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EJ Relevant News Releases

December 9, 2020

What a Republican-controlled Senate means for Biden's climate agenda

President-elect Joe Biden has made fighting climate change more of a priority in both his policy agenda and political appointments than any previous US president. But many climate advocates are bracing themselves for a reality check if Democrats don't win both Senate runoff elections in Georgia in January, which would leave the chamber under Republican control. With a divided Congress, there's almost no chance the Biden administration can push through it's most aggressive climate proposals.

October 22, 2020

News: There's A Lot At Stake For The Climate In The 2020 Election

Despite the cascade of other crises this year, climate change has emerged as a key election issue. Two-thirds of Americans want the government to do more about it, and the same share of Biden supporters say it's very important to their vote. While not many Trump supporters overall agree, there's more concern among younger Republicans. The stakes are high as more Americans experience record heat, wildfires, hurricanes and flooding, and the two candidates could not be further apart. Joe Biden calls climate change an existential threat to our health, economy and national security. President Trump continues to question climate science. Here are six takeaways from Trump's first term on climate and energy, and the challenges he or Biden would face if elected.

October 20, 2020

Dollar Tree Thrives During Pandemic, But Is Still Not Removing Toxic Chemicals Fast Enough

When the Campaign for Healthier Solutions tested a variety of products sold at Dollar Tree and other discount retailers, it found that 81 percent tested contained at least one hazardous chemical. Even microwave popcorn and canned foods sold at dollar stores were found to contain deeply concerning levels of harmful chemicals. A number of states have likewise documented high levels of harmful chemicals in Dollar Tree products. Prenatal exposure to some of these chemicals can result in lower IQ levels, as well as learning or behavioral problems. Yet there is actually no need to use many toxic chemicals because there are safe, affordable alternatives.

August 28, 2020

News: Hurricane Laura didn’t cause pollution in this Louisiana town. It just added to it.

A day after the 150 mph winds died down and the torrential rains left, the residents of this tiny community were still coping with a different threat. The chemical fire that erupted in the BioLab chlorine plant — sending black clouds laced with toxic gases into the sky — was still smoldering Friday, as state hazmat crews struggled to extinguish it. Hurricane Laura downed power lines, ripped away street signs and toppled massive trees that blocked roads. Power remained out, carports collapsed and windows were blown out of trailers. The Mt. Zion Baptist Church lost its steeple. But to Mossville, the storm was merely another assault from the oil and gas refineries, chemical manufacturers and other industries that have enveloped the town.

August 24, 2020

News: The Rise of Environmental Justice

For all the hardships it delivered, 2020 may be remembered as an awakening for America. The outpouring of protest under the banner of Black Lives Matter this summer fostered a discussion of systemic racism that touches on all aspects of economic and social life. Environmental racism, characterized by the disproportionate impact of pollution on people of color, came to the fore as another reason for the cry of “I can’t breathe.” And a nearly 40-year-old civil rights movement for environmental justice found new momentum. But life for people at the industrial fenceline, as evidenced by three communities profiled in this article, continues to be a constant battle.

August 5, 2020

News: Bridging the Water Access Gap Through COVID-19 Relief

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb, guidance around how to control the virus’s spread has become a steady drumbeat: Wash your hands, wipe down surfaces, and stay home. Implicit in these recommendations is the assumption that households have safe and clean running water and indoor plumbing. But for more than 2 million people across the United States, that basic human right remains out of reach. 

August 1, 2020

News: How Joe Biden’s surprisingly ambitious climate plan came together

This spring, with the Democratic nomination locked up, Biden’s campaign faced an imperative challenge: to demonstrate to the liberal wing of the party — including skeptical environmental activists — that he was their guy, that he understood the urgency of the problem and that he would craft a transformative plan to meet the moment.

Over three months, the campaign invited ideas from the young climate crusaders, union officials, environmental justice leaders and former Democratic rivals.

July 14, 2020

News: Minority Communities Hail Biden’s Plan for Environmental Justice

Environmental justice activists are applauding Joe Biden’s clean energy plan, unveiled Tuesday, because of how it focuses on communities of color that have long suffered from exposure to pollution.

July 9, 2020

News: Why the Larger Climate Movement Is Finally Embracing the Fight Against Environmental Racism

For decades, environmental-justice advocates in the U.S. have worked to bring attention to the heightened environmental risks faced by communities of color: higher levels of lead exposure, higher risks of facing catastrophic flooding, and poorer air quality, to name just a few. But progress has been slow on the national stage as the most powerful groups fighting for environmental rules, not to mention government leaders, have largely ignored them. Today, that conversation is changing.

June 25, 2020

Blog: Black Lives Matter and the Environment

Black lives matter. As we contemplate the scope of structural racism, we find that “Black Lives Matter” needs to be said over and over again. We say it as we push for policing that protects rather than threatens. And we can keep saying it. Like when we talk about having available, affordable health care. Having access to technology and broadband, a quiet space, and time when the classroom becomes off limits due to a pandemic or climate-driven extreme weather. Finding an affordable place to live and landlords who don’t discriminate. Finding meaningful work and getting a promotion. Finding fresh food. Getting respect.

June 21, 2020

News: Louisville’s 'Black Lives Matter' Demonstrations Continue a Long Quest for Environmental Justice

A month before thousands began marching here, day after day, to protest the police killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and a woman here named Breonna Taylor, a professor at the University of Louisville was a co-author on a study that identified another killer targeting Black lives: toxic pollutants.

June 16, 2020

News: Environmental justice in the spotlight

Unrest over police brutality, combined with the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on African Americans, Latinos and other minorities, has swiftly turned into a broader national reckoning over structural racism. That has elevated the perspectives of the environmental justice movement, a network of grassroots activists who push for climate change and sustainability policies that prioritize communities of color, which are exposed to greater levels of pollution and therefore are at greater risk of dying from the pandemic.

News Release, June 11, 2020

Release: Dollar Tree Must Do More To Eliminate Hazardous Chemicals From Its Stores, Environmental Justice Advocates Say

The Campaign for Healthier Solutions (CHS), which is dedicated to getting toxic products out of dollar stores and helping them stock local, sustainably-produced healthy foods, is deeply concerned Dollar Tree did not express during its annual meeting of shareholders Thursday a commitment to going beyond its previously-stated goal of removing 17 highly-hazardous chemicals from the products it sells by 2020.

May 29, 2020

News: Heroes Act Provision Aims to Fund Environmental Justice Efforts

This month, House Democrats passed the $3 trillion HEREOS Act. This act would give $50 million to Environmental Protection Agency grant programs aimed at alleviating environmental problems that disproportionately affect communities of color, including exacerbating susceptibility to COVID-19.

“We think that it is about high time that environmental justice communities are referenced and mentioned in this,” said Michele Roberts, national co-coordinator for the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform.

News Release, May 29, 2020

Release: Dollar General Reaffirms New Chemicals Policy, But More Action is Needed, Advocates Say

The Campaign for Healthier Solutions (CHS), which is dedicated to getting toxic products out of dollar stores and helping them stock local, sustainably-produced healthy foods, is pleased Dollar General reaffirmed its commitment to removing eight toxic chemicals from its private label cleaning and beauty/personal care products during its annual meeting of shareholders this week, and that company CEO Todd Vasos expressed an interest in expanding the availability of fresh foods and purchasing locally-grown produce.

News Release, April 29, 2020

Release: Affected Communities Urge The Environmental Protection Agency To End The Free Pass It Is Giving Polluters

More than 150 affected communities, environmental justice organizations and other groups are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to rescind or replace its policy allowing companies to stop reporting how much they pollute under the guise of COVID-19.

News Release, April 16, 2020

Release: Groups Sue EPA Over Free Pass for Polluters Amid Pandemic

Coming Clean, the Environmental Justice Health Alliance and many other partners have joined forces with the National Resources Defense Council to sue the EPA in order to protect people from pollution during the coronavirus pandemic.

April 3, 2020

Blog: La industria petroquímica amenaza la salud pública con la coartada del COVID-19

En tiempos de crisis, como la presente pandemia, suele haber un aluvión de actos de bondad humana. También están aquellos que convierten la crisis en oportunidad -- para ellos mismos. Algunos acopian desinfectantes de manos y otros productos esenciales hasta que sus precios se disparan.  Pero las industrias química y de combustibles fósiles dieron un golpe mucho mayor al obtener un pase libre del presidente-- específicamente, el final de la vigilancia ambiental sobre sus operaciones, permitiendo a las compañías emitir contaminantes al aire y al agua sin consecuencias. 

April 3, 2020

Blog: The Petrochemical Industry Threatens Public Health Under the Cover of COVID-19

In times of crisis such as the current pandemic, there is often a surge in acts of human kindness. Then there are those who turn the crisis into opportunity – for themselves. Some stockpile hand sanitizers and other essentials until their prices jump. But the fossil fuels and chemical industries have pulled off a much greater heist by obtaining a presidential hall pass -- namely, the end of environmental oversight over their operations, allowing companies to release air and water pollutants without consequence. 

News Advisory, April 1, 2020

Advisory: Groups Petition EPA Over Reckless Non-Enforcement Policy

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Coming Clean, the Environmental Justice Health Alliance, and The Climate Justice Alliance call on the EPA to protect public health and overburdened communities from pollution during the coronavirus pandemic. Read the full press release and petition on NRDC's website.

News Release, March 27, 2020

Release: Numerous Groups Denounce EPA’s “Free Pass” for Polluters

Environmental justice advocates, scientists, public health experts, affected community members and others joined forces Friday to declare their outrage that the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a sweeping suspension of its enforcement of environmental laws under cover of the coronavirus pandemic.

News Release, March 13, 2020

Release: Court Approves Settlement Requiring EPA Rules on Most Dangerous Chemical Spills

New York, N.Y. – The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York approved a consent decree between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a coalition of community and environmental organizations, including the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform (EJHA), Clean Water Action, and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

News Release, February 24, 2020

Release: A Day Before White House Public Hearing on Proposed Environmental Rollbacks, A Louisiana Couple Tells Their Story About Living with Cumulative Toxic Pollution

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform, Coming Clean and the Center for American Progress released a new video highlighting the story of Christine and Delma Bennett, longtime residents of Mossville, Louisiana, who have suffered from years of exposure to toxic pollution and environmental racism.

News Release, February 11, 2020

Difusión: 99 Cents Only Stores Se Quedan Cortos en Comparación con Otras Tiendas de Dólar en La Eliminación Gradual de Sustancias Químicas Dañinas, dicen Manifestantes Afuera de la Sede de la Empresa el día de Hoy

Se reunieron manifestantes afuera de la sede de 99 Cents Only Stores hoy en Commerce, California, exigiendo que la cadena de tiendas de descuentos deje de vender productos con sustancias químicas toxicas ligadas a anomalías congénitas, el cáncer, las discapacidades del aprendizaje y otras enfermedades serias. Las comunidades en donde operan 99 Cents Only Stores son primordialmente personas de color y de bajos ingresos, mismos que ya se encuentran expuestos en un nivel desproporcional a daños ambientales y sufren de disparidades económicas y de la salud.

News Release, February 11, 2020

Release: 99 Cents Only Stores Lagging Behind Other Dollar Stores in Phasing Out Harmful Chemicals, Say Protesters Outside Company HQ Today

Protesters gathered outside 99 Cents Only Stores headquarters today in Commerce, California, demanding that the discount chain stop selling products with toxic chemicals linked to birth defects, cancer, learning disabilities, and other serious illnesses. The communities served by 99 Cents Only Stores are predominantly people of color and low-income, already disproportionately
exposed to environmental harm and suffering from economic and health disparities.

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