New Jersey has moved to speed up the process of getting environmental cleanups done, by permitting some companies to take responsibility for meeting legal standards by themselves instead of waiting for Department of Environmental Protection certification each step of the way. Workforce housing, senior housing, community centers, recreation programs, and commercial spaces are planned redevelopment projects for contaminated land parcels. Read the full story here.
But how do we guarantee that a responsible clean-up will be accomplished and that future occupants of the spaces will not be exposed to residual chemicals? We need to be sure that the extent of the contamination is well defined and that public health precautions are taken for exposures during the remediation phase. Organizations can become actively involved and obtain important information to advocate for their communities. (Click here to read about PEHKA's Community Environmental Health and Environmental Justice program.)
Tyson Foods is among 10 poultry companies being sued by the state of Oklahoma on the charge that they polluted parts of the Illinois River watershed. Get the story here. Tyson Foods has also received fines for willfully violating worker safety regulations that led to a worker’s death and sickness in others from toxic exposures in its River Valley Animal Foods (RVAF) plant in Texarkana, Ark.
In addition, in 2006, Tyson paid out a settlement of $871,000 collectively to 13 plaintiffs after being sued by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law for discrimination claiming a maintenance shop restroom was locked and accessible to only a few white workers in July and August of 2003. There have been numerous other complaints against Tyson foods for contamination of air, water, and ground contamination and for worker safety violations.