South Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance – Recommended Reading

Robert Bullard. Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality (Westview Press, 2000).

Dumping in Dixie is an intellectually stimulating and deeply disturbing book that makes you think about the meaning of environmental racism for people who have to live in these unhealthy locations and what is says about our society as a whole.

——. The Quest For Environmental Justice: Human Rights and the Politics of Pollution (Sierra Club Books, 2005)

In this new edited book, Bullard offers another disturbing account of unequal distribution of environmental hazards. He examines the toxic impact on poor and minority communities from Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley” to Nigeria’s oil valleys.

Olga Pomar’s chapter, “Toxic Racism on a New Jersey Waterfront,” describes the overwhelming struggles of Camden, NJ residents. (Olga Pomar is an attorney at the Camden branch of LSNJ)

David Naguib Pellow and Robert J. Brulle, eds. Power, Justice, and the Environment: A Critical Appraisal of the Environmental Justice Movement (MIT Press, 2005).

An insightful analysis of the history of the EJ movement and a hopeful vision for its future.

Andrew Szasz, Ecopopulism: Toxic Waste and the Movement for Environmental Justice (University of Minnesota Press, 1994).

Szasz uncovers crucial issues of race, class and gender as he tells the story of the our growing environmental problems.


Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty, 1987-2007: Grassroots Struggles to Dismantle Environmental Racism

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the United Church of Christ landmark 1987 Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States report. As part of the celebration, the UCC commissioned a new study, Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty, 1987-2007: Grassroots Struggles to Dismantle Environmental Racism, led by environmental justice scholars Robert D. Bullard (Clark Atlanta University), Paul Mohai (University of Michigan), Robin Saha (University of Montana), and Beverly Wright (Dillard University of Louisiana). The new report is the first to use 2000 census data, a current national database of commercial hazardous waste facilities, and Geographic Information Systems to count persons living nearby to assess nationally the extent of racial and socioeconomic disparities in facility locations. It also examines racial disparities by region and state, and for metropolitan areas, where most hazardous waste facilities are located. >>> more

READ THE FULL REPORT >>> (167 pages, pdf)

Racism and Metropolitan Dynamics: The Civil Rights Challenge of the 21st Century (August 2002) (36 pages)

A briefing paper prepared for the Ford Foundation by john a. powell at the Institute on Race and Poverty (University of Minnesota Law School, Aug 2002) Advocates must contend with the long legacy of explicitly racist government policies that substantially dictate both where opportunities are located today and who is able to gain access to those opportunities. To combat this racist history, make connections between people and opportunities, and remedy the spatial aspects of structural racism, we need to adopt regional strategies and policies.

READ THE FULL REPORT >>> (36 pages, pdf)

Not in My Backyard: Executive Order 12.898 and Title VI as Tools for Achieving Environmental Justice
(U.S. commission on Civil Rights, October 2003, 194 pages, pdf)

This report examines how well four federal agencies—the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Transportation—have implemented Executive Order 12,898 and Title VI. Executive Order 12,898 requires federal agencies to collect data on the health and environmental impact of their activities on communities of color and low-income populations, and develop policies incorporating the principles of environmental justice into their programs and activities. In this report the Commission assesses the efforts of these agencies to adopt, promote, and execute policies ensuring that environmental justice is incorporated into their core missions, whether affected communities are provided meaningful participation in environmental decision-making processes, and to what extent these communities have access to scientific data and effective Title VI enforcement procedures.

READ THE REPORT >>> (194 pages, pdf)

Toxic Pollution and Health: An Analysis of Toxic Chemicals Released in Communities Across the United States
(NJPIRG Law & Policy Center, March 2007)

The report, Toxic Pollution and Health, uses information from the federal Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) to analyze toxic pollution linked to serious health problems such as cancer, birth defects or neurological damage. Due to a recent EPA action restricting the public’s right-to-know, today’s report may provide one of the last complete pictures of toxic pollution in New Jersey. …

The federal Toxic Release Inventory is a public right-to-know program that requires industrial facilities to publicly disclose their toxic releases. In 2004, EPA reported that the TRI has helped to reduce toxic pollution by 57% nationwide since its inception in 1988. Despite this success, the EPA recently weakened the program by authorizing industrial facilities to withhold previously reported pollution information. >>> read more about the report on NJPIRG’s website

READ THE FULL REPORT >>> (65 pages, pdf)

Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) RESOURCES
The Northeast Report

A new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists and a group of independent scientists illustrates the effects our choices will have on the Northeast’s health, natural resources, economy, and very character by looking at two different futures—one where we remain heavily reliant on fossil fuels, producing high levels of global warming pollution, and one where we begin to reduce our emissions as individuals, industries, and communities. The report also explores actions we can take to reduce emissions.


Journals, journal articles and book chapers

The Jersey Sierrian. The Jersey Sierran, the quarterly publication of the New Jersey Chapter, is now available online in pdf format.


Montague, Peter and Maria B. Pellerano. “Environmental Advocacy in the United States” in Encyclopedia of Toxicology, 2nd ed., Philip Wexler, ed., Academic Press, 2005, p. 178-202.
(ISBN 0-12-745353-7)

Review of the book:
“This three-volume encyclopedia covers basic, critical, and controversial elements in toxicology, i.e. those elements that are essential to an understanding of the subject’s scientific underpinnings and societal ramifications. As such, it covers not only key concepts such as dose response, mechanism of action, testing procedures, endpoint responses, and target sites, but also individual chemicals and classes of chemicals. Although the reference has a strong chemical emphasis, it also looks at concepts such as radiation and noise, history, laws, regulation, education, organizations, and databases. The entries are alphabetically arranged and extensively cross-referenced. The index is in Volume III.” –Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR

Montague’s and Pellerano’s chapter represents an excellent history of the US environmental movement with its various forerunners, such as conservation and public health movements, to today’s environmental movement. A special focus on the social determinants of health and various hypotheses are explored, and an introduction to new scientific perspectives on links between environment and disease, are provided. This balanced, insightful overview of environmental issues is highly recommended reading for every U.S. citizen, and a requirement must for environmental activists.

>>> read: History_US_Environmental_Movement.pdf

Coming Spring 2008 – Environmental Justice, a new quarterly peer-reviewed journal, will be the central forum for the research, debate, and discussion of the equitable treatment and involvement of all people, especially minority and low-income populations, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

In the News

Feb 17, 2007. Santa Cruz, CA. SF Bay Area’s poor and minorities face disproportionate burden of exposure to environmental hazards. From African American residents of West Oakland’s diesel-choked neighborhoods to Latinos in San Francisco’s traffic-snarled Mission District, poor and minority residents of the San Francisco Bay Area get more than their share of exposure to air pollution and environmental hazards.


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