We want to increase environmental justice in the city of Waterloo, Iowa.

We want to increase environmental justice in the city of Waterloo, Iowa.

28 have signed. Let’s get to 50!
Petition to
Going to Carole Yates who will advocate and donate where the money best fits.

Why this petition matters

Started by Kailee Farrell

Environmental Justice is the focus on systemic racism that is established in the system regarding energy, water, air, and land quality. BIPOC and other marginalized communities are most likely to be affected negatively by air pollution, poor water quality, and other environmental issues. Redlining is the racial and economic “carving” of districts. It is a very discriminatory practice, used to withhold services from potential customers in a “sketchy” neighborhood. It usually impacts people of color. In Waterloo, the East side is more likely to have more redlining than the West side. In Waterloo, 43% of housing was considered “hazardous”. The largest “hazardous” section is located in the older parts of town next to the manufacturing plants. This is also referred to as the “Colored Section”.

Air Quality in water is stated as “good” with a 32 AQI. Anywhere between a 0-50 is “good air quality”. Water quality was said to have “met” or “exceeded” water requirements. However, Legal limits for contaminants in tap water have not been updated in over 20 years. EWG detected 13 out of 28 contaminants in Waterloo’s tap water, with an excess of three contaminants that have high rates of causing cancer.

Lead poisoning is when there is a large amount of buildup of lead in the human body. In Black Hawk County area codes 50703 & 50701 are most impacted. It also impacts low income families the most. Houses built before 1978 contain large amounts of lead in their paint, and children living in these homes are more likely to experience lead poisoning. Another issue Waterloo is facing is over the next 30 years, they have a more than 26% chance of being severely impacted by flooding. Including 4,990 homes, 216 miles of road, 515 businesses, and 32 schools/government buildings/historical buildings.

Biomass energy is renewable organic material that comes from plants and animals. In 2020, biomass energy provided 5 quadrillion BTU’s and 5% of total primary energy use in the US. Hydropower is flowing water to produce energy. In 2020, hydroelectricity accounted for 7.3% of the total US utility scale. Wind energy is mainly used to generate electricity. Solar energy is the ultimate source for energy.

The Cedar Valley contains twenty different waste sites. Six of them are in Waterloo, all on the East side of the Cedar River, one is adjacent to the river. Based on the redlining data, most of these waste sites fall within the red-lined borders. The Waterloo Sanitation Department only lists 4 recycling drop-off stations, some of which have very vague addresses. As of 2020, there has been more than a 50% increase in the cost of voluntary pick-up services for garbage, recycling, and yard waste. There has been a decreased amount of people that are a part of the program because the city is no longer able to afford it. The program was chosen to stay voluntary due to multiple arguments against a mandatory trash/recycle payment. Higher pick-up costs and low amounts of drop-off locations result in less people choosing to recycle their items, adding more waste to landfill sites.

28 have signed. Let’s get to 50!