Research Paper Sample on Coal as an Environmental Injustice

Coal as an Environmental Injustice


America experienced frequent disposal of waste materials in areas inhabited by African-American populations in 1982 (McGinley, & Mullins, 2013). Illegal dumping of toxic waste was never stopped by the intervention of the United Church of Christ for Racial Injustice. The intervention comprised of non-violent demonstration that led to the arrest of 500 citizens.

Crawford, prior to its closure in 2012, was the worst environmental polluter in the US. Crawford was constructed in 1924 in Chicago and was owned by Midwest Generation (McGinley, & Mullins, 2013). The company was assembled in Chicago as an alternative source of cheap power to millions of Africa-American descents from humble backgrounds. The plant used coal to produce electricity and in the process produced toxic gaseous effluents that polluted the environment. Environmental guidelines on waste disposal had never been put in place hence the company disposed of its waste in a manner that was considered “environmental racism”.

Different environmental groups initiated environmental fights against the company to compel its closure in order to reduce the adverse impacts seen among people living within five miles from the business’s location (McGinley, & Mullins, 2013). National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was one of the primary organizations that fought for the rights of the Americans being discriminated upon.

Impacts on the local environment and community

Effects on environment

Gases from the coal plants pollute the air resulting in global warming. Notably, the acid rain from nitrogen gases affects the soil pH thus reducing the agricultural productivity of the land (McGinley, & Mullins, 2013). Furthermore, goal mines inhibit surface growth of vegetation a factor that increases the rate of soil erosion.

Effects on human

Coal dust causes respiratory diseases and leads to high death rates among persons living near these firms (McGinley, & Mullins, 2013). Coal plants also consume a significant amount of water resulting in a shortage of adequate amounts of water for human consumption.


McGinley, P. C., & Mullins, C. M. N. (2013). Journal of Environmental and Sustainability Law Spring, 2013* 305 Collateral Damage: Turning a Blind Eye to Environmental and Social Injustice in the Coalfields. Journal of Environmental and Sustainability Law.