Air Pollution in Port Elizabeth, NJ

By Sonia Lenehan

The site I am covering is called “The Port Neighborhood” of Elizabeth, NJ. The neighborhood is only a 10 minute drive from my house, but it is completely different. Instead of houses, there are more apartment buildings and a large stretch of container yards. It is made up of the Newark Bay , or ‘Port’ and the surrounding apartment buildings or two family homes. I am covering the time period from the past 10-15 years where air pollution has both been and issue, and seen some sort of solution. I will be covering this time period to speak of when air pollution in the Newark Bay/ Elizabeth Harbor, or Elizabeth Port, had become an issue for the health of school children and how it has started to be resolved. Although a difficult task, it has been an issue that affects the lives of both Elizabeth and Newark residents. The Port of Elizabeth is one of the oldest ports in New Jersey and amongst the East coast. Therefore, with the amount of container ships and air pollution produced from them has reached an all time high. While this was beneficial for the city, as it created jobs, it was also detrimental as it caused many environmental issues. School children have started to be linked to asthma and cancer as a result of this pollution. This neighborhood is not the only one to be affected by this, but it is the one with the highest rates for cancer associated with air pollution. Therefore, it is important to note that starting to help this neighborhood with environmental injustice at the moment, will continue to help other cities clean their poor environments from years of neglect and pollution.