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At EJHA, we stand for environmental justice for all!

Can you tell if a ‘bomb train’ is coming to your town? It’s complicated.

February 26, 2023

In the wake of the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment, Governor Mike DeWine called on Congress to look into why the rural village didn’t know ahead of time they had volatile chemicals coming through town. “We should know when we have trains carrying hazardous materials through the state of Ohio,” DeWine said at a press conference. This information is out there, but it’s probably not what the governor had in mind. With the derailment of the Norfolk Southern train receiving international attention, more railroad communities are now asking what is traveling through their backyard. Stephanie Herron, a national organizer with the collective Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform said in a statement that neighboring communities refuse to accept these events as a fact of life. “These issues aren’t new to the people who live near hazardous facilities who have been speaking up about the urgent need to transition to safer chemicals to prevent disasters in their communities,“ Herron said. “What’s new is that more people are paying attention.”

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Revealed: the US is averaging one chemical accident every two days

February 25, 2023

Mike DeWine, the Ohio governor, recently lamented the toll taken on the residents of East Palestine after the toxic train derailment there, saying “no other community should have to go through this”. But such accidents are happening with striking regularity. A Guardian analysis of data collected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and by non-profit groups that track chemical accidents in the US shows that accidental releases – be they through train derailments, truck crashes, pipeline ruptures or industrial plant leaks and spills – are happening consistently across the country. By one estimate these incidents are occurring, on average, every two days. For Eboni Cochran, a mother and volunteer community activist, the East Palestine disaster has hardly added to her faith in the federal government. Cochran lives with her husband and 16-year-old son roughly 400 miles south of the derailment, near a Louisville, Kentucky, industrial zone along the Ohio River that locals call “Rubbertown.” The area is home to a cluster of chemical manufacturing facilities, and curious odors and concerns about toxic exposures permeate the neighborhoods near the plants.

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New map shows toxic chemical releases, fires and explosions occur every two days on average across the U.S.

February 25, 2023

 A new map released by the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters today shows that the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio is one of at least 224 incidents involving hazardous chemicals – including toxic releases, fires and explosions – that have occurred since January 1, 2022. The map will be periodically updated through the year to reflect new chemical incidents. 


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Dollar General signs onto the Chemical Footprint Project, a step forward for chemical safety

January 27, 2023

Dollar General, the largest discount retail store in the United States, took an important step to improve product safety this week by signing onto the Chemical Footprint Project, a benchmarking metric that helps companies quantify the total mass of chemicals of concern in their products, and understand opportunities for safer chemicals in their supply chains.  “We commend Dollar General for taking a hard look at its chemical footprint,” said José Bravo, National Coordinator of the Campaign for Healthier Solutions. “But we won’t stop organizing until the company adopts a robust chemical policy and phases out all chemicals of concern from its products.” 

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The Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform is a national network of grassroots Environmental and Economic Justice organizations and advocates in communities that are disproportionately impacted by toxic chemicals from legacy contamination, ongoing exposure to polluting facilities and health-harming chemicals in household products. EJHA supports a just transition towards safer chemicals and a pollution-free economy that leaves no community or worker behind. The EJHA network model features leadership of, by, and for Environmental Justice groups with support from additional allied groups and individual experts.

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