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Mission

ECO-Action's mission is to help communities organize to confront environmental health threats, and to strengthen & facilitate participation of communities in preventing and resolving such threats. ECO-Action serves the general population, but we focus our assistance on vulnerable communities – most often rural residents, people with limited formal education, those with few resources, women, and people of color. ECO-Action's work is based on the intersection of three things – threats to human health, environmental degradation and social injustice. 

Vision

Our vision is a toxic-free Georgia where people's health is not affected by environmental threats.

Approach

At ECO-Action, we believe that communities have the right to clean air, land and water and should have a right to participate in the decisions that affect their own lives. Incredibly, many communities still do not have that right today. Those affected most by toxic chemical exposure are people who live in low-income communities and communities of color. We believe that people who work collectively to organize, make change, share resources, and solve problems will make a positive impact on their community's health, environment and prosperity.

When communities are confronted with a potentially harmful facility or situation, they often don't know what their options are. At ECO-Action, we help people empower themselves to make a difference. We do this by helping members of the community to:

• Research and communicate issues

• Motivate their neighbors to take action

• Understand the processes and options

• Create an effective strategy

•  Build alliances

How Exactly Can ECO-ACTION Help You?

ECO-Action can help you Stay Informed:

•  The community has a right to know complete and accurate information on potential human health and environmental impacts associated with the selection of products, services, operations or plans.

ECO-Action can help you Organize Your Community:

Since 1989, ECO-Action has assisted in organizing more than 130 community groups. Go to our Georgia map to view more. ECO-Action has achieved great success over the years, and has established several smaller organizations to meet the needs of local communities. (See also History). The participatory process at ECO-Action reflects the process we want to see in the broader community and in the nation as a whole.

•  What do you want?

•  Who can give it to you?

•  How can you get it?

ECO-Action can help you Create Conditions to Empower Vulnerable Communities:

•  Building power by organizing

•  Unlearning processes that perpetuate injustice and exclusion

•  Emphasizing Social Justice

Working in collaboration with the local NAACP and civil rights attorneys, ECO-Action helped restore voting rights to residents of Butler , GA (the County Seat of Taylor County). ECO-Action helped form the Taylor County Environmental Task Force and ultimately allowed citizens to exercise their right to vote after being denied an election for 10 years. In the process, the residents were able to defeat a proposal to pipe wastewater from a sewage treatment plan and spray it on land near a neighborhood outside the city.

ECO-Action can help you Collaborate with other Organizations and Individuals:

ECO-Action has its own GRASSROOTS ENVIRONMENTAL NETWORK that is invoked to campaign for:

•  Public participation in enforcement of laws: Along with other groups, ECO-Action organized and advocated for regulations which ultimately established the “notice and comment” procedure to give communities a voice regarding EPD enforcement orders (also known as “consent orders,” they often serve as a mere slap on the wrist to excessive polluters). The advent of the notice-and-comment process was a groundbreaking change in the way EPD permit violations are handled, allowing for much more input from the individuals and communities actually affected by the pollution.

•  Structural change: Up until ECO-Action's work with residents from Taylor and Talbot counties, only one person presided over both the Dept. of Natural resources and the Environmental Protection Division. This belied a clear conflict of interest between regulating polluters and protecting natural resources. Thanks to ECO-Action, there has been a legislative change requiring that the Head of Department of Natural Resources be a DIFFERENT PERSON than the Head of the Environmental Protection Division.

ECO-Action is a member of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families (SCHF) Coalition heading the national campaign for the TSCA reform.

•  Focusing on toxic chemicals that are known to be harmful

•  Requiring every chemical substance to be tested for safety

•  Dilution is not a solution to pollution

Training:

•  Capacity Building for Social Justice

•  CBLTI – Capacity Building and Leadership Training Institute

 

© Chris Madden, www.goma.demon.co.uk

Our Brochure
Please view our printable brochure for more information:
ECO Action Brochure

Our Partners

ECO-Action gratefully acknowledges a grant from the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation Special Assistance Fund for the redesign of this website.