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Where's All that Oil Spill Waste Going? Much of it to 'Communities of Color,' Study Finds

ATLANTA -- An analysis by Robert Bullard of the Environmental Justice Resource Center of Clark Atlanta University has made a provocative and, no doubt, controversial finding: that much of the waste generated by the oil spill cleanup efforts is being winding up in common landfills located in majority-black areas.

"As officials scramble to assess the pending damage, we do know the destination of around 40,000 tons of the spill waste: it's headed for the families that have been getting dumped on for years," Michelle Chen wrote on the Color Lines Web site.

22 0 25Share "In what may be yet another calm before the storm, BP's colorfully advertised waste management plan appears to follow a haunting pattern of environmental racism."

Bullard -- writing in another site geared toward black Americans, Dissident Voice -- said the BP waste disposal plan looks a lot like "Dumping in Dixie." Bullard was referring to his previous writing about historical trends toward dumping in black American neighborhoods.

Bullard cited BP's oil spill waste summary, which said that as of of July 15, more than 39,448 tons of oil garbage had been disposed at 9 approved landfills in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. More than half (5 out of 9) of the landfills receiving BP oil-spill solid waste are in communities where people of color comprise a majority of residents living within near the waste facilities.     

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