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.
EJHA represents an inspiring continuation of bottom-up organizing processes and development of policy solutions that put the most impacted people first: harnessing the power of their stories and promoting their leadership to bring communities together to build collective power, win changes, defend gains, and build toward systemic solutions. EJHA’s approach places the most impacted communities at the center of leadership and strategies, engaging diverse allies and experts as partners by building equitable relationships that are accountable to grassroots priorities.
EJHA is a strategic partner in many local, regional, and national efforts to address environmental racism and implement solutions to chemical crises in vulnerable communities. Some of those campaigns include:
Communities of color, low-income communities, and Indigenous communities are disproportionately at risk of catastrophic chemical leaks or explosions. EJHA works locally and nationally to support policies and programs that will prevent chemical disasters and ensure communities are prepared when incidents happen. EJHA also strives to minimize the cumulative impact of exposure to toxins, particularly for those most affected.
EJHA is a key partner in the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters — a collaboration of health, labor, environmental justice, public health and public interest organizations working for strong policies that will protect workers and communities from these hazards. We support local campaigns to reduce and remove toxic hazards, and national efforts such as reform and enforcement of chemical disaster prevention and response rules.
In 2014, a chemical spill into the Elk River near Charleston, WV contaminated drinking water for over 300,000 people and cost the local economy $19 million a day (not including cleanup costs). Spills from tens of thousands of chemical storage tanks across the US happen constantly.
EJHA is working with communities and allies to understand where chemical storage threatens drinking water, and win policies that will prevent chemical spills and ensure that the companies responsible bear response and cleanup costs if spills occur.
Environmental Justice communities experience many interconnected health and environmental hazards. EJHA supports research, organizing, and advocacy to address these disproportionate and cumulative impacts on EJ communities. Our efforts include:
EJHA's Campaign for Healthier Solutions is pushing dollar store retailers to sell non-toxic products and healthy, locally-grown foods in order to reduce chemical exposures and health impacts in communities of color and low-income communities. While the largest retailers, such as Walmart, Target, and others are working to understand what chemicals are in the products they sell and remove harmful chemicals, dollar store chains continue to lag behind.
The Campaign for Healthier Solutions combines on-the-ground grassroots organizing in key focus states such as California, New Mexico and Texas, with national campaign activities coordinated with partner groups all over the country. The campaign demands that dollar stores commit to providing the same minimal level of product protections as other retail chains, and help prevent unnecessary exposure to toxic chemicals in vulnerable communities.