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Home / News / Environment / Robert “J.R.” Gurley column: Proposed Cumberland County landfill perpetuates environmental racism

Robert “J.R.” Gurley column: Proposed Cumberland County landfill perpetuates environmental racism

Robert "J.R." Gurley column: Proposed Cumberland County landfill perpetuates environmental racism
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A proposed landfill in Cumberland County would sit across the street from the historic Pine Grove Elementary School, built in 1917 for African American students. t is no secret that Black Americans have gotten the short end of the stick in this country for centuries. Our communities have long dealt with lower access to health care, higher rates of police brutality and lower-than-average incomes. So, it should come as no shock that we also have been dealt an unfair hand when it comes to the environment surrounding our communities. Now I am seeing my state of Virginia, home to some of the most beautiful landscapes that our great country has to offer, being tarnished by this injustice yet again. Currently, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is in the process of reviewing a new 1,200-acre mega-landfill, dubbed the Green Ridge Recycling and Disposal Facility. This development is proposed to be set in Cumberland County, which is more than one-fifth Black. Our state already has roughly 60 solid waste landfills operating in 134 separate counties and cities. When is enough enough? This time, the placement of this landfill is personal, and I can’t sit back and watch it happen. […]

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