by Chetanya Robinson
Community advocates are fighting on multiple fronts to diminish the harms caused by air and noise pollution in Beacon Hill and South King County.
An upcoming online forum from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 10, Earth Day Aviation & Health Zoom Rally, will give those interested a chance to learn about how local politicians are addressing the problem.
Continue reading Forum To Address Air and Noise Pollution in Beacon Hill, South King County
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
During the 2019 legislative session, two state senators from South King County sponsored a bill that aimed to improve environmental justice for all of Washington’s residents, but only some of the policy actually became a reality.
This year’s new legislative session, which opened last week, has already seen numerous senators co-sponsor the same policy — including one of the bill’s original champions, the 37th Legislative District’s Rebecca Saldaña — and reintroduce the bill in an attempt to lay the groundwork for achieving a universal standard of environmental health quality across every community in Washington. The Healthy Environment for All (HEAL) Act, Saldaña says, would lay the critical groundwork to effectively implement any environmental legislation that is passed in the State Senate.
Continue reading HEAL Act, “The Cornerstone of Any Environmental Policy,” Makes Its Way Through Legislature