Transforming Environmentalism: Warren County, PCBs, and the Origins of Environmental Justice / Edition 1

Transforming Environmentalism: Warren County, PCBs, and the Origins of Environmental Justice / Edition 1

by Eileen McGurty
     
 

Contemporary public policy circles are quick to acknowledge that environmental factors contribute to ill health and pose a particular threat to poor and minority communities. But public officials rarely examined the distribution of environmental hazards such as polluted air and contaminated water. In the 1980s, as toxic waste facilities proliferated, the

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Overview

Contemporary public policy circles are quick to acknowledge that environmental factors contribute to ill health and pose a particular threat to poor and minority communities. But public officials rarely examined the distribution of environmental hazards such as polluted air and contaminated water. In the 1980s, as toxic waste facilities proliferated, the environmental justice movement demanded that impoverished communities no longer be burdened by excessive environmental risks.

In Transforming Environmentalism, Eileen McGurty explores a moment central to the emergence of the environmental justice movement. In 1978, residents of predominantly African American Warren County, North Carolina, were horrified to learn that the state planned to build a landfill in their county to hold forty thousand cubic yards of soil that was contaminated with PCBs from illegal dumping. They responded to the state's plans with a four-year resistance, ending in a month of protests with over 500 arrests from civil disobedience and disruptive actions.

McGurty traces the evolving approaches that residents took to contest environmental racism in their community and shows how activism in Warren County spurred greater political debate and became a model for communities across the nation. Transforming Environmentalism explores how the specific circumstances of the Warren County events shaped the formation of the environmental justice movement and influenced contemporary environmentalism.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813539669
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
11/28/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
220
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.32(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author


Eileen McGurty is a senior lecturer and associate chair of the graduate program in environmental sciences and policy at Johns Hopkins University.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures vii

Preface ix

1 The Significance of Warren County 1

2 Regulating Toxic Chemicals, PCBs, and Hazardous Waste 21

3 The Collective Action Frame of "Not in My Backyard" 50

4 Constructing Environmental Racism: Political Opportunities, Social Networks, and Collective Action 81

5 The Environmental Justice Movement: Maturation and Limitations 111

6 Warren County Revisited 142

7 Epilogue 163

Notes 167

Index 191

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