We all have a right to breathe fresh air, drink clean water, and put down roots in a healthy community.
That’s why we’re working to end the unfair environmental burdens imposed on low-income and communities of color and limited English proficient households – and bolster the quality of life for all New Englanders.
For more than 50 years, CLF has fought to create healthy communities for people across New England. But the reality is pollution, climate impacts, and other environmental burdens fall harder on limited English proficient residents and low-income and communities of color than predominantly white neighborhoods.
That’s why environmental justice is a thread that runs through everything that we do – from stemming childhood lead poisoning to pushing for more accessible public transit, shutting down dirty power plants and incinerators, to partnering with frontline communities on issues that affect their health and quality of life. Today we are:
- WORKING WITH OUR COMMUNITIES: We’re working with environmental and climate justice partners to change the balance of power and decision making on environmental, climate, and public health issues that impact frontline communities.
- TRANSFORMING TRANSPORTATION: We’re cutting pollution from our cars and trucks, creating alternatives to driving, and pushing for more equitable and affordable public transit options across New England.
- TACKLING THE TRASH CRISIS: We’re protecting our communities from the dangers posed by unsustainable waste management practices – and pushing for Zero Waste programs across New England.
- SUPPORTING HEALTHY NEIGHBORHOODS: We’re pushing to ensure that the places where people live, work, play, and learn are healthy and safe by preventing lead poisoning, challenging the siting of polluting and dangerous facilities, and expanding access to affordable climate solutions.
We believe that all New Englanders have the right to clean air and water. Everyone should have easy access to green open spaces, and affordable public transit. And every community should have the power to impact the decisions that affect their health, livelihoods, and quality of life. This is the New England CLF is fighting to create.
What We’re Up Against
Where you live affects how much pollution you experience every day. Data show that those of us living in low-income communities, limited English proficient households, and communities of color are more likely to have a highway running through or near our neighborhood and have a polluting industrial or waste facility built in our backyard. At the same time, we’re less likely to have easy access to open spaces, reliable clean water, and affordable transportation options. These communities are also hit first and worst by climate change impacts.
Compounding these challenges is a lack of economic, legal, or political clout to hold polluters accountable or fight back against the next big company that wants to build a polluting facility in our neighborhoods.
These issues aren’t limited to our urban areas. Rural communities face many of the same challenges, bearing a disproportionate burden of environmental stresses, from older homes that still bear traces of lead paint, to few affordable and convenient transportation options, to landfills contaminating local drinking water.
CLF is working to right these inequities so that every New England community – urban, suburban, and rural – is healthy and resilient for all people, today and for generations to come.