Environmental racism is a big deal. Black communities frequently face environmental issues much more urgent for their own safety than climate change.
We passed quite close to Uniontown AL. Here are some excertps from an article by the Equal Justice Initiative.
“At the end of 2008, after coal ash spilled in a mostly white neighborhood in Tennessee, the Arrowhead Landfill located next to a historic Black cemetery in Uniontown [Alabama] began taking in roughly a hundred railcars a day of coal ash, laden with arsenic, lead, and radioactive elements, for the next two years.
The landfill sits only 100 feet from the front porches of some residents, who have experienced frequent foul odors, upset appetite, respiratory problems, headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. …………..
Eighty-four percent of Uniontown’s 2300 residents are Black………….
In 2012, residents filed a civil rights complaint against Alabama’s Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) with the Environmental Protection Agency…………
In March 2018, after six years, EPA denied the complaint, citing “insufficient evidence.”
I wonder if this will be appealed and if it would be any different under the Biden administration.
Climate change can be seen as an elitist issue, for those with the luxury of living in unpolluted areas. What would you focus on: rising sea levels in the next few decades, or the pile of toxic waste dumped 100 feet from your front door?