 2007
Yangtzee River, China
Nowhere is the environmental impact of China’s
modernization more evident than in the Three Gorges
section of the Yangtze River.

The standard discussion of environmental challenges treats them as more socio-political, in the short-term, and a threat to economic development, but only in the long-term.

The May 2007 suspension of construction on a paraxylene plant in Fujian, for instance, was widely characterized as a gain for local interest groups at the expense of jobs. The primary force behind the suspension was indeed local and political rather than environmental, since far more damaging projects are underway all across the country.

Moreover, the Communist Party obviously sees a short-run trade-off between economic and environmental gains. The October 2005 Party plenum denounced the blind pursuit of economic growth at the expense of, among other things, pollution control. More recently, the 2007 National People’s Congress reasserted growth as the top priority, explicitly of more importance than environmental objectives.

It is certainly true that environmental degradation – especially of the water supply – threatens long-term growth. But there are also short-term dangers, exacerbated by sustained and ill-advised policies.

Carbon emissions and the long-term question of climate change are the pollution issues that receive the most publicity. But there is also the short-term cost of respiratory ailments from conventional air pollution. The last World Bank report on the topic puts the majority of the world’s most (air) polluted cities on the mainland. A generation of urban children has grown up under conditions of poor to abysmal air quality, which will affect their participation in the labor force just as the PRC begins a demographic shift to labor shortage.

Wen Jiabao Portrait
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao

In carbon emissions the present debate over whether China has passed the US as the worst offender is immaterial. If it hasn’t already it will do shortly; shortly after that it will lead the world by a huge amount. Rapid growth in heavy industry ensures this outcome and the last four years are irrefutable evidence the central government will not undermine the industrial boom. Only four of 32 provinces met emissions targets in 2006.

Beijing is correct that much offending output is in high demand by the same trade partners objecting to carbon emissions. In the current setting, though, this argument might chiefly turn out to be ammunition for foreign protectionists. Dismissing overseas environmental concerns could contribute to an economic shock as access to export markets is inhibited Energy constraints.

Closely connected to emissions is energy use. The State Environmental Protection Administration happily projects cuts in the discharges of major pollutants and, thus, a decline in chemical oxygen demand by 2010. This is difficult to reconcile with the objective of a 20% drop in energy consumption per unit of GDP, as the latter implies a considerable increase in absolute energy consumption from GDP growth.

As an illustration, demand for oil products is so high that improvement in the quality of gasoline has stagnated, delaying implementation of tougher auto emissions standards.

Since energy use is rising, chemical oxygen demand will only decline if the energy mix changes significantly. Yet efforts to change the energy mix for environmental and other reasons are being aborted due to environmental and economic consequences.

A mad flight to divert corn stocks to ethanol production, encouraged by central government incentives, has boosted corn prices at a time when food costs are driving inflation. The State Council has thus been forced to halt corn-for-ethanol production. The State Development and Reform Commission is now discouraging once popular coal-to-oil liquefaction projects in light of the power and water these projects require.

Hu Jintao Portrait
Chinese President Hu Jintao

Water shortages and their economic implications are being recognized in Beijing. By 2010 there is supposed to be a dramatic 30% cut in water per unit of industrial value added. Coincident with this announcement, though, the State Statistical Bureau stopped making industrial production totals public, so that progress cannot be monitored. In May deteriorating conditions in some agricultural areas, in particular lack of clean water, contributed to the spread of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (blue ear disease). According to the Ministry of Agriculture, this is the main factor pushing up the cost of pork, another notable contributor to food costs.

Over a longer timeframe low water inflow has inhibited the anticipated expansion of hydropower use for at least a decade. This partly explains increased reliance on coal and has contributed to power shortages. Now the Ministry of Water Resources is worried, not just about water flow on the Yangtze but that large sections of the river are so polluted that the damage might be irreversible. This would obviously be a death-blow to regional agriculture. International development banks are being asked to ease the scarcity of clean water and multinationals corporations are stepping into remaining gaps. In June alone the World Bank approved a $170m loan for water supply and waste disposal in Liaoning and the Asian Development Bank lent $150m to treat wastewater in Anhui.

France’s Veolia Environnement is the principal private-sector operator. It won a 30-year, $1bn water management contract for Haikou, Hainan in June, one of many for Veolia. Desalinization may not be sensible except in desert countries, but China’s problems are such that is becoming so. Israeli water company IDE will build a $120m desalinization plant serving Beijing and Tianjin.

About the Author: Gordon Feller is the CEO of Urban Age Institute (www.UrbanAge.org). During the past twenty years he has authored more than 500 magazine articles, journal articles or newspaper articles on the profound changes underway in politics, economics, and ecology – with a special emphasis on sustainable development. Gordon is the editor of Urban Age Magazine, a unique quarterly which serves as a global resource and which was founded in 1990. He can be reached at GordonFeller@UrbanAge.org and he is available for speaking to your organization about the issues raised in this and his other numerous articles published in EcoWorld.

MAP OF CHINA
Map of China
CIA China Facts 2006
Email the Editor about this Article
EcoWorld - Nature and Technology in Harmony

Posted in Air Pollution, Coal, Consumption, Energy, Other, Policies & Solutions, Regional, Waste Disposal0 Comments

Recycling Myths: Smothered in Garbage vs. More Landfill Capacity than Ever

Kids Sort Trash
Lessons start early in life
all recycling is good…

Editor’s note: Recycling is not always the environmentally correct choice. Many items we recycle come from abundant raw materials and are inert and harmless when dumped. It costs more to recycle these than to bury the used and manufacture the new from scratch. Glass is a perfect example; plastic runs a close second. If throwing away glass and plastic causes us to ever run out of sand and oil byproducts we can mine the landfills and recycle them all at once – it would be cheaper and easier than perpetual recycling. There’s plenty of land for landfills, there’s very little hazard remaining in modern landfills, and the economics and the environment often favor using them. Trillions are squandered on needless recycling. So what myths prevent change?

Governments across the European Union and America have announced plans to require more recycling.

The European Union has ordered the citizens of the United Kingdom to roughly double their recycling rates by 2008, while the city governments of New York and Seattle have proposed mandatory expansions of existing recycling programs.

These moves are not based on new developments in resource conservation; instead they – like other mandatory recycling programs – rest on misconceptions of mythic proportions. This article discusses the most egregious of these myths.

MYTH 1: OUR GARBAGE WILL BURY US

Rolling Hillside
All of America’s garbage for the next century could
fit in just one landfill, only about 10 miles square

Since the 1980s, people repeatedly have claimed that the United States faces a landfill crisis. Former Vice President Al gore, for example, asserted we are “running out of ways to dispose of our waste in a manner that keeps it out of either sight or mind.”

This claim originated in the 1980s, when the waste disposal industry moved to using fewer but much larger landfills. The Environmental Protection Agency, the press, and other commentators focused on the falling number of landfills, rather than on their growing overall capacity, and concluded that we were running out of space. The EPA also underestimated the prospects for creating additional capacity.

In fact, the United States today has more landfill capacity than ever before. In 2001, the nation’s landfills could accommodate 18 years’ worth of rubbish, an amount 25% greater than a decade before. To be sure, there are a few places where capacity has shrunk. But the uneven distribution of available landfill space is no more important than is the uneven distribution of auto manufacturing: Trash is an interstate business, with 47 states exporting the stuff and 45 importing it. Indeed, the total land area needed to hold all of America’s garbage for the next century would be only about 10 miles square.

MYTH 2: OUR GARBAGE WILL POISON US

The claim that our trash might poison us is impossible to completely refute, because almost anything might pose a threat. But the EPA itself acknowledges that the risks to humans (and presumably plants and animals) from modern landfills are virtually nonexistent: According to the EPA’s own estimates, modern landfills can be expected to cause 5.7 cancer-related deaths over the next 300 years – just one death every 50 years. To put this in perspective, cancer kills over 560,000 people every year in the United States.

Older landfills do possess a potential for harm to the ecosystem and to humans, especially when built on wetlands or swamps, because pollutants can leach from them. When located on dry land, however, even old-style landfills generally pose minimal danger, in part because remarkably little biodegradation takes place in them.

Modern landfills eliminate essentially any potential for problems. Siting occurs away from groundwater supplies, and the landfills are built on a foundation of several feet of dense clay, covered with thick plastic liners. This layer is covered by several feet of gravel or sand. Any leachate is drained out via collection pipes and sent to municipal wastewater plants for treatment. Methane gas produced by biodegradation is drawn off by wells on site and burned or purified and sold.

MYTH 3: PACKAGING IS THE PROBLEM

RECYCLING RATES – USA 2000
United States Recycling Rates
Cardboard is recycled at three times the rate for glass;
the worth of glass recycling is debatable.

Contrary to current wisdom, packaging can reduce total rubbish produced. The average household in the united States generates one-third less trash each year than does the average household in Mexico, partly because packaging reduces breakage and food waste. Turning a live chicken into a meal creates food waste. When chickens are processed commercially, the waste goes into marketable products (such as pet food), instead of into a landfill. Commercial processing of 1,000 chickens requires about 17 pounds of packaging, but it also recycles at least 2,000 pounds of by-products.

The gains from packaging have been growing over time, because companies have been reducing the weight of the packages they use. During the late 1970s and 1980s, although the number of packages entering landfills rose substantially, the total weight of those discards declined by 40 percent. Over the past 25 years the weights of individual packages have been reduced by amounts ranging from 30 percent (2-liter soft drink bottles) to 70 percent (plastic grocery sacks and trash bags). Even aluminum beverage cans weigh 40 percent less than they used to.

MYTH 4: WE MUST ACHIEVE “TRASH INDEPENDENCE”

Numerous commentators contend that each state should achieve “trash independence” by disposing within its borders all of its rubbish. But, as with all voluntary trade, interstate trade in trash raises our wealth as a nation, perhaps by as much as $4 billion. Most of the increased wealth accrues to the citizens of areas importing trash.

Not only is the potential threat posed by modern landfills negligible, but transporting rubbish across state lines has no effect on the environmental impact of its disposal. Moving a ton of trash by truck is no more hazardous than moving a ton of any other commodity.

MYTH 5: WE SQUANDER IRREPLACEABLE RESOURCES WHEN WE DON’T RECYCLE

In fact, available stocks of most natural resources are growing rather than shrinking, but the reason is not recycling. Market prices are the best measure of natural resource scarcity. Rising prices imply that a resources is getting more scarce. Falling prices imply that it is becoming more plentiful. Applying this measure to oil, we find that over the past 125 years, oil has become no more scarce, despite our growing use of it. Reserves of other fossil fuels as well as other natural resources are also growing.

Thanks to innovation, we now produce about twice as much output per unit of energy as we did 50 years ago and five times as much as we did 200 years ago. Optical fiber carries 625 times more calls than the copper wire of 20 years ago, bridges are built with less steel, and automobile and truck engines consume less fuel per unit of work performed. The list goes on and on. Human innovation continues to increase the amount of resources at our command.

MYTH 6: RECYCLING ALWAYS PROTECTS THE ENVIRONMENT

United States Environmental Protection Agecny Logo

Recycling is a manufacturing process with environmental impacts. Viewed across a wide spectrum of goods, recycling sometimes cuts pollution, but not always. The EPA has examined both virgin paper processing and recycled paper processing for toxic substances and found that toxins often are more prevalent in the recycling process.

Often the pollution associated with recycling shows up in unexpected ways. Curbside recycling, for example, requires that more trucks be used to collect the same amount of waste materials. Thus, Los Angeles has 800 rubbish trucks rather than 400, because of its curb-side recycling. This means more iron ore and coal mining, steel and rubber manufacturing, petroleum extraction and refining – and of course extra air pollution in the Los Angeles basin.

MYTH 7: RECYCLING SAVES RESOURCES

It is widely claimed that recycling “saves resources.” Proponants usually focus on savings of a specific resource, or they single out particularly successful examples such as the recycling of aluminum cans.

But using less of one resource generally means using more of other resources. Franklin Associates, a firm that consults on behalf of the EPA, has compared the costs per ton of handling rubbish through three methods: disposal into landfills (but with a voluntary drop-off or buy-back program, and an extensive curbside recycling program.

On average, extensive recycling is 35 percent more costly than conventional disposal, and basic curbside recycling is 55 percent more costly than conventional disposal. That is, curbside recycling uses far more resources. As one expert puts it, adding curbside recycling is “like moving from once-a-week garbage collection to twice a week.”

Book Cover

MYTH 8: WITHOUT FORCED RECYCLING MANDATES, THERE WOULDN’T BE RECYCLING

This view reflects ignorance about the extent of recycling in the private sector, which is as old as trash itself. Scavenging may, in fact, be the oldest profession. In the 19th century, people bid for the right to scavenge New York City’s rubbish, and Winslow Homer’s 1859 etching, Scene on the Back Bay Lands, reveals adults and children digging through the detritus of the Boston city dump. Rag dealers were a constant of American life until driven out of business by the federal Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939, which stigmatized products made of recycled wool and cotton. And long before state or local governments had even contemplated the word recycling, makers of steel, aluminum, and many other products were recycling manufacturing scraps, and some were even operating post-consumer drop-off centers.

Recycling is a long-practiced, productive, indeed essential, element of the market system. Informed, voluntary recycling conserves resources and raises our wealth. In sharp contrast, misleading educational programs encourage the waste of resources when they overstate the benefits of recycling. And mandatory recycling programs, in which people are compelled to do what they know is not sensible, routinely make society worse off. Market prices are sufficient to induce the trashman to come, and to make his burden bearable, and neither he no we can hope for any better than that.

PERC Logo

Daniel K. Benjamin is professor of economics at Clemson University, a senior associate of the Political Economy Research Center (PERC), and a regular PERC columnist. This essay is adated from a longer paper, “Eight Great Myths of Recycling,” which is available from PERC.

-
Email the Editor about this Article
EcoWorld - Nature and Technology in Harmony

Posted in Air Pollution, Animals, Business & Economics, Causes, Coal, Conservation, Landfills, Other, Packaging, Recycling, Toxic Substances, Waste Disposal31 Comments

Autarky After the Roar

After the roar of the bull, how would an economic collapse affect planting trees?

When underlying values of investments are fragile, built on unprecedented and self-generating demand and on expectations of never-slowing growth, even a small shock will topple the house of cards. Experts don´t even know whether to fear inflation or deflation, and just like with global warming precipitating an ice age, we could have both, someday.

The global economy is relying on plummeting costs of manufactured goods to fuel a rise in stock values. Costs are in free fall, in turn, because of amazing new technologies. But when the biggest global economic locomotive of all, the USA, has 30% of its driving population using money they borrowed to command the highways inside absurdly expensive steel behemoths that get gas mileage scarcely better than… a locomotive, an economic hiccough is as nearby and easy as another assasination in Sarajevo and some empty pipelines. Price/earnings ratios in the hundreds and thousands don´t hold when oil costs USD $50 per barrel. Nothing can hold up a house of cards forever, not even high-tech.

Even if a crash never comes, shouldn’t we be ready? It’s nice to hope that some multi-billionaire will underwrite the successful planting of 80 billion trees in the next 20 years. But can´t this great reforesting endeavor acquire its own momentum, and pull its own economic weight?

The earth will be reforested no matter what happens to the global economy, and here’s how and why:

Combining forest operations with farming, water supply and treatment, power generation, waste disposal, fishing, education; this kind of integration can yield an enterprise that sustains itself. If there is a global economic collapse, it is these types of operations that would be most likely to achieve autarky, causing them to grow, since autarky would suddenly look pretty good. Producing their own timber, food, water and energy, they would be far less vulnerable to economic disasters. In a prosperous economy, such an operation would only need to sell a small surplus in order to guarantee itself financial independence and sustainable growth.

A locally controlled, polycultural agro-forestry plantation, once established, could prosper on its own, not affected by global economic catastrophe. Such a business could incorporate the best that high-tech has to offer, but without sacrificing ecological good sense. The alternative, and current trend, are massive, monocultural cash crop operations which not only ravage ecosystems, but are themselves wiped out routinely by even minor fluctuations in global commodity prices.

Creating a business plan for self-sufficient agro-forestry enterprises is relatively easy, if you´re willing to trade capricious but stupendous, cigar-chomping P/E ratios for slow, real growth in value that won’t stop. As long as we still have an internet, transmitting blueprints and operational guides to potential practitioners around the world is also dirt cheap.

No matter what happens to the global economy, and with or without charity, this planet can be reforested. Profit and enlightenment aren´t intrinsically at odds. We can plant 80 billion trees in the next 20 years, and make money, for all we know.

Posted in Energy, Homes & Buildings, Waste Disposal0 Comments

Environmental Racism?

ecoworld.com

Issue #3

Summer 1995

POLLUTION IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY OFFENDER

Claims that the poor and minorities are exposed to higher-than-average

levels of pollution because they are more likely to live near industrial and waste disposal sites have sparked charges of “environmental racism.” These communities allegedly bear the brunt of industrial development while reaping few of its benefits. The Clinton administration has taken this misguided notion and built policy on it, but do not expect this to lead to greater environmental protection.

One of the first studies to allege a correlation among risk, race, and income was the government’s own Council of Environmental Quality’s 1971 Annual Report to the President. It stated that racial discrimination adversely affected the ability of urban poor to improve the quality of their environment. In 1979, Texas Southern University sociologist Robert Bullard described the futile attempt of a black neighborhood in Houston, Texas, to block the nearby siting of a hazardous waste landfill. He provided evidence that race, not just income status, was a probable factor in this local land-use decision.

“Environmental justice” became a nationally-recognized issue in 1982, when 500 demonstrators protested the siting of a landfill for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s) in a black, low-income neighborhood in Warren County, North Carolina. In 1987, the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice released a study which looked at all Enivronmental Protection Agency regions in the country and concluded that race, not income status, was the factor most strongly correlated to residence near a hazardous waste site. In addition, two major conferences on environmental justice were held in the early 1990s.

In response to these charges, the Office of Environmental Equity was officially established in late 1992, with a specific directive to deal with environmental impacts affecting minority and low-income communities. In Congress, nine environmental justice bills were introduced in the 103rd Congress. Twenty bills were also introduced in fourteen states during the 1993-94 legislative sessions, with bills signed into law in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington.

Linking environmental and racial problems, however, turns the concept of environmental protection on its head. A recent study of the St. Louis (Missouri) area over the past twenty years conducted by Washington University researchers Thomas Lambert and Christopher Boenrner found that the location of low-cost housing, as opposed to outright racial discrimination, was the root cause of claims of environmental racism. They note that “[r]acism may have been a factor in the subsequent migration of these residents to communities hosting polluting facilities,” but judge the problem to be rooted in economics rather than racial prejudice. To resolve the problem, they suggest that the community and local industries pay reparations to residents and provide more community amenities like parks and playgrounds.

The Clinton administration, on the other hand, choses to view the problem as a one-dimensional racial issue. As it has acted on previous issues relating to race, it has embarked on an extensive program aimed at achieving only a statistical balance. Executive Order 12898, issued in February of 1994, mandates that all federal agencies “make environmental justice a part of all they do.” Agencies were required to have environmental justice strategies in place within a year to “collect, maintain, and analyze information that assesses and compares environmental and human health risks borne by populations indentified by race, national origin, or income.” Each agency was additionally ordered to determine whether its programs have a “disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority populations and low-income populations.” As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency now boasts an Office on Environmental Justice, complete with a 24-hour hotline to record any cases of environmental racism.

But neither of these proposals will lead to the environmental goals they seek. The whole premise that environmental hazards are purposely located in minority and low-income communities, through either economics or racism, is misguided at its core. And reliance on bean-couting measures — which create a quick-fix in areas like employment practices and voting-rights — will not be effective in promoting environmental protection. Environmental harm is color-blind, and pays no heed to financial status. Proposed actions to provide only this statistical balance instead of the strong, informed decisionmaking on health and safety issues that is needed just will not cut it.

“Environmental racism” can be more properly understood as a multi-dimensional problem commanding the understanding of a variety of environmental, social, and economic factors. The one unifying concern, however, is the health and safety of the residents of affected communities.
For example, problems with pollution affect groups as diverse as Hispanic farm workers handling pesticides, Asian immigrants working with toxic chemicals in Silicon Valley, Native Americans living near nuclear waste facilities, or urban Blacks who assert that their neighborhoods serve as dumps for polluting industries. No one plan can handle the needs of all of these people and still be effective.

Due to the local community nature of these issues, broad federal solutions are clearly inappropriate. Fundamentally, the decision of where best to place industrial projects should be left with the industry, and should not be turned into a federal racial or social policy issue. Private industry has itself recognized the need to address these issues recognizing that, if ignored, they can lead to increased inspections, restrictive operating conditions, and increased community pressure. The Chemical Manufacturers Association, for example, has developed specific proposals to address “environmental justice” concerns, and now advocates a program called “Responsible Care.” They and others businesses believe that open dialogue between a community and the industries located ther can better respond to concerns of safety, health, and the environment than can the federal government.

Combining “racism” and “pollution” creates a political hand grenade. Attempting to address environmental risks on racial versus environmental grounds misses the point entirely. Toxins do not discriminate, and combatting their spread cannot be equated with a racial issue. Threats to public health must be resolved by any means necessary. Policies that are driven solely by statistics are doomed to failure because they will not address the underlying concerns over health and safety.

Whenever the threat of pollution affecting public health is found, we should address that problem head on. If there is a threat to human health or safety, neither the income nor the race of the neighborhood should matter.
It should never be acceptable to suggest that environmental hazards or toxic risks be addressed on the basis of someone’s race.

Nancie G. Marzulla is the president and chief legal counsel of Defenders of Property Rights.

Email the Editor about this Article
EcoWorld - Nature and Technology in Harmony

Posted in Chemicals, Effects Of Air Pollution, Hazardous Waste, Justice, Nuclear, Office, Other, People, Policies & Solutions, Policy, Law, & Government, Waste Disposal0 Comments

No Posts in Category
Advertisement