In the news: Environmental Justice Report Back
Check out coverage of our community report back last Tuesday in the Source NM!
Most of those signatures came from people who live near the proposed consolidation site, said Domenica Nieto, a project assistant with Earth Care, during a virtual community meeting on Tuesday night.
“Each signatory represents a household, family members, loved ones whose interests are at stake, and that is a substantial number of people in our community that support the appeal and oppose the permit,” Nieto said. “It is clear that the community is asking for the reversal of the NMED decision and reconsideration based on more stringent air quality standards and more appropriate data.”
Health equity and environmental justice are the community’s priorities, Nieto said. She testified to the board that they are concerned about environmental racism.
More and more businesses are coming to the South Side, she testified, which is the most densely populated part of the city and is home to the greatest number of youth, low-income and immigrant families.
“Our community is already the most impacted by COVID, and now we may see increased rates of asthma and other diseases in our children,” Nieto told the board. Her group doesn’t believe that the permit addresses human and environmental concerns or current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.
Check out coverage of our campaign + ABQ's fight against gross pollution in the Daily Lobo!
Areas with people of color, low-income residents and immigrants have historically been forced to endure environmental racism around the U.S., but New Mexico locals are fighting against it. Santa Fe’s Southside and Albuquerque’s South Valley continue in their efforts against unjust environmental decisions that disproportionately affect marginalized groups.
In Santa Fe’s Southside, Associated Asphalt and Materials received a permit from the New Mexico Environment Department last summer to consolidate its two plants — located on both sides of Highway 599, north of Airport Road — to only the west side of the highway. However, Miguel Acosta — who is the co-director of EarthCare, a nonprofit dedicated to ecological health and social justice — and Tierra Contenta resident Linda Marianiello started conversations against this consolidation in early 2020 after the permit was requested in December 2019.
Acosta and Marianiello are still at the forefront of the fight against these operations, and a virtual public meeting was held on Tuesday, April 19 to go over updates on past, current and future happenings.