Today is about more than recognizing the planet’s beauty. Earth Day should acknowledge those who suffer the toxic burdens our way of life has created. The government agencies supposed to protect us have been captured by the industries they regulate, leaving polluters in a position to dump contamination on the communities least able to push back, often low-income communities of color. This is a deep injustice, but it also reveals a way forward: politicians allow this to happen in places where they face the least political pressure.
Don’t let them get away with it!
This Earth Day, sign and share our petitions to call for environmental justice and ask your elected representatives to support complete and responsible cleanups at several highly polluted sites in California.
Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, CA
Located in southeast San Francisco, the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood is home to a predominantly low-income, minority community. Rather than performing a full cleanup of the site and removing the contaminated soil as promised, the Navy plans to instead leave almost all of it behind.
San Onofre Nuclear Plant, San Diego, CA
3.6 million pounds of highly radioactive waste from the San Onofre Nuclear Plant near San Diego are being stored a mere 100 feet from the ocean. it is crucial that the nuclear waste be locally relocated higher up on Camp Pendleton to a defensible site away from the water, such as the “Mesa.” The Trump Administration and some legislators are, however, pushing to ship waste from San Onofre and other reactors to temporary “Consolidated Interim Sites” that would be situated in low-income, minority communities in Texas or New Mexico.
Santa Susana Field Lab, Simi Valley, CA
In 1959 an uncontained partial meltdown of a sodium reactor caused such a devastating radiation leak that many consider it to be the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history – and it was completely covered up for years. Now, the surrounding community has up to 60% higher cancer rates, 20% higher invasive breast cancer rates, and over 50 children who may have been poisoned by one of the worst nuclear meltdowns in America.
Happy Earth Day!