Our leaders must give real impetus to the talk of environmental justice through actual support of environmental justice communities.
Air pollution is and has been the number-one environmental issue in the Houston region for decades. The problem has traditionally been oil refining and petrochemical facilities, but we are currently increasing our advocacy and awareness efforts on the expansion of ports along the Texas coast.
Harris County, TX is home to 48 percent of our nation's oil refining and petrochemical capacity, so the air quality challenges are enormous and the interests, and money tied to the sources of those problems are equally as large. Nobody in our community escapes pollution—from the fence-line communities on the eastern side of Houston which daily struggle with air toxics and environmental justice issues to the bedroom communities and suburbs in all other directions exposed to high levels of ozone for our 8-month-long ozone season.
The federal government should not delay any of Clean Air Act health protections. And, more than anything else, our leaders must give real impetus to the talk of environmental justice through actual support of environmental justice communities.