Two weeks ago I wrote about S-232 and stated that in my opinion the bill was moving too quickly. While I received some negative comments, to be expected, let me be clear that I firmly think that environmental justice is important.
There are two articles attached to this blog…one a detailed history of two sites where communities of color are clearly in a bad way with regard to environmental justice and the second about the approval of a technology for recycling food waste in an industrial zone.
The questions here are many..but there are two that stand out…
1. We know that the housing in urban industrial areas was historically built to accommodate workers at the plants in the neighborhoods.
2. We know that as times have changed, poorer people have moved into those areas as that was the housing available in their affordability range.
Does that mean that industry should leave? NO
Does that mean that industry should be allowed to pollute? NO
What is lost in this debate is the need for industrial jobs..but perhaps more importantly, the need for strong environmental enforcement.
In the case of the Philadelphia industrial fire, how did that plant operate in violation for so long? Then when it filed for bankruptcy, how is it that the executives received $4.5 million and the workers laid off nothing? Why weren’t the executives responsible arrested for violating environmental laws?
This case had a pretty good outcome…new, cleaner industry will move in and jobs will be created on a cleaned up property… To go further, there should be no need to idle trucks….use clean technology for this…Encourage electric vehicles, etc. And most importantly, insure enforcement of environmental laws.
In the Linden article, take a look at a satellite image of the property. This site appears perfectly suited for a food recycling operation. If the truck routes are properly designed, the local neighborhood should be protected.
Yes, this is a complicated question…