Timeline





CHEJ Highlights: 1980 – 2010

1980

Superfund legislation is created, in part thanks to the work of the “Mother of Superfund,” Lois Gibbs.

1981

Lois Gibbs founds the Center for Health, Environment, & Justice.

1982

Since 1982 there has not been one new commercial hazardous waste dumpsite built.  Not because it is no longer legal – but because the American people will not allow it.

1983

CHEJ holds first Leadership Development Conference to strengthen the skills of grassroots leaders across the country.

1984

CHEJ kicks off Landfill Moratorium Campaign—only one hazardous waste landfill has been built in the 25 years since CHEJ first opened its doors.

1985

Toxic Merry-Go-Round Campaign is created to prevent new communities from being burdened with relocated waste.

1986

Federal Right-to-Know law passed, providing citizens with access to information about the toxins stored and disposed of in their neighborhoods.


CHEJ’s Field offices established to help grassroots groups get off the ground.


CHEJ exposes the Cerrell Report, demonstrating intentional discrimination against underserved communities.

1987

McToxics Campaign launched to end the use of Styrofoam packaging by fast food restaurants.

1988

Kick Ash Campaign takes off, preventing dangerous incinerator ash’s reclassification as “special waste” and disposal in municipal landfills.

1989

CHEJ begins Community Leadership Development Grant Program (mini-grants program) for leadership training.

1990

McDonald’s Victory – they announce they will no longer use Styrofoam packaging.

1991

CHEJ helps build base for First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit.

1992

CHEJ wins Distinguished Appropriate Technology Award for our Low Income & Minority Technical Assistance Program from the National Center for Appropriate Technology, Butte, MT.

1993

Ban the Burn Conference: CHEJ hosted 150 activities that established the Stop Incineration Network.

1994

First Justice Day Event, with 150 environmental, women’s, voters, gay & lesbian groups and more from 32 states standing together to demand justice for all.

1995

CHEJ launches the Stop Dioxin Campaign, resulting in a 90 percent reduction in dioxin emissions.

1996

CHEJ helps establish “Health Care Without Harm,” which emerges as a distinct organization five years later.

1997

Hundreds of activists attending CHEJ’s Convention march to the headquarters of the Chemical Manufacturers Association, shouting “Cancer Starts Here!”

1998

20th Anniversary of Love Canal Crisis.  Tour and news events held so that public never forgets the human suffering and mistakes of the past.

1999

Stop Dioxin Exposure Campaign releases new report, American People’s Dioxin Reassessment, to explain risks, sources and solutions.

2000

Child Proofing Our Communities Campaign launched, helping to ensure our children are not unfairly burdened by toxins in their environment.

2001

Women posing as being pregnant, with signs on the large bellies, “Warning: Dioxin is Hazardous To This Baby’s Health” greet the scientific panel reviewing the EPA Assessment report.  The women want the report released, not reviewed again. Scientists told EPA to clean up the report and get it out to the public.

2002

BE SAFE Campaign launched to promote precautionary ideas, encouraging citizens and policymakers alike to assume questionable products to be hazardous until proven otherwise.

2003

Green Flag Schools program kicks off, involving students in making our schools safer and healthier places to learn and play.

2004

PVC Campaign is launched, raising the public’s awareness of the health hazards posed by PVC and convincing businesses to incorporate safer materials in their products and packaging.

2005

CHEJ’s PVC Campaign, in collaboration with a nationwide network, convinces Crabtree & Evelyn, Target, Sears/Kmart, Microsoft, J.C. Penney, Best Buy and other to phase out PVC in products and/or packaging.

2006

CHEJ Celebrates 25 Years!

CHEJ helps secure a federal law that prohibits the intentional chemical dosing of pregnant women and children, like the CHEERS pesticides study in Florida on low income African American women and children

2007

CHEJ convinces the state of NY to create a Pollution Prevention Institute to assist government and corporation to reduce or eliminate their pollution.

2008

CHEJ supports state and local groups in 13 states to pass precautionary-based chemical policy reforms. (CA,CT,FL,GA,IL,ME,MD,MN,NJ,NM ,NY,OR and WA).

2009

Federal Toxic Toys Law phases out PVCs, phthalates and BPA in products and packaging, transforming consumer purchases and dividing the chemical industry lobby.

2010

CHEJ’s  BE SAFE Campaign, working with a statewide network, secures a Green Purchasing Policy in New York State ($9 billion in purchasing power) that avoids 85 dangerous chemicals and serves as a model for other states.


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