EPA, Congressional Black Caucus Visit South Carolina on Joint Environmental Justice Tour
Marks second stop in nationwide tour highlighting impact of environmental issues on underserved communities
On Sunday, April 18 and Monday, April 19, as part of the joint nationwide Environmental Justice Tour between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson traveled to South Carolina to highlight challenges faced by underserved communities in the area. South Carolina marked the second stop in the nationwide tour and included meetings and public events with U.S. Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-SC) and Delegate Donna M. Christensen (D-VI) in the cities of Spartanburg, Columbia, Aiken and North Charleston.
On Sunday in Columbia, EPA and the CBC hosted an Environmental Justice Town Hall at Allen University with the participation of hundreds of community leaders, elected officials, students and religious leaders. At the town hall, Administrator Jackson announced $1.4 million in brownfields funds for South Carolina, as part of a larger national announcement of nearly $80 million to 40 states, to clean up and redevelop hazardous waste sites. These investments and jobs target local, underserved and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.
Earlier in the day, the delegation toured the ReGenesis Project in Spartanburg, a former brownfields site that a community-based organization has leveraged millions in funding for redevelopment. The project, a model for environmental justice organizations across the state, received an EPA Environmental Justice Achievement Award for its work to protect the health and environment of this community while promoting economic development.
Today, the delegation traveled to the Savannah River Site, a Superfund hazardous waste site receiving funds from the recovery act and visited an elementary school in North Charleston, which EPA is monitoring for toxic air pollution. Upcoming tour stops will include New York, Georgia, Michigan and Missouri, among other states.