Site Description-SL

Water Pollution: The Journey One City Took To Make A Change.  

2. Author Biography:

I am a 22 year old woman from the Westminster neighborhood of Elizabeth, New Jersey. I attend the New Jersey Institute of Technology and double major in History and Law, Technology and Culture. Covering the history of air pollution in the city that I grew up in and how it has changed positively over time is what I hope to portray. I hope to get a historical aspect of Elizabeth and its relationship to air pollution from the important industry at the Port. I do not live in the same neighborhood that the pollution mainly affects, but that does not make it any less important to me.

3. Site Description:

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. 

4. Historical Question(s):

  1. How has the decision to help other neighborhoods before the one that has been most adversely affected by air pollution second to a solution? Is it because they can not afford to do anything themselves? 
  2. Does air pollution have anything to do with a political opponent? How so?
  3. Why are these people affected by this directly? How do they understand the things that are happening to them?
  4. How should the effects of the Newark Harbor and air pollution there be treated similarly to the effects of the Elizabeth Port and its air pollution?
  5. How largely are these issues ignored and how have they been addressed since coming into realization?
  6. Can there be a proper way to address environmental issues amongst air pollution when things that are invented for a specific purpose will always have some adverse affect on something else?

5.     Project Significance:

The site offers both a sad realization and a solution. In this paper, I will outline how Elizabeth had fallen into the traps of air pollution and environmental injustice. These families are mainly made up of low income minority families. This makes it so they had originally received less attention. However, it is important to also realize how neighborhoods such as Port Elizabeth can go from being neglected, to flourishing and following a better set of regulations that benefit all people including those in the neighborhood. It is important to note that not every area affected by these toxins has continued to diminish. Elizabeth is a perfect example of a city that has flourished even with more regulation to protect the air and the people. 

6.     Keyword Tags:

  1. Pollution, Race, Air, Toxics, Business, Shipping