On Tuesday August 29th, Environmental Justice (EJ) activists in Camden, NJ held a “toxic tour.” Roy L. Jones, reverend and long-time EJ advocate in Camden, stated that the purposes of the tour were twofold: first, “to visually present to U.S. Attorneys the totality of environmental degradation Camden residents have been subject to for decades”; and second, to “ask for federal intervention to bring justice to those responsible.”
EELC’s EJ Staff Attorney, Maggie Broughton, attended the tour to witness the state of Camden’s environment first-hand. The bus tour weaved throughout the Waterfront South neighborhood, stopping at illegal solid waste stockpiles, tire piles, Eastern Metal Recyclings’s
scrap metal facilities, and finally ended at an infamous and illegal solid waste operation on Chestnut Street in the Bergen Square neighborhood. EELC has been active on issues related to scrap metal operations and the illegal solid waste stockpile at Chestnut Street.
Local activist and CEO of the Camden-based nonprofit Workforce and Economic Revitalization for Communities (WERC), Martha Chavis, stated the following about the Chestnut Street Site and EJ general”Any environmental hazard is a health risk to all who are impacted by it. With the 48 toxic sites identified in Camden, it physically and literally places at risk all of us who reside and/or work here. Toxic sites are a health and quality of life matter. Our priority must focus on cleaning up these sites—currently, the ‘Toxic Dump’ in the Bergen Square neighborhood and to concurrently provide assessments, resources, and services to all exposed to better insure that their health and life safety has a future.”
EELC is honored to work alongside these Camden activists to protect the health and environment of its residents. For more on the toxic tour, see this article.