Movementech's Environmental Justice
GIS Projects
With the Financial Assistance of EBIC
(Click here for the complete thumbnails)

Environmental Background Information Center (EBIC) began experimenting with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in 1996 by gathering data and software from the Environmental Protection Agency. However, it did not become a major component of EBIC's work until 1998. In 2002, EBIC spun off a new organization called Movementech to do this work in earnest. For purposes of clarity, this web page describes work done by EBIC, which is now being carried forward by the same people, under Movementech.

Visualization through GIS of the environmental, health, racial and economic impacts of harmful corporate activities provides the opportunity to tranform a technology created for military purposes into powerful organizing, cen our board directed us to aggressively pursue GIS capability. Thanks to two grants of software and data from the Environmental Science Research Institute (ESRI) we have dramatically expanded our capacity to assist communities most in need ofommunication, and mobilization tools. What follows are brief discussions of some of our projects to date.

Fort Valley, GA (click for the full report)

The Woolfolk Citizens Response Group (WCRG) is an organization formed to address community concerns surrounding the presence of the Woolfolk Chemical Works National Priority List (NPL) Superfund toxic waste site in Fort Valley, Georgia. Because of its experience with that site, WCRG has expanded its role over time to look at threats to the health, well being and future community development of Fort Valley and Peach County. The WCRG is assisting the Middle Georgia Advisory Group, a grassroots group in neighboring Byron, organize around such issues as a proposed regional landfill and an existing toxic waste site. Fort Valley, GA, a company town in Middle Georgia, is in Peach County (pop 23,688). According to 2000 U.S. Census Statistics, Peach County is 45.4% African American. Georgia is 28.7% African American. Fort Valley is predominantly African American (74.7%). 8,005 people reportedly lived in Fort Valley in 2000. 5,816 of that total population (72.7%) are of voting age. The voting age population in Fort Valley is 72% African American.

Peach County hosts a number of existing environmental contamination problems. Our analysis indicates that most of these facilities are located in predominantly minority areas and that they may pose ongoing threats to human health and safety. Moreover, historical analysis of contamination problems in Peach County strongly suggests that state enforcement of environmental laws has been insufficient to protect the public from the threat of illegal activity harmful to the enviroment and public health. This fact, taken by itself, is enough to cause a reasonable person to have legitimate and well grounded concerns about any new environmental health threats to people in the county such as the Aldridge landfill might provoke. It is quite clear that the best way to stop environmental contamination in Peach County is to prevent activities that might cause that sort of harm, before they go into operation. Overall demographic profiles indicate a larger than expected minority population impacted by toxic threats in Peach County. For example, though only slightly less than 20% of the entire population of Peach County lives within 3/4's of one mile from the three facilities discussed in this report, the population that does live within 3/4's of one mile is 75.6% black. Moreover, 50% of the black population of Peach County lives within 3/4's of one mile from these three facilities. Economic statistics also indicate a higher level of poverty, lower income levels and slightly to moderately lower educational attainment in census block groups containing the Woolfolk and Blue Bird facilities respectively.