The devastation of Hurricane Harvey is horrific and unprecedented, affecting millions of people in Texas and Louisiana. Today, we invite you to make a donation to Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (t.e.j.a.s.) in Houston, which is monitoring the impacts on communities from the shutdown of the petrochemical industrial complex.
These plants are burning off excess chemicals, spewing noxious fumes and cancer-causing pollutants, and releasing unknown toxics into the floodwaters of an area already struggling with health problems and storm damage. Unfortunately, there may not be a way to fully track this pollution, as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has turned off its air quality monitors to protect them from high winds and rain, which means the state has to rely on (notoriously spotty) corporate self-reporting to measure Harvey-related emissions.
We know that climate change hits frontline communities the hardest, and has contributed to the severity of this storm, which has broken records from the most amount of rainfall from any tropical cyclone in the continental U.S. to the longest a Texas landfalling hurricane remained a named storm after landfall. Scientists warn that these extreme weather crises can no longer be considered rare events, such as a 500-year flood, but are standard in our fossil fuel-dependent and politically reprehensible reality.
A full clean up is predicted to take years and cost as much as $100 billion. To help with the immediate recovery, Another Gulf is Possible has set up a "frontline-to-frontline direct resource and support mobilization" page with information on material and monetary donations, drop-off locations, and how to report environmental hazards.
Our thoughts, love, and solidarity go out to affected communities, T.E.J.A.S. — whose staff are working around the clock despite flooded offices, and other local grassroots groups in this catastrophic time. Please share this with others to support frontline organizations working for a just recovery!