RIGHT TO BREATHE: 50 STATES UNITED

Kimberly Hill

Clean air is a natural right that should be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of race or class.

Profession: Environmental Justice Consultant
Group Affiliation: Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice

Clean Air Ambassador:

Kimberly Hill

Detroit, Michigan

The issue of air pollution became personal for me when I began to hear the countless stories of residents living near noxious facilities in southwest Detroit. Every morning, they are greeted by soot on their cars and foul odors. For years, they have been forced to breathe unhealthy air and, as a result, suffer from asthma and severe levels of cancer.

The local sources of pollution in my community are the Detroit Incinerator and the Marathon Oil Refinery. The Detroit Incinerator is the largest solid waste incinerator in the U.S. and a major source of pollution for the region. It burns an estimated 2,800 tons of commercial and household waste each day. The Marathon Oil Refinery in southwest Detroit is Michigan's only refinery, and it is importing tar sands oil from Canada.

Detroit is home to some of the most polluted sites in the state of Michigan. The industries that drove the city have been a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing because of the economic development opportunities that were provided—the middle class was officially established through these industries. However, it was also a curse because of the environmental hazards that accompanied it, leading to rare forms of cancer, and increased levels of severe asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

Often, the residents of these communities are least likely to be able to afford quality health care and do not have access to preventive care. I am attending “50 States United for Healthy Air” because I have an obligation to fight for those who are too weak to fight for themselves. I am going to D.C. to express our concerns and to share our stories, in an effort to strengthen congressional support of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Clean air should not be a commodity that is only reserved for wealthy residents. It is a natural right that should be enjoyed by EVERYONE, regardless of race or class.
 

All Messages: Supporting Our Clean Air Ambassadors.

THE EPA needs to do MORE not less to keep our water and air CLEANER.

Dixie Wong

Thank you!

Some of our congressional representatives, both at the State and Federal level, are fighting to establish coal fired power plants in our district which will add mercury a known carcinogen to our air. For some reason money rules...do they not breathe the same air we do. You go, Kimberly. I'll stand behind you all the way!

Clean air is essential to all of us for health, energy and happiness. If breathing becomes a struggle, life itself becomes a struggle instead of the joy it should be.

"Clean air should not be a commodity that is only reserved for wealthy residents. It is a natural right that should be enjoyed by EVERYONE, regardless of race or class."

Amen, Kimberly!

I grew up in Southwest Detroit. So, I know exactly what is being said. Detroit always had this haze over it when I was growing up there as a child. The Darling soap factory used to provide a horrendous smell to the area.

I applaud you as well! Thank you for caring and continuing the fight.

I applaud you for what you are doing-clean, breathable is a must and failure is not an option on this!! Thanks so much for fighting for this-it's too important to let pass by.

Congratulations and my prayers are with you all the way!

I can remember all too well the pall of polluted air that was visible over not only Detroit but all of southeastern Michigan from as far away as Standish and Pinconning, well over a hundred miles away, in the '50s and '60s. Anyone who traveled north in those days was aware of it. In fact, it was a prime reason for heading north. That it is no longer there is a tribute for the progress we have made. But it remains a threat.

Thank you for your work!

you have my support all the way on the clean air act. thanks for everything.

Your work is vital for everyone who breathes, or plans to. Good luck to you, and know that we stand behind you.

You go girl! Thank you and you have my support.

Congratulations for your efforts. !

I lived near downtown Detroit and Windsor for years, breathed the bad air coming up river from factories, and eventually found plenty of alergies. We need clean air.

Thanks for all you do!

The work you do is vital for everyone who breathes, or plans to. Good luck, and know we stand behind you.

Go get 'em girl!

Tar sands is dirty stuff. It's bad for communities, forests and water in Canada, where it's extracted. And it's bad for Detroit and other communities where it get's refined.

I really hope that the people you meet with really listen.

Good luck, Kim! You've got my support!

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