The development of extensive environmental regulation over the last three decades has afforded many Americans a sense of security, a security born of the belief that environmental laws will effectively protect them from toxic chemicals and pollutants. Yet, the history of the U.S. and Georgia highlights the truth that such protection from toxic pollution does not accrue equally to all Americans. People of color and low-income Americans often suffer disproportionately from the effects of toxic pollution.
In the last twenty years, more and more evidence has emerged relating to the placement of landfills, truck depots and incinerators in low-income neighborhoods, the disproportionate impact of air pollution on inner-city urban residents and the high incidence of lead poisoning in Latino and African-American children. GreenLaw believes that environmental regulation must protect all Georgians equally. Every Georgian deserves a sense of safety, and GreenLaw works to make the application and enforcement of Georgia’s environmental laws worthy of that trust.
With this aim in mind, GreenLaw has worked to provide high quality legal services to under-represented communities. GreenLaw has:
Successfully prevented a regional landfill from siting in Taliaferro (pronounced “Toliver”) County that would have spanned almost 1000-acres and be located in sensitive wetland areas in close proximity to the Ogeechee River.
Secured an order to close Waste Management’s Live Oak landfill in South DeKalb County – the largest landfill in Georgia and one of the top 10 largest in the nation – and provided the community with legal representation when Waste Management went to court to fight the closure.
Assisted county officials across Georgia to enact local land use ordinances that are protective of public health and the environment.
Reached out in public forums to educate citizens regarding the rights of citizens in preventing toxic pollution in Georgia.
Prepared an assessment of toxic sites in the Ogeechee River Basin in rural Georgia, a model which will be used to assist citizens in other river basins in Georgia.
Submitted an amicus brief on behalf of local citizens in Meriwether County in support of the constitutionality of a local land-use ordinance that protects critical drinking water supplies.
- Provided a voice for the people of the Newtown community in Gainesville in their fight to stop toxic hexane emissions from polluting the air and endangering their health.