HBN and 100+ organizations stand united behind the new Louisville Charter for Safer Chemicals, a roadmap for transforming the chemical industry to one that is no longer a source of greenhouse gas emissions and significant human and environmental health harms. Launched December 7, the goal of the updated charter is to protect human health and the environment and achieve environmental justice for all who experience disproportionate impacts from cumulative chemical sources, including people of color, low-income people, Tribes and Native/Indigenous communities, women, children, and farmworkers.
The original Charter was created in 2004. At that time, HBN joined a broad coalition of grassroots, labor, health, and environmental justice groups in an extensive process initiated by community organizations in Louisville, KY. Louisville’s “Rubbertown” area hosted 11 industrial facilities that released millions of pounds of toxic air emissions every year. The Charter was named in honor of this city and all of the communities across the nation exposed to toxic chemical contamination—starting with the people who are harmed first and worst. We participated in the 2021 update process, supporting the efforts of the most heavily impacted communities to more explicitly address the chemical industry’s massive contribution to the climate crisis, and the need to advance environmental justice in communities who are disproportionately impacted.
The Louisville Charter is a unifying guide for everyone working to ensure that toxic chemicals are no longer a source of harm, from local and national policy-makers and labor organizers, to health care workers and concerned community members, to committed leaders in the building industry. It is meant to be versatile and used in a wide variety of contexts for one overarching purpose: to overhaul chemical policies in favor of safety, health, equity, and justice, and avoid false solutions that simply shift harms to other people and places.
HBN is proud to be a signatory of the Charter and join this diverse and intersectional community of partners demanding urgent action to protect, strengthen, and restore our most vulnerable communities.
To learn more about the Louisville Charter for Safer Chemicals and its ten platform planks, visit www.louisvillecharter.org.