You can’t protect the environment without helping the community. This idea is the backbone for Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE), one of the community-based recipients of funds from CLF’s successful lawsuit against Boston’s school bus operator, which was violating clean air laws.
Speak for the Trees focuses on education, empowerment, and advocacy. Yes, they host tree giveaways and tree planting events, but, as its founder explains, “it’s more than just a tree. It’s a way of adapting to this new climate that we’re facing. It’s a way of making sure that Boston is resilient for the future.”
In our latest case to stop toxic tailpipe pollution, we sued Transdev Services, Inc., under the federal Clean Air Act. Transdev is a leading provider of transportation throughout the country, including Boston’s public school buses. CLF is holding Transdev accountable by requiring them to fund projects at three local nonprofit organizations: Speak for the Trees, HEET (the Home Energy Efficiency Team), and Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE).
I grew up in communities that needed environmental justice the most. I also lived in neighborhoods that already had the resources and ability to make change. Still, I didn’t understand the difference or know what the environmental world called the movement until later in life. I could only connect the dots when I had more access to education and a framework for understanding the issue.
“This settlement is a major win for cleaner air in Boston communities,” said Heather Govern, Director of CLF’s Clean Air and Water program. “Toxic tailpipe pollution threatens the health of our most vulnerable neighbors and contributes to the climate crisis. With increased training and monitoring at bus lots, Transdev will be better able to stop excessive bus idling and the spread of this harmful pollution.”
“It’s inexcusable that the companies we trust to transport our children to school are polluting the very air they breathe,” said Alyssa Rayman-Read, Vice President and Director of CLF Massachusetts. “There are laws on the books to prevent this type of air pollution and Transdev is blatantly ignoring them. They need to take responsibility and stop spewing toxic pollution into our neighborhoods.”