Transforming Environmentalism: Warren County, PCBs, and the Origins of Environmental Justice by Eileen McGurtyTransforming Environmentalism: Warren County, PCBs, and the Origins of Environmental Justice by Eileen McGurty

Transforming Environmentalism: Warren County, PCBs, and the Origins of Environmental Justice

byEileen McGurty

Paperback | September 11, 2009

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Contemporary public policy circles are quick to acknowledge that environmental factors contribute to ill health and pose a particular threat to poor and minority communities. But public officials rarely examined the distribution of environmental hazards such as polluted air and contaminated water. In the 1980s, as toxic waste facilities proliferated, the environmental justice movement demanded that impoverished communities no longer be burdened by excessive environmental risks.    In Transforming Environmentalism, Eileen McGurty explores a moment central to the emergence of the environmental justice movement. In 1978, residents of predominantly African American Warren County, North Carolina, were horrified to learn that the state planned to build a landfill in their county to hold forty thousand cubic yards of soil that was contaminated with PCBs from illegal dumping. They responded to the state's plans with a four-year resistance, ending in a month of protests with over 500 arrests from civil disobedience and disruptive actions.McGurty traces the evolving approaches that residents took to contest "environmental racism" in their community and shows how activism in Warren County spurred greater political debate and became a model for communities across the nation. Transforming Environmentalism explores how the specific circumstances of the Warren County events shaped the formation of the environmental justice movement and influenced contemporary environmentalism.
Eileen McGurty is a senior lecturer and associate chair of the graduate program in environmental sciences and policy at Johns Hopkins University.
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Title:Transforming Environmentalism: Warren County, PCBs, and the Origins of Environmental JusticeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:220 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:September 11, 2009Publisher:Rutgers University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0813546788

ISBN - 13:9780813546780

Reviews

Table of Contents

1 The Significance of Warren County
2 Regulating Toxic Chemicals, PCBs, and Hazardous Waste
3 The Collective Action Frame of "Not in My Backyard"
4 Constructing Environmental Racism
5 The Environmental Justice Movement
Warren County Revisited
Epilogue
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

In sharp and penetrating prose, McGurty recounts the central role of Warren County, North Carolina, in the rise of the environmental justice struggle. She lifts the discussion above the class versus race debate and exposes the movement's progression from a fledgling local battle to a national movement that has influenced public policy.