Summer Interns support environmental justice partnership with Delaware City
Environmental Justice Partnerships allow Sierra Club chapters to provide support for local communities. The Environmental Justice and Community Partnerships program is a core part of the Sierra Club’s work to build partnerships to move the nation beyond coal and oil, and to create a just, healthy, and prosperous society.
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. Delaware City’s location inside an established Delaware Cancer Census Tract with along with its co-location in a heavy chemical corridor is an important place for our Chapter to begin our work.
The Delaware Chapter is supporting our environmental justice partnership with two summer interns, Elisa Sarantschin and Lemir Teron.
Elisa has been working on an educational curriculum for a "Chemical Corridor Toxic Tour". She has been researching the top 11 most worrisome industrial sites in the area between Delaware City and New Castle, and creating fact sheets for each of them. On Thursday, August 16 at 7 pm she is scheduled to present a "virtual toxic tour" powerpoint presentation at the Library. In the fall we will launch a “Chemical Corridor Toxic Tour” outings program to take Sierra Club and community members through the industrial zone in a guided tour. Elisa’s progress so far is on our website: http://delaware.sierraclub.org/dc-toxic-tour
Lemir has been looking into the environmental justice concerns surrounding the permitting for the now deferred expansion of the Delaware City Refinery. He is also developing fact sheet materials, and will be making a presentation to the community on Thursday, September 20. His progress is also being uploaded to our website at http://delaware.sierraclub.org/dc-ej-partnership
The Delaware Chapter is very proud of the relationships that we are developing with local communities to address environmental risk. While this effort has a number of benefits for communities who are able to access the conservation knowledge and organizing skills of the Sierra Club, it benefits the Sierra Club as well; through local contact in communities to learn from their experiences and needs, and to share the story of the Sierra Club.