Publications

Organizing and Leadership

Leadership Development

How to Deal With a Proposed Facility

This guide takes a generic approach to all sorts of LULU’s (“Locally Undesirable Land Uses”). Groups have used prior editions to block proposed dumps, incinerators, quarries, nuclear plants, unsafe manufacturing facilities, lagoons for the storage of liquid pig manure, fish farms and truck stops, to name a few. Groups have also used this guidebook to block proposed expansions, license transfers, and re-permitting applications.

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How to Deal with Trouble

How to deal with legal, political and internal trouble, as well as physical intimidation.

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Fight to Win: Leadership Handbook

This is CHEJs first basic community organization manual. Although it is written for first time organizers, established leaders may find they learn a new trick or two. Topics covered include how to start a group, keep a group going, research opponents, organize your community, carry out an effective action, raise funds, and win!

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Research Guide for Leaders

This publication shows you how to investigate your opponents – major corporations, government agencies and elected officials. Also outlines ways of using the information you’ve collected. Includes a list of each state’s Freedom of Information laws. 2nd edition.

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Running for Office

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User’s Guide to Experts

It is difficult to win a fight without experts, but it can also be difficult to work with them. This guide describes the role experts may play in the success of your group. It also presents strategies on how to use experts to your advantage, how to judge whether you have the “right” one, and how to get your money’s worth once you’ve hired one.

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User’s Guide to Lawyers

This manual covers the pros and cons of hiring a lawyer for your community’s fight. It includes legal tricks and tactics, explaining how to ensure your lawyer is working for you and your group.

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Should Your Group Incorporate?

This guidebook helps raise the most important issues a group needs to consider when deciding if they will incorporate and provides the key information necessary to start the process.

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Legal Advice for Community Leaders

Questions and answers about hiring and firing a lawyer, libel, slander, class action suits, settlements and more. Originally published as CHEJ General Council Ron Simon’s column in Everyone’s Backyard.

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Organizing Handbook

Organizing tips include attracting new members, holding meetings, organizing a successful action, dealing with elected officials, getting your message out to the public, how to knock on doors, negotiate with officials, work with politicians and experts, combat burnout and promote group diversity.

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Community Organizing Wins

How your group can take action on toxic air pollution in your neighborhood like Tonawanda, New York.

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Beyond Bake Sales

How to raise money for your group.

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Empowering Ourselves

Compiled from the words of women activists at CHEJs 1987 Women and Toxics Organizing conference, this book is filled with the insight of proven leaders in the fight against toxics. It presents concrete strategies for balancing work and family, maintaining a healthy marriage and taking care of your own needs.

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How to Win Public Hearings

Every group at one time or another will attend and be part of a public hearing. Don’t go to these hearings blindly, be prepared. If you feel it’s unfair to only have three minutes to express everything you feel about a site, find out how to get a fair hearing in this guidebook.

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General Issues

Common Questions about Health Effects

This is an essential primer for grassroots leaders to use to educate themselves and their neighbors. This guide describes how chemicals get in to the body and how they may adversely affect human health.

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Songs Not Speeches

In the history of people struggling for justice, music has always played a key role. Rarely do movements for social justice succeed without prominently featuring music.

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Asthma

The Center for Health Environment and Justice has developed this fact pack on Asthma in response to the numerous requests for information that we have had on this topic. This demand for information has occurred due to an increase in the asthma cases around the nation, and the severity of the issue.

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Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed Doors reveals evidence about how the chemical industry has methodically and strategically attempted to influence policy makers and conceal from and mislead the public about the health impacts of dioxin.

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Detoxifying your Home

This handbook, in Spanish and English, gives practical advice on how to handle your household hazardous waste.

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Monsanto Investigation

This is an analysis of the failure of EPA to investigate allegations that the Monsanto Company had falsified scientific studies on the carcinogenicity of dioxin.

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Everything About Facility Siting

Regardless of the type of facility you are fighting, you must ask key questions relating to a variety of topics: groundwater tables, transportation routes and the economies of facilities. Imagine the reaction of the agency or corporation who must answer these questions that they never thought you would ask!

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How Clean is Clean?

This guidebook demystifies the technical debate over cleanup standards for contaminated sites. This resource covers the most effective grassroots strategies to win the best – not the cheapest – cleanup

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Safety Plans

Communities are often faced with “plans” to clean up and monitor hazardous waste sites, spills and other forms of environmental contamination. Eventually, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the state and the responsible parties come to agreement on how they are going to cleanup a contaminated site. You might not like their plan, but you want to make sure you have a say in how the plan is executed. This guidebook is meant to help you get the most out of this process.

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SLAPP Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation

SLAPP is an acronym for, Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. It is a legal tactic that corporations, businesses, or developers use against non-governmental groups or individuals to intimidate them into silence. In this fact pack you will learn about SLAPPs; anti-SLAPP legislation; people who were successful in fighting a SLAPP; current SLAPP news; and organizations that also share your cause.

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Risk Assessment Fact Pack

This fact pack is a collection of articles and examples of risk assessments used to protect communities.

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Relocation: Getting Organized and Getting Out (Go Go)

Although relocations have occurred, winning the evacuation of a community is a long, hard fight. It requires a great deal of planning and careful organizing to make it happen and to ensure you get what your community really needs. The purpose of this guidebook is to show you how to win relocation for your community.

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Using Your Right-to-Know

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General Reports/Books

25 Years of Citizen Activism

25 years of citizen activism. Read about the community fights and the construction of the grassroots environmental health movement.

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No Silver Lining

A public health debate is raging around the world about the safety of bisphenol A (BPA). Chemical manufacturing and packaging companies claim BPA is safe and necessary to protect food from metal can corrosion and bacterial contamination. However, scientists, health professionals, and children’s and environmental health advocates are concerned that hundreds of independent peer-reviewed scientific studies have found negative health outcomes resulting from low doses of BPA.

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Science Issues for Community Leaders

A compilation of articles from various experts that appeared in CHEJ’s Everybody’s Backyard, this fact pack touches on the most up to date scientific understanding within several areas of the environmental sciences. These topics include drinking water, landfills and waste, and risk assessment.

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From the Files of a Whistleblower: William Sanjour’s Memoir

Bill Sanjour’s telling of how a federal program, intended to regulate the haphazard disposal of toxic industrial wastes, was, with EPA’s acquiescence, taken over by the hazardous waste disposal industry to the detriment of people living in poor rural areas around the country.  Sanjour, an EPA manager, tells the story of how he became a whistleblower and was recruited by Lois Gibbs, of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, to take up the cause of these Americans, speaking at rallies in small towns around the country and frequently testifying in the U.S. Congress and state legislatures.  When the federal government tried to silence him by writing a law just for that purpose, Sanjour and the National Whistleblowers Center fought a four year battle to declare the law unconstitutional.  The final chapter of Sanjour’s book deals with reforms for regulatory agencies to make them work for the public the agencies are supposed to protect.

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Achieving the Impossible

This collection of heart-warming, humorous and inspiring short stories illustrates how people have stepped forward to meet the challenges facing their communities and celebrates their willingness to engage in our democracy. “Achieving the Impossible” is about ordinary people that create extraordinary change in their communities. By any standard, these people are heroes, in the fullest sense of the word.

Contact CHEJ for a physical copy of this book