Environmental injustice occurs when powerful developers locate toxic waste in poor neighborhoods. These populations often suffer from health issues from pollution already and are in less of a position to oppose these projects.
In Watsonville, at 511 Ohlone Parkway, a proposed development has neighbors alarmed as they found out that toxic waste from the former junkyard would be buried on site in a 35-foot pit. This contaminated soil was too toxic to be accepted at the Buena Vista Landfill, but was recommended to be shipped to a toxic dump near Kettleman City, California. Instead, the dirt from the surface will be scraped off and buried. Residents worry it will slide into the nearby wetland, home to endangered bird species, and may expose residents of the future development to lead and other contaminants. Bob Culburtson, former State Park superintendent and current homeowner spoke to KSQD for this interview. As of this recording, residents only had three more days for public comment to the Santa Cruz County environmental health staff member, John Gerbrandt.