“Environmental Justice Day Declaration”
Outdoor Workers and the Environmental Justice Coalition Talk About the Human Impact of Excessive Heat in Nevada
Carson City, NV – Today the Nevada Legislature hosted its first Environmental Justice Day in coordination with the Environmental Justice Coalition. Outdoor workers shared their personal stories about the impact of excessive heat and climate change on their lives, followed by a declaration on the Senate floor.
Environmental justice has a direct correlation with social and racial justice. Members of our community feel every day the impact of excessive heat with short and long-term consequences. “Unless you have walked in the shoes of a construction worker, a gardener, or anyone doing outdoor work under 130 degrees you will not know how it feels to experience a heat stroke and yet have to push your body to finish your work day or the long-term health consequences,” Said Cinthia Moore, Coalition Coordinator for the Nevada Environmental Justice Coalition
The goal of Environmental Justice Day is to prioritize justice in the fight to protect our state’s natural resources through a social and racial equity lens, to ensure a just transition away from extractive industries, and liberate frontline communities from environmental hardships.
The 2023 session has a number of environmental proposals in the pipeline (see below for background on each proposal):
- Outdoor working protections: Proper and adequate health protections for all outdoor workers in a standardized extreme heat definition to avoid health hazards.
- Environmental Justice Study: Require state agencies to conduct an interim study on the state’s environmental justice, used to determine which areas are affected the most.
- The Green Amendment: Amend the Nevada Constitution to guarantee clean air, clean water, and healthy soils for all.
- Environmental Justice Council: Seek to establish an official Environmental Justice Council to advise and recommend courses of action on the State Agency level as well as the Legislative level to ensure proper environmental protection for all Nevadans.
ABOUT Nevada Environmental Justice Coalition: The Nevada Environmental Justice Coalition is a network of organizations committed to ensuring that equity, justice, and sustainability are brought into governmental decision-making in the face of climate change. We implement this by discussing the impacts of a disrupted climate, sharing information, and coordinating strategies and tactics to create meaningful solutions to the challenges we face. Our goal is to encourage equitable growth, improved corporate business models, and responsible planning at all levels and to address climate change and apply an intersectional approach to addressing the challenges and finding meaningful solutions. The Nevada Environmental Justice Coalition is conformed of the following 14 organizations: Center for Biological Diversity, EcoMadres, Great Basin Resource Watch, Indivisible of Northern Nevada, Make It Work Nevada, Make the Road Nevada, Moms Clean Air Force, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, Sierra Club Toiyabe Chapter, and Sunrise Movement Las Vegas Hub.
Outdoor Worker Protection Bill (BDR 682)
Sponsored by Senate Committee on Government Affairs
The NEJC has brought forward a bill to protect our outdoor workers, and those working indoors without climate controls. Working in extreme heat and poor air quality conditions will worsen chronic conditions such as cardiovascular and kidney diseases, and diabetes-related illnesses as well as suffer from asthma attacks and heart attacks. The purpose of this bill is to ensure that there is adequate shade, water, education, and training for those that are working in extreme heat and poor air quality conditions to help prevent extreme heat and poor air quality-related illnesses.
Environmental Justice Study (AB71):
Sponsored by Assembly Committee on Natural Resources
Requires the Division of Environmental Protection of the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to conduct an interim study concerning environmental justice. This study will help identify which communities in this State face the greatest environmental burdens. The State of Nevada has never conducted an environmental justice study. We support this study to identify the communities that face the greatest environmental burdens and how to mitigate these burdens. It is important for the State to have a plan on how to address these environmental burdens.
The Green Amendment (AJR3)
Sponsored by Assemblywoman Sarah Peters
Communities across the nation are suffering as the result of environmental degradation — they are being denied clean water, clean air, healthy soils in which to grow healthy foods, the forests and wetlands they need to be protected from floods, drought, and storms, as well as the healthy plant and animal communities that support and enrich their lives. And increasingly communities are being harmed by a growing human and pollution-induced climate crisis, including floods, droughts, disease, impacts on food, changing weather dynamics, and more. The Green Amendment seeks to add certain protections under the Nevada Constitution, to secure individual rights to pure water, clean air, healthy ecosystems, and a stable climate for all Nevadans.
Environmental Justice Council (BDR 157)
Sponsored by Assemblywoman Sarah Peters
BDR 157 seeks to create an Environmental Justice Council. This Council will advise state agencies on incorporating environmental justice. Will also advise and make recommendations to the Legislature on environmental justice legislation. The Council’s membership will also include members of the community that are impacted by environmental injustice in the State.