Formed by grassroots environmental justice leaders and community groups in late 1997, Greenaction and our community partners and allies have won numerous victories.

SOME KEY VICTORIES

Closed down polluting facilities including

  • the dirty PG&E Hunters Point power plant in Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco, California;
  • the polluting IES and Stericycle medical waste incinerators (Oakland, California and Gila River Indian Community, Arizona);
  • the outdated Red Star Yeast factory that emitted illegal levels of cancer-causing chemicals and noxious odors in Oakland, California;
  • the dangerous Romic hazardous waste plants on the Gila River Indian Community reservation in Arizona and East Palo Alto, California;
  • USEPA “thermal oxidation” incinerators burning hazardous wastes in West Oakland and Maywood, California and Goodyear/Avondale in Arizona;

Defeated proposals for new polluting projects, including

  • PG&E fossil fuel power plant on a barge proposed to operate in Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco, California;
  • Fossil fuel power plant proposed near Kettleman City in Avenal, California;
  • Proposed “plasma arc” and gasification waste incinerators that would have polluted communities in California (Gonzales, Red Bluff, Watsonville, Sacramento, Chowchilla, Alameda, Hanford), Arizona (Sierra Vista), Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah (Sandy), and Florida (Talahassee and St. Lucie);
  • Proposed nuclear waste dump at Ward Valley, California on sacred Indigenous lands near the Colorado River;
  • Plans for toxic waste dump near Quitovac, Sonora, Mexico, that would have desecrated indigenous sacred site and contaminated nearby O’odham village;
  • Formosa Plastic’s plan to ship mercury waste from Taiwan to dump in the U.S. and other countries;
  • Proposed burning of medical waste at the Covanta incinerator in Stanislaus County, California;
  • Proposed giant expansion of regional landfill in Crow’s Landing, Stanislaus County, California;

Encouraged changes in industry policies and practices, including

  • Carried out successful diesel reduction programs in Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco and Kettleman City, California;
  • Together with shutting the PG&E power plant in Bayview Hunters Point in San Francisco, successfully encouraged the use of more clean, renewable energy;
  • Together with closing down dirty medical waste incinerators, successfully encouraged hospitals to reduce their use of toxic PVC and mercury-containing devices and use safer, non-incineration treatment technologies;
  • Worked with community partners to get Recology to reduce vermin and odor problems at their garbage transfer facility in Southeast San Francisco;

Encouraged safe cleanup of toxics, including

  • Forced city, state and federal officials to start massive retesting and improving cleanup at the Hunters Point Shipyard Superfund Site in Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco;
  • Encouraged San Francisco Department of Recreation and Parks to conduct expanded cleanup of India Basin Shoreline Park in Bayview Hunters Point;
  • Succeeded in having AMCO Chemical toxic contamination site in West Oakland, California declared a federal Superfund site on the National Priorities List for cleanup, and the cleanup was safely completed in 2018;
  • Succeeded in getting California state agencies to clean up toxics at future site of kids’ park to residential levels in West Oakland (South Prescott Park);
  • Successfully pressured USEPA to stop burning toxic chemicals at contamination sites in Arizona and California;

Improved regional, state and federal government environmental justice practices, including,

  • Greenaction and El Pueblo of Kettleman City achieved the most precedent-setting environmental justice civil rights settlement in the nation arising out of our Title VI Civil Rights Complaint against the California EPA and Department of Toxic Substances Control. The settlement required the state to develop and adopt new civil rights and language access policies, and criteria to consider violations and cumulative impacts of pollution in permit decisions;
  • Helped our ally Asamblea de Gonzales, grassroots group in the Salinas Valley, win a civil rights settlement with the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority that required the agency to provide improved civic engagement opportunities including an agreement to translate all notices and key documents and meetings into Spanish;
  • Got California Environmental Protection Agency and Bay Conservation and Development Commission to consider rising sea levels due to climate change when evaluating permits for shoreline development along San Francisco Bay;
  • Successfully advocated and organized together with allies for improvements in public outreach and public participation policies and practices by USEPA, California EPA, California Department of Toxic Substances Control, California Department of Public Health and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. This includes increasing translation of key notices and documents in communities where many residents do not speak English;
  • Pushed many regional and state government agencies to start developing methodology to evaluate the cumulative impacts of pollution in their permitting and regulatory decision-making.