3 p.m. EDT MONDAY, JUNE 9 2014
Who’s in Danger? Race, Poverty, and Chemical Disasters: The case for Green Chemistry and Environmental Justice
Featuring MICHELE ROBERTS, Environmental Justice and Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform, & RICHARD MOORE, Los Jardines Institute
More than 134 million Americans live in the danger zones around 3,433 facilities in several common industries that store or use highly hazardous chemicals.The people who live in these chemical facility vulnerability zones are disproportionately Black (African American) or Latino. The U.S. experiences several serious toxic chemical releases every week, including the August, 2012 explosion at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, CA that sent 15,000 people to hospitals seeking treatment, and the April,2013 fertilizer storage facility explosion in West, TX that killed 15 people and leveled an entire neighborhood.
In a typical year, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board screens more than 250 high consequence chemical incidents involving death, injury, evacuation, or serious environmental or property damage—and these are only the very worst incidents. It’s time to implement the most effective strategies that reduce and eliminate avoidable chemical hazards whenever possible, and adopt a comprehensive set of policies to protect workers and communities.
Communities that already bear the brunt of industrial pollution will also bear the greatest harm from a chemical disaster—making chemical safety and security a central environmental justice issue of our time.
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