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[greenyes] Re: [CRRA] Cal EPA adopts Enviro Justice guidelines
Hi David:

Yes it might make it more difficult to site industries that pollute or
give the appearance of polluting.  In my area, landfills ring the bay and
many of the lower income communities are in those areas.  Why, most
likely low land value at the time (decades ago).  But other facilities in
our area like a medical waste burn plant (west Oakland - low income black
community), a hazwaste treatment and recycling facility in East Palo Alto
(black and brown community), another low income area are examples of some
poorly managed (at different times in their history) facilities that have
made life for residents bad.  And these bad actors have sensitized those
communities to any industry perceived as dirty and I generalize but in my
experience these communities will perceive recycling as a dirty polluting

In the East Palo Alto case, this plant made siting any other recycling
facilities more difficult as the community was tired of being the dumping
grounds of the richer communities (this in the case of trying to site a
used building material retail store).  I think those of us in the
recycling market development field will need to absorb this new
sensitivity and help clients understand this and include this as a siting

It sounds in some cases silly, but I vaguely remember one city that I
worked for asking a 100 year old metal recycler to put trees around their
facility so it would help hide the piles of metal and also absorb some of
the noise.  I can't remember how big a fight this became. I think it came
as mitigation when oil from recycled engine blocks was draining into a
creek adjacent to the property. The trees were a good idea.  There was no
reason to fight this kind of improvement.  Yes it costs money but it
improved the neighborhood and in the long run will keep neighbors from
filing complaints against the business.

Curious, since I don't subscribe to the US EPA's JTR listserve or the
RMDZ listserve, but are folks in that specialty area discussing EJ
criteria in siting and expanding R-based businesses?  If not, its time.

Ann Schneider

----- snipped part of the initial EJ announcement --

Maybe this was necessary, but won't it make it harder to site or expand
recycling industries?
>>> "Ann Schneider" <SchneiderAnn@no.address> 02/22/05 09:05PM >>>
Hi CRRA & GRRNers:
Just an FYI.  Not sure if the new guidelines will affect any landfill,
transfer, MRF or recycling facilities.

For the first time ever, Cal EPA has agreed to use cumulative impacts
assessment and a precautionary approach to guide their work. 
Initially, these definitions will guide their efforts in pilot project
communities in 2005 and 2006 but the much larger victory is the policy
these definitions provide for new legislation and regulations that
will take a comprehensive approach to community  health.  The 
definitions are: 
Cumulative Impacts means exposures or public health and environmental
effects from combined emissions and discharges, in a geographic area
including environmental pollution from all sources, whether single or
multi-media, routinely, accidentally, or otherwise released.  Impacts
take into account sensitive populations and socioeconomic factors,
when data is available.
Precautionary Approach means taking anticipatory action to protect
public health or the environment if a reasonable threat of serious
harm exists based upon the best available science and other relevant
information, even if absolute and undisputed scientific evidence is
not available to assess the exact nature and extent of risk.

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