Activists learn to spot neighborhood health hazards

    Pennsylvania’s first statewide environmental justice conference is in Harrisburg this week.

    Activists and would-be activists from across Pennsylvania are gathering in Harrisburg this week to learn how to keep their communities healthy and environmentally safe.
    (Photo: Flickr/akeg)



    Dr. Arthur Frank says some neighborhoods have more than their fair share of businesses that pollute the air and contaminate the soil.

    Frank leads the Department of Public Health at Drexel University. He’s also part of the Environmental Justice movement. Activists try to keep environmentally unfriendly businesses from clustering in areas already burdened by high-polluting companies.

    They’re typically low-income areas, and often have a large population of minority residents. Frank calls them EJ communities.

    One of the reasons we are having this statewide conference is to educate people from EJ or potentially EJ communities. People know that they may not want the facility nearby but they don’t always have the the ability to articulate what the specific hazards may be for them.

    This is Pennsylvania’s first statewide environmental justice conference.

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