Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fair and meaningful before decisions are made

Environmental Justice is "the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people ..... with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies." 

"EPA has this goal for all communities and persons across this Nation. It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.""

In the opinion of St. Bernard Parish residents, the Louisiana DEQ and the United States Army Corps of Engineers denied citizens equal access to the decision making process, denied public notice in the local parish official journal, denied the opportunity for public comment, and failed to uphold their constitutional duties as trustee of OUR environment.  Residents were denied their right to fair and meaningful public participation, BEFORE the decisions were made.

The Louisiana DEQ has issued water quality certificates and  water discharge permits at an increasing rate, but at what cost?

All residents ever asked of the state DEQ was to protect our water shed from the visible cement chemicals and sand sediment  and require the construction company make improvements to its storm water pollution prevention plans.  We also asked, where are their permits. Unfortunately, the state inspector commented it was not cement, but grout, and that the state does not get involved in parish issues. We did not receive notice of the quickly issued permits.  Residents contacted the EPA but have yet to receive a reply..

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