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Appointee to the White House Environmental Justice Council has made Grand Prairie Superfund a priority
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Appointee to the White House Environmental Justice Council has made Grand Prairie Superfund a priority

Robert Bullard has been an advocate for environmental justice since the 1980s. In his new role, he advises the White House on environmental issues.

Bullard stated that he hopes to see immediate action at Grand Prairie’s former manufacturing plant. The former manufacturing plant was located in the city’s low-income, majority Latino Burbank Gardens neighbourhood. It was on the Environmental Protection AgencyThe national priority list for 2018 has been established. It is a list of the nation’s most dangerous uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous materials sites.

The EPA found a highly toxic chemical, known as trichloroethylene (TCE)In the soil at the site as well as in the groundwater nearby. TCE was also found in the air and homes of some residents, according to the agency.

Bullard stated that this is not a rare issue when it comes to issues such as this and low-income communities or communities of color.

Here are more excerpts taken from Bullards’ interview with KERA

Living close to a Superfund site is dangerous

Robert Bullard_2020 Credit United Nations Environment Program 2020.jpg

Robert Bullard


Many consider Robert Bullard to be the father of environmental justice.

Living next to a dangerous facility has been added to the EPA’s National Priority ListThis is not something to be proud of. It poses a great health risk. It is not uncommon for residents to be the most at risk from these facilities.

There’s A studyA study by University of Houston professors has shown that living near Superfund sites can reduce your life expectancy by an average of two months. For communities of color and those in disadvantaged communities, the reduction could be as high as 15 months. We are referring to economic burdens, health burdens, and added burdens.

What is needed?

It is essential that residents who are most directly affected by pollution receive transparent, timely communications and easy-to-understand language. When we speak of pollution threatening public safety, we are referring to an emergency… This is what must happen in terms the regional office, our state environment agency, TCEQ, and our federal EPA in Washington.

These dangerous leftovers of the past need to be given more attention at Superfund sites. We call it legacy polluting. It is what I call legacy pollution. Justice 40 InitiativeWe hope so! Build Back BetterThese are definitely efforts that would target communities like Grand Prairie, which is facing this threat and has suffered from it for too many years.

The role of the government

Grand Prairie needs to see a real government response. Three of us from Texas are members of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. We have pushed and pushed for justice and we will continue to push for it.

Grand Prairie residents can rest assured that Texas… will be advocating and will provide lots of research, findings and information to support communities on the ground.

This excerpt has been slightly edited to improve clarity.

This story was made possible with the support InvestigativeEditing Corps as part of a pilot project with Report For America.

Have a tip for Alejandra Martinez? Alejandra Martinez is a Report For America corps member for KERA News. Email Alejandra at [email protected]. Follow Alejandra on twitter @alereports.

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