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CHEJ Blog

Golden Parachutes: Profit and Poison

By: Julia Weil, Organizing Intern Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have increasingly seen many social, economic, and environmental injustices in our society highlighted. One injustice that encapsulates all three is being demonstrated by the increasing pattern of oil and gas companies, struggling as the demand for their product decreases, paying out their executives just before [...]

Indigenous People and Environmental Genocide

By: Shaina Smith, Organizing Intern The relationship between Native Americans and the United States has always involved genocide and theft. An estimated 5 to 15 million indigenous people already inhabited the land when European settlers first discovered America. By the late 1800s, only 237 thousand people remained. During this period of colonization, the United States [...]

The Wait for Cleanup Continues … Government Keeps Family Waiting

By: Sharon Franklin, Chief of Operations The danger arrived for Kim and Richard Rankin and their family in 2004, in the form of a hidden pile of soil, at their home in Kenton, Missouri, as reported by P.J. Randhawa and Erin Richey for KSDK-TV. https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/investigations/lead-contaminated-backyard-nightmare-jefferson-county/63-2e63f898-20a5-4aff-90b9-3477e8e658e2.   The Rankins learned years later that the soil was contaminated with [...]

The Rachel Carson Amendment

Our colleague and friend Lou Zeller at the Blue Ridge Environmental League (BREDL) shared an article he wrote a few years back about the great pioneer Rachel Carson who wrote in her epic 1962 classic Silent Spring that “If the Bill of Rights contains no guarantee that a citizen shall be secure against lethal poisons [...]

No We Still Aren’t Done. Honestly, I can’t wait for 2020 to be done.

This year has been one of the most challenging since I fought along side my neighbors in Love Canal. For those not familiar, Love Canal is a dumpsite full of 20,000 tons of toxic chemicals, located in Niagara Falls, NY. I bought a puppy. I needed something to help cope that wouldn't destroy my health. [...]

Military Service Members and Their Families Exposed to Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Their Drinking Water

By: Kayleigh Coughlin, Communications Intern The Department of Defense (DOD) has found that more than 600 military installations and surrounding communities could be contaminated with PFAS - far more than have been previously disclosed by the Pentagon. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many [...]

Reforming Our Response to Toxics

By: Benjamin Silver, Science and Technology Intern The government’s inefficient response to toxic chemical exposure in American communities can be the difference between life and death. Once a dump for mill waste, the San Jacinto Waste Pits release toxic quantities of dioxin into the San Jacinto River. When these chemical carcinogens interact with the water, [...]

Fighting Polluters with the Science of Environmental Justice in the COVID-19 Era

By: Leija Helling, Communications Intern As evidence highlighting the racial inequity of COVID-19 impacts has grown clear over the past few months, activists have harnessed the science to fight against polluters. Data through the end of May 2020 showed Black and Latinx people were three times as likely to become infected with COVID-19 and twice [...]

Particulate Matter in the Air is a Huge Risk Factor for COVID-19

By: Mihir Vohra, Research Associate Particulate matter (PM) is a form of air pollution composed of a mixture of dust, chemicals, and liquid droplets. PM is primarily released into the air by industrial facilities that perform mixing and combustion. When people inhale PM in the air, it gets into their lungs and bloodstream, worsening existing [...]

Incarcerated Workers Among Hardest Hit By Wildfires

By: Shaina Smith, Community Organizing Intern Massive wildfires fuelled by climate change have damaged millions of acres across California, Oregon, and Washington over the past few weeks. Some parts of California have an AQI of over 700. Air Quality Index (AQI) measures air pollution on a scale of 0-500. Any level above 200 is “unhealthy” [...]

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