A new task force and web site launched today will help Bayview-Hunters Point residents report concerns about pollution directly to state and local agencies, according to organizers.
The Bayview Hunters Point Environmental Justice Response Task Force, organized by Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, met today for the first time at Southeast Community College. It is intended to bring together residents, industry and government officials to solve environmental problems in the community, improve community health and build trust and collaboration, according to Marie Harrison, a Bayview-Hunters Point resident and Greenaction’s IVAN task force coordinator.
“Our community has suffered too long from toxic and radioactive contamination, diesel and industrial pollution and government failure to protect our low-income people of color residents,” Harrison said in a statement.
The meeting also launched a new web site and mobile app allowing residents to file and track pollution complaints on their computers and smartphones.
State Department of Toxic Substances Control Director Barbara A. Lee, who attended today’s meeting, said in a statement that the department was “proud” to take part in the task force.
“Using the latest technology and collaborating with local community members is essential to reporting environmental hazards quickly and connecting with real people who can resolve those issues,” Lee said.
Also expected to attend were Arsenio Mataka, assistant secretary for environmental justice and tribal affairs at the state Environmental Protection Agency, as well as representatives for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, San Francisco Department of the Environment, San Francisco Department of Public Health and the San Francisco Public Utility Commission.
The task force is part of Greenaction’s IVAN Network, for “Identifying Violations Affecting Neighborhoods.” Similar task forces have been set up in the Imperial Valley, Coachella, Wilmington and Fresno, Kern and Kings counties, according to organizers.
For more information on the task force, reporting pollution problems and the mobile app, go to http://www.bvhp-ivan.org/.
Sara Gaiser, Bay City News