Join the Fight to End Environmental Discrimination and Air Pollution in Maryland
I grew up on a farm in a rural community in Prince George’s County, Md.,that is being overwhelmed with life-threatening pollution.
My community, Brandywine, is 72 percent African American. We’re battling environmental discrimination and we need your help.
We have two power plants in Brandywine that spew toxins, like nitrogen oxide and ammonia, linked to asthma, heart disease and stroke.
The state of Maryland has permitted three more fossil-fuel power plants in our area, which means five of the state’s 13 large power plants would be in our community or close by. The most recently permitted plant, called the Mattawoman Plant, will pollute the air near the homes of senior citizens and just down the street from our elementary school.
State officials have chosen our predominantly black community as a dumping ground for toxic air pollution. The state paid no attention to the racially biased impact of these plants.
The Mattawoman plant will contribute to ground-level ozone, a very harmful form of pollution linked to asthma attacks. African Americans in Maryland are nearly 2.5 times as likely as white Maryland residents to die from asthma. As president of the Brandywine TB Southern Regional Coalition, I am committed to protecting the health and quality of life of our community. Brandywine should not be the dumping ground for the stuff no one wants.
Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., sacrificed so much, so that we would not be marginalized based on skin color.
But Maryland officials ignored the requirement of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that any entity, public or private, that receives federal funds conduct a review before issuing a permit to pollute to ensure that the pollution will not have an unjustified, unequal impact on the basis of race.
Last month, I joined with Earthjustice and the Patuxent Riverkeeper in filing a federal civil rights complaint about the Mattawoman Plant. It asks three federal government – the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Transportation, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – to investigate and remedy these civil rights violations.
But state officials have the power to do the right thing now. Tell Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan that the state must reconsider its decision to permit the Mattwoman Plant and that it must protect the civil rights of all Maryland residents!
The fight for racial equality—as the Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted in recent years--is far from complete.
Join us in calling on Maryland officials to ensure our civil rights are protected by ending environmental discrimination now!