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Issues & Victories


PATH links environmental protections with job creation in Howard County, MD

Thanks to the organizing of religious leaders in Howard County, the Maryland General Assembly passed a stormwater bill requiring the state's 15 largest municipalities (including Howard County) to create stormwater runoff fees.  This is a huge environmental victory as well as a potential dedicated funding source for the youth conservation corps that PATH creating with the county!  PATH worked closely with a coalition of environmental groups and the County Executive to help pass this bill in Annapolis, and turned out dozens and dozens of people to hearings, a rally, and small group meetings with legislators.  

Washington Interfaith Network negotiates green energy deal.

Representatives of 40 religious groups from the Washington Interfaith Network met with energy officials to secure a collective buying deal featuring lower utility rates and green energy. (Photo Credit: New York Times)

New Jersey Together/ICO Wins Epic Environmental Cleanup Battle vs. Chemical Giant PPG Industries

The Interfaith Community Organization (now the Jersey City chapter of New Jersey Together) launched its campaign to rid Jersey City of toxic chromium wastes more than 20 years ago.  In the spring of 2011, it won another large-scale cleanup -- much like the landmark legal victory which forced Honeywell to carry out a $400 million cleanup.  PPG Industries will remove 600,000 tons of cancer-causing industrial wastes that it left behind  in a densely populated neighborhood when it closed its local manufacturing operation a half century ago.  PPG settled a lawsuit brought by ICO and our environmental ally, the Natural Resources Defense Council.

In the News

DC groups pool buying power to save on electricity

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Associated Press

Some pray in churches, mosques and synagogues. Others aren't religious, serving the community by providing housing or education.  However, the leaders of more than 100 religious and community organizations in the Washington area share one interest: saving money on electricity to better serve their communities. That's why they will gather Tuesday to review bids they requested from electricity suppliers to power their church halls, charter schools and nonprofit organizations.

Coming Together to Pray, and Also to Find Reduced-Rate Energy Deals

Sunday, July 31, 2011
New York Times

WASHINGTON — Like manna from heaven, thousands of dollars in new revenue is raining on a group of congregations here from the unlikeliest of sources: the utility bill.

New deal reached on chromium cleanup at Jersey City Site

Wednesday, April 6, 2011
New York Times

JERSEY CITY — Some 25 years ago, Ellen Wright was driving home through her neighborhood of single-family wood-frame houses here when she noticed that the streets were slick with “green water.”

“It was a terrible thing,” said Mrs. Wright, now 77, recalling her unease.

The  liquid turned out to be runoff from the site of a former chrome production plant that operated for decades in Jersey City in Hudson County, once a major center for the nation’s chromium ore processing and manufacturing industry. Residents like Mrs. Wright, who were already organizing through their churches to demand better police protection and other basic community services, decided to take on the polluters...

Finding the bottom of a polluted field

Sunday, February 5, 2006
New York Times

Just past the old municipal incinerator, near the car lots, strip malls and fast-food joints heaped on this city's far west side, a long fence juts into the shoulder of busy Route 440. Most drivers whiz by without knowing that on the other side of the fence lies one of the nation's biggest hazardous waste sites, one that spurred an environmental battle so contentious that it has dragged on for a generation.

The forlorn stretch of fallow land -- an area the size of 34 football fields -- is a casualty of Jersey City's industrial past, poisoned by a half-century's worth of residues from the processing of chromium, the versatile substance used in paints, stainless steel and automobile bumpers. In its most dangerous form -- called hexavalent chromium -- the wastes can cause cancer and other health problems...

Court Orders Honeywell To Clean Up 34-Acre Site

Saturday, May 17, 2003
New York Times

A federal district judge in Newark ordered Honeywell International to clean up a 34-acre site along Jersey City's waterfront that was created more than 100 years ago as a dumping ground for chromium, a byproduct of manufacturing that has been found to cause cancer.

The cleanup, which would involve digging up about a million tons of contaminated waste and replacing it with clean soil, could cost the Morris Township-based company more than $400 million, experts testified. The company will also have to remove the contaminants from the Hackensack River near the dump...