To: President Obama, United States Environmental Protection Agency and the California EPA
From: 65 Community, Environmental Justice, Indigenous, Climate, Health, Civil Rights, Environmental and Social Justice Groups
April 17, 2013
Protect our Health, Environment, Climate, Communities and Civil Rights – Not Polluters
1. Reject permits to chronic polluters, and reject permits that cause additional cumulative
health risk and environmental impacts – therefore reject the expansion of the Chemical Waste
Management hazardous waste and PCB landfill in Kettleman City.
2. End the discriminatory and disproportionate targeting and locating of waste disposal
facilities in low-income communities of color, and end environmental racism in permits
3. Reject the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline and the Enbridge Alberta Clipper Line 67
pipeline expansions that undermine U.S. commitment to a clean sustainable energy future and
that violates the rights of Indigenous Peoples not only in the United States but the First Nations of
Canada. The environmental assessment on the Keystone XL pipeline has not adequately
reported the environmental, social, cultural and human rights impacts from the framework of an
environmental justice analysis.
4. Hold Chevron’s Richmond Refinery accountable for the criminal act of misleading
regulators by rerouting gas emissions around refinery monitoring and burning them off
into the atmosphere. Residual gases from the ultra heated crude oil, which generates fuels,
poses a risk of respiratory ailments as well as risks of cancer to local and neighboring
5. Clean up toxic contamination sites safely and promptly in Bayview Hunters Point, West
Oakland and other communities, with full community participation in decisions.
6. Establish your environmental justice policies on the following principles:
? Reducing and eliminating the cumulative impacts of environmental problems, and social
? Engaging in early collaboration consistent with meaningful Consultation with Tribes before
planning activities that impact Tribal ancestral or traditional territories and Tribal natural
? Obtaining the free, prior and informed consent of communities, including Tribal communities
before permitting damaging projects;
? Recognizing the rights of future generations and the responsibilities of present generations to
future generations in all environmental decisions;
? Using a precautionary approach in environmental justice decisions and acting to prevent harm
in the face of scientific uncertainty;
? Evaluate and reduce cumulative impacts of pollution, especially in overburdened communities,
in permit and regulatory decision-making.
7. Comply with and strengthen enforcement of federal and state civil rights laws in
environmental decision-making, including Title VI of the US Civil Rights Act and California Government Code 11135, and environmental justice mandates, with special attention to poor
communities, Tribes and Tribal communities and communities of color.
8. Reject Offshore Drilling in the Arctic Ocean and Protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The Arctic is suffering from the effects of climate change at alarming and unmatched rates. Fossil
fuel development undermines the self-determination and subsistence rights of Alaska’s Indigenous
Peoples, and must not move forward in these imperiled Arctic ecosystems.
9. Aggressively expand EPA’s Clean Energy voluntary programs towards involuntary programs
to immediately reduce climate, air quality, health and environmental impacts while achieving
broader economic development and climate goals. Support real renewable energy – such as
distributed solar and wind energy systems that is sited in appropriate locations that fully recognize
and protect historical, cultural and sacred/religious properties, archeological remains and the
rights of indigenous peoples.
10. In recognition of EPA’s finding that greenhouse gas emissions are a pollutant that
endangers public health and welfare, fully employ and enforce the Clean Air Act to reduce
carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million. Transitioning to a lowercarbon economy will protect public health,create jobs and open up opportunities for community promoting clean investments that creates a foundation for future growth and sustainability.
11. Maintain critical funding for community sustainability programs through the EPA (e.g. the
CARE program), technical assistance grant program, DOE (e.g. LIHEAP), HUD (e.g. Partnership
for Sustainable Communities), the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Initiative, and many
others that build community capacity, community health and community pride. Develop rigorous
rules and programs to truly fulfill the spirit of the Environmental Justice Executive Order.
12. Reject false solutions to climate change such as carbon trading and carbon offsets that
only allow polluters to continue to poison our communities. Such schemes, such as
California REDD forest offsets under California’s AB 32, promises only to dispossess indigenous
peoples in Chiapas, Mexico, and Acre, Brazil, while allowing Chevron and other polluters to
continue to pollute. Domestically, Shell proposes to buy 500,000 carbon credits from a Michigan
forestry project that will allow its Martinez refinery to offset its toxic and greenhouse gas
emissions, pushing the planet further down the road to catastrophic global warming.
13. Enhance implementation and enforcement of CERCLA, more commonly known as the
Superfund law, in order to strengthen its “polluter pays” principle. EPA should conduct
prompt and safe remediation of contaminants and uncontrolled hazardous wastes in our soils and
waterways (including groundwater resources) and directly involve residents in decision-making.
EPA must more forcibly hold polluters accountable at Superfund locations whether they are
corporations, military bases or nuclear weapons sites like Livermore Lab, where toxic and
radioactive poisons moving through environment threaten public health.
14. Reject the development of nonconventional fuels including oil shale, liquid coal, ultra-heavy
oils and other ultra-deep off shore deposits while protecting our public lands and waters from
shortsighted extraction, drilling and exploration. This includes refinery expansions and other
infrastructure build-outs of the expansion of these bottom-of-the barrel fuels that emit higher levels
of greenhouse gases and create ecological devastation.
15. End support for the landfilling, incineration and plasma/pyrolysis/gasification of waste,
tires, biomass and sewage sludge – all industries that are more carbon-intensive and toxic than
coal power. Increase pollution prevention and zero waste efforts.16.End support for hydraulic fracturing and other oil and natural gas projects that pollute and
prolong the destruction of our water quality, natural resources, environment and community health.
17. No Nuclear Power. Shutdown the problem plagued San Onofre plant. Reject the proposed
Green River, Utah nuclear power plant that threatens the Green and Colorado Rivers and the
drinking and agricultural water for tens of millions of people.
18. We strongly urge CalEPA to avoid placing any limits on the use of the California
Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool (Cal-EnviroScreen). Restricting the use
of the tool just as it is finalized will be a significant step backwards from the hard work of OEHHA and CalEPA.
Participating Organizations in the Earth Day Action for Environmental and Climate Justice:
American Indian Movement West
ANSWER Coalition-Bay Area
Asamblea de Poder Popular de Gonzales
Asian Pacific Environmental Network
Bay Area Environmental Health Collaborative
Bay Native Circle
Breast Cancer Action
California Indian Environmental Alliance
Californians for Pesticide Reform
Center for Environmental Health
Central California Environmental Justice Network
Center for Biological Diversity
Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment
Chinese Progressive AssociationCommunities for a Better Environment
Community Food and Justice Coalition
EBASE (East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy)
El Pueblo Para El Aire y Agua Limpia/People for Clean Air & Water of Kettleman City
Environmental Justice Air Quality Coalition
Equal Justice Society
FACES (Filipino/American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity)
Fresno Brown Berets
Friends of the Earth
Gila River Alliance for a Clean Environment
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
Global Community Monitor
Grayson Neighborhood Council
Greenaction for Health & Environmental Justice
Healthy 880 Communities
Huntersview Mothers & Fathers Committee for Health & Environmental Justice
Indigenous Environmental Network
Industrial Workers of the World
International Forum on Globalization
MAPA (Mexican American Political Association)
No Nukes Action
Occupy Oakland Environmental Justice CommitteeOccupy San Francisco Environmental Justice Work Group
Rainforest Action Network
Richmond Progressive Alliance
SF-Bay Area Chapter, Physicians for Social Responsibility
San Francisco Green Party
Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition
SSP&RIT (Sacred Site Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes)
The Ruckus Society
United Native Americans
Valley Improvement Project
Wild Equity Institute
West Berkeley Alliance for Clean Air & Safe Jobs
West County Toxics Coalition West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project
Workers & Students United
Youth in Action
Youth United for Community Action
350 Bay Area
Download the statement here.