Environmental Justice


From September – December 2020, the Social Justice Committee, Green Sanctuary Committee, and the Racial Justice Committee are bringing current topics in environmental justice to Accotink. We will suggest articles, movies, and books that can help you to understand some of the issues that People of Color face regarding environmental racism, health disparities, food and housing issues. 

As Robert Bullard, father of Environmental Justice says, Race and class still matter and map closely with pollution, unequal protection, and vulnerability.  Today, zip code is still the most potent predictor of an individual’s health and well-being.  Individuals who physically live on the “wrong side of the tracks” are subjected to elevated environmental health threats and more than their fair share of preventable diseases. Still, too many people and communities have the “wrong complexion for protection.”  https://drrobertbullard.com/

You are invited to participate in the following activities:

  • Oct. 11, Coffee Hour Discussion “Getting Out the Vote in the Face of Voter Suppression”
  • Oct.15 6:30 – 7:30 pm Virtual “Tour” of our local Covanta Incinerator in Lorton, VA https://covanta.zoom.us/j/95138934317 
  • Oct. 18, 1:00 p.m. Presentation by Mike Ewall from the Energy Justice Network on “Ending Environmental Racism and Transitioning from Incineration to Zero Waste” Register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMufu-spz8qGdO3qz6LM7CoZXCXN9yHerzS
  • Nov. 8, Coffee Hour Discussion on “Maternal Mortality and Morbidity in the Black Community”.
  • Nov. 22, Coffee Hour Discussion on “Food Deserts”.
  • Dec. 6, Coffee Hour Discussion on the movie Condor and the Eagle (register to watch on one of three days before the discussion: https://www.uumfe.org/condor-eagle/#Host)

Let us learn together, so we can act together, to create a more inclusive and anti-oppressive community that nurtures one another and our earth.


Upcoming events

What is environmental justice?
Read one explanation here.

Image result for environmental justiceThe Green Sanctuary, Social Justice and Racial Justice Committees invite you to explore the issue of sustainable waste management with us.


Covanta says yes. They claim that burning trash reduces methane gas, recovers and recycles metals, and provides power without fossil fuels.

Here are two videos that show this process:

You are invited to join us in a “Virtual Visit” of our local Covanta facility in Lorton Oct. 15 from 6:30 – 7:30 pm.

Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android: https://covanta.zoom.us/j/95138934317 Meeting ID: 951 3893 4317
Mobile one-tap :   US: +13017158592,,95138934317#  or +16465588656,,95138934317#
Telephone:       US: +1 301 715 8592  or +1 646 558 8656  or +1 312 626 6799  or +1 346 248 7799  or +1 669 900 6833  or +1 253 215 8782  or 877 853 5257 (Toll Free)

Covanta sent us documents to answer questions about “Waste to Energy” and the benefits / impact on the environment. They also suggest participants view their website for more details (or if you can’t make the virtual tour we have scheduled on October 15). Facility Performance Sheet: https://s3.amazonaws.com/covanta-2017/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/2019-Facility-Performance-Sheet-Fairfax-8-17.pdf

Environmental activists say that incinerators are the most polluting way to manage waste or make energy, that those chemicals released cause adverse health effects (cancer, heart disease, birth defects, and respiratory problems), which disproportionately affect people of color due to placement in low income communities, and incinerators are even more expensive and less efficient than other waste disposal systems.


Join the Green Sanctuary, Social Justice, and Racial Justice committees at 1pm, Sunday, Oct. 18 for this discussion, led by Mike Ewall, Executive Director, of the Energy Justice Network.

“When you throw trash ‘away’ in Fairfax County, it is burned at the Covanta Fairfax trash incinerator in Lorton — the county’s largest air polluter by far, and the 3rd largest waste incinerator in the United States. Lorton hosts two waste incinerators and three landfills and is a glaring case of environmental racism. Now is the time to move the county toward climate-friendly, healthier Zero Waste solutions and to end incineration for good.”

Register in advance for this discussion: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMufu-spz8qGdO3qz6LM7CoZXCXN9yHerzS

Covanta’s contract is up for renewal February 2021. LET’S GET EDUCATED and determine if we want to support or advocate against continuing incineration in Fairfax County.

For more information see: