RIGHT TO BREATHE: 50 STATES UNITED

Barbara Evans

I am coming to Washington, D.C. to try to save my family and friends in rural Alabama. Because we're worth it.

Profession: Organizing Coordinator
Group Affiliation: Wildlaw

Clean Air Ambassador:

Barbara Evans

Burkville, AL

I never thought that air pollution would be an issue for me, as I live in the rural Black Belt of Alabama. Over the years, though, we have witnessed some chemical plants springing up in rural areas. But it wasn't until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency brought coal ash (also known as fly ash) to a landfill in Perry County, Alabama, that I realized how important this issue really is.

I began doing some organizing work in Perry County about 5 years ago, trying to stop a household waste landfill from being built right across a county road from an African-American neighborhood. We failed to stop that landfill, and I knew it was just a matter of time before there were problems. What I did not expect was that all that coal ash from the TVA spill in Tennessee would be allowed in a household waste landfill.

But of course, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, (which gets $1 per ton) found a way to approve it, calling the coal ash "special waste." When I drove to Perry, which is one county over from me, I was floored by the smell of the coal ash. It's a horribly acrid smell. Worse, the coal ash was blowing around covering cars in the neighborhood surrounding the dump. Because the people of Perry were so frightened by the possible health effects of the hazardous substance, I got deeply involved.

Coal ash is affecting people I love, and may be affecting me in the future. The byproducts from coal burning power plants are my number one concern. I am extremely concerned too about byproducts from the plastic plants such as SABIC (formerly GE Plastics in Burkville, AL) and the fact that we who live nearby are not informed about releases of dangerous chemicals. In Alabama, it's like “anything goes” out in the country.

I want bold action from the EPA, our members of Congress and President Obama. I want them to stand up to the coal companies, oil companies and dirty industry and regulate air pollution. I want that coal ash classified as what it is, and what scientists agree that it is: a toxic, hazardous material. It should be stored in a hazardous waste facility, not a household garbage dump.

In Selma, Alabama, we fought for people's civil rights … isn't breathing clean air a civil right? We gave up a lot so that people could have a bit of equality and justice, and we deserve better protection than what we are getting from our government.

I am coming to Washington, D.C. to try to save my family and friends in rural Alabama. Because we're worth it.

2013 Clean Air Ambassador 2013 Clean Air Ambassador: Barbara Evans.
Barbara was also a Clean Air Ambassador during the second
50 States United for Healthy Air event, held in May 2013.
Barbara's 2013 Ambassador Page »

All Messages: Supporting Our Clean Air Ambassadors.

People have no idea how foul air affects us. I live by a heliopad and I can almost feel the chemicals from the gas. They fly over day and night. I could dust twice a day. I heard that gas was the only fuel to have had to clean. Well I can tell you jet fuel and any airplane fuel is twice as bad. I used to live 72 miles west of Detroit in a path for planes.

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We need to respect our planet and find some way to pursue EFFECTIVE & EFFICIENT alternative energy sources. The corporatist beast that controls the oil industry makes this nearly impossible though... we must find a way to break their totalitarian grip on Humanity! They even arrange to HAVE PEOPLE KILLED WHO MAKE BREAKTRHOUGHS IN NEW ALTERNATIVE ENERGIES; e.g., Dr. Eugene Mallow & his work on Cold Fusion- just as he was making serious progress, he was suddenly, suspiciously "robbed" and murdered. THIS TYPE OF THING HAPPENS EVERY TIME! THEY WON'T LET US HAVE CLEAN, CHEAP ENERGIES B/C THEY WANT TO KEEP CONTROLLING US BY CONTROLLING WHAT WE DEPEND ON!
We must find a way around this monster.

We need to keep our air clean, BUT WE DO NOT NEED MORE TAXES ON THE PEOPLE TO DO THAT! I know that such "carbon taxes" have been proposed! THAT'S JUST ANOTHER WAY TO OPPRESS HUMANITY! We must stop their hijacking of the environmental movment!

People...
PLEASE research "CLIMATEGATE".

*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!

thank you for representing us.
People have no idea how foul air affects us.
I live by a heliopad and I can almost feel the chemicals from the gas. They fly over day and night. I could dust twice a day. I heard that gas was the only fuel to have had to clean. Well I can tell you jet fuel and any airplane fuel is twice as bad. I used to live 72 miles west of Detroit in a path for planes. When 911 halted a lot of traffic our skies turned the prettiest shade of blue. Before it was washed out looking. So the jet fuel does contribute. I also heard people in areas where there is a lot of air traffic are getting immne deficiency diseases.
So again I thank you. I will do all I can from here.
I live by Dothan , Al

Had no idea this was happening, and I live in Alabama. So thanks for alerting me to this issue; you have my full support in your D.C. endeavor.

Thank you for your hard work on behalf of the people of Alabama. Good luck

Hi, Barbara, I met you at EPA's coal ash rule hearing in Tennessee. Thanks for taking the clean air message to DC. I'll be thinking about you tomorrow and wishing all of you well!

Thank you

Way to go Barbara. The rural countryside and the people that live there are ignored to great extent. Best of luck in your journey to D.C.

Thank you!!!

Thanks so much for doing this, Barbara!

Thank you. You're so right. Breathing is a civil right. How can corporations be people if they can't breathe the air they pollute?

Coal ash should be treated like the toxic waste it is - not dumped in a landfill intended for household trash.

Breathing is a not only a right but a necessity. Breathing coal ash is a death sentence. Our 'representatives' must take action to protect the peoples healt and welfare by restricting where this poison can be disposed of; preferably only in a toxic waste dump.

Doesn't surprise me no one from GA is going so I picked you because you are closest to me. I am so very sick and tired of congress putting $ in their pockets from the oil, gas & coal companies to the detriment of our health. They are nothing but a bunch of liars, theives and cheats.I pray you and the others going to D.C. can make those idiots listen for a change. It's way past time Americans stand up to congress and make them do what we want.

Coal ash isn't a special waste, it is a toxic sludge. It should be illegal to export it to another state.

I agree, Breathing clean air a civil right. Let those folks in DC know we demand our rights!

Thanks for going to talk with them on our behalf.

You're helping those of us in the cities, too Barbara, Thanks from an asthma sufferer in Mtg.

Wow, Barbara -- great story! Good luck in D.C.

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