By Erin Middleton, Community Outreach Specialist
The diverse coalition called for action on community pollution issues and for policy and regulatory action to address pollution and global climate change. Top EPA officials were present to hear the concerns and receive the demands of urban, rural and indigenous low-income and communities of color impacted by pollution, including:
- Richmond residents who spoke out against Chevron’s failure to replace aging equipment and lax government oversight that caused the fire in August 2012, sending thousands to the hospital.
- Residents from Bayview Hunters Point, West Oakland, Livermore and other communities who demanded the long-overdue prompt and safe cleanup of toxic contamination sites near homes.
- Residents of Kettleman City in the San Joaquin Valley suffering from birth defects, infant deaths and childhood cancer who demanded the denial of permits to expand the violation-plagued Chemical Waste Management hazardous waste and PCB landfill in this town that also has contaminated water, pesticides, diesel pollution and fracking.
- Indigenous people, in solidarity with the First Nations of Canada, who led the call for the Obama Administration to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline that would transport dirty crude oil from environmentally destructive tar sands in Canada to the US, and will demand an end to desecration of sacred and culturally significant sites.
- Residents of the Salinas Valley town of Gonzales, fighting a proposed plasma arc garbage incinerator, who denounced state and federal support for this polluting technology and protest environmental racism.
- Challenges to the federal and state agencies to comply with and enforce their own civil rights and environmental laws and environmental justice policies, and to deny permits to chronic polluters.