The Agricultural Street landfill in New Orleans, LA,. was used as a dump for residential and industrial wastes from 1909 to1960. “Dante’s Inferno” was a name locals used for this landfill because of how often it caught fire. In 1978, the landfill was covered by a relatively thin layer of sand and soil to prepare it for residential development. Inexpensive housing was constructed atop this landfill as an opportunity for low-income African Americans to buy affordable housing. But new homeowners kept noticing trash rising to the surface when they tried to plant gardens or modify their yards in any way. Health problems for residents ensued, including higher rates of cancer than found in surrounding areas.
Incidents like these were the impetus for the enactment of The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976. Passed by a vote of 88-3 in the U.S. Senate and 367-8 in the House of Representatives, the purpose of the RCRA was to protect human health by properly disposing of both hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste, to make sure that solid waste materials were managed in environmentally sound ways, and to conserve energy and natural resources so that that less waste was generated. Solid waste includes things like garbage, refuse, sludge from waste treatment plants, industrial wastes, and other discarded materials. The RCRA was meant to manage solid waste from its creation to its disposal.
What are the consequences of waiving the RCRA to expedite the building of a border wall? Workers constructing the wall would not have to comply with federal regulations concerning generation, use, and disposal of solid waste. This means that land and water in the vicinity of the wall could be contaminated by waste materials, placing nearby human communities and local wildlife at risk. Click here for a list of all 48 federal laws waived for construction of a border wall.
Please contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members) and let them know that you oppose waiving The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act to expedite construction of a border wall. Click here If you would like to make a donation to help us fight the border wall,