Riptide Communications  [Printer-friendly version]
June 26, 2006

NATIONAL TOUR IN SEPTEMBER: ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE FOR ALL!

Groups to Launch National Tour to Highlight Devastating Impact of
Toxic Contamination on the Poor and People Of Color
Nationwide Call for Environmental Justice

[Rachel's introduction: A coalition of over 70 environmental justice,
social justice, public health, human rights, and worker's rights
groups will launch the Environmental Justice for All Tour in
September 2006 to highlight the devastating impact of toxic
contamination on people of color and in poor communities across the
United States.]

New York -- A coalition of over 70 environmental justice, social
justice, public health, human rights, and worker's rights groups today
announced plans to launch the Environmental Justice for All Tour in
September 2006 to highlight the devastating impact of toxic
contamination on people of color and in poor communities across the
United States.

Three bus caravans packed with activists, health researchers,
environmental scientists, and public policy experts will tour
communities in the Northeast, South, and West Coast, where people are
suffering serious health affects associated with toxic pollution.

Organizers say the Tour will provide advocacy tools to affected
communities and put pressure on Congressional leaders to make the
elimination of environmental hazards a priority issue in the upcoming
elections.

"During this tour we will expose how industry, government, and the
military have turned the places where people live, play, work, and
pray into toxic dumping grounds," said Dorothy Felix, a life-long
resident of Mossville, LA and member of Mossville Environmental Action
Now. "Our community and many others are organizing to bring an end to
this injustice by focusing on solutions that value and protect our
health and the health of future generations," she added.

Stops along the Tour will include towns such as Mossville, LA,
Sundial, WV, and Anniston, AL, communities that have suffered
widespread and significant health effects due to the persistent
presence of industrial toxins in their air, water, and food.

In the African American community of Mossville, 14 industrial
facilities including an oil refinery, vinyl production facilities,
other petrochemical manufacturers, and a coal-fired power plant
operate a few yards away from some Mossville residents, and form a
cluster within one-half mile of the entire Mossville community. Local
industries have contaminated the fish and polluted lakes, bayous, and
groundwater

In the small West Virginia town of Sundial, Marsh Fork Elementary
School is located just 200 feet from a coal silo and 400 yards
downstream from a leaking sludge dam containing billions of gallons of
toxic sludge. The health problems are severe. Five school employees
and one 17-year old former student have all died from cancer, and 80%
of parents surveyed reported that their children suffer from health
problems such as asthma, nausea, headaches, and dizziness.

Anniston, AL is the first city in the nation where the government has
distributed gas masks to residents living near a chemical weapons
incinerator, in case of an accidental release of lethal nerve or
mustard agent. Many residents also have some of the highest-measured
levels of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), toxic contaminants that
have an adverse impact on the environment and have been known to cause
health problems upon exposure.

The Tour will also stop in Gulf Coast communities, where the combined
effects of global warming and toxic pollution are undermining the
recovery of areas destroyed during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Each of these communities is engaged in solution-driven efforts that
draw attention to a broken US environmental protection system that
defends old polluting industries instead of requiring innovative and
safer technologies, and establishing safeguards for protecting human
health from industrial toxins and hazards.

The Environmental Justice for All Tour was inspired at a meeting of
environmental justice and public health groups from across the country
who joined together to draw attention to the work of local activists
in West Louisville, KY, dubbed by industry as "Rubbertown."

The collaboration of these groups brought light to the one-half mile
stretch adjacent to an African American neighborhood where 12 toxic
industrial facilities have left the area polluted, and people sick and
dying.

Attached please find a copy of the tour routes (subject to change).
For more information about The Environmental Justice for All Tour,
visit the website at: http://www.EJ4all.org.

Please direct all media inquiries or requests for interviews to
Riptide Communications, Inc. in New York City: 212-260-5000.

Tour Routes:

Northeast: Buffalo, Syracuse, Endicott, NY; Hartford, New Haven, CT;
Boston, MA; New York City; Newark, Linden, Camden, NJ; Washington, DC

South: Port Arthur, TX; Mossville, New Orleans, LA; Gulfport, MI;
Anniston, AL; Berea, Louisville, KY; Whitesville, WV; Washington, DC

West Coast/California: San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Fort Ord,
Fresno, Central Valley, Los Angeles, San Diego

Contact:

Ateqah Khaki
Riptide Communications, Inc.
270 Lafayette St., Suite 1300
New York, New York 10012
212.260.5000
212.260.5191 fax
www.riptideonline.com