Open Letter to EJ in PA Conference Organizers

[Note: this have been updated on 4/6 to reflect the last-minute addition of PECO/Exelon and Fox Rothschild as sponsors and that DEP, PERC, and Harrisburg University did not contribute monetarily to this event, despite being listed as “partners” which is a sponsorship level of $1,000.]

We call for accountability, transparency, and justice in what is being called an “Environmental Justice in Pennsylvania” Summit on April 6, 2021.

One would expect that such a summit would be conceived, planned, and led by environmental justice leaders in Pennsylvania. Instead, this conference is conceived and funded largely by corporate, governmental, non-profit, and academic entities that are long-time perpetrators of environmental racism and social injustice.

We call this out for the sham that it is, and urge that our demands below be met by Earth Day, April 22, 2021.

Continue reading “Open Letter to EJ in PA Conference Organizers”

Dismantling of the Chester-Upland Public School System “where segregation is admittedly a fact but not a policy.”

Chester Upland School District Logo

MUST READ!!! A for-profit charter school is trying to privatize the whole system after gutting the district financially over the years. Chester’s education and health are not for sale! This is too much for one city to bear.

Quotes from article: “If there was not money in this,” one advocate told me, “none of these carpetbaggers would be here. There’s money in poverty.”

“When a district is segregated, abandoned, underfunded, and deprived of resources, it suffers. And when the state, rather than aiding it, allows it to be picked over and fed upon by private for-profit businesses, it suffers even more, creating the possibility of a community that is no longer able to fulfil the promise of a free public education for all of its children. Chester Upland seems less likely to have a happy ending and more likely to end as a tragic cautionary tale. Pennsylvania’s students deserve better.”

PA Bill passed that gives the green light to “plastic-to-energy” facilities

Last month, Gov. Wolf signed a new law in PA laying out regulation for “advanced recycling” also known as chemical recycling. Yet another move in the industry playbook that puts profits over the health of people. The bill gives the green light to a new polluting “plastic to energy” facilities that won’t be regulated as a solid waste facility, but rather as a manufacturer, meaning they do not have to abide by the same regulations and emission standards as other waste incinerators.

Burning plastic as fuel is taking us further into fossil fuel direction – instead of confronting the plastic crisis and advocating to move away from single-use. PennFuture and Clean Air Council both tried to stop the legislation. We can barely get plastic bag bans in effect – meanwhile industry executives can cook up a business idea under the guise that they are helping to recycle plastic, a process which will emit toxic pollutants with little to no regulation, and lobby to get a bill passed that removes environmental regulation hurdles, lickety-split!

https://www.inquirer.com/science/climate/advanced-recycling-pennsylvania-plastics-fossil-fuel-climate-change-20201203.html

THIS IS NOT A SOLUTION!

More info on this and other false solutions to plastics-

“United Shades of America” docuseries sheds light on lead pollution and Covanta incinerator

United Shades of America - CNN

Check out the “Toxic America” episode of CNN’s docuseries “United Shades of America” hosted by Kamau Bell. The final episode of Season 4 aired in 2019 examines the effects of industrial waste pollution in Chester, Delaware County, and lead poisoning in neighboring Philadelphia. Featuring our own Zulene Mayfield.

https://www.phillyvoice.com/cnn-united-shades-america-lead-poisoning-pollution-philly-chester-kamau-bell/

https://www.cnn.com/shows/united-shades-of-america

Chester plant slapped with $750K fine for years of air quality violations- July 30, 2019

Source: https://www.inquirer.com/health/chester-pq-corporation-pollution-dep-fine-20190730.html

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has fined PQ Corp., a global manufacturer of materials and chemicals, $750,000 for air quality and other violations at a large Chester facility it operates.

PQ, based in Malvern, owns a 173,000-square-foot plant on West Front Street, where the DEP says emissions exceeded allowances for nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide at various times from 2014 to 2018.

Continue reading “Chester plant slapped with $750K fine for years of air quality violations- July 30, 2019”

Moment of reckoning: US cities burn recyclables after China bans imports- Feb. 21, 2019

 Activists Mike Ewall, left, and Zulene Mayfield stand in front of the Covanta incinerator in Chester, Pennsylvania. The incinerator brings in garbage from New York, Ohio and other states. Photograph: Hannah Yoon/The Guardian

Source: https://www.inquirer.com/health/chester-pq-corporation-pollution-dep-fine-20190730.html

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has fined PQ Corp., a global manufacturer of materials and chemicals, $750,000 for air quality and other violations at a large Chester facility it operates.

PQ, based in Malvern, owns a 173,000-square-foot plant on West Front Street, where the DEP says emissions exceeded allowances for nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide at various times from 2014 to 2018.

The facility produces sodium silicate, a chemical compound derived from sand and soda ash. Sodium silicate is used in a wide variety of products, including hair colorings, cleaners, and water treatment systems.

Continue reading “Moment of reckoning: US cities burn recyclables after China bans imports- Feb. 21, 2019”

Why Philly’s trash is Chester’s air pollution – WHYY

Check out this recording of The Why feature aired by WHYY on June 17, 2019.

About one-third of Philadelphia’s garbage goes to a facility in Chester, Pa. where the waste is burned and converted into energy. But that incinerator also pollutes the air Chester residents breathe and researchers say it’s one of the dirtiest in the U.S. Catalina Jaramillo, a reporter with WHYY’s PlanPhilly, explains why the city continues to send its trash there — and why many incinerators like this one are located in low-income communities of color.