environmental inequality

Judges throw out Virginia ACP permit in African-American community

Environmental Justice, finally:

A panel of federal judges has thrown out the permit for a natural gas pumping station in the historic African American community of Union Hill in Buckingham County, saying state regulators failed to consider whether the facility would disproportionately affect a vulnerable population. The ruling is another setback for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a controversial 600-mile, $7.5 billion project being led by Dominion Energy.

Issued Tuesday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, the decision faulted Virginia’s Air Pollution Control Board for an action that it said was “arbitrary, capricious, and unsupported by substantial evidence in the record.”

The folks in Union Hill were featured in a recent Friday fracking video, and we should all applaud this decision. Things haven't changed much since the Industrial Revolution began shifting dangerous, noisy, and pollutive facilities into communities of color, and they've gone from one form of bondage to another. Hat-tip to the Southern Environmental Law Center for attempting to change that dynamic:

Environmental Injustice: Black children get new school next to Superfund sites

As usual, Lisa Sorg is right on top of the situation:

What a contrast it would be to the current Aberdeen Elementary and Primary schools. Built in the 1940s, when Aberdeen was formally segregated, the schools are cramped, dilapidated and threadbare. They remind teachers, staff and students – most of whom are from communities of color – of enduring inequality. But this land and this school would be different. Better yet, the property was cheap: $9,000 an acre. It was the first and only offer school district administrators considered.

The land was cheap for a reason. It is sandwiched between two Superfund sites where pesticides were dumped for 50 years. It is located next to an industrial area and within a mile of 10 air pollution sources.

The more infuriating part of this is the fact that everybody involved in this decision knew damn well this plot of land was bad news. You'd be hard-pressed to find so many hazardous sites gathered together so densely anywhere else, and if you'll take a glance at that image above, the school is going just above that big red-orange blurp that signifies groundwater tainted with (among other things) TCE. But when it comes to local politics, once the fix is in, it's damned near impossible to convince people to step back:

Hog farm rally *not* held at actual hog farm site

Because who wants to smell that shit anyway:

Most recently, a jury awarded more than $25 million last week to Duplin County residents Elvis and Vonnie Williams, neighbors of the 4,700-hog farm of Joey Carter, a former Beulaville police chief. That was where Republican legislators and other elected officials brought supporters Tuesday for a rally and news conference criticizing the lawsuits and touting a new state farm law that limits when and how hog-farm neighbors can file nuisance suits.

“You work hard every single day to make ends meet, you know the daily struggles of what it’s like to grow pigs or turkeys or chickens or to grow your row crops, and you do that without complaining and the government comes in and passes regulation after regulation,” Lt. Gov. Dan Forest told farmers.

I don't want to be that guy that says "fake news," but this is simply not correct. The spot where this "rally" was held is approximately 3/5 of a mile away from the hogs & lagoon featured in the lawsuit, with a substantial strand of forest separating them. But see, they couldn't invite all those outraged white people to the *real* site, because it's literally a horror show:

Subscribe to RSS - environmental inequality