Greenaction believes that having clean air and water is a human right. Unfortunately, too many communities across the US and the world suffer from polluted air and contaminated water. Even in wealthy countries like the US, many low income and people of color communities continue to drink toxic contaminated water and breathe air with pollutants that can cause cancer, respiratory illnesses and other health problems.
CLEAN AIR AND WATER IS A HUMAN RIGHT
Campaigns and Programs
Clean Water for Kettleman City
While Flint, Michigan has had contaminated water for a few years, Kettleman City’s water has been contaminated with benzene and arsenic for decades. In the last few years, the benzene (contamination from old oilfield operations) is being removed but pumped into the air near homes. Drinking water continues to be contaminated with arsenic. The settlement of the civil rights complaint filed by Greenaction and El Pueblo of Kettleman City required the state to use their best efforts to bring clean water to the town. The California EPA now says that the toxic water supply will be replaced with water from the California Aqueduct and treated with a new system in the Spring of 2019.
Protect the Colorado and Green Rivers
Greenaction brought together an upstream/downstream alliance of Native Nations, grassroots Indigenous groups, environmental justice and environmental organizations to support each other and build a stronger movement to oppose ongoing and new threats to the Colorado and Green Rivers and protect them from radioactive and toxic pollution.
Key campaigns are fighting;
- The proposed Green River nuclear power plant,
- The White Mesa Uranium Mill,
- Oil and gas operations throughout the region
Participants included Greenaction, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, Mohave Elders of the Colorado River Indian Tribes, grassroots indigenous groups White Mesa Concerned Community (of Ute Mountain Ute Tribe), Dine CARE and Haul NO from the Navajo Nation, Gila River Alliance for a Clean Environment, tribal members from northern Utes, Skull Valley Goshute, Hopi, O’odham, and non-Native allies including Uranium Watch, Living Rivers, Canyon Country Rising Tide.
Protect San Francisco Bay’s Shoreline Waters
Rising sea levels threaten contamination sites on San Francisco Bay waterfront. Greenaction is leading the fight to challenge industry and government agencies to properly clean up waterfront radioactive and toxic contamination threatened with inundation by rising sea levels caused by climate change. Our work on this issue focuses on San Francisco Bay, where government, industries and mega-developers have ignored the true threat posed by rising sea levels in Bayview Hunters Point, Treasure Island and other communities.
Radioactive and toxic contamination is already leaking into the Bay from these sites, including the notorious Hunters Point Shipyard Superfund Site. Adding to the problem is the fact that the USEPA and Navy want to leave radioactive and toxic waste buried at the Shipyard Superfund Site right on the Bay waterfront.
We Stand with Mauna Kea
The protection of Indigenous Lands and sacred sites and landscapes go hand-in-hand. The summit of Mauna Kea in Hawai’i is one of these sacred landscapes. To Native Hawaiians or Kānaka Maoli, the mountain, Mauna Kea, represents many things; a place of worship, an ancestral burial site, and a life-giving source of fresh water. The aquifer located within Mauna Kea provides fresh water for the town of Hilo and other surrounding communities. Greenaction advocates and supports the protection of Mauna Kea and is adamantly against the building of the proposed Third Meter Telescope (TMT) Project. The TMT project will have a devastating and irreversible environmental impact on Mauna Kea and its fresh water aquifer, desecrate sacred lands, practices, and burial sites, and is an unnecessary addition to a summit overburdened by fourteen previously built telescopes, which have proven to leave toxins after decommission. Greenaction stands in solidarity with the “We Stand with Mauna Kea” and “Protect Mauna Kea” movements and protective actions.
Clean Air for Kids in Fremont
Greenaction is working with parents in Fremont, California whose kids attend an elementary and middle school right next to Tri-City Rock’s concrete batch plant. Emissions from the stack, diesel buses, and from the uncovered piles blow onto the school grounds constantly.
DIESEL IDLING & EMISSIONS REDUCTION CAMPAIGNS
Greenaction has active campaigns to reduce the harmful and illegal idling of diesel trucks in Bayview Hunters Point/San Francisco, Kettleman City & Avenal in the San Joaquin Valley, and we are spreading this successful effort to other communities including the Salinas Valley.
Read our English and Spanish fact sheets on diesel vehicle idling, diesel & health, kids and diesel school buses
BVHP and Kettleman City Community Air Monitoring Projects
Greenaction, in partnership our close community partners, has begun two multi-year community air monitoring project to identify, evaluate and reduce particulate matter pollution as well as exposure to harmful emissions in Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco and Kettleman City in the San Joaquin Valley of California. In both communities, residents suffer high rates of health problems likely linked to pollution.
Read more about the BVHP Community Air Monitoring Project
Read more about the Kettleman City Community Air Monitoring Project
Stop Incinerators and Incinerators in Disguise:
Greenaction works with our community partners to close polluting incinerators and to stop new proposed incinerators, including plasma arc, gasification and pyrolysis technologies. Incineration does not safely or completely destroy the waste being burned, and emits a wide range of toxic contaminants, particulates, and climate change pollutants into the air we breathe.
We work for safer technologies, such as sterilization of medical waste instead of incineration.
In addition to watchdogging government and industry to learn of any new incinerator proposals, Greenaction is engaged in active anti-incinerators campaigns:
Close the Evoqua hazardous waste facility on the Colorado River Indian Tribes, Parker, Arizona
Greenaction continues to work with tribal members to shut down the Evoqua hazardous waste facility where toxic wastes shipped there from companies and government agencies across the nation are burned in a “carbon reactivation” furnace. The facility got built on the reservation in 1991 due to false information presented to the CRIT tribal government by the USEPA and company that claimed that only steam was emitted. In fact, dioxin and a wide range of other hazardous chemicals and metals are emitted into the air. Greenaction is supporting the Colorado River Indian Tribes’ appeal of the permit improperly issued in 2018 by USEPA.
Shut the Stericycle medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake City, Utah now, and stop it from moving to another community or state.
Greenaction started the campaign to close the Stericycle medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake City twenty years ago. In 2015, the company was fined due to serious air pollution violations and submitting false emissions reports. In a clear example of Utah government’s pro-polluter bias, Stericycle was told they could move to a more remote area in Tooele County and incinerate there – despite the major violations and even without a public hearing process. Greenaction joined North Salt Lake City residents and Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment in demanding an immediate closure of the incinerator, and Greenaction opposed it moving to Tooele County. We are currently watchdogging the situation to ensure the incinerator is closing, and to monitor if the company tries to take their polluting incinerator operation to a different state. Medical waste should be sterilized, not burned.
Shut the Covanta garbage incinerator, Crow’s Landing, California
Covanta burns solid waste at their aging incinerator in Stanislaus County in California’s Central Valley, an agricultural heartland. We work with the Valley Improvement Projects and the Grayson Neighborhood Council in this effort.