FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 28th, 2017
Brooke Havlik, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, 212-961-1000 ext. 320, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, D.C. — Today, as Trump signed an executive order gutting protections for wetlands and drinking water sources for more than 117 million Americans, he signed another attempting to strengthen White House partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities. African American leaders in the climate justice movement denounced his efforts to appeal to Black Americans while signing away their rights to clean water.
“Trump’s Dirty Water Order is a direct attack on low-income communities and communities of color who have been disproportionately affected by industrial pollution contaminating clean and safe drinking water,” said Kim Noble, Green For All National Partnerships Director and graduate of Fort Valley State University. “On a day when he is seeking to strengthen relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and African American communities, Trump is giving free rein to polluters over our rights to safe, clean drinking water and putting families at risk. It’s time to prioritize frontline families over polluter profits, and strengthen environmental protections, not weaken them.”
“More than 1000 days after the water crisis began in Flint, we still don’t have clean water. If Trump really wants to help communities like ours, he needs to learn the lesson from Flint that there are no shortcuts to clean water and safe, healthy communities,” added Nayyirah Shariff, Director of Flint Rising. “This Dirty Water Order puts polluter profits over clean, safe drinking water. That is unacceptable.”
“Environmental justice advocates have worked for decades to ensure that clean water for all is a priority for the federal government. President Trump is on a dirty water roll, first removing protections from dumping coal into waterways, and now giving EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt the power to undo critical water protections. As a graduate of two HBCUs, this is very concerning as it puts polluters first and safe drinking water for millions of people at threat, especially environmental justice communities,” said WE ACT For Environmental Justice Dr. Adrienne Hollis, Director of Federal Policy and graduate of Jackson State University and Meharry Medical College.
“As a graduate of two historically black institutions, I am infuriated that on the same day the administration hosts our Historically Black Colleges and Universities, it also attempts to turn back the hand of time on progress made to alleviate water pollution in urban and rural environments by the previous Administration,” said Rev. Dr. Ambrose Carroll, Founder of Green The Church and a graduate of Morehouse School of Religion and Florida Memorial University. “Water is used as a part of every religion known to humanity. It is the purity of water that we seek during baptism rituals. Baptism in polluted water takes on a totally different meaning. There is an air in this country that desires to treat the masses as peasantry. If this form of total and un-integris capitalism is allowed to continue it will destroy the fabric, balance and health of our democracy. Green The Church stands solidly against Trump’s Dirty Water Order.”
“I urge the President to reconsider his actions to roll back clean water and climate change policies that will negatively impact urban and rural communities the most,” said Gilbert Campbell, Co-Founder and Principal of Volt Energy and graduate of Howard University. “Instead of inflicting our most vulnerable children with lead and asthma, let’s invest in their health and future by investing in clean technologies and smart policy.”