Supporting Fenceline Communities

Vernice and Rosanna

Vernice and Rosanna

By Rosanna Esparza, Kern County Organizer

Clean Water Board Member, Vernice Miller-Travis and I spent a day in Bakersfield, CA with organizers and representatives of U.S. EPA Region 9, Central CA Environmental Justice Network and Global Community Monitor at a workshop examining community-based air monitoring projects and the importance of quality assurance plans.

The workshop identified ways for community partners and regulatory agencies to work together, learn more about Bucket Brigade Projects and understand each others’ priorities and needs.

Clean Water Action received a grant from the New World Foundation to conduct a feasibility pilot project to evaluate the establishment of community air monitors for collection of neighborhood-level air pollution data and to evaluate the use of this monitoring data to conduct targeted air sampling of specific chemicals.

Collaborators on the project: Residents of the community of Lost Hills, CA, University of Washington, the California Environmental Health Tracking Program, Kern Environmental Enforcement Network and Earthworks.

By collecting this data we hope to enable residents and other concerned stakeholders to better characterize air pollution in the community and to use this information to support actions to reduce hazards and exposures along the fence line of oil and gas production.

 

Posted on August 20, 2015  | Filed Under Global Warming and a New Energy Economy, Healthy, Safer Families and Communities, Protecting America's Waters | 2 Comments

The Animas River Spill: A Legacy of Unchecked Pollution

Via La Plata County Emergency Management

Via La Plata County Emergency Management

By Sara Lu, Colorado State Director

Last weekend, I was heartbroken as I watched the Animas River turn orange. For those of you who have not had the occasion to visit the Animas River or drive through some of its mountain towns like Silverton, simply driving by can seem as though you are inserting yourself into a John Fielder or Ansel Adams photo. The rugged mountain vistas, situated above vast groves of aspen and evergreen trees, and the floor of wild flowers and mosses. Countless hours are often spent rafting and fishing the Animas river.

While the spill is dramatic, waste leaking from abandoned mines (also known as tailings) into our rivers and streams is a reality in across the west. The Animas River has seen blowouts and every day contamination from mining for more than a century. As recently as 1991, there were no fish in the river near Silverton. After a cleanup effort (in lieu of a Superfund designation), the fish returned by the early 2000’s. Then they were wiped out when acid mine drainage began leaking from Gold King, again. Read more…

Posted on August 14, 2015  | Filed Under Healthy, Safer Families and Communities, Making Democracy Work, Protecting America's Waters | Comments Off on The Animas River Spill: A Legacy of Unchecked Pollution

Canvassing for Green Infrastructure in Providence

By Janice Gan, Rhode Island Summer Intern

RI interns canvassingI lift my hand to knock on the first door and pause, wondering. Will this be as easy as it was in Maine? Will I have to break out my Spanish for the first time in months? Will they even hear my knock, or will my three raps be too sharp to invite an answer?

I’ve spent the past two weeks canvassing several West End neighborhoods with the TRI-Lab green infrastructure (GI) team, trying to determine people’s receptiveness to vegetation-based flooding solutions. We’d mapped out some hot spots (both literally, and in terms of paved-surface percentage) in order to pinpoint good potential areas for GI projects, and now we are knocking on 200-some doors to figure out just how welcome such projects would be. Read more…

Posted on August 11, 2015  | Filed Under Healthy, Safer Families and Communities, Making Democracy Work, Protecting America's Waters | Comments Off on Canvassing for Green Infrastructure in Providence

Facing global issues with community based work

By Andrew Van, Rhode Island Summer Intern

The West End of Providence was a treasure trove of potential when I first walked through it, vacant lots occupied every street, curbs were wide and dilapidated and unused impervious surfaces were abundant: the ideal community for green infrastructure. My imagination ran wild; I would walk around and envision small rain gardens or massive pedestrian refuges in the streets. I was full of optimism; I had high hopes for the community and believed that we could make a real difference. Read more…

Posted on August 11, 2015  | Filed Under Healthy, Safer Families and Communities, Protecting America's Waters | Comments Off on Facing global issues with community based work

Feet First on Water

Kids Get It image for blogBy Susan Eastwood, Connecticut Communications Manager

Recently, I had the pleasure of working with a group of fifth graders at the IB School in West Hartford, CT who had chosen to study water issues. They invited me to address some tough questions – “Why should we save water when we have plenty of clean water? How does this help those who are without adequate water supplies? Will using more or less water in West Hartford make any difference? “

This made me think. Turning off the water while brushing your teeth saves several gallons of water, but how will that help women and girls in Botswana who must walk miles for a bucket of water for their families? Good question! It is very true that you can’t ship our extra water overseas! Read more…

Posted on August 6, 2015  | Filed Under Protecting America's Waters | Comments Off on Feet First on Water

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