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Photo Display from Banff National Park. Many U.S. and Canadian national parks are closed because of the Coronavirus. 
Check specific parks for re-openings. See pages 1 and 3 (Eco Links) for environmental news.

B o r d e r l a n d s    D i g e s t
(www.borderlandsdigest.com)
Exploring the border between chaos and cooperation:
Reading and Writing about Justice Issues
an independent monthly journal with a focus on
 the environment, immigration and criminal justice

May - June 2020 


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Guest Article

Clean Air and Covid-19

by Dr. Joanne Leovy 

Covid-19 presents many questions.  Among the most vexing, why are some people asymptomatic or mildly ill while others develop severe disease?  In the absence of a cure, can we predict who might require hospitalization, need ventilation or die?  Can anything help to reduce the risk of severe illness in the absence of a highly effective treatment or vaccine? 

Epidemiologic analyses clearly show that Covid-19 more severely impacts older people, men, and those with obesity, heart disease and immune-compromising conditions.  A combination of health and social factors likely increase the risk in communities of color.  Another fascinating and potentially modifiable factor is exposure to air pollution.

Air pollution causes myriad health problems.  The strongest evidence implicates two pollutants emitted primarily from vehicle tailpipes and fossil fuel combustion, ground level ozone and fine particulates.  These pollutants cause acute and chronic respiratory, cardiovascular, perinatal and neurologic problems.  Ground level ozone and fine particulate pollution cause reversible lung function impairment, airway inflammation and leaky blood vessels.   Long term ozone exposure is linked to an increased risk for ARDS, the form of lung failure common in Covid-19 patients.  Because ozone forms in sunny and hot conditions, it is a major pollutant in Las Vegas and Reno in the summer.   Particulates raise lung levels of IL-6 and other cytokines believed to be major drivers of the hyper-inflammatory response seen in seriously ill Covid-19 patients.  A 12 year study of 60 million U.S. Medicare recipients demonstrated substantially increased mortality in people who lived in areas of either high ozone or high particulate pollution.  A 2019 study estimated that Nevada has 97 excess deaths and nearly $900 million in health costs due to air pollution.

What is the link to Covid-19 disease?  At least two studies now show a tantalizing correlation between high levels of fine particulates and high levels of Covid-19.  A preliminary Italian survey revealed that the highest concentration of fine particulates are in the same region of Northern Italy that had catastrophic numbers Covid-19 infections, raising an interesting hypothesis.  An April 2020 study from Harvard shows a clear trend between cases per million residents and fine particulate pollution.  Pollution-related pre-existing health conditions and acute inflammation could play a role in a higher Covid-19 burden.  Other data suggests increased virus transmission areas with particulate pollution as some viruses can bind to fine particulates in the air and travel distances.

Reducing pollution quickly improves health.  Both short and long term studies show mortality reduction with modest measures to clean the air.  Technologies available now including higher fuel efficiency and electric vehicles, non-fossil electricity and energy efficiency have the potential to save many lives.  A 2019 study estimated that just electrifying factories and industrial facilities that burn coal or oil, and replacing residential wood stoves with electric heat would cut particulate pollution enough to cut the pollution-related death rate in half, and would save much more money in health costs than the cost of transition.  A small bright light in the pandemic has been the clearer skies across many cities as people ceased much of their travel.  A recent study in China estimated that 77,000 fewer people died during the mandatory shutdown due to reduced air pollution.  Perhaps our Nevada experience of unusually clean skies in March and April will lend support to efforts to work for cleaner air.  Clean air saves lives. 

(Dr. Leovy is a family practice doctor in Las Vegas, Nevada)

References for the above article: 

Limaye, V. S., Max, W., Constible, J., & Knowlton, K. (2019). Estimating the health‐related costs of 10 climate‐sensitive U.S. events during 2012. GeoHealth, 3 https:// doi.org/10.1029/2019GH000202.

Fattorini, D, Regoli, G. Role of the chronic air pollution in the Covid-19 outbreak risk in Italy. Environmental Pollution 264 (2020) 114732.

Di, Q et al. Air Pollution and mortality in the Medicare population. N Engl J Med 2017;376:2513-22. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1702747.

Climate change and SARS-CoV-2. Sheri Weiser, MD, MPH Division of HIV, ID, and Global Medicine Department of Medicine University of California, San Francisco, presentation for Osher Mini-Med, May 2020. 

Rhee, J et al. Impact of Long-Term Exposures to Ambient PM2.5 and Ozone on ARDS Risk for Older Adults in the United States. Chest 156(1) 71-79. 

Bennett, J et al. Particulate matter air pollution and national and county life expectancy loss in the USA: A spatiotemporal analysis. PLOS Medicine (2019), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002856.

Wu, X et al. Exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 mortality in the United States: A nationwide cross-sectional study. MedRxIV, https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.05.20054502

Pope, C et al. Mortality Risk and Fine Particulate Air Pollution in a Large, Representative Cohort of U.S. Adults. Environmental Health Perspectives. 127 (1), https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP4438 (2020). 

American Lung Association. www.lung.org


Some News Links of Interest

Coronavirus is stalling air quality, pollution rules, even in eco-minded California,
Los Angeles Times, May 13, click here

Clean water is key for Navajo Nation, other tribes, to avoid next pandemic Tucson Sentinel, May 12, 2020, click here

A Former Farmworker on American Hypocrisy
In the pandemic, “illegal” workers are now deemed “essential” by the federal government. Opinion, New York Times, May 6, 2020, click here to listen or read

Advocates with mask donation turned away from San Diego immigration detention center, Los Angeles Times, April 25, click here


Without a single COVID-19 death, Vietnam starts easing its coronavirus lockdown, Los Angeles Times, April 23, click here

Earth Justice Report April 23

The Clean Water Case of the Century

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled to keep the Clean Water Act intact, dealing a major loss to the Trump administration and its pro-polluter agenda. The fate of the nation’s clean water had hung in the balance in County of Maui v. Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund.



Fifty Thousand Americans Dead from the Coronavirus, and a President Who Refuses to Mourn Them, New Yorker Magazine, April 23, click here

Chaos and competition for vital coronavirus test could slow reopening of the economy, Los Angeles Times, April 21, click here

Wildlife Collapse From Climate Change Is Predicted to Hit Suddenly and Sooner, New York Times, April 15 2020, click here


Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia faces blowback as he curtails scope of worker relief in unemployment crisis Washington Post, April 10, click here

Labor Department comes under fire over handling of worker protection, unemployment program

Hospitals say feds are seizing masks and other coronavirus supplies without a word  Los Angeles Times, April 7, click here


Just When They’re Needed Most, 
Clinics for the Poor Face Drastic Cutbacks
New York Times, April 4, click here
Clinics that treat the poor and uninsured are facing hard times just when they are most needed. The coronavirus pandemic has depleted their revenues.

Utah’s most popular park, Zion,
finally closes after state intervenes
Other National Parks and boat ramps on Lake Powell close
Salt Lake Tribune, April 4, click here

A Conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci
from a New York Times Article, April 2, 2020,

“I think it will be remembered of really showing what a great country we are. We have been through, as I’ve said, if you look at the history of our country, some extraordinary ordeals. I mean, world wars and diseases and depressions,” he said. “And we’ve gotten through it. I have a great deal of faith in the spirit of the American people. We’re resilient. We’re going to get over this. And this is going to end.” Dr Fauci

Trump weakens fuel economy standards, rolling back key U.S. effort against climate changeLA Times, March 31, click here

Related press release from Earth Justice

Washington, D.C. — 

The Trump administration today finalized rules around greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for new cars and light trucks. This comes despite opposition from automakers, 18 states and the District of Columbia, and a coalition of cities and counties across the country. Earthjustice has challenged a separate attempt by the Trump administration to revoke California’s authority to set stricter vehicle emissions standards. 

The following is a statement from Earthjustice attorney Paul Cort, who is the lead attorney for Earthjustice on the clean cars litigation:

“In the midst of a public health crisis, the Trump administration is once again putting oil industry profits ahead of the American people. Weakening clean car standards will dramatically increase air pollution and harm public health. Transportation is the largest source of carbon pollution in the country, and this move undercuts one of our most important tools to solve the climate crisis. We’ll see the Trump administration in court.”

The clean car standards, announced by the Obama administration in 2012, set out to cut carbon pollution from new vehicles in half by 2025. They were slated to create approximately 650,000 jobs, save consumers about $50 billion in 2030, and reduce climate pollution by 280 million metric tons in 2030.


YouTube Video

CBS TV
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Key medical supplies were shipped from U.S. manufacturers to foreign buyers, The Intercept, April 1, Click here


WHO says following Taiwan virus response closely, after complaints, Reuters, March 27, click here (WHO- World Health Organization)

What the Coronavirus means for climate change
New York Times, March 27, click here
"Lockdowns and distancing won’t save the world from warming.
 But amid this crisis, we have a chance to build a better future."


Trump administration urged to free migrants as virus surges, Washington Post, March 25, click here


Coronavirus Capitalism — and How to Beat It
8 Minute Video with Naomi Klein
from Common Dreams.org

YouTube Video

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Greta Thunberg at the United Nations

 "How dare you! You have stolen my dreams,
 and my childhood, with your empty words..."

YouTube Video


See the United Nations press release on the Eco Links page
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From the Sierra Club Borderlands


Sign the Petition! Stop the Wall, Prevent the Spread!

Please sign the petition below from the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) demanding that the federal government stop condemning private land and building walls with large crews that could be infecting border communities with COVID-19. Border walls harm our communities and the environment, and building them now is likely spreading the deadly new coronavirus.

Sign and share the petition: bit.ly/cancelthewall

You can also share TCRP’s Facebook post about their letter signed by more than 100 organizations demanding an immediate end to wall construction. And they have a tweet you can share right now!

We have teamed up with the ACLU and Southern Border Communities Coalition to sue to stop the new border walls that are being funded by an end run around Congress. We are working to add the new walls mentioned above to our lawsuit, so we can hopefully stop them, too. We had a hearing at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on March 10, but as we await that decision and the appeals process to the Supreme Court, illegal border wall construction continues unabated. In a separate lawsuit, a small portion of wall funding was blocked in a Washington court, specifically related to submarine base funding in that state that was plundered for use on the wall.

Bonus: Hilarious Video About the Heartbreaking Wall

YouTube Video

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Fighting for Real Justice
a report by Earth Justice

"This report, “Fighting for Real Justice,” examines actions of the Trump administration and Congress that threaten people’s ability to have their day in court. These dangerous policies, being pursued at the behest of powerful corporate and ideological interests, seek to diminish the role of the courts in securing important public protections for individuals, workers, families, communities, and the environment, with particularly profound implications for already marginalized groups."  Click here to read the full report


Update on "Remain in Mexico" Refugee Policy, New York Times, March 11,2020

Supreme Court Revives ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy for Asylum Seekers

A federal appeals court had found that the policy, which was put in place early last year, violated federal and international law. Click here to read the full article.
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‘This Is the Wild West Out Here’



Public lands are threatened throughout the United States especially in the West where privatization efforts by the Trump administration benefit mining companies. Photo by Craig Rock


How Washington is bending over backward for mining companies in Nevada at the expense of environmental rules.  Investigation by Politico, Feb 9, click here


What Will It Take?
by Craig Rock, Editor

In many ways, these are unusual and crazy times. On one hand, we have scientists, medical professionals, volunteers, and others working together to stop this slaughter of thousands of people around world from the coronavirus, Covid-19. These are people from every sector of society who are  risking their lives on a daily basis.

On the other hand, we have people fighting for the right to go back to work, the cost of human lives is secondary. They must make a living now. They also have the right to their usual form of recreation. which may include crowding the beaches and the malls, maskless. It appears to be the only way they know of being free, of being "American." 

Then we have politicians on every side of the pandemic issues. It seems there is an interest or identity group that think their group is the center of this virus. In the battle for funding, prestige and power, their interests come first, others come next if there are any leftovers. Meanwhile, the virus is working hard, knocking down all borders to take our last breath away.

There are certainly the con-artists as well, waiting for their chance to profit. There is cause for alarm if we explore the many people and corporations that have perfected that art and who are ready to exploit the pandemic for all the gold it is worth. With the lives and a world economy that have been decimated by Covid-19, we simply do not have room, in the recovery, for the flimflam man who takes where he can, whether its fraud in consumer purchases and services, banking, real estate and insurance schemes, or manipulation of the market for medical services and supplies.

On the plus side of this corruption, we have a counter force that can create a new economy. An economy based on honest government and business interests. Imagine a society where businesses work along with government and community groups to root out corrupt politicians, judges, and corporations who already are hard at work pilfering away the trillions of dollars supposedly dedicated to getting us back on our feet. 

What have we learned? How can we reorganize to insure a sane and safe response to the current health and environmental disasters and the new ones that we are sure to face in the future? 

One thing I realize is that we should never have a government in charge of our health and welfare like the one we have now. The outrageous and, some would say, criminal performance of the Republican-controlled Senate in checking the abuse of power of the U.S. Executive Branch is leaning our government towards the right-wing dictatorships that we supported over the last 65 years.  If the Republican party can't clean up its ranks, clean up its corruption, change its callous disregard for human life, it shouldn't exist as a party that competes to govern our country. In some respects, these concerns go  for the Democratic Party as well. 

Can we reform soon enough to make a difference? Or is nature waiting for our demise? Will this Sara Teasdale poem have special meaning when years from now, the poem is found by a chimp swinging from a tree, trying to figure out what it all means and how it all happened.


There Will Come Soft Rains 
Sara Teasdale - 1884-1933

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.


Related Article

The Coronavirus is rewriting our imaginations,
What felt impossible has become thinkable. the spring of 2020
 is suggestive of much, and how quickly we can change as a civilization
New Yorker, May 1, click here
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Journal Contents 
Editor Craig Rock, duniterock@gmail.com, send in your stories, poems and photos by the 24th of the month. Click on most images to enlarge.
(Pages are accessible from links at the top and bottom of each page.)

Page 1 - Recent news links; updated stories.

Page 2 -  Art and its connections to justice issues through non-fiction, fiction, poetry, photography, history, exhibits and other formats.

Page 3 - Older News Links and press releases 

 Page 4 Eco Links (Environment - Links and Reports) - Links to Interesting Websites.
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Press Release World Health Organization (WHO) May 13

WHO: People living longer and healthier lives
but Covid-19 threatens progress

All over the world, the COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant loss of life, disrupting livelihoods, and threatening the recent advances in health and progress towards global development goals highlighted in the 2020 World Health Statistics published by the World Health Organization (WHO) today.

“The good news is that people around the world are living longer and healthier lives. The bad news is the rate of progress is too slow to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and will be further thrown off track by COVID-19,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

“The pandemic highlights the urgent need for all countries to invest in strong health systems and primary health care, as the best defense against outbreaks like COVID-19, and against the many other health threats that people around the world face every day. Health systems and health security are two sides of the same coin.”

WHO’s World Health Statistics — an annual check-up on the world’s health — reports progress against a series of key health and health service indicators, revealing some important lessons in terms of progress made towards the Sustainable Development Goals and gaps to fill.

Life expectancy and healthy life expectancy have increased, but unequally.

The biggest gains were reported in low-income countries, which saw life expectancy rise 21% or 11 years between 2000 and 2016 (compared with an increase of 4% or 3 years in higher income countries).

One driver of progress in lower-income countries was improved access to services to prevent and treat HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, as well as a

number of neglected tropical diseases such as guinea worm. Another was better maternal and child healthcare, which led to a halving of child mortality between 2000 and 2018.

But in a number of areas, progress has been stalling. Immunization coverage has barely increased in recent years, and there are fears that malaria gains may be reversed. And there is an overall shortage of services within and outside the health system to prevent and treat noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, diabetes, heart and lung disease, and stroke. In 2016, 71 per cent of all deaths worldwide were attributable to NCDs, with the majority of the 15 million premature deaths (85%) occurring in low and middle-income countries.

This uneven progress broadly mirrors inequalities in access to quality health services. Only between one third and one half the world’s population was able to obtain essential health services in 2017. Service coverage in low- and middle-income countries remains well below coverage in wealthier ones; as do health workforce densities. In more than 40% of all countries, there are fewer than 10 medical doctors per 10 000 people. Over 55% of countries have fewer than 40 nursing and midwifery personnel per 10 000 people. 

The inability to pay for healthcare is another major challenge for many. On current trends, WHO estimates that this year, 2020, approximately 1 billion people (almost 13 per cent of the global population) will be spending at least 10% of their household budgets on health care. The majority of these people live in lower middle-income countries.

“The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need to protect people from health emergencies, as well as to promote universal health coverage and healthier populations to keep people from needing health services through multisecotral interventions like improving basic hygiene and sanitation,” said Dr Samira Asma, Assistant Director General at WHO.

In 2017, more than half (55%) of the global population was estimated to lack access to safely-managed sanitation services, and more than one quarter (29%) lacked safely-managed drinking water. In the same year, two in five households globally (40%) lacked basic handwashing facilities with soap and water in their home. 

The World Health Statistics also highlight the need for stronger data and health information systems. Uneven capacities to collect and use accurate, timely, and comparable health statistics, undermining countries’ ability to understand population health trends, develop appropriate policies, allocate resources and prioritize interventions. 

For almost a fifth of countries, over half of the key indicators have no recent primary or direct underlying data, another major challenge in enabling countries to prepare for, prevent and respond to health emergencies such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. WHO is therefore supporting countries in strengthening surveillance and data and health information systems so they can measure their status and manage improvements.  

“The message from this report is clear: as the world battles the most serious pandemic in 100 years, just a decade away from the SDG deadline, we must act together to strengthen primary health care and focus on the most vulnerable among us in order to eliminate the gross inequalities that dictate who lives a long, healthy life and who doesn’t,” added Asma. “We will only succeed in doing this by helping countries to improve their data and health information systems.” 

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Press Release from Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) 

Thousands join CPJ’s call for governments to 
release jailed journalists amid COVID-19

New York, May 5, 2020--In recognition of World Press Freedom Day, marked each year on May 3, the Committee to Protect Journalists today said 11,337 supporters from at least 105 countries, alongside 192 partner organizations, joined its global #FreeThePress campaign calling for the release of all jailed journalists. CPJ advanced the campaign in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which poses a grave threat to the health of imprisoned populations.

“Jailing journalists is the hallmark of an authoritarian regime, but keeping them in jail in the midst of a pandemic is sheer cruelty,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “Journalists shouldn’t be locked up -- they should be out reporting the news, informing the public and holding authorities to account. The free circulation of information and ideas is essential to fighting COVID-19, and journalists can’t do their job from behind bars.”

The campaign included an open letter to leaders of governments jailing journalists. Citizens around the world signed CPJ’s petition. Formerly imprisoned journalists shared video messages of solidarity.

At least four journalists, in Ethiopia and Iran, have been released because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CPJ also called on the U.N. and the European External Action Service to press for the release of jailed journalists. The campaign culminated with a letter to U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres calling for urgent action on behalf of all those still behind bars.

CPJ’s coronavirus response page includes news coverage of journalists being arrested, assaulted, or censored for their work on the virus, as well as Q&A interviews with reporters on the front line. CPJ Emergencies regularly updates its physical, digital, and psychosocial safety advice, which is available in almost 40 languages, and journalists and newsrooms can submit questions to CPJ’s safety experts.
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Press Release KINO BORDER INITIATIVE  March 18, 2020

KBI Denounces Expedited Returns To Mexico

The Kino Border Initiative denounces the Trump administration’s announcement that it will send asylum-seekers and people in migration to Mexico without any due process.

It is our collective responsibility to promote and protect all people’s safety and health in these unprecedented times. However, ceasing access to asylum for those arriving at ports of entry and sending all migrants quickly back to Mexico—whose officials were not informed of the plan—does not honor the interests of public health, border security, or international obligations. Migrants and asylum-seekers subject to this policy are coming from places where rates of infection from the virus are far lower than they are in the United States; they are placing themselves in greater danger by attempting to migrate. This speaks to the gravity of the situations they are fleeing.

We must continue to act with decency at this time and expand on our obligation to respect human rights and due process. The administration’s plan effectively eliminates asylum and due process. It leaves thousands of people in legal and humanitarian limbo in Mexico and disregards how this will affect communities south of the border. Above all, it will not make our interconnected communities safer from the virus. We call on the administration to reconsider their plan and to act with decency, honor international obligations, and keep everyone safe.

The administration has been continually focused on ways to stoke fear of migrants, eliminate access to long-held protections, and dramatically reduce due process. The latest announcement uses the pandemic as a pretext to advance its dangerous goals. This is a moment to come together, recognize the ways in which we are connected, and care for one another. In the words of our partners at the Jesuit Migration Network, “Solidarity is the most effective of protocols.”

For more information on the Kino Border Initiative, click here


Press Release News Literacy Project



The News Literacy Project produces a free guide for developing news literacy education programs

Washington, Feb. 26, 2019 — A free, comprehensive guide to developing news literacy education programs is now available worldwide. The News Literacy Project, a U.S.-based nonpartisan education nonprofit, has produced Give Facts a Fighting Chance: A Global Playbook for Teaching News Literacy to help organizations begin or expand news literacy programs to help counter the relentless spread of misinformation and disinformation. This guide was created with funding from the Facebook Journalism Project.

“We believe that news literacy education is the most effective approach to stemming the global pandemic of misinformation,” says Alan C. Miller, founder and CEO of the News Literacy Project. “The Global Playbook distills what the News Literacy Project has learned in a decade in news literacy education into a practical resource for developing programs that will succeed.”

“Making news literacy education accessible around the world is critical to combating the spread of misinformation,” says Julia Bain of Facebook’s News Partnerships division. “The Global Playbook is a valuable new asset to the news literacy ecosystem and will help support an informed community.”

The Global Playbook provides a road map for developing a news literacy education curriculum, including advice on the logistics of establishing a program, ideas for building engaging and culturally relevant lessons, and the importance of assessing results.

It offers a brief history of misinformation, disinformation and “fake news,” using real-world examples, and discusses the standards of quality journalism and the vital role of the press in a free society. It also includes a collection of best practices in news literacy education, along with a listing of geographically relevant news literacy resources.

About the News Literacy Project

The News Literacy Project, a U.S.-based nonpartisan education nonprofit, empowers educators to teach students the skills they need to become smart, active consumers of news and other information and engaged, informed participants in civic life. Its signature offering is the Checkology®virtual classroom, an enhanced e-learning platform where students in middle school and high school learn the critical-thinking skills they need to assess the torrent of information that they encounter every day. Since it launched in 2016, more than 17,000 educatorsin all 50 states, the District of Columbia, three U.S. territories and more than 100 other countries have registered to use Checkology. In 2018, support from the Facebook Journalism Project enabled the News Literacy Project to significantly expand and enhance the Checkology platform.

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An Earth Justice report, FEBRUARY 27, 2020,


LANDMARK HOUSE LEGISLATION CENTERS ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE CONCERNS


Bill developed through years-long process led by communities on the front lines of environmental degradation

Washington, D.C. — House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA) introduced the Environmental Justice for All Act, landmark legislation to combat environmental racism and disparate impacts affecting frontline communities nationwide.

The following is a statement from Martin Hayden, Vice President of Policy and Legislation at Earthjustice:

“We cannot confront the legacy of environmental racism in the United States unless we listen to the voices of the people most harmed by it. If we do, however, we can ensure that everyone has the right to drink clean water, breathe clean air, and live without fear of the poisonous effects of toxic chemicals.

“We commend Chairman Grijalva and Representative McEachin for the proposal they released today and the landmark process they used to create it. It represents a bold and necessary shift in the way we create federal environmental policy — it is the result of a serious and years-long effort to put the expertise and concerns of the people experiencing the worst of pollution and climate change first. Earthjustice commends all of the environmental justice advocates who contributed to this legislation and looks forward to similar efforts in the future.”
BACKGROUND ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE FOR ALL ACT:

The Environmental Justice for All Act creates a Federal Energy Transition Economic Development Assistance Fund — paid for by new fees on oil, gas and coal companies — to support communities and workers as they transition away from greenhouse gas-dependent economies. The bill expands legal rights for underserved communities and creates new federal grants and program authority to address environmental racism and disparate impacts nationwide.