Wednesday, February 9, 2011

$8 Million Enough for the Anacostia?

So another corporate criminal gets away with environmental murder. CSX "settles", again, with a $7.5 million clean up contribution and measly $500k civil penalty for the petroleum leak that found its way to an Anacostia Tributary.

Looks like the folks who live along the Anacostia River are the ones who really settled.

Does $8 million adequately address the short and long-term clean up efforts? Where were the public forums to ask residents who are forced to ingest petroleum-laced water about our perspective on the settlement? Where were the environmental activists advocating for the wildlife and long-term effects of the spill on Anacostia's biodiversity? How about public education efforts or even a statement of apology to the community of Anacostia? Who is authorized to conduct public and private oversight of the cleanup?

Money too easily placates the disenfranchised and quells the vocal advocates who are supposed to sit at the table to mobilize awareness and justice for residents along the Anacostia River. Worse, in a town where activism, news, money and legal matters rule, it's disturbingly quiet when poor people seem to end up "blacked" out in the fine print.

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