Connecticut is home to many things: beautiful coastlines, dense forests, and one of the worst coal-fired power plants in the nation. Increasingly, residents are becoming more aware of just how dirty coal is for our environment (you can check out 10 major reasons here). But, what makes Bridgeport’s Harbor Station plant even worse is that it was ranked the 8th worst environmental justice offender in 2011.
Not familiar with environmental justice, or EJ? It’s a movement started by Dr. Robert Bullard in the 1980s in response to the fact that communities of color were bearing the brunt of most environmental hazards. Corporations and government agencies target areas to dump dangerous waste where people have less political influence and fewer resources to move away. For example, 75% of all US landfills are located in predominately Black communities, while 80% of all uranium mines are on American Indian reservations.
In the past, the mainstream environmental movement neglected these demographics. But now major organizations like the Sierra Club are joining forces with grassroots groups like the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice (CCEJ) to fix these social justice violations. In May, a town hall meeting was held to address the Bridgeport plant’s horrific health and environmental hazards and over 1,600 people have sent comments to Gov. Malloy and DEEP commissioner Esty to transform this plant into one that runs solely on renewable energy and to block any efforts of turning it into a natural gas plant.
So make your voice heard! Sign the Sierra Club’s petition and join the CCEJ’s mailing list to keep up to date on this issue. This change would improve the health of the workers, the residents, and our planet.
Image courtesy of PSEG.