|From:||Tony Chenhansa <email@example.com>|
|Date:||Thu, 28 Oct 1999 11:15:36 -0700 (PDT)|
|Subject:||[CPEO-BIF] "Sierra Club's high standard for inner-city toxic clean-up"|
Sierra Club Response to "Race, class and the brownfields battle" LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Sept. 28, 1999 San Francisco Examiner http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/examiner/archive/1999/09/28/ EDITORIAL2325.dtl Sierra Club's high standard for inner-city toxic clean-up Perhaps the best way to respond to Scott Winokur's column attacking the Sierra Club's position on redevelopment of contaminated urban sites ( "Race, class and the brownfields battle," Opinion Page, Sept. 21) is to use the case study he and I discussed on the telephone. Winokur asked me why a parochial school in East Los Angeles shouldn't be able to expand its playground by buying a former gas station next door without having to spend a fortune to clean up the gas station. The Sierra Club's position is that if the gas station site is safe for children to play on, there is no reason not to redevelop it into a playground. But as residents of the Chester Street neighborhood in Oakland know, where a former industrial site is being converted into a playground without proper cleanup, neighborhood children would be exposed to dangerous levels of lead and could suffer significant health problems. The Sierra Club believes that the level of safety found on a playground in East Los Angeles, or East Oakland, should be the same as the level of safety found in Beverly Hills or Piedmont. It's not clear if Winokur disagrees, but he appears to, citing as a high reality that "thousands of lives are being stifled by the material conditions of existence in the inner city." This is appallingly true. It is also appallingly true that millions of inner-city children have had their health and their learning capacities impaired by exposure to toxic chemicals. The connection between toxic contamination and minority neighborhoods was not placed on the public agenda by the Sierra Club - it was placed there by the environmental justice groups, churches and community organizations in those communities that resent the suggestion that because an outside oil company contaminated their neighborhood, they have to live with that contamination forever or be condemned to economic stagnation. Under the law that Winokur evidently dislikes, it is not the parochial school, wishing to expand its playground, that is liable for cleaning up the gas station. It is the oil company that contaminated the site in the first place. Carl Pope Executive director Sierra Club San Francisco ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To read CPEO's archived Brownfields messages visit http://www.cpeo.org/lists/brownfields If this email has been forwarded to you and you'd like to subscribe, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ _____________________________________________________________ Got a Favorite Topic to Discuss? Start a List at Topica. http://www.topica.com/t/4
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