Coalition For Healthy Ports
As a member organization of the Coalition for Healthy Ports, NJEJA is actively supporting the campaign for “Good Jobs, Healthy Neighborhoods, & a Clean Environment” for Newark, NJ residents. The priority objectives of this campaign include equitable compensation for the city and environmental mitigation policies, like a ban on dirty pre-2007 diesel trucks and Zero Emissions standard for port operations.
Port Newark and Port Elizabeth bring goods into the U.S. from overseas. Trucks carry the goods from the ports to their final destination, or to warehouses where they are stored temporarily. At every step of the process, workers are exploited (low wages, few or no benefits) and pollution is created for the people of Newark, Elizabeth, Bayonne, East Orange, and surrounding communities.
Now the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has announced plans to double or triple the size of the ports. The Panama Canal has been widened, allowing for bigger ships. But those bigger ships can’t get into Port Newark because they cannot pass under the Bayonne Bridge. Therefore, to expand the Ports, the Bayonne Bridge must be raised — thus expanding the truck traffic, and associated pollution, in Newark and surrounding areas.
A community meeting was held at Newark City Hall March 19, 2013, to inform the community about the planned port expansion and related issues of serious air pollution and worker exploitation. The meeting was sponsored jointly by the Newark Environmental Commission and the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance (NJEJA).
Here we link to videos of some of the 10-minute talks given at the public meeting.
Kim Gaddy: Introduction
Dr. Nicky Sheats: Pollution in your neighborhood is connected to the color of your skin and the amount of money in your pocket.
Christina Montorio: A Teamsters perspective
Henry Rose: All we want is simple justice!
Amy Goldsmith: Who will benefit? Who will pay?
Dr. Ana Baptista of the Newark Environmental Commission and the Ironbound Community Corporation offered a history of Port Newark, showing how its footprint on the city has grown over the years, and asking, “As the port expands, what’s in it for Newark?”
Craig Garcia: New Labor and the Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union
Robert Laumbach: Environmental & Occupational Health Institute, Rutgers University
John Goldstein: Partnership for Working Families
Public Health and Our Ports Conference and Tour 2018
Rutgers University’s Center for Environmental Exposure and Disease (CEED), with NJEJA, Ironbound Community Corporation, and Clean Water Action, hosted the “Public Health and Our Ports Conference and Tour” at the Rutgers Law School in Newark. CEED has been working on the public health impacts of NY/NJ port activities on port-adjacent communities. The overall goal of the conference was to articulate solutions that improve the health and well-being in affected communities. The conference engaged more than 100 stakeholders, including public policy thought leaders, environmental and public health organizations, and academics.
As a steering committee member organization of the Coalition for Healthy Ports (CHPs), NJEJA is actively supporting the campaign for equitable, transparent operations at the Port Authority of New York-New Jersey. While broadly promoting environmental and economic justice in PANYNJ operations and related industries, some specific objectives of the campaign includes: equitable compensation for the city; environmental mitigation policies like a ban on dirty pre-2007 diesel trucks; and a Zero Emissions standard for port operations. In an effort to achieve these aims, NJEJA has regularly participated in direct engagement with officials from EPA Region 2 and PANYNJ to express our concerns and desired outcomes.
DELPF: “From Here to There: Sustainable Developement in the Triangle”:
NIEJA Newark Organizer, Nicole Scott Harris was a panelist at the 2018 Annual Symposium of the Duke Environmental & Law Policy Forum (DELPF), where she presented lessons learned from goods and freight movement in the Tri-State: New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Nicole followed up the panel presentation with a paper that she penned with Laureen at NJEJA, Professor Kofi Boone at North Carolina State University, and Omega Wilson, North Carolina EJ colleague and a Executive Director of the West End Revitalization Association. The paper is titled, “Lessons from the Tri-State to the Triangle: Mitigating Environmental and Health Impacts from Transportation in Populous Regions”.
National Work on Goods & Freight Movement 2018
As part of CHPs, we are active members of the Moving Forward Network (MFN), a national coalition that organizes efforts across states and regions to reduce pollution and public health impacts related to the movement of goods and freight. Pictured here, NIEJA Ed Coordinator & Organizer Nicole Scott Harris (participating with MFN Delegation) pictured withNJEJA Board Member Cynthia Mellon and Mustafa Ali of the Hip Hop Caucus at the 2018 People’s Climate March in San Francisco, CA
Climate Resilience and Cities of Service
NJEJA also prepared a summary of policy work under the initiative, including the history, implementation and future of the cumulative impacts ordinance, for the Kresge site visit on July 12 and 13, 2018. Kresge conducted staff interviews with NJEJA Newark Organizer, Nicole Scott Harris, and partner agency interviews with Stephanie Greenwood at the Victoria Foundation and Nathaly Agosto Filion at the City of Newark.
- 11,825 gallons of stormwater were diverted from the sewer system;
30 trees were planted to improve aesthetics, reduce ambient temperatures, and reduce the impacts of flash flooding.
- 9000 square feet of cool roofs were created with reflective paint, to lower indoor temperatures and electricity bills.
- 136 catch basins were adopted and 640 pounds of debris diverted from the sewer system
- 76 rain barrels were installed to capture and slow storm water that floods local streets and reuse non-potable water.