Saturday, March 31, 2007

Diane Bodman Said She Thoroughly Enjoyed the Conference

Lessie Price, Diane Bodman, John Rosenthall, Melinda Downing

Diane Bodman was right at home. Clearly she is the power that propelled her other half. Mrs. Bodman attended the "Environmental Justice and Nuclear Power" Roundtable. She also attended other sessions and discussed the details of the conference with Kurt Schmoke, Dean of the Howard Law School and one of the conveners of the conference.

Mrs. Bodman was very interested in the issues presented at the conference. She questioned participants about the issues covered in the sessions. Her interest and participation are greatly appreciated. We are delighted that she participated in the conference and had a great experience. We hope she will return next year. And maybe this time she will be a panelist or moderator for one of the sessions.

Pictured: Lessie Price, Manager, Community Assistance Department, Washington Savannah River Company, prime contractor for DOE's Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C.

Pictured: Melinda Downing, Environmental Justice Program Manager, U.S. Department of Energy

Michelle Hudson Demonstrated Her Logistics Wizardry

Michelle Hudson, right, handled every logistic imaginable at the 2007 EJ Conference. Low keyed and fierce, she assured that the conference ran smoothly. No detail was too small and no challenge was too large for her to handle. If the conference was The Matrix, she would be Trinity. If the conference was Alien vs Predator, she would be Sanaa Lathan. If the conference was The Terminator, she would be Sarah Conner. While John Rosenthall was being Neo, Hudson was saving him.

Michelle Hudson is a Public Participation Specialist for the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). She shuns the spotlight and prefers the practicality of logistics wizardry, but do not be mistaken, the conference could not have been successful without her.

Day 3 - Of The 2007 EJ Conference Tops It All Off

Conference Coordinator John Rosenthall, left, opened and closed the conference from the podium of the Moot Court. The final day of the conference was just as successful as the first and second days. Moreover, conferees from other parts of the country were treated to three days of perfect weather. Of course, Washington, DC has record pollen levels at this time of year. Everyday was beautiful inside and outside the conference. The cherry trees in the front of the Moot Court were in bloom on both sides of the conference banner. Conference organizers should have held some of those sessions outdoors.

Concurrent Sessions included "Impact of Federal Programs on Local Environmental Justice," Case Studies in Collaborative Problem Solving," Cooperative Approaches in Tri-national Environmental Justice Contexts," "Environmental Education," and the Closing Penary Session - "Emerging Issues in Environmental Justice" and Lifetime Achievement Awards.

And Rosenthall rode off into the sunset. There's a new sheriff in town. Great job John. Everybody else involved too. You know who you are.

EPA Well Represented at the 2007 EJ Conference

There were many participants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at the 2007 EJ Conference. Eventually we will probably list all of the very special people from EPA that attended the conference. But two very special EPA employees participated in and attended plenary and panel discussions: Randy Kelly, Deputy Asociate Administrator for Intergovernmental Relations and M. Arnita Hannon, Director, Mayors' Desk, Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations (both pictured at left).

Kelly was the mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota from January, 2002 through January, 2006. Hannon was formerly with the State of Texas, American Petroleum Institute, Environmental Policy Center (Now Friends of the Earth) and Legislative Assistant for Congressman Parren Mitchell.

Dr. Mildred McClain Questions NEPA Panelists

Dr. Mildred McClain attended the 2007 EJ Conference along with an entourage of other South Carolinians that included youth and community activists. Dr. McClain is pictured at right asking a question to panelists at the session "Environmental Justice and Environmental Impact Assessments."

Mildred McClain is Executive Director of Citizens for Environmental Justice, Inc. and the Harambee House, Inc in Savannah, GA. Citizens for Environmental Justice delivers environmental education and information to African American and low-income communities. The Harambee House is a community center which focuses on political, socio-economic and community empowerment. Her education includes Ed.D. and M.A. degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Education;, and an M.A. from Antioch Graduate School of Education Administration.

Super Session Manager Reiniero (Rey) Rivera

Rey Rivera of EPA's Office of Solid Waste & Emergency Response has held interesting positions at the agency, but at the 2007 EJ Conference he was a super session manager, among other responsibilities. Mr. Rivera was Session Manager for the following sessions: "Environmental Justice Through Local Actions," "Environmental Justice Fight for the Local Environment," and " Impact of State Institutions on Local Environmental Justice."

Mr. Rivera was everywhere at the 2007 EJ Conference. He is pictured at left with Richard Moore (red shirt), Excutive Director of the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice.

Exhibitors Provided Needed Information & Excellent Posters

The Poster Gallery was uniquely located in the Chapel Foyer during the first day of the conference. The solemn surroundings of the circular room focused attention on the posters. The posters traveled to a brightly lit hallway on the second and third days.

Posters presentations were provided by Carmen Cares Consulting, LLC, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Humaira Mona Hazur, California Safe Schools, TechLaw, The University of Vermont, Action Now, Seattle Public Utilities, and River Network.

Federal agency exhibitors included: U.S. Departments of Agriculture (Rural Development-Natural Resources Conservation Service), Energy (Office of Outreach-Office of the Assistant Secretary, Interior, Justice (Natural Resources Division) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Ofc of Solid Waste & Emergency Response-Ofc of Superfund Remediation & Technology Innovation- Ofc of Planning, Policy Analysis & Communications.

Kurt L. Schmoke Omnipresent at 2007 EJ Conference

Diane Bodman, left, chats with Jo Ann Fax and Dean Schmoke

Former Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke was everywhere. From welcoming people at the Moot Court podium to the conference book, the Dean of the Howard Univesity School of Law was all over this conference. He worked to assure that everyone was happy and satisfied with their 2007 EJ Conference experience.

Dean Schmoke was the moderator for the plenary session that featured two of the most powerful leaders in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area: Jack Johnson and Ike Leggett, County Executives for Prince George's and Montgomery Counties, respectively. The session entitled "Intersection Between Environmental Justice and Local Land Use Planning & Zoning" was held in the large 400 seat Moot Court. They all addressed questions from the audience.

Jo Ann Fax is Executive Director, Administration & Operations, Howard University School of Law

Friday, March 30, 2007

Ike Leggett and Jack Johnson Talk Environmental Justice

John Rosenthall, center, escorts Leggett, left, and Johnson, right to the dais.

Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson and Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett spoke at the Friday Plenary Session, "Intersection Between Environmental Justice and Local Land Use Planning & Zoning."

The two county executives represent about 2 million people and they gave real world examples of the environmental justice problems they face. Interestingly, Jack Johnson represents the richest majority African American county in the country. He still gave examples of land and air pollution problems that plague the area. Mr. Leggett defended open spaces and agricultural reserves in his county. He compared any plans for building affordable housing in protected areas in the county to building them in Central Park in New York.

Not in My Term of Office (NIMTO) was highlighted by Robert E. Stein, Chair, ABA, Section IRR and law school dean Kurt Schmoke described BANANA NIMBY (build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything, not in my backyard).

Our Condolences To Samara Swanston & Danny Newman

Samara Swanston's father in law died on Tuesday two days before the conference and was buried on Friday in Philadelphia. Ms. Swanston was scheduled to make a presentation on her work to preserve and promote Jamaica Bay in New York City at the Friday afternoon session, "Making the Environmental Justice-Land Use Connection in Practice: Strategies that Work." Although she had to cancel her presentation, she still drove to the conference to particpate in the Thursday session.

Day Two of the 2007 Environmental Justice Conference

Friday was just as dynamic as Thursday. Maybe more so. More people attended. Sessions were well paneled and well attended. The well-organized conference also operated just like clockwork (okay, so one session ran a little long). Clearly, organizers and participants were clicking on all cylinders. Participants ranged from Keynote speaker Granta Y. Nakayama, Assistant Administrator for EPA's Enforcement and Compliance Assurance to panelist Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network. David Padgett, Tennessee State University GIS expert moderated an interesting Environmental Justice and Transportation session.

Shelley D. Hayes Cowrote Original "Toxic Wastes & Race"

Conference attendee Shelley Hayes, left, is a lawyer, currently an Agency Representative for S & H Consulting, LLC and she is also one of the authors of the first "Toxic Wastes and Race" report. Other coauthors include Larry J. DeNeal, Iris W. Lee, Vernice Miller, Judy Richardson, William B. Oliver, Benjamin Goldman and Charles Lee.
Shelley Hayes graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1973 with an A.B. in History and Sociology. She received her Juris Doctorate from the George Washington University Law School in 1976.

Ms. Hayes joined the United States Department of Justice as an attorney-advisor to the Deputy Attorney General. Iin 1978 she joined the Office of the Solicitor of the Interior, Division of Surface Mining. In 1980, Ms. Hayes joined the Office of the Solicitor of Labor, Division Of Occupational Safety and Health, as an appellate attorney. Ms. Hayes then joined the law firm of Connerton, Bernstein and Katz, where she remained from 1983 until 1985.

Even the Conference Bag Lunch Was Excellent

Not only were the sessions fabulous, the bag lunch was awesome. It left you full and satisfied. The folks enjoyed these lunches after the stimulating morning sessions. More people showed up than expected but confeence organizers quickly adjusted and met the demand.

The lunch included a very nice ham and turkey croissant with lettuce and condiments, a fruit cup, an exotic rice type of concoction, 2 cookies, soda and water, fork and knife, and a really cute bag decorated with pictures of fruit (with a paper carrying handle). Many people saved the bags. Note though: Howard's Law School needs recycling containers. A nice project to implement before the next conference in 2008.

Sessions Packed at 2007 Environmental Justice Conference

All of the sessions at The State of Environmental Justice 2007 Conference are well attended. In many cases, the sessions are standing room only. The attendance at this conference shows the great hunger for more environmental justice activities. People from all over the country are ready to work towards implementing practical solutions to seemingly intractable environmental justice problems. Hopefully, this conference will be a catalyst for a sustainable effort against environmental injustice.

The photo above shows one of the health sessions in the President's Suite. So many people attended the session that it had to be moved from the President's Suite to the 400-seat Moot Court. A similar situation occured with the nuclear power session. A sample of health session topics included: "Merging Environmental Justice and Health," " State of Environmental Justice and Its Impact on Children's Health," United With the Community to Recognize and Address Environmental Injustice in the Workplace," "How Race and Ethnicity Shape Perspectives on Cancer Clusters," among others.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

First Day of Conference A Complete Success

Hundreds of people have registered and the first day of The State of Environental Justice in America 2007 Conference was well organized, informative and completely successful. The health sessions were dynamic and the nuclear power roundtable featured a unique group of panelists. It was the first time nuclear power has been discussed at an environmental justice conference. Former Congressman Mike Espy and Mayor Amelda Arnold gave moving presentations about the implications of a revival of the nuclear industry for their community in Mississippi.

Kurt L. Schmoke, former mayor of Baltimore and Dean of the Howard University School of Law welcomed conference participants at the opening session. He said "This event brings together members of the federal, state and local governmental agencies concerned about environmental issues, environmental organizations, the environmental justice community, academics, business leaders, undergraduate and law students from around the country . We are equally excited about the wide range of topics that will be covered during this conference in a variety of formats including presentations, panel discussions and poster exhibits."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

After All Of The Planning, It Is Conference Time

John Rosenthall has been a great conference coordinator. He sends his special thanks to all participants working to make this event a success. The conference is finally here and participants will be in for a treat. Environmental justice issues are being put back on the front burner.

Environmental justice will be discussed and examined in all of its eclectic complexity. Some of the best minds in the country are traveling to Washington DC to provide input and learn about new initiatives. So much work needs to be done to protect vulnerable communities. There is no time for distractions. There is no tolerance for excuses. Let's roll up our sleeves and do the work of applying practical solutions to environmental justice problems.

African American Business in the Gulf

Through March 15, 2007, 112 Black firms have contracted for over $308 million which equates to about 1% of the total. (Source: National Black Chamber of Commerce)

Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty : 1987-2007

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the United Church of Christ’s landmark 1987 Toxic Wastes and Race report. As part of the celebration, the UCC commissioned a new report, Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty 1987-2007.

The new report was recently released at the National Press Club. It is the first study to use 2000 census data, a current national database of commercial hazardous waste facilities, and Geographic Information Systems to count persons living nearby to assess nationally the extent of racial and socioeconomic disparities in facility locations. Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty also examines racial disparities by EPA region and state, and for metropolitan areas, where most hazardous waste facilities are located.

Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty reports that people of color now make up the majority (56%) of those living in nearby neighborhoods of the nation’s 413 commercial hazardous waste facilities, nearly double the percentage living further away (30%). The study concludes that the racial and socioeconomic disparities are geographically widespread throughout the country and that people of color are concentrated in neighborhoods and communities with the greatest number of commercial hazardous sites—much more concentrated than in 1987.

Dr. Carlos Correa of the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministry, Dr. Paul Mohai of the Unviersity of Michigan's School of Natural Resources, and Dr. Robin Saha of the University of Montana's Environmental Studies Program and School of Public and Community Health Sciences will give a presentation on the new report at the State of Environmental Justice Conference on Friday, March 30th at 7:00 PM. The report can be downloaded from the United Church of Christ's website

EJBlog Note: The authors of the original report include: Shelley D. Hayes, Esq, Larry J. DeNeal, Ph.D. M.P.H., Iris W. Lee, M.P.H., Vernice Miller, Judy F. Richardson, William B. Oliver, Benjamin Goldman and Charles Lee

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

D.C. Councilmember Marion Barry's MLK Parade

Councilmember Marion Barry invites you, your family and neighbors to join him on MLK Jr. Ave., SE for the 28th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. PARADE on Saturday, April 7, 2007 at 12 noon.

The Parade will kick off at Ballou High School and ends at the corner of Good Hope Rd & MLK Jr. Ave, S.E. Reviewing Stand next to the Big Chair. If your group is interested in being in the parade, the deadline to submit your request is Friday, March 30th. Please call Brenda Lee Richardson on (202) 698-1666.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Richard Moore : Long Time EJ Activist To Address Conferees

Richard Moore was one of the organizers of the 1st and 2nd environmental justice conferences in 1992 and 2002. He will present his views on the state of environmental justice in the 21st Century during the Opening Session on Thursday, March 29th at 5 p.m. Moore is Executive Director, Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice (SNEEJ). Moore is a founding member of the South West Organizing Project, Moore helped launch the first successful campaign in New Mexico to clean contaminated groundwater. Moore played a national role in the successful effort to persuade President Clinton to sign Executive Order 12898.

Dean Kurt L. Schmoke, Howard University School of Law, will welcome conferees and Conference Coordinator John Rosenthall will describe the purpose of the conference. Other panelists for the opening session include: Virginia Townsend, Community Organization for Rights and Empowerment; Congressman James Clyburn; Congressman Albert Wynn; Granta Y. Nakayama, Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, EPA; Tim Fields, former Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response, EPA; Sue Briggum, Vice President, Government Affairs, Waste Management; William Kovacs, Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and Suzi Ruhl, Environmental Law Institute.

Environmental Justice and Nuclear Power

Nuclear Power Roundtable, Thursday, March 29, 2007, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m., Location: Howard University School of Law, Law Library, Room 400

Moderator, Norris McDonald, President, African American Environmentalist Association

Panelists: Mike Espy, left, Board Attorney, Claiborne County, Amelda Arnold, Port Gibson Mayor, Paul Gunter - Nuclear Information & Resource Service, Chandler Van Orman-Nuclear Energy Institute, Danielle Endres, Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Utah, Eric Jantz, Staff Attorney, New Mexico Environmental Law Center, Ken Theobalds, Vice President, Entergy Nuclear Northeast, Kelly Taylor, AAEA & North American Young Generation in Nuclear, Laurent Lawrence, New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance.

The roundtable will discuss the perceived pros and cons of nuclear power in a global warming world from an environmental justice perspective. The roundtable will also address the following questions:

1) Is nuclear power beneficial for one group of minorities but bad for another group?
2) Is there another way to meet the electricity needs of America in a global warming world without using nuclear power.
3) Are nuclear power plants disproportionately located in minority communities?
4) How can Renewables Portfolio Standards and other regional greenhouse gas initiatives be accomplished without incorporating nuclear power?
5) If we shut down the nation's nuclear power fleet, how will it be replaced.
6) Are inner city minority populations well served by nuclear power plants?
7) Are Native American populations well served by nuclear power?
8) If global warming is the most important environmental issue facing us today, should emission free nuclear power be a part of the energy mix in the United States?
9) If environmental justice is to be achieved regarding clean air issues, can nuclear power be eliminated from the energy mix?
10) Are there entrepreneurial opportunities available in the nuclear industry for minority businesspeople?
11) Can nuclear power be utilized to help developing countries?

Abstract: 110606-7 – Title: The State of Environmental Justice in High-Level Nuclear Waste Siting Decisions; By: Danielle Endres, Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, Danielle Endres

Abstract: 112106-2 – Title: Environmental Racism with a Faint Green Glow: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Missed Opportunity to Create a Meaningful Environmental Justice Policy; By: Eric Jantz, Staff Attorney, New Mexico Environmental Law Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Eric Jantz

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Al Gore and Environmental Justice

Al Gore, the Moses of Global Warming, introduced an environmental justice bill (S. 2806) when he was in the Senate in 1992. He did not get any cosponsors for the bill and it went nowhere. Still, he introduced the bill. Of course, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has a different opinion of Mr. Gore. Then again, he did hire Donna Brazile as his campaign manager for his 2000 run for the presidency. We just didn't see much of Donna.

The bill included the following provisions:

(1) to require the collection of data on environmental health effects so that impacts on different individuals or groups can be understood; (2) to identify those areas which are subject to the highest loadings of toxic chemicals, through all media; (3) to assess the health effects that may be caused by emissions in those areas of highest impact; (4) to ensure that groups or individuals residing within those areas of highest impact have the opportunity and the resources to participate in the technical process which will determine the possible existence of adverse health impacts; (5) to require that actions be taken by authorized Federal agencies to curtail those activities found to be having significant adverse impacts on human health in those areas of highest impact; and (6) to ensure that significant adverse health impacts that may be associated with environmental pollution in the United States are not distributed inequitably.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Washington Post and Environmental Justice

The Washington Post did not cover the First People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in 1992. The Post did not cover the second environmental justice conference in 2002. Will The Washington Post cover The State of Environmental Justice in America 2007 Conference? Not if the environmental reporters have anything to do with it.

The Washington Post recently ran an article in the Style section on the environmental injustice perpetrated upon Shelia Holt-Orsted and her community in Tennessee. Exhaustive article. A whole page. Just like with Damu Smith. Got us thinking that the only way environmental justice gets covered in the Post is if you are a black person suffering or dying from cancer. Per Osted and Smith. Even in those cases, Black reporters at the Post wrote the stories, otherwise they would not have been written.

The environmental reporters at The Washington Post write about everything environmental except environmental justice. The nasal condition of the Alaskan snow owl will get coverage before environmental justice. Are the environmental reporters uncomfortable with the subject matter? Do they prefer to simply ignore people of color and pretend that these communities do not exist? Do they not see environmental justice as a legitimate environmental issue. Is it racism? Maybe a black Washington Post reporter should write s story about why environmental reporters at The Washington Post do not write about environmental jsutice.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Rosenthall Keeps Conferees Working Into the Evening

Planning for The State of Environmental Justice in America 2007 Conference is going very well. This does not keep Conference Coordinator John Rosenthall from strategizing well into the evening. He is pictured next to Amelda Arnold, far left, Mayor of Port Gibson, Mississippi, Norris McDonald, AAEA President and Kimi Washington, Conference Associate. The meeting at Legal Seafood was very productive and included discussions about a range of environmental justice issues.

Mayor Arnold will be participating in the Nuclear Power Roundtable and will be discussing the revival of nuclear power plant that could start near her city. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 has created a competition to build the first six plants. A consortium of utilities have formed NuStart to build a new nuclear plant near Port Gibson.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bennie Thompson Addresses Emergency Management in Vulnerable Communities

Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) is hosting a Congressional Policy Discussion, "Who Do We Run To? The Emergency Presence in Marginalized Communities," cohosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, this event will be held on March 26, 2007 from 12-1:30 p.m. in 1539 Longworth House Office Building.

The discussion will examine catastrophic disasters and the methods in which emergency management officials have assisted and disseminated needed information to the elderly, certain ethnic and racial minority groups, the indigent and the mentally and physically disabled. The purpose of this policy discussion is to identify lessons learned from devastating relief services to all populations in the future, especially vulnerable populations

Confirmed panelists are John Cooper, Emergency Preparedness Demonstration Program Coordinator-MDC, Inc, John R. Harrald, Director, Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management, and Robert Bullard, Director, Environmental Justice Resource Center, Clark Atlanta University.

Grist Magazine Interviews Green Social Justice Activist

Van Jones is interviewed by the premier environmental blog magazine.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Leggett & Johnson To Address EJ Conference

The leaders of the Washsington Metropolitan Area are scheduled to speak at the 2007 EJ Conference (Fenty not confirmed but expected). They are speaking at a Friday, March 30 Conference Plenary Session entitled, “Intersection between Environmental Justice and Local Land Use Planning & Zoning.” It will be in the Moot Court, Houston Hall “B” Level from 1:15-1:45 p.m. and is sponsored by the American Bar Association, Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities (ABA, Section of IRR). The moderator is Howard University School of Law Dean Kurt L. Schmoke and opening Remarks will be by Robert E. Stein, Chair, ABA, Section of IRR, and speakers include:

Mayor Adrian Fenty (Washington, DC (invited)
Montgomery County Executive Isiah. Leggett (confirmed)
Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson (Confirmed)

All are Howard University School of Law graduates.

The Washington Post Covers Environmental Injustice

An article in The Washington Post today illustrates the extreme importance of The State of Environmental Justice in America 2007 Conference. The article by reporter Lynn Duke is titled, "A Well of Pain: Their Water Was Poisoned by Chemicals. Was Their Treatment Poisoned by Racism?" The article covers a full page in the Style section, with another heading, "In Tennessee, a Crusade for Environmental Justice." Great article Ms. Duke. There is a video at the article link above.

The article covered the sad story of Sheila Holt-Orsted and her family's fight against, "the contaminated water, the cancers, the allegations of racism, the lawsuit." The Holt family and the rest of the neighborhood are 500 feet away from the county landfill and the local well water is contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE). Holt-Orsted says toxics were dumped 57 feet away. An automotive company is allegedly responsible for the TCE contamination. There are many cancers and other ailments throughout the neighborhood. Ms. Holt-Orsted suffers from breast cancer. Her complaints center on disparate treatment by government officials. Holt-Orsted now lives in Virginia.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Nicholas Targ Coordinates EJ Land Use Workshop Sessions

On Friday, March 30, 2007 there will be a series of Land Use Workshop Sessions. One title includes "The Intersection between Environmental Justice andLocal Land Use Planning and Zoning." This workshop is for land use attorneys, community and local planners, and local officials. There will also be sessions on "Environmental Justice and Environmental Impact Assessments" and "Making the Environmental Justice-Land Use Connection in Practice: Strategies that Work."

Nicholas Targ, upper right, is coordinating the Land Use sessions for the conference. He is Senior Counsel at the San Francisco, California law firm of Holland and Knight, a cosponsor of the conference. He practices environmental, land use, and natural resources law. He was formerly Counsel with EPA's Ofice of Environmental Justice. Targ holds a Bachelor's Degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is a graduate of Boston College Law School.


After a full day of registrations, roundtables and exhibits on Thursday, March 29, The State of Environmental Justice in America Conference will have its Grand Opening Session starting a 5 p.m. in the Moot Court, Houston Hall “B” Level. Dean Kurt L. Schmoke of the Howard University School of Law will deliver the Welcome. Conference Coordinator John Rosenthall will describe the Purpose of the conference. There will follow a moderated environmental justice discussion. Panelists include

Richard Moore, Executive Director, Southwest Network for Environmental & Economic Justice; Virginia Townsend, Community Organization for Rights and Empowerment;
Congressman James Clyburn;
Congressman Albert Wynn;
Granta Y. Nakayama, Assistant Administrator for Enforcement & Compliance Assurance, EPA; Tim Fields, former Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response, EPA;
Sue Briggum, Vice President, Government Affairs, Waste Management;
William Kovacs, Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and
Suzi Ruhl, Environmental Law Institute.

Environmental Justice & Nuclear Power Roundtable

Amelda Arnold is the mayor of Port Gibson, Mississippi and she will be a panelist at the conference Environmental Justice and Nuclear Power Roundtable along with James Miller, County Administrator for Claiborne County. A consortium of nuclear energy companies formed NuStart to build a new nuclear power plant near Port Gibson, Mississippi.

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen of Port Gibson, Miss., adopted a resolution on Dec 20, 2004 endorsing a second nuclear power plant next to the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station and strongly encouraging Entergy to build another unit at Grand Gulf, located about seven miles from Port Gibson. The Port Gibson Board of Aldermen support a new nuclear plant in Claiborne County and the Claiborne Board of Supervisors adopted a similar resolution Dec. 6, 2004.

Mike Espy is Board Attorney for Claiborne County, Mississippi. He served as the Secretary of Agriculture from 1993 to 1994. He attended Howard University and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Santa Clara Law Schoo in California in 1978. Espy is providing expert advice to the county on the current and planned nuclear activities.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Herring Organizes EJ 2007 for Department of Agriculture

Geraldine Herring is organizing and coordinating the State of Environmental Justice in America 2007 Conference for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She is sending the emails, organizing the meetings and conference calls, making the phone calls, arranging the tours, coordinating the panelists, distributing the papers and every other function needed to pull off a sucessful conference. And of course she is doing it with style.

Federal employees shy away from the spotlight (send us a picture to post-she probably will not), preferring to be important functioning cogs in the vehicle instead of the drivers. Whether this is due to policy considerations or simply personal choices, it is unusual in an EJ sector that has sometimes been obsessively self reverential. All glory to God, but shine a little sunshine on Ms. Herring. Her work is making this conference bloom like a beautiful field of daffodils. Thanks.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Ben Wilson : EJ 2007 Conference Organizer

Benjamin F. Wilson has been instrumental in organizing the conference. He is putting the weight and resources of Beveridge & Diamond behind the conference. In addition to being a quintessential southern gentleman, he is a dedicated family man who dotes on his wife and daughter. We are privileged to have the support and participation of this dynamic individual.

Ben Wilson draws his litigation expertise from experience in both the public and private sectors. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Mr. Wilson graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1973 with an A.B. degree in history. While at Dartmouth, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and named both a Rufus Choate Scholar and a Senior Fellow. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School in 1976. Mr. Wilson joined the Civil Division of the Department of Justice in 1979. Mr. Wilson joined Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. as a Principal in 1986. His present litigation practice encompasses a wide range of activities in both state and federal courts, including commercial litigation matters, environmental litigation, employment litigation, and regulatory matters, and trademark infringement matters.

Principles of Environmental Justice 2007

A 21st Century environmental justice model is needed to achieve equality in environmental protection. These Ten Principles of Environmental Justice were developed to facilitate a discussion about the need to accelerate activities and programs to protect vulnerable communities. The principles are also a guidance tool for evaluating and implementing practical solutions to environmental justice problems.

1) Environmental Justice seeks to provide environmental protection to our most vulnerable communities.

2) Environmental Justice demands that public policy will protect society’s most vulnerable communities.

3) Environmental Justice should provide equal economic opportunities to all sectors of our society while providing equal environmental protection.

4) Environmental Justice calls for sustainable development, efficient use of resources and the availability of abundant energy supplies at reasonable prices.

5) Environmental Justice requests respect in policy decision-making in order to distribute production facilities that emit contaminates equitably among geographical locations.

6) Environmental Justice demands that toxic wastes should not be targeted for and concentrated in minority communities.

7) Environmental Justice should expand the definition of ‘environment’ and seek to redress unique inner city environmental problems.

8) Environmental Justice affirms a commitment to equal environmental protection for all people.

9) Environmental Justice should provide compensation to individuals and communities that have suffered disproportionate exposure to pollution.

10) Environmental Justice and The Declaration of Independence, hold “that all Men are created equal, that they were endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Environmental protection is an unalienable right.

Developed by the African American Environmentalist Association

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Environmental Justice 2007 Conference Coordinator

John Rosenthall is coordinating the State of Environmental Justice in America 2007 Conference scheduled for March 29-31 at the Howard University School of Law. Everybody in Washington, DC and throughout most of America knows Mr. Rosenthall, but for those somewhere in the world unfamiliar with who he is - here is a little information.

John Rosenthall is a dedicated husband and father. He is a lawyer. He is an environmental justice advocate with more than two decades of experience in this area. Mr. Rosenthall is a consuiltant and has provided valuable services to government agencies, universities, other institutions and industry.

John is not calling this conference a historic event - even though it is unprecedented in bringing together a unique grouping of stakeholders, including government, NGOs, insitutions of higher learning, industry and other individuals. He also does not consider himself to be some kind of legend. He is simply going about the business of methodically organizing a very important conference to address extremely important environmental justice issues.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Asian Paper Publicizes "Why I Hate Blacks" - Apologizes

An article in "The Voice of Asian America" newspaper published an article titled "Why I Hate Blacks" in the Feb 23 edition of the San Francisco-based AsianWeek. Kenneth Eng, left, listed the reasons he believed it was okay to discriminate against Black people. According to published reports, Mr. Eng has described himself as an Asian supremacist. He has been terminated. The newspaper has apologized and removed the article but here it is in its entirety:

Kenneth Eng, AsianWeek, Feb 23, 2007

Here is a list of reasons why we should discriminate against blacks, starting from the most obvious down to the least obvious:
· Blacks hate us. Every Asian who has ever come across them knows that they take almost every opportunity to hurl racist remarks at us.
In my experience, I would say about 90 percent of blacks I have met, regardless of age or environment, poke fun at the very sight of an Asian. Furthermore, their activity in the media proves their hatred: Rush Hour, Exit Wounds, Hot 97, etc.
· Contrary to media depictions, I would argue that blacks are weak- willed. They are the only race that has been enslaved for 300 years. It's unbelievable that it took them that long to fight back.
On the other hand, we slaughtered the Russians in the Japanese-Russo War.
· Blacks are easy to coerce. This is proven by the fact that so many of them, including Reverend Al Sharpton, tend to be Christians.
Yet, at the same time, they spend much of their time whining about how much they hate "the whites that oppressed them."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Christianity the religion that the whites forced upon them?
· Blacks don't get it. I know it's a blunt and crass comment, but it's true. When I was in high school, I recall a class debate in which one half of the class was chosen to defend black slavery and the other half was chosen to defend liberation.
Disturbingly, blacks on the prior side viciously defended slavery as well as Christianity. They say if you don't study history, you're condemned to repeat it.
In high school, I only remember one black student ever attending any of my honors and AP courses. And that student was caught cheating.
It is rather troubling that they are treated as heroes, but then again, whites will do anything to defend them.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Oklahoma Cherokee Nation Expels Black Brethren

They voted to kick out Cherokees with African American blood. Evidently the 'one drop rule' does not apply. Didn't they get the memo?

The Cherokee Freedman were the descendants of black slaves owned by Cherokees. These mixed race freed Cherokees were part of the migration of the Cherokee Nation from North Carolina to Oklahoma. The Treaty of 1866 between the United States and the Cherokee Nation made the Cherokee Freedman full Cherokee citizens. The recent vote to amend the Cherokee Nation Constitution was to purge Black Cherokees from the nation.

Of course the injustice here is that Cherokees with mixed-white and Cherokee ancestry have been kept on the rolls. Of the 270,000 members of the Cherokee Nation, approximately 25,000 Freedmen have Cherokee Blood. Is gambling money behind this insanity? (New York Times) More

John McCain and Environmental Justice

John McCain, like Rudy Giuliani, does not have a record of directly addressing environmental justice. He did not address the issue during his 2000 run for the presidency and has not addressed it during his time in the U. S. Senate. He has been approached to sponsor environmental justice legislation, but has not sponsored it. It is doubtful that he will address the issue during the current race for the presidency.

Senator McCain does have an impressive record regarding global warming. To the extent that his work will help in reducing global warming, it will help mitigate the environmental injustice of air pollution in minority communities. McCain sponsored the McCain/Lieberman Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act, which received 43 votes in the Senate. He will reintroduce the legislation in the 110th Congress.

Al Sharpton and Environmental Justice

Al Sharpton is a well known street activist, candidate for mayor and president. His record on social justice issues is second to none. He also holds strong beliefs on environmental justice. Three quotes capture his views on environmental issues and environmental justice:

1) "On environmental justice. I think that we have seen various communities in this country penalized just because of where they were in the income level. I would clearly fight hard for environmental justice." 2) Converting our economy to renewable fuels as rapidly as practical and feasible would be one of my top priorities. I believe that protecting the environment is also labor intensive. Thus, creating a clean, safe and sustainable environment would also create jobs, not cost jobs. 3) "Strengthening and enforcing our environmental laws would be one of my top priorities. For me, the scriptural mandate that "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" is a religious and spiritual mandate to be good stewards of what God has given the human race for sustenance, beauty and enjoyment. Protecting, preserving and sustaining it must be one of our highest priorities."

Rev Sharpton was instrumental in the passage of the NO FEAR Act, which was signed into law by President Bush in 2002. It was the "First Civil Rights Legislation of the 21st Century." Rev Sharpton led a rally and march on the Senate in order to get the legislation moving. The No Fear Act is environmental justice legislation.

Sources: Democratic candidates LCV Debate on the Environment, Los Angeles Jun 26, 2003, interview Jun 17, 2003, On The Issues, Al Sharpton on the Environment, AAEA.