Virginia, USA

Local Civil Society Organizations working on Environmental Justice issues in Virginia.

1. Fairfax ReLeaf

Organizes tree planting and preservation activities around Fairfax county’s public and common lands. They also provide information to communities regarding the importance of urban forests and proper forestry techniques through public meetings and other community functions. They convey community concerns to government officials to advocate for relevant local policy.

 

2. Appalachian Voices

Originally organized to mobilize citizen opposition to coal-fired power plant in Wise County, AV works in both VA and NC. Today they promote they continue to cultivate a “broad citizen movement” to oppose mountaintop removal coal mining, gas pipeline construction, and other fossil fuel practices. Cleaning coal ash from watersheds and advocating for more effective legislation is a core focus of their efforts. They publish an organizational paper and publish reports regarding risks to specific communities from specific projects. Their accomplishments are not immediately clear.

 

3. Global Lead Network

Seeks to mobilize collaboration and information exchange among various partners working on solutions to lead pollution. Their website provides resources on advocacy opportunities and best practices, clean drinking water information, and relevant legislation. Although this is a global organization, they work to connect local partners and individual citizens with their lawmakers.

 

4. James River Association

Works to protect and restore the James River watershed through community education and conservation activities. JRA also advocates for effective policy and actively monitors enforcement of existing policy. They host annual meetings, community events, and academic courses (at the JRA Ecology School). Since their founding in 1976, the health of the James River has improved to a “B-” – although they do not list what the river scored when they began.

 

5. Legal Aid Justice Center

Provides legal representation for low-income individuals in Virginia. Their caseload likely engages with EJ issues such as brownfield contamination and coal ash.

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