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ERIC Number: EJ762829
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec-1
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1557-5411
Unequal Exposure
Roach, Ronald
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, v22 n21 p32-35 Dec 2005
For nearly three decades, the environmental justice movement has attracted thousands of activists, scholars and ordinary citizens to mobilize on behalf of communities that have been overburdened with hazardous waste sites, petrochemical plants, incinerators, lead contamination, polluted air and contaminated drinking water. In many cases, activists and scholars have produced evidence that minorities have been disproportionately victimized by exposure to toxic wastes by companies that have deliberately built their disposal facilities near minority communities. The practice has been dubbed "environmental racism" by activists. While Hurricane Katrina exposed deep-rooted poverty among New Orleans' Black community, it also illustrated the city's precarious environmental situation. Sediment from contaminated flood waters has lingered on during the city's massive cleanup efforts. Federal officials have attributed at least nine major oil spills and numerous smaller oil and hazardous substance spills and leaks to Katrina's destruction. In addition, an estimated 60 underground storage tanks, hazardous waste storage facilities and industrial facilities, as well as five Superfund sites in New Orleans, were hit by Katrina. Some experts and officials have recommended that the government prohibit residential and commercial redevelopment in the lowest lying areas of New Orleans, including the predominantly Black working-class district known as the lower Ninth Ward. They suggest recycling the land into wetlands to minimize population exposure to future hurricanes. But environmental justice advocates who have worked on behalf of Black communities in New Orleans, as well as some local officials, are urging redevelopment of the entire city. They are insistent that uniform cleanup standards be applied equally among all affected communities.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A