"EPA to Require Air Pollution Measurements in Black Communities"

"WASHINGTON -- For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency may require oil refineries to regularly measure the air quality at their perimeters. These fence line measurements will give surrounding communities – largely low-income communities of color – data on the level of pollution they are exposed to each day.

The EPA’s proposed rule changes are the result of a lawsuit brought against them by environmental advocacy nonprofit, Earthjustice and a few grassroots groups around the country, including the Community In-Power Development Association. The group is based in Port Arthur, Texas, a historically Black neighborhood turned fence line community surrounded by four oil refineries, six chemical plants, one international incineration facility, and one pet coke facility. Pet coke is both a refining byproduct and a fuel source that, when burned, emits more carbon dioxide than coal.

Hilton Kelley founded the association in 2000. He says the lawsuit was years in the making."

Jazelle Hunt reports for NNPA/blackpressUSA August 19, 2014.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014