Giving Compass' Take:
- Adam Mahoney reports on more than 100 individuals that are participating in a hunger strike to protest the planned relocation of a recycling plant to a Southeast Chicago neighbourhood already disproportionately burdened with pollution.
- Why are pollution burdens spread unevenly within cities? How can you support political action that protects all Americans from health impacts of pollution rather than only the poorest?
- Read about America's "sacrifice zones".
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More than 100 Chicagoans are participating in a hunger strike against a scrapyard set to be relocated to his Southeast Chicago neighborhood to force the city to rethink the scrapyard’s proposed location. The metal recycling plant used to be in a wealthy, mostly white neighborhood, but its newly approved site is in a lower-income, predominantly Latino area that’s already carrying a higher environmental burden compared to other parts of the city.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the neighborhood surrounding the new scrapyard site is in the 95th percentile for diesel emissions, 90th for hazardous waste, and 80th for air pollution. Children living in the area are hospitalized for asthma three times more frequently than those who live near the scrapyard’s former location.
The group of hunger strikers, which has, at times, included local and state-level politicians, are forgoing food in order to call attention to how pollution from the project would add to the community’s significant public health woes. City leadership has remained silent despite the federal government opening three different investigations into the scrapyard’s move and calls from former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to block the project’s permit.
Read the full article about environmental justice in Chicago by Adam Mahoney at Grist.