EJ Campaigns & Activities
The Environmental Justice and Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform (EJHA) is a strategic partner in many local, regional, and national efforts to address environmental racism and implement solutions to chemical crises in vulnerable communities. Some of those campaigns include:
Preventing chemical disasters
Communities of color, low-income communities, and Indigenous communities are disproportionately at risk of catastrophic chemical releases or explosions. EJHA works locally and nationally to support policies and programs that will prevent chemical disasters and ensure communities are prepared when incidents do happen.
EJHA is a key partner in the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters — a collaboration of health, labor, environmental justice, public health and public interest organizations working for strong policies that will protect workers and communities from these hazards. We support local campaigns to reduce and remove toxic hazards, and national efforts such as reform and enforcement of chemical disaster prevention and response rules.
Protecting Drinking Water from Toxic Chemicals
In 2014, a chemical spill into the Elk River near Charleston, WV contaminated drinking water for over 300,000 people and cost the local economy $19 million a day (not including cleanup costs). Spills from tens of thousands of chemical storage tanks across the US happen constantly.
EJHA is working with communities and allies to understand where chemical storage threatens drinking water, and win policies that will prevent chemical spills and ensure that the companies responsible bear response and cleanup costs if spills occur.
Addressing Cumulative Health and Environmental Hazards
Environmental Justice communities experience many interconnected health and environmental hazards. EJHA supports research, organizing, and advocacy to address these disproportionate and cumulative impacts on EJ communities. Our efforts include:
- Campaigning for local, state, and national policies that require cumulative hazards and impacts to be considered in permitting and other processes, and create programs to reduce and eliminate disproportionate exposures.
- Life at the Fenceline: Understanding Cumulative Health Hazards in Environmental Justice Communities (2018), a national report, local reports, and a set of interactive online maps that explore the potential for chemical disasters, who lives closest to high-risk chemical facilities, health hazards from toxic air pollution, and food insecurity, and identify solutions.
- Who's in Danger? Race, Poverty, and Chemical Disasters (2014), a national study of who lives in the chemical disaster vulnerability zones around 3,433 of the most dangerous industrial and commercial facilities across the US;
- Support for robust federal programs and budgets that address environmental injustice, and opposition to rollbacks of funding, programs, and policies that support Environmental Justice, such as our 2017 statements opposing cuts to EPA's Environmental Justice programs and staff.
Campaign for healthier solutions
EJHA's Campaign for Healthier Solutions is pushing dollar store retailers toward non-toxic products and healthy, locally-grown foods in order to reduce chemical exposures and health impacts in communities of color and low-income communities. While the largest retailers, such as Walmart, Target, and others are working to understand what chemicals are in the products they sell and remove harmful chemicals, dollar store chains continue to lag behind.
The Campaign for Healthier Solutions combines on-the-ground grassroots organizing in key focus states such as California, New Mexico and Texas, with national campaign activities coordinated with partner groups all over the country. The campaign demands that dollar stores commit to providing the same minimal level of product protections as other retail chains, and help prevent unnecessary exposure to toxic chemicals in vulnerable communities.