S2E74: Sanitation and EJ concerns grow with climate change—w/ Catherine Coleman Flowers, MacArthur Genius

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Do you take having a working sanitation system for granted?

What if you didn’t have access to a public wastewater treatment plant? What if you lived with sewage running back into your home? And what if your failing septic system made YOU a criminal?

MacArthur Fellow Catherine Coleman Flowers is the founder of The Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice (CREEJ) and author of Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret. On this episode of Reversing Climate Change, Catherine joins Ross to discuss the neglect of water and wastewater infrastructure in rural America, explaining why septic systems are failing and how that impacts public health.

Catherine offers insight on the disparities in access to sanitation for poor rural communities and people of color, describing how corrupt government officials and bad policy can contribute to the inequity. Listen in for Catherine’s advice on collaborating with people who don’t necessarily share your values and find out what CREEJ is doing to design a solution that will allow people to treat wastewater affordably—wherever they are.

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Resources

The Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice

Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret by Catherine Coleman Flowers

CREEJ & The Guardian’s Sanitation Self-Report Form

Catherine on Twitter

Catherine on Facebook

Catherine on Instagram

American Society of Civil Engineering Report Card for America’s Infrastructure

Lowndes Interpretive Center

President Biden’s Climate Task Force

White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council

Pamela Rush

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