While much attention has rightly been paid to those who are courageously protecting water resources and sacred land on North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, few mainstream commentators have situated Standing Rock as part of a larger political struggle for self-determination and survival. Linking the politics surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline project to Flint, Michigan’s lead-poisoning crisis is critical for understanding how race and class informs presumed social risk, vulnerability to premature death and access to democratic decision-making.
On Monday, June 27, the Oakland City Council voted to approve an ordinance that would ban coal from being handled and stored in the City of Oakland, including a resolution to apply the ordinance to the proposed Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal. The council will hold a second vote on that ordinance at their July 19 meeting. Community members and advocacy groups applauded the council’s action.
The EPA dismissed 90 percent of claims it received alleging environmental discrimination and never issued a finding of environmental discrimination in its 22-year history of investigating civil rights complaints despite repeated national studies showing that communities of color face a disproportionate burden of environmental pollution. Protest the EPA’s environmental racism at an EPA hearing Wednesday, Jan. 20, 9:30 a.m. to noon, at the Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakland.
Environmental justice and conservation groups filed a lawsuit March 27 against Kinder Morgan and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) to halt the shipment of highly explosive and toxic crude oil into the City of Richmond, a community already burdened by intense pollution caused by the fossil fuel industry. “This dirty and dangerous project does not belong in Richmond.”
In a victory for Bayview Hunters Point community and environmental justice groups, a Superior Court judge ruled today that the City of San Francisco’s redevelopment plan for the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard failed to properly evaluate the environmental and health risks by allowing the Navy to transfer ownership of the contaminated Superfund site before the cleanup of the area was complete.
Chevron's 107-year-old Richmond refinery is the largest industrial polluter in the region, and communities in Richmond, particularly low-income and communities of color, already suffer from industrial pollution-related health problems. Putting a halt on this expansion project will prevent increased pollution in Richmond and throughout the Bay Area.