The School District purchased a 20 acre parcel of land in 2007 at the intersection of I and Seymour Cray Boulevard as a site for a future elementary school. Now the Planning Commission sites a Tier I project: the dirtiest of all heavy industrial projects directly upwind of the school.
A logical question is why the Environmental Protection Agency didn’t consider the plant’s potential neighbors — The answer? — because the federal law that limits air pollution doesn’t require state agencies to do that.
The federal rules are “abysmal,” says John Walke, clean air director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, an advocacy group. “We just don’t take into account the different susceptibility of children to pollution, or the proximity of pollution sources to places children frequent.”
“In terms of siting new industrial facilities near schools and neighborhoods where children are at risk……………………….. why would you do that?”
This story is part of series called,
The Smokestack Effect: Toxic Air and America’s Schools
You may learn more about these dangers to our children here:
Also, please be sure to check out the map with the link that follows.
Wisconsin has no school siting laws !
Heavy Industry can be placed next door to your child’s school, unless you take action to stop this !http://www.childproofing.org/images/states_w_o_siting_laws.jpg
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Children are especially susceptible to toxic chemicals, which can cause respiratory illnesses, cancer or other diseases if exposures last for extended periods. The health effects might not be evident for years, even decades.
Environmental regulations typically require builders to examine the effect that a structure might have on the surrounding ecosystem. But in most states, USA TODAY found, neither school officials nor factory owners are required to consider their proximity to one another before construction begins.
Close proximity to potential hazards is common.
Based on data USA TODAY supplied to the EPA, about half of the nation’s schools are in what the government calls ” vulnerable zones” — areas close enough to industrial sites that they could be affected by a chemical accident. Many are within blocks of companies that store or release toxic chemicals.
|The newspaper identified 435 schools in locations where the air outside appeared more dangerous than at an Ohio elementary school that was shut down three years ago after officials found the air there saturated with carcinogens 50 times higher than what the state considers acceptable.
At least 43 of the 435 schools — or about 10% — opened in the past decade, USA TODAY found.
Some of those 43 schools are in new buildings. Others — primarily charter and nursery schools — opened in existing schoolhouses. Very few are in places where officials are required by state law to consider the potential hazards before the schools opened.
To identify schools where dangers appeared to be the greatest, USA TODAY used an EPA computer model created to trace the potential path of toxic chemicals released by industries. USA TODAY used it to compare the nation’s 127,800 public, private and parochial schools with one another, based on the chemicals likely to be in the air outside.
The model’s most recent version uses emissions reports that 20,000 industrial facilities filed with the agency in 2005. That means it reflects a snapshot in time: Some of the schools or companies may have closed since the government collected the data; others may have opened.