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EJ Relevant News Releases

News Release, November 21, 2019

Release: EPA Touts Weakened Public Safety Measures Established Following West, TX Disaster

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced action to weaken the Risk Management Plan program (RMP) for chemical facilities that pose a risk of catastrophic explosion or poison gas release. The RMP program is a set of safety measures that seek to prevent and mitigate chemical disasters at over 12,000 high-risk industrial and commercial facilities across the nation. EPA estimates that over 177 million residents face daily risk of a chemical disaster emanating from one or more of these facilities.

November 19, 2019

Report Card: Dollar General Adopts New Chemical Policy, Dollar Tree Improves Grade, and 99 Cents Only Scores an ‘F’

Shortly before Black Friday, the Campaign for Healthier Solutions, Coming Clean, and the Mind the Store campaign released our annual report card grading retailers on the actions they have taken to protect customers from toxic chemicals in consumer products and food packaging.

Our 2019 report card has revealed substantial progress by some dollar stores. For the first time, Dollar General is taking action by implementing a policy to ban eight toxic chemicals in private-label beauty, personal care, and household cleaning products over the next three years. Dollar General has also committed to expanding its action on toxic chemicals in the coming years. Dollar Tree has committed to removing 17 highly-hazardous chemicals from products it sells by the end of the year and recently joined the Chemical Footprint Project, a system that helps companies assess their market risk from toxic chemicals and opportunities for safer alternatives. 99 Cents Only Stores earned an ‘F’ grade and scored zero points for the second year in a row.

News Release, November 19, 2019

Release: Dollar General Develops New Toxic Chemical Policy, Other Top Retailers Making Major Chemical Safety Advances

A new report reveals that many of North America’s largest retail companies are embracing chemical safety policies to help protect consumers from toxic chemicals in products. In the largest-ever analysis of its kind, 63% of evaluated companies improved over the past year alone. The study also found dramatic improvement in retailer chemical action between 2016 to 2019, with the average grade moving from D+ to B- (for the eleven retailers evaluated since 2016). This consumer protection progress comes at a time when the Trump Administration has weakened or delayed action on hazardous chemicals that can cause cancer, reproductive harm, and other serious illnesses.

The report also reveals for the first time that Dollar General has launched a new safer chemicals policy banning eight toxic chemicals in private-label beauty, personal care, and household cleaning products over the next three years.

October 17, 2019

Report: What's in my Baby's Food?

A national investigation finds 95 percent of baby foods tested contain toxic chemicals that lower babies’ IQ, including arsenic and lead.

This new report covers safer choices for parents, manufacturers and retailers seeking healthy foods for infants. Learn more about how to protect your child's health from arsenic and lead in baby foods.

News Release, October 17, 2019

Release: New Report Finds Arsenic, Lead and Other Toxic Contaminants in 95% of Baby Foods Tested

In a new investigation released today, Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF) and its partner organizations report that 95% of baby foods tested contain one or more toxic chemicals, including lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium. One-quarter of foods tested contain all four toxic chemicals tested by the lab, all of which are heavy metals that can affect brain development.

News Release, October 17, 2019

Difusión: Nuevo Informe Encuentra Arsénico, Plomo y otros Contaminantes Tóxicos En el 95% de las Comidas para Bebés Analizadas

En una nueva investigación publicada hoy, Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF) y sus organizaciones asociadas reportan que el 95% de las comidas para bebés analizadas contienen uno o más químicos tóxicos, incluyendo plomo, arsénico, mercurio, y cadmio. Un cuarto de las comidas analizadas contienen los cuatro químicos estudiados por el laboratorio, los cuales son metales pesados que pueden afectar el desarrollo del cerebro.

October 7, 2019

Blog: Watered Down Justice - Communities of Color and the Safe Drinking Water Act

Water is life. It nourishes us, cleanses us, saves us. In the United States, when many of us seek access to this life-giving substance, we go to a nearby tap, turn it on, and assume that what we receive will not harm us. We trust that there are systems in place to protect us and our families. For far too many people and communities in the United States, though, this is not the case. Access to clean water has become a source of stress, discomfort, and oppression.

September 24, 2019

Report: Watered Down Justice - Sociodemographics and Violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act

While the Safe Drinking Water Act guarantees all Americans access to clean, drinkable water, it hasn’t worked out that way in practice. Coming Clean and the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform (EJHA) partnered with NRDC to analyze nationwide violations of the law from 2016 to 2019. We found a disturbing relationship between sociodemographic characteristics—especially race—and drinking water violations.

News Release, September 24, 2019

Release: Communities of Color More Likely to Suffer Drinking Water Violations For Years

Race bears the strongest relationship to slow and ineffective enforcement of the federal drinking water law in communities across the nation, according to a new report released today. Watered Down Justice is a new analysis of EPA data that confirms there is unequal access to safe drinking water, based most strongly on race, a scientific conclusion that mirrors the lived experience of people of color and low-income residents in the United States. 

News Release, August 22, 2019

Release: Trump's EPA Ignores Threat of Hazardous Spills

Washington, DC – The Environmental Protection Agency made clear today that it will continue ignoring its responsibility to curtail chemical spills from industrial facilities, a decision that is in blatant disregard of the Clean Water Act and a settlement the agency agreed to in court.

August 8, 2019

News: Refineries Across America Could Create Catastrophic Acid Clouds. It Almost Happened In Philly.

Last month’s explosion at a 150-year-old oil refinery in Philadelphia could have forced 1.1 million people to evacuate.

August 5, 2019

News: Exxon Refinery Explosion Another By-Product of Trump Deregulation

The Trump administration is working to roll back a chemical safety disaster rule, putting communities like Baytown, Texas, at risk.

July 18, 2019

Watch: Introducing the Equitable and Just Climate Platform

For too long, systemic racism and injustice have left economically disadvantaged communities, tribal communities, and communities of color particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

A coalition of environmental justice and national climate organizations are proud to announce the Equitable and Just National Climate Platform, a commitment that advances the goals of economic, racial, climate and environmental justice to improve the public health and well-being of all communities, while tackling the climate crisis. Environmental justice advocates and national environmental organizations have committed to advocate this historic, bold platform that lays out our shared vision and goals. Watch the video here.

News Release, July 18, 2019

Release: Environmental Justice and National Environmental Groups Advance a Historic Joint Climate Platform

Washington, D.C. — To confront the widening dangers of our climate crisis, leading U.S. environmental justice and national environmental groups today are advancing for the first time an Equitable and Just National Climate Platform.

This bold and historic platform highlights a shared vision and calls for national climate action that confronts racial, economic, and environmental injustice as it enacts deep cuts in climate pollution and accelerates a pollution-free energy future that benefits all communities.

News Release, June 13, 2019

Release: Parents and Health Experts Praise Dollar Tree for Toxic Chemical Progress, Criticize Lack of Transparency and Junk Food 'Zones'

Chesapeake, VA — Today, customers and parents attended the annual shareholder meeting of Dollar Tree, Inc. and urged executives to tell the public what progress they are making toward their commitment to remove 17 highly-hazardous chemicals from products it sells. They also asked executives to move toward selling fresh fruit and vegetables in its 'snack zone' concept rather than just junk food. Dollar Tree executives did not announce new policies to protect customers, but said they are listening to shareholder concerns and trying to do the right thing. They also said they plan to issue another sustainability report before the end of this year which will summarize the company's progress on efforts to address toxic chemicals in products.

News Release, June 13, 2019

Aviso: Padres de Familia y Expertos en Materia de la Salud Elogian a Dollar Tree por su Progreso en cuanto a Sustancias Químicas Toxicas, Critican la Falta de Transparencia y ‘Zonas’ de Comida Chatarra

Chesapeake, VA — Hoy, consumidores y padres de familia asistieron a la junta anual de accionistas de Dollar Tree, Inc. e instaron a ejecutivos a hacer público los avances que han logrado hacia su compromiso para eliminar 17 sustancias químicas altamente peligrosas de los productos que vende. También les solicitaron a los ejecutivos que tomen medidas para vender frutas y verduras frescas en sus ‘zonas de snack’ en lugar de pura comida chatarra. Los ejecutivos de Dollar Tree no anunciaron nuevas políticas para proteger a sus consumidores, pero indicaron que están escuchando las preocupaciones de los accionistas y tratando de hacer lo correcto. También dijeron que planean emitir un informe de sostenibilidad corporativo actualizado antes de que termine el año, lo cual incluirá los esfuerzos corporativos para abordar el tema de las sustancias químicas en los productos.

June 12, 2019

Blog: Campaign Pushes for Fresh, Local Food at Dollar General

On May 29, 2019, a delegation from the Campaign for Healthier Solutions’ non-toxic dollar stores project attended the annual Dollar General shareholder meeting in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. We were there to insist that Dollar General phase out toxic chemicals from its consumer products and source locally grown, fresh produce to better protect the health of their consumers, workers, and frontline communities. With more than 15,000 stores, Dollar General is the largest retail chain in the United States and more than 75 percent of people in this country live within five miles of a store.

May 30, 2019

News: Dollar stores moving to pull dangerous plastics from shelves

Dollar stores, those ubiquitous businesses that sell everything from bathroom cleaner to eggs, are starting to take action that begins to right what consumer advocates call a clear wrong: Many of the plastic products on their shelves contain chemicals that can have grave health effects for their customers.

News Release, May 29, 2019

Release: Toxic Chemical Activists Pressure Dollar General Executives

Nashville, TN — The Campaign for Healthier Solutions, a coalition of health experts, parents, and concerned customers, attended Dollar General Corporation's annual shareholder meeting and urged the national discount retailer to take action to protect customers from toxic chemicals found in products, toys, and food sold by the chain. After purchasing shares to gain access to the meeting, these customers and experts shared their concerns directly with executives and some of the corporation's top shareholders and encouraged steps toward publicly accountable chemicals management policies as other retailers have already done. The campaign also held a brief meeting with the Dollar General executive team following the shareholder activities but no new actions toward customer health and safety were announced.

News Release, May 29, 2019

Difusión: Padres de Familia y Expertos en Materia de la Salud Asisten a Junta Anual de Accionistas de Dollar General para Enfatizar Preocupaciones sobre Sustancias Químicas Toxicas en Productos

Nashville, TN — Una coalición de expertos en materia de la salud, padres de familia y consumidores consternados asistieron a la junta anual de accionistas de la Corporación de Dollar General e instaron a la cadena nacional de descuentos a tomar medidas para proteger a sus clientes de sustancias químicas toxicas halladas en productos, juguetes, y alimentos de venta por la cadena. Después de haber adquirido acciones de la empresa para poder tener acceso a la reunión, estos consumidores y expertos compartieron sus preocupaciones directamente con los ejecutivos y algunos de los accionistas más grandes de la empresa y los alentaron a tomar medidas hacia políticas de manejo de sustancias químicas con rendición de cuentas al público así como ya lo han hecho otras cadenas de tiendas. Activistas llevaron a cabo una breve reunión con el equipo ejecutivo de Dollar General que tuvo lugar después de las actividades de los accionistas, pero no se anunció ninguna acción hacia la salud y seguridad de los consumidores.

News Release, May 9, 2019

Release: Environmental Justice Council Urges EPA to Change Course

Washington, DC — The US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) issued formal recommendations to EPA Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, urging the agency to address two issues vital to environmental justice communities and public health. Grassroots organizations and people who live in impacted environmental justice communities praised NEJAC's recommendations to the EPA. 

News Release, May 6, 2019

Release: Dollar Tree Moves To Address Toxic Chemicals in Products

One of the nation's largest discount retail chains, Dollar Tree Stores Inc, has taken an important step toward increased health and safety for customers by joining the Chemical Footprint Project, a bench-marking metric that helps companies assess their market risk from toxic chemicals and understand the opportunities for safer chemicals in its supply chain. This decision may carry important implications for public health, consumer rights, and Dollar Tree's extensive supply chain, as the discount retailer is a Fortune 200 company which operates over 15,000 stores across the United States and Canada. Grassroots justice groups cheered this step toward quantifying toxic chemical risks—but also warned it falls short of a more complete, transparent and protective toxic chemical policy, which should include public disclosures and specific goals to reduce hazardous chemical use.

News Advisory, April 22, 2019

Watch: Life at the Fenceline - Our Video Collaboration with NRDC and Rashida Jones

See our stunning new animated video collaboration with EJHA, NRDC and Rashida Jones: Life at the Fenceline. 

High-risk chemical facilities threaten the lives of nearly 40% of all US residents with catastrophic explosions or poison gas leaks — do you live in a potential chemical disaster zone?

April 18, 2019

News: 99 Cents Only stores carry products with toxic chemicals, protesters say

Environmental activists are calling on the 99 Cent Only store chain to clear their shelves of products with toxic chemicals.

"Four years ago we walked 150,000 petition signatures in there from their customers who wanted toxics out of products and they haven't listened," said Jose Bravo, with the Campaign for Healthier Solutions.

The group told Eyewitness News they conducted testing on some of the chain's products and found chemicals linked to cancer and the disruption of hormone levels.

News Release, April 17, 2019

Release: 99 Cents Only Executives Agree to Meet and Discuss Customer’s Concerns About Toxic Chemicals in Easter Products

Los Angeles, CA — As shoppers rush to dollar stores for last-minute Easter Holiday supplies, toys, and candy, allied organizations with the environmental justice group, Campaign for Healthier Solutions, held their own ‘Toxic Easter Egg Activity’ outside the headquarters of LA-based dollar store chain, 99 Cents Only Stores.  Children searched for products purchased from 99 Cents Only Stores that didn’t contain toxic chemicals—but had no way to know if each product was safe because the chain has no public toxic chemical policies or protections for customers and their children. Executives from 99 Cents Only Stores agreed to meet with the campaign and discuss customer's concerns but did not commit to any action to protect them from toxic chemicals.

News Release, April 16, 2019

Ejecutivos de 99 Cents Only Acuerdan una Reunión para Dialogar Sobre las Preocupaciones de sus Clientes Sobre Sustancias Químicas Tóxicas en sus Productos de Pascua

Los Ángeles, CA — Mientras consumidores acuden a las tiendas de dólar para adquirir materiales, juguetes, y dulces, organizaciones aliadas con el grupo de justiciar ambiental, Campaña para Soluciones Saludables, llevó a cabo su propia ‘Búsqueda de Huevos de Pascua Tóxico’ en Los Ángeles afuera de la sede nacional de la cadena de tiendas de dólar, 99 Cents Only.  Niños buscaron entre los productos adquiridos de tiendas de 99 Cents Only con el fin de encontrar aquellos que no incluían sustancias químicas toxicas – pero no tenían manera de saber si los productos eran seguros ya que la cadena no tiene una política disponible al público sobre las sustancias químicas, ni ofrece protecciones para sus consumidores y sus hijos.  Ejecutivos de las tiendas de 99 Cents Only acordaron reunirse con la campaña para dialogar sobre las preocupaciones de sus consumidores sobre sustancias químicas toxicas pero no se comprometieron a ninguna acción.

April 4, 2019

News: One dead, two seriously injured in fire at KMCO specialty chemical plant in Houston area

“From Hurricane Katrina to Hurricane Harvey, we’ve repeatedly witnessed communities inundated by toxic flood waters—laced with an unknown concoction of hazardous chemical substances. Black, brown, and poor communities are more likely to be impacted by chemical spills and suffer the health impacts of pollution,” says Michele Roberts, National Co-Coordinator of the Environmental Justice Health Alliance.

April 3, 2019

News: Environmental justice advocates have questions after Croda settlement

Delaware Concerned Residents for Environmental Justice (an EJHA affiliate) is featured in this piece about the toxic ethylene oxide leak eminating from Croda Industries.

“Fines are meant to discourage polluters from violating again,” said Lambert. “If you look at that fine, if it were doubled or even tripled, it would still be a slap on the wrist. So with that being said, that fine isn’t acceptable.”

April 2, 2019

OpEd: Industry growth must also address emergency response

OpEd by Pam Nixon, spokeswoman for People Concerned About Chemical Safety, an EJHA affiliate in Charleston, WV.

"We have known for years that chemical emergencies disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color and result in cumulative health problems. Yet, emergency response concerns remain unaddressed in the unincorporated fenceline communities of Institute and Jefferson, and others like them in the Kanawha Valley."

March 29, 2019

Release: Houston Chemical Fire and Spill Bolsters Case for Needed Reforms

The aftermath of a horrific fire at the ITC chemical plant in Houston has reinforced ongoing oversight and enforcement gaps, according to a coalition of groups that filed suit last week in federal court to force the chemical industry to undertake “worst-case scenario” planning.

News Release, March 26, 2019

Advisory: People Impacted by Carcinogenic Ethylene Oxide to Attend EPA Hearing

Both before and after a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) public hearing on hydrochloric acid production and ethylene oxide (EtO) emissions, people from communities which have been exposed to ethylene oxide emanating from nearby industrial facilities will be available to tell their stories–some of which have suffered cancers and other health problems linked to the carcinogenic and extremely explosive chemical. These impacted people will be urging the agency not to risk public health by undermining a new assessment from the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), which found cancer-risk from EtO exposure to be 30-times worse than previously estimated.

March 22, 2019

Blog: The Stories We Bring

Over the past two weeks, our colleague, Michele Roberts, had the distinct honor of participating in the United Nations Conference on the Status of Women as a member of the national Episcopal Church’s delegation.

News Release, March 21, 2019

Release: Groups Sue EPA Over Decades-Long Failure to Protect Communities from Most Dangerous Chemical Spills

New York, N.Y. – The Environmental Justice Health Alliance, Clean Water Action, and Natural Resources Defense Council today filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency for its failure to pass regulations requiring the most dangerous chemical facilities to develop plans to prevent and respond to worst-case scenario spills of hazardous substances, including spills triggered by natural disasters that put people’s health at risk. Congress mandated such regulations in 1990 – but more than 25 years later, EPA has failed to act.

March 12, 2019

Release: Victory for Environmental Justice Communities as Court Orders Disclosure of Emissions from Chemical Facility Incidents

Environmental justice community members celebrated a ruling which will require chemical facilities to disclose unpermitted toxic chemical emissions to the public.

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