by Paulina López and Troy D. Abel
Recently, legislative debates turned from carbon pricing to the Healthy Environment for All Act (HEAL) uplifting environmental justice (EJ). This is important legislation, but what we really need are bold solutions and different laws addressing a persistent form of unjust and ongoing pollution. Air toxic exposure disparities and their impacts on communities like the Duwamish Valley are still being ignored by politicians and industry. This inattention continues even as new research suggests that higher air pollution may increase COVID-19 vulnerability and deaths.
Many environmentalists in our region not only overlook decades of toxic air pollution injustice, some even gloss over the problem. In January, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Seattle office announced that industrial toxic releases declined in the Northwest. Pollution dropped 12% in 2019 for 752 facilities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. They further asserted “that U.S. companies that use and manage chemicals and metals continue to make progress in preventing pollution.”
But we knew that regional averages likely obscured trends in our heavily polluted Duwamish River Valley neighborhoods of Georgetown and South Park — often first documented by our community. EPA analysts lumped air, water, and land pollution together. When viewed separately, air and water pollution went up in the Northwest. Surface-water discharges increased by 1.17 million pounds and air pollution by 610 thousand pounds between 2018 and 2019.
Continue reading OPINION: Clean Air Everywhere, for Everyone in Washington
by Elizabeth Turnbull
Front and Centered, a coalition focused on racial equity and environmental justice, held a media briefing on Thursday, Feb. 18, featuring members of its Community Council to address pollution and its effects on communities of color across the nation. At the briefing, panelists specifically pushed against cap-and-trade policy proposals, including one in Washington State.
Continue reading Environmental Justice Activists Push Back on Inslee Cap-and-Trade Proposal
by Jack Russillo
On December 15, Governor Jay Inslee released a package of new climate change policies that will continue to push for cleaner fuel standards and limit greenhouse-gas emissions.
The announcement came during a press conference held by Inslee to announce his climate policy suggestions as part of his 2021-2023 budget proposal. The legislation will be voted on during the state legislature’s next regular session, which runs from January 11 to April 25.
Continue reading Inslee Announces Comprehensive Climate Policy for Washington’s 2021-2023 Budget
by Jack Russillo
They’re calling it “Campfire Stories,” and the event will shed light on some of Seattle’s most innovative and ambitious leaders working toward a sustainable and equitable future.
On Tuesday December 8 at 6 p.m. Sustainable Seattle (S2) will host its eleventh Sustainability Leadership Awards, where it will recognize and celebrate the efforts of local experts, organizers, and organizations that have produced exceptional sustainability work in the past year. This year, the free event will take place online. Virtual doors will open at 5:45 p.m. and the event will commence shortly after.
Since 1991, S2 has worked to guide initiatives, create events, assemble a diverse range of community members, and spread awareness from around the Seattle area to activate a world that is safe, accessible, and enduring for all.
Continue reading Sustainable Seattle to Host Virtual Leadership Awards Event to Celebrate and Connect Local Sustainability Experts
by Melia LaCour
It took several attempts before I could finally write this article. What do the 2020 election victories for Black women Democrats mean to me as a Black, mixed-race woman? Each time, I erupted in explosive grief. A complex grief that holds a thousand stories.
Continue reading When We Elect Black Women Leaders
by Frances Lee
Melissa Watkinson recalls a time in the past when she could go crabbing at the end of the dock in the Puget Sound and catch a great deal of crab. She can’t do that anymore. These days, she has to go on a boat into deeper waters to catch any.
“My nieces won’t know what it’s like to be able to throw a pot at the end of a dock and catch some crab,” Watkinson said.
Continue reading Declining Marine Health Threatens Traditional Subsistence Fishing for Tribes