Thursday, August 11, 2016

EJ Groups and State Regulators Reach Historic Agreement over Kettleman City Civil Rights Case

Environmental Justice groups and state regulators are hailing a landmark agreement involving San Francisco’s Greenaction organization, Kettleman City’s El Pueblo activist group and two state agencies; the Department of Toxic Substances Control and Cal EPA. The agreement resolves the years-long conflict in the Central Valley farming town, over the expansion of a toxic waste landfill in nearby Kettleman Hills, run by Waste Management Inc. The pact resulted from of a civil rights lawsuit filed by Greenaction and El Pueblo against the state over the illegal treatment and harassment of Spanish-speaking citizens at a public hearing in Kings County considering the landfill expansion. The agreement aims to improve the public health of Kettleman City residents. The DTSC will also apply more rigorous oversight and enforcement at the facility, along with more transparency of its own compliance with civil rights laws. Pacifica’s Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.