A coalition of religious groups are joining forces, this weekend, to call attention to proposed cuts to the EPA. They say the cuts would hamper the cleanup of local lands that have been polluted.
The groups involved in Sunday’s gathering are calling it a Prayer Tour to educate residents about local Superfund cleanup sites, land that has been polluted by hazardous waste and designated by the EPA as a potential risk to the health of nearby residents or the environment.
Sister Leann Jablonski with the Marianist Environmental Education Center at Mt. St. John says participants will visit the Valleycrest, Behr Dayton, and South Dayton Landfill sites.
Those sites have been designated by the EPA as hazardous. Jablonski says they’ll offer prayers for those areas where drinking water, the air, and overall human health has been affected.
“Traditionally, it's the young, the aged, those already ill or vulnerable or those that don't have the resources that are most impacted by our environmental pollution, and so it's a justice issue”
The Trump administration, in May, proposed a 30 percent cut to the federal EPA budget - roughly $2.6 billion - but in September, the House Appropriations committee rejected that number, suggesting a budget cut of $528 million.
Jablonski’s group is partnering with the Hanley Sustainability Institute at UD, and national organizations, the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, and Creation Justice Ministries. They will gather on Sunday at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dayton before visiting the Superfund sites.
Speakers are scheduled at each stop. They include, Shantha Ready Alonso, Director - Creation Justice Ministries, Jerry Bowling III - President, McCook Field Neighborhood Association, and Emilee George with Valleycrest Landfill.