meeting. There are Robert McIntyre and Kari Pratt he, a 54-year-old former oil finance lawyer, she, a zealous Christian and devoted mother two toxic refugees who find each other on top of 6,000-foot High Lonesome in West Texas. Each is suffering from a controversial condition whose very existence is debated amongst doctors. According to Robert and Kari, they are “environmentally ill.” As they explain it, the immune system can contain only so much contamination before overflowing into illness. At that point, any exposure to chemicals, even the slightest doses can make an environmentally ill person sick for days. Even an old sweater manufactured years ago with synthetic dyes can make an environmentally ill person sick for days, they claim. When they first met, Kari and Robert found themselves allergic to each other. After months of synchronizing their daily regimens, eating the same foods, taking the same medicines and practicing being together first 15 feet apart, then 10, then five, and finally . . . High Lonesome, they figured, was the last place in America where they could live free from the chemicals permeating every aspect of life. Yet, they too had to flee their lofty haven after the campground west of them sprayed with fenthion. Then there’s Emelle, Alabama, population 626, home of the world’s largest toxic waste dump, “the Cadillac of Landfills,” which houses waste from 46 states. Although the town’s population is 79 percent African American, its politics could best be described as a “plantation power arrangement.” The same families who held power 250 years ago are still holding power. The siting of the chemical waste dump smack in the middle of the African-American community qualified as the climactic insult and injury to the black residents of Sumter County. Setterberg and Shavelson take the reader along to the Environment at the Grassroots MIEOPLE ORGANIZED in Defense of IrEarth Austin residents’ participation in decisions affecting pollution in Austin, the group is now documenting the health impact that the Holly Street power plant has had on nearby residents, demanding public participation in the city’s enterprise zone deci sionmaking process, and pushing hightech manufacturers in East Austin to adopt responsible environmental, labor, and community practices. Since pressuring the fuel tank farms in East Austin to relocate, PODER has t also been monitoring the cleanup of contaminated areas. West Dallas Coalition for Environmental with a 95-percent-minority population, contains 93 polluting industries. Living amidst three refineries, one of which was cited by the city 73 times for violations, residents have suffered from unusually high rates of lead poisoning, cancer, and heart attacks. Activists are pushing for an environmental health assessment of the area and the relocation of homes from what has now been declared a Superfund site \(the largest medical facility to treat those suffering from lead, mercury, zinc, and chromium poisoning, amongst others. The coalition aims to institute a recycling program, to clean up homes and abandoned factories riddled with lead paint, and to provide educational programs for residents on environmental safety. Mothers Organized to Stop 4801.. This East Texas group, based in Winona, is working to shut down Gibraltar, which operates three injection wells in Winona, and to get an environmental impact assessment of the damage done to the area. The injection wells are abandoned oil wells unsuited to contain toxic waste. They have e soil throughout i s locatecl:above .arris Pr4; .flow yides les ent suit wastes, Ors and in the .lenging e allowed was Lloyd and is one of Democratic Party erating Gibraltar unfettered despite anger to residents and to the environment. Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladores tion is working to increase corporate responsibility in the inaquiladores the American-owned factories that move south for the cheap labor and lax environmental regulations. Concerned Citizens for Community Rosenburg-based group is working to prevent the expansion of a landfill in their mostly Latino rural community in Southeast Texas. Friends United for a Safe Environment is fighting for an equitable relocation of the residents of Carver Terrace a designated Superfund site. Alert Citizens for Environmental Safety in Sierra Blanca, has filed two constitutional violation lawsuits against the state to prevent it from siting a radioactive hazardous waste dump in Hudspeth County, which is an economically depressed, remote area with a more than 60 percent Latino population. Working with Save Sierra Blanca, they are also fighting to stop the spreading of sludge from New York on a 200 square mile ranch bought by Merko Joint Venture. With no regulations regarding the spread of sludge in deserts, operators leave it uncovered, open to soil and wind erosion. Sagebrush and topsoil in the Chihuahua Desert have been severely eroded and residents worry that the Rio Grande River will also be affected. ACES members are also working to promote sustainable development in the area. Henderson County Concerned Citizens 5967. This Athens-based group prevented Recontek from opening a hazardous waste reclamation site in Athens after raising questions about the company’s reclamation techniques. The group is presently oppos ing the construction of a 200-bed halfway house in Malakoff. Texas Network for Environmental and Economic Justice/ Texas Center for Policy based group is a central forum for examining the impact of environmental racism in Texas. Their purpose is to help leaders of communities of color across the state build alliances and to develop strategies for affecting and participating in the public policy process. Texas Center for Policy Studies, Gonzalez, Coordinating Committee member of the Texas Network, works with a variety of groups in the Lower Rio Grande Valley on border toxic issues including the export and import of toxic waste, incinerators and cross border emissions, and chan nel dam canal issues. Houston-based grassroots environmental umbrella organization helps communities organize against hazardous waste dumps, incinerators and other toxic threats. Rea l; :’ comet : the pp , owtr Be the 18 FEBRUARY 11, 1994
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