Environmental Advocacy Clinic
The Clinic is working with attorneys in the Earthjustice Healthy Communities program to develop cases and projects that improve conditions for low-income people and communities of color that suffer environmental harm. We are working at the regional and national level to ensure comprehensive and effective protections from air and water pollution and exposure to pesticides and toxic chemicals. Our advocacy for healthy communities involves strengthening standards and protections and holding polluters accountable when they violate those standards.
Our priority project involves representation of the Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC), a nonprofit located in the Ironbound neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey. The Ironbound Community has historically been an industrial and residential community where factories operate right next to homes. Bound on all four sides by the airport, the highways, the rail lines, and the Passaic River, one of country’s most polluted waterways. Founded in 1969, by neighborhood residents, ICC works with the community to develop and operate programs addressing the neighborhood’s various needs in an effort to improve residents’ quality of life. ICC provides myriad services to the Ironbound community, and since 1980 has been among the most active urban environmental voices in New Jersey.
The Clinic and Earthjustice are expanding the capacity of ICC to oppose renewals and modifications of Clean Air Act Title V operating permits for various polluting facilities in the community. Staff Attorney Rachel Stevens and student clinicians have conducted several site visits to the impacted area, met with state agency officials, submitted public comments on various environmental permits for industrial facilities in the neighborhood, petitioned EPA to oppose a Title V permit for a natural gas cogeneration facility storing dangerous levels of aqueous ammonia, and are investigating various environmental violations at the largest waste incinerator in New Jersey.