The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice recently received funding for a project addressing Clean Production in Louisiana. The purpose of this project is to develop a vision and action plan for implementation of a strategy for clean production in Louisiana. A major objective of this project will be to develop a partnership for collaboration between impacted communities, researchers, policy makers, and industry leaders in Louisiana and Clean Production organizations and networks to address questions concerning moving beyond the false conflict between environmental justice and economic development and finding ways to create a vision of sustainable development and environmental justice that promotes both health and economic viability.
We believe that Louisiana can achieve economic sustainability while protecting health and the environment. This will take a
|A consistent finding has shown that the pollution sources increase as the minority population increases along the Mississippi River Chemical Corridor.
commitment to fundamental changes of direction in the current course of economic development in the state. Increased attention to the limits of pollution control and right-to-know during the past 10 years has allowed government, industry, and advocates to redirect their efforts towards prevention to toxic pollution at the source. However, during the past five years, a more comprehensive vision of production has emerged through the concept of Clean Production. Clean Production means a holistic view of the products we use and the manner in which they are produced, used and disposed of, so that pollution, toxic chemical exposure, and wasteful use of resources are designed out of the system. Clean Production allows communities to promote innovative solutions rather than simply condemn production practices and products that adversely affect the environment. It is critical that communities participate in the institutionalization of Clean Production and be able to evaluate government and industry proposals for their ability to effect needed changes.
Community residents, as well as, some government officials and academicians in Louisiana have realized the difficult and often adversarial position of addressing new and existing chemical production and potentially damaging regulatory proposals, and now want to promote a proactive, cleaner and more just vision of production so that they can begin to say “yes” to activities. They want jobs and economic development that will benefit people and communities. Clean Production provides tools for Louisiana policy makers, industry, and health and ecosystems (without having to prove the impacts of each chemical or activity), promote sustainable locally-based industry that provides economic security, and address the lifecycle impacts caused by the products that incorporate toxic substances produced in Louisiana.
Contact Information: Dr. Beverly Wright, 504-304-3324