Proving once again that racism and white supremacy permeate virtually everything that happens in the USA is the not surprising fact that most of the waste collected by BP from the Gulf is being dumped in communities inhabited by people of color.
On the Environmental Justice Blog we find, "According to BP’s Oil Spill Was te Summary, as of of July 15, more than 39,448 tons of oil garbage had been disposed at nine approved landfills in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. More than half (five out of nine) of the landfills receiving BP oil-spill solid waste are located in communities where people of color comprise a majority of residents living within near the waste facilities. In addition, a significantly large share of the BP oil-spill waste, 24,071 tons out of 39,448 tons (61 percent), is dumped in people of color communities. (Dissident Voice, 7/29/2010)"
One of the "fathers of Environmental Justice" and NAACP member Dr. Robert D. Bullard writes, ""Given the sad history of waste disposal in the southern United States, it should be no surprise to anyone that the BP waste disposal plan looks a lot like "Dumping in Dixie," and has become a core environmental justice concern, especially among low-income and people of color communities in the Gulf Coast - communities whose residents have historically borne more than their fair share of solid waste landfills and hazardous waste facilities before and after natural and man-made disasters."
Let's face it, if you are poor, especially, if you are a person of color, your life ain't worth crap to corporate power...and it doesn't matter if that corporation bases itself in the US, Britain, or anywhere else.
What a shock.
My old pal Bill wrote the linked article below which can be found at BuzzFlash.
What’s happening with the hazardous waste from the Gulf gusher – the biggest environmental disaster in American history? Where is it being shipped to?
Would it surprise you to learn that several municipal landfills located near majority minority communities are the final resting place for tons of toxic debris?
From the first hours of BP’s oil spill, most of the coverage concentrated on: how and when the well would be capped; how much oil was spilling into the Gulf; what the overall economic damage would be to Gulf Coast communities, and to those dependent on the Gulf for their livelihoods; and, how would BP’s feet be held to the fire in terms of it paying for all the damage it had caused.
These were, and continue to be, essential questions.
Other issues, including what the long-term health hazards for the workers involved cleaning up the spill, hasn’t received a great deal of attention from BP or the media.
Even less attention has been paid to how the thousands of trash bags with tar balls; disposable oil-soaked booms that can’t be recycled; the oil-stained sand; the oil-soaked sea-grass; medical waste used for wildlife rehabilitation; and the tons of oil contaminated rags, gloves, protective gear and now-toxic clothing used by clean-up workers are being disposed of.
“Since the first trucks began rolling in June, nearly 40,000 tons of ‘oily solids’' and related debris have been sent to municipal landfills from Louisiana to Florida, sparking enough consternation that BP agreed late last week to stop dumping in one Mississippi landfill,” theMiami Herald reported  last week.
“Under a 34-page waste management plan developed by the federal government, oily solid waste that reaches Gulf Coast beaches is bagged by BP contractors and transferred to area landfills by waste management giants: Heritage Environmental Services in Louisiana; Waste Management Inc., which is working from the Louisiana-Mississippi border east to the Ecofina River, southeast of Tallahassee; and Republic Services, which covers Florida's west coast, the Keys and Miami,” according to the Herald, “Oily water is handled differently: mostly it's processed for recovery.”
(The newspaper pointed out that “The oily water is taken to facilities -- including a vacant shipyard near the Alabama landfill -- where the oil is separated from the water and sent to refineries for processing as fuel. BP's website says it gets about one gallon of oil from each 17 gallons of seawater. BP has said it will donate the net revenue from recovered oil to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.”)
The newspaper’s Lesley Clark and Fred Tasker reported that, “The EPA and each state's environmental protection agency have signed off on the plans for the oil-smeared bulky waste. And the operators of the landfills insist the BP garbage is not unprecedented and is suitable for the type of landfills they've selected: disposal sites that take household waste, as well as ‘special waste’ like contaminated soil. They note much of the waste is generated by the cleanup operation itself: soiled cleanup coveralls, gloves, sandwich wrappers and drink containers. Some 44 tons of waste materials have been recycled.”
So, the waste is being dumped into regular municipal landfills in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. And that’s where things get more than a little dicey.
Robert D. Bullard, director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center (EJRC) at Clark Atlanta University and author of Race, Place, and Environmental Justice After Hurricane Katrina: Struggles to Reclaim, Rebuild, and Revitalize New Orleans and the Gulf Coast(Westview 2009), recently wrote  that “Given the sad history of waste disposal in the southern United States, it should be no surprise to anyone that the BP waste disposal plan looks a lot like 'Dumping in Dixie ,' and has become a core environmental justice concern, especially among low-income and people of color communities in the Gulf Coast — communities whose residents have historically borne more than their fair share of solid waste landfills and hazardous waste  facilities before and after natural and man-made disasters.”
Bullard maintained that “Because of the haphazard handling and disposal of the wastes from the busted well, the U.S Coast Guard and the U.S. EPA leaned on  BP and increased their oversight of the company’s waste management plan. BP’s waste plan, ‘Recovered Oil/Waste Management Plan Houma Incident Command’  was approved on June 13, 2010.”
According to Bullard, “The nine approved Gulf Coast solid waste landfills, amount of waste disposed, and the percent minority residents living within a one-mile radius of the facilities are: Alabama -- Chastang Landfill, Mount Vernon, AL, 6008 tons (56.2%) Magnolia Landfill, Summerdale, AL, 5,966 tons (11.5%); Florida -- Springhill Regional Landfill, Campbellton, FL, 14,228 ton (76.0%); Louisiana -- Colonial Landfill, Ascension Parish, LA, 7,729 (34.7%), Jefferson Parish Sanitary Landfill, Avondale, LA, 225 tons (51.7%), Jefferson Davis Parish Landfill, Welsh, LA, 182 tons (19.2%), River Birch Landfill, Avondale, LA, 1,406 (53.2%), Tide Water Landfill, Venice, LA, 2,204 tons (93.6%); and, Mississippi -- Pecan Grove Landfill, Harrison, MS, 1,509 tons (12.5%).”
Bullard pointed out that as of July 15, BP’s Oil Spill Waste Summary showed that “more than 39,448 tons of oil garbage had been disposed at nine approved landfills in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. More than half (five out of nine) of the landfills receiving BP oil-spill solid waste are located in communities where people of color comprise a majority of residents living within near the waste facilities.
“In addition, a significantly large share of the BP oil-spill waste, 24,071 tons out of 39,448 tons (61 percent), is dumped in people of color communities. This is not a small point since African Americans make up just 22 percent of the coastal counties in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana, while people of color comprise about 26 percent of the population in coastal counties.”
Bullard maintained that “the flow of BP oil-spill waste to Gulf Coast communities is not random.” In fact, he points out: “The mix of waste and race was the impetus behind the Environmental Justice Movement in Warren County, North Carolina more than twenty-five years ago. In 1982, toxic PCBs were cleaned up from North Carolina roadways and later dumped in a landfill in mostly black and poor Warren County. We also saw the pattern in 2009 when 3.9 million tons of toxic coal ash from the massive Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) power plant spill in East Tennessee was cleaned-up and shipped more than 300 miles south by train and disposed in a landfill in rural and mostly black Perry County, Alabama.”
At the time of Bullard’s research, “The largest amount of BP oil-spill solid waste (14,228 tons) was sent to a landfill in a Florida community where three-fourths of the nearby residents are people of color. Although African Americans make up about 32 percent of Louisiana’s population, three of the five approved landfills (60 percent) in the state that received BP oil-spill waste are located in mostly black communities. African American communities in Louisiana’s Gulf Coast were hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina and have experienced the toughest challenge to rebuild and recover after five years. Dumping more disaster waste on them is not a pathway to recovery and long-term sustainability.”
According to Bullard, Environmental Justice Executive Order 12898, “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations ,” signed by President William J. Clinton in 1994, “requires the EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard to do a better job monitoring where BP oil-spill waste ends up to ensure that minority and low-income populations do not bear an adverse and disproportionate share of the burdens and negative impacts associated with the disastrous BP oil spill.” Bullard pointed out that “Allowing BP, Gulf Coast states, and the private disposal industry to select where the oil-spill waste is dumped only adds to the legacy of environmental racism  and unequal protection.”
In mid-June, the New York Times’ Felicity Barringer reported that Marlin Ladner, a supervisor in Harrison County, Miss., “spoke angrily about the prospect of debris from the spi