Environmental Justice and Food Distribution
As food travels, so follows diesel emissions. But not all communities suffer the effects of that pollution equally.
In Recognition of Earth Day, Sustainable Arlington will host
Cate Maas from the Chelsea Collaborative
at its monthly meeting on
April 18th at 7:30 p.m.
Maas will describe the collaborative's experiences and success in working with the New England Produce Center to reduce diesel emissions at the second largest produce distribution center in the country.
Working to improve air quality in their community, the collaborative worked with the men at the market to retire the oldest, worse polluting diesel engines used to keep produce refrigerated which resulted in taking tons of pollutants out of the air while simultaneously saving the market hundreds of thousand dollars a year. The story Maas tells is an inspiring example of a community and business partnership resulting in a WIN for all.Beginning as a single person working to find out what could be done to improve environmental conditions in her community, Maas first had to gain entry to the Chelsea food distribution center. She learned about the system used for keeping huge volumes of perishable produce fresh until it could be dispersed to food retailers throughout the Boston area, including here in Arlington supermarkets.
Chelsea is an urban industrial low-income city that bears a disproportionate environmental burden compared with virtually any other city in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ (EOEEA) Environmental Justice (EJ) Policy classifies every neighborhood within Chelsea’s 1.8 square miles an environmental justice population: the only municipality in the entire state designated as such.