Pollution, Poverty, People of Color

Posted by Christine, June 4, 2012

Environmental Health Network reports:

From the house where he was born, Henry Clark can stand in his back yard and see plumes pouring out of one of the biggest oil refineries in the United States. As a child, he was fascinated by the factory on the hill, all lit up at night. In the morning, he’d go out to play and find the leaves on the trees burned to a crisp. “Sometimes I’d find the air so foul, I’d have to grab my nose and run back into the house until it cleared up,” he said. During World War II, African Americans like the Clark family moved into the shadow of the refinery because they had nowhere else to go. Now they live within a ring of five oil refineries, three chemical plants, eight Superfund sites, dozens of other toxic waste dumps, highways, rail yards, ports and marine terminals. Low-income residents seeking affordable homes may save money on shelter, but they pay the price in health.