Summit a success

On March 20, approximately 120 residents, public officials and advocates participated in the Environmental Justice Summit in the historically black First Baptist Church in New Hill.

The summit discussed the struggle of the New Hill Community Association (NHCA) against the placement of a sewage wastewater treatment plant in their community in the larger context of environmental racism and injustice.

The plant would benefit Cary, Apex, Holly Springs and Morrisville, but would not benefit New Hill residents, who do not have a sewage system. Residents argue selection of the site was reverse-engineered, failed to include requisite public input, and has one of the largest human impacts of any of the sites considered. The plant would be located in the middle of town, next to the historic district and low-income housing for people of color.

The summit was co-sponsored by NHCA, SCSJ, and the NC Environmental Justice Network. Attendees engaged in community dialogue, learned about the latest developments, and participated in a press conference. In addition, attendees engaged in a question and answer session after a panel discussion with President of the New Hill Community Association Paul Barth, Co-Director of the NC Environmental Justice Network Gary Grant, UNC-Chapel Hill Professor of Epidemiology Dr. Steve Wing, a leader in the Rogers-Eubanks community’s environmental justice struggle Reverend Robert Campbell, and the SCSJ staff attorney representing New Hill Chris Brook.

Check out this video created by SCSJ and shown at the summit: