Nonprofit Newswire | Here’s Where BP is Dumping Its Oil Spill Waste


August 4, 2010; Source: ColorLines | This nice piece of investigative reporting by ColorLines (published by the Applied Research Center) highlights an ongoing problem and ongoing philanthropic need. The ongoing problem is environmental justice, or injustice, we should say. The BP strategy is to dump the waste product from the oil clean up in municipal landfills that just happen to be in predominantly minority communities.

The EPA has approved 9 municipal landfills for BP waste, 5 of which are in minority communities in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. According to Colorlines, the only place that was able to organize and stop the dumping was a predominantly white community. An additional white community in Florida was concerned that it was being targeted for dumping until it learned that the target was actually a similarly named community whose population is 75 percent African-American.

The important subtext to us is the need for environmental justice grantmaking so that minority communities do not continue to be the victims rather than beneficiaries of environmental remediation programs.

Only a small portion of foundations’ environmental grantmaking goes to environmental justice projects. The BP aftermath makes a good case for renewed attention to the subject of environmental justice and the need for EJ foundation dollars.—Rick Cohen

  • Tim Greene

    🙁 Please leave racism out of the oil spill, and quit playing the race card. I belive they are dumping the oil in these land fills but let’s get the facts straight it is because the area is made up of poor people if it was a poor white area they would do the same thing which they have done in the past it is big business with rich people holding high offices getting their palms greased.But they do not see the big picture they are poisioning the drinking water for all people because it will filter through the soil and reach the drinking water supply and all races will be effected. The rich politians don’t care because they will find a way to make money on that clean up as well it is the same ole story. So please the only black item in this story should be the oil.