Community Activism Across Connecticut in 2015:
Congrats to all the amazing leaders working for healthier communities!

We at Toxics Action Center wish you a happy and peaceful holiday season. As we get ready to celebrate the holidays, we also take time to celebrate the work of heroic residents across the state protecting their neighborhoods and families from toxic pollution and making all of our communities more democratic and more sustainable. Connecticut is a healthier place because of their work. Certainly cause for celebration! 

 

Working for Cleaner Air

Shout out to the Healthy CT Alliance, working for a healthier and economically vibrant Bridgeport by transitioning away from coal-burning at the city’s aging coal plant, Bridgeport Harbor Station. They’ve made huge strides towards cleaner air in the past year! This great group of people couldn’t make it all happen without Sharon Lewis, Yolanda and Elaine from Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice; Roger Reynolds, Laura McMillan, and Lauren Savidge from Connecticut Fund for the Environment; Veronica Eady and Ivy Frignoca from Conservation Law Foundation; Diane Lentakis from 350 CT; and Jay McCaffrey from the Sierra Club.

Activists from neighboring towns are working together to prevent a massive new gas and oil-fired power plant in Oxford that would risk the area’s air quality. Chester Cornacchia, Steve Savarese, and Ray Pietrorazio are doing great work to raise the profile of the issue across the region. Meanwhile, Oxford Greens and Joshua Rickards and Dawn Allens have been mobilizing concerned residents to ramp up the pressure on the investment firm constructing the plant.

 

Moving Towards Zero Waste

The activism of thousands of Connecticut residents, including communities living in the shadow of the state’s incinerators, pushed forward better statewide recycling policies. Thanks to ConnPIRG for being such a strong ally in this campaign. Next up: the state is seeking proposals for a recycling facility to be developed on the site of the soon-to-be retired Hartford trash incinerator. What a big step for Zero Waste in Connecticut!

 

The Right to Clean Water

Russ and Judy Fradin, Stephen Levy, and the entire board of Woodridge Lake Conservancy have been pushing for a lake and watershed free from toxic pesticides. They have worked tirelessly to bring residents together around a vision of a safe, healthy, and engaged lake community. With an interim commitment from their community’s board to not apply herbicides, they are turning their attention to the bodies of water that feed the lake that they are proud to call home.

 

Making School Grounds Safe

Hats off to Rebecca MacLachlan and others for stopping artificial turf in Middletown. The children of Connecticut will grow up healthier because of your efforts, and we are proud to work with you on this important cause!

 

Cleaning up Toxic Waste

SaveStratford.org continues to advocate for the strongest possible cleanup of a Superfund site in Stratford. Over the last year, they pushed officials to consider alternatives that could actually clean up the Raymark Superfund site, polluted with asbestos, PCBs and other toxins spread throughout residential and commercial neighborhoods and parks. We salute Tom Smith, Tom Nichols, Erin Holroyd and others who have been vigilant watchdogs.

 

Fighting for Healthy Land Use Near Homes

Kudos to Al Kovalik, Doreen Currie, Chris Kranick, Craig Stoekcle and all members of the North Branford Citizens Against Bulk Propane for coming together and carrying out a lightning campaign to protect their community from an improperly-sited bulk propane storage facility. Your dedication united your community around a vision for a safer and more democratic town.

 

Happy Holidays!

Thank you to everyone that joined us at one our best annual conferences yet! Nearly 350 activists from Greenwich, Connecticut to Old Town, Maine joined together at the 28th annual Local Environmental Action Conference. We were thrilled to have Director of NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, Jacqueline Patterson, as our guest speaker. She was a huge inspiration!