Delaware City Environmental Justice Partnership prepares for Bucket Brigade
Bucket Brigades are the fruition of community members being proactive in determining what toxins are in their environments with the ultimate goal of reducing exposure to harmful substances.
By taking air samples, Bucket Brigades enable people to track pollution and aid in the process of combating environmental threats to the community. By documenting excessive amounts of pollution, using a basic set of tools (buckets), community members become more informed and are better equipped to deal with forces (refineries, industrial plants, wastes sites) that emit and wish to maintain the status quo.
Why We Need It?
Due to the inordinate amount of air pollution in the Delaware City community and overall threats to environmental quality (from a host it is paramount that citizens are actively engaged in tracking pollution for purposes of public health and safety. Because clean air is a human right, that hasn’t been protected by political and corporate forces in Delaware, Bucket Brigades empowers citizens to proactively determine what is in their air.
What do Buckets test for?
Buckets have the capacity to test for a variety of threats to the community, including Volatile Organic Compounds, including excessive carbon and sulfur.
How Bucket Works & When to Sample?
Buckets “grab” a small amount of air inside of an enclosed bag, which is then sent to a lab for testing. The process is that simple. After the citizen sample and the bag is properly removed and replaced, the bucket is ready for more testing. Samples should be taken whenever pollution threats are detected. Warning signs for pollution are often associated with throat, eye and nose irritations, headaches as well as other, unexplained physical symptoms.
Environmental Justice Partnership
In 2012 the Delaware Chapter of the Sierra Club developed an environmental justice partnership with the Delaware City Environmental Coalition to assist the community in addressing their environmental justice concerns. The Delaware City Environmental Coalition was established in 2010 to obtain answers about air quality in the Delaware City Industrial Area.
Bucket Brigade Project Funding
In July 2012 Main Street Delaware City and the Delaware City Environmental Coalition were awarded a grant from the State of Delaware’s Community Involvement Advisory Council for the Bucket Brigade. These community grants utilize penalty funds from environmental permit violations to support local community projects.
Remember, safety takes precedence over testing. If an immediate threat to health is eminent, get to safety first then contact DNREC’s environmental complaint 24-hour hotline at (800) 662-8802.
The bucket is a technique developed by Denny Larson at Global Community Monitor. Denny has twenty three years of experience as a community organizer and campaigner working with industrial communities fighting for justice. He developed the first national network in the U.S. focused on oil refineries and the giant corporations that own them as well as innovating the Bucket Brigade community air sampling system. His work as paid off, as he's negotiated two dozen binding agreements with major polluters in conjunction with impacted communities to reduce tons of unnecessary pollution and create direct community oversight.