Fuller interviewed on GA Black communities' proximity to toxic waste sites
Editor's note: The following is a summary of the Takeaway's interview with Switzer Fellow Christina Fuller entitled, In Georgia, Black Communities Are More Likely to Live Near Toxic Waste Sites. This content originally appeared on the Takeaway. Find the original summary and listen to the interview here.
In January 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency issued an emergency order to shut down a metal processing facility in Atlanta, Georgia. According to the EPA, the facility, which is run by TAV Holdings Inc., has generated lead and other pollutants that pose a quote “imminent and substantial” danger to the public and the environment.
Experts say the facility might just be the state’s next Superfund site — a designation for the country’s most hazardous waste sites. Like many environmental threats, the TAV waste site is located in a predominantly Black community. In fact, a recent analysis from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that the neighborhoods surrounding the state’s 18 current Superfund sites are more likely to be Black.
For decades, Black people in this country have felt the heavy toll of environmental racism. A study published by University of Michigan in 2016 shows that communities of color and low-income neighborhoods are targeted by polluting industries. At the same time, people of color are more likely to be exposed to high levels of fine particulate air pollution, which causes tens of thousands of deaths every year.
For more on this, The Takeaway spoke with Switzer Fellow Christina Fuller, Associate Professor at Georgia State University School of Public Health, and Drew Kann, an enterprise reporter at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution covering climate and environmental issues.