Press Release

NAACP Statement on Birmingham, Alabama’s Right to Clean Soil and a Healthy Environment

August 27, 2018

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People released the following statement in response to recent reports regarding environmental cleanup efforts in the Inglenook neighborhood of Birmingham, Alabama. 


“NAACP maintains its commitment to uphold the rights of all people to pollution remediation and clean soil,” said Jacqueline Patterson, Director, NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program. “As detailed in our 2017 resolution advancing soil testing and remediation in East Chicago and beyond, we are in full support of soil testing in communities that have been exposed to contamination and so we can ensure thorough clean-up.” 

“For decades, private companies have reaped enormous benefits from pumping toxins into African-American communities, while these residents suffer gravely as a direct result of this pollution. Poor health, inability to access clean food and water and even death, resulting from disproportionate exposure to pollution by communities of color and low-income communities, are some of the biggest impediments to achieving universal human rights. The burden of pollution is an issue that has long been of paramount concern to the NAACP, and we firmly denounce any representative who would actively work against the interests of the very people we are committed to protecting.”

“We will continue to fight until all have unfettered access to clean air, clean water, and uncontaminated land.”