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E-M:/ Sierra Club approves Environmental Justice Principles

Enviro-Mich message from Lydia H Fischer <lydfisch@mindspring.com>

The following Principles were approved this past February 17 by the Sierra
Club Board of Directors.
Sierra Club Environmental Justice Principles

Preamble: "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and
pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike."
John Muir
I. The Sierra Club's Mission is to explore, enjoy and protect the wild
places of the earth; to practice and promote the responsible use of the
earth's ecosystems and resources; and to educate and enlist humanity to
protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and
to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives. 

II. We support the right to a clean and healthy environment for all people. 

A. The Right to Democracy. We support government by the people. Corporate
influence over governments must be constrained to stop the erosion of the
peoples' right to govern themselves and governments' ability to establish
justice and to promote the general welfare. 

B. The Right to Participate. People have the right to participate in the
development of rules, regulations, and evaluation criteria at every level
of decision making. 

C. The Right to Equal Protection. Laws, policies, rules, regulations, and
evaluation criteria should be applied in a nondiscriminatory manner. Laws,
policies, regulations or criteria which result in disproportionate impact
are discriminatory. We support environmental restoration and the redressing
of environmental inequities. 

D. The Right to Know. People have a right to know the information necessary
for informed environmental decision making. 

E. The Right to Sustainable Environmental Benefits. People are entitled to
enjoy the sustainable aesthetic, recreational, cultural, historical,
scientific, educational, religious, sacred, sustenance, subsistence,
cultural and other benefits of natural resources. Actions which tend to
ruin the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community are

F. The Right to Equity. Environmentally degrading land uses should be
avoided. But when such uses occur, they should be equitably sited taking
into account all environmental and community impacts. All people have the
right to a safe and healthful work environment. 

G. The Right to Generational Equity. Future generations have a fundamental
right to enjoy the benefits of natural resources including clean air,
water, and land and an uncontaminated food chain and to receive their
heritage wilderness and a functioning ecosystem with all species naturally

H. The Rights of Native People. We oppose effort to dispossess indigenous
peoples of their lands, their cultures, and their right to
self-determination. We support Native Americans' wielding of their
sovereign powers to protect the environment and to establish environmental

III. We Support an End to Pollution. The long range policy goal priorities
for environmental protection must be (1) to end production of polluting
substances, (2) to prevent any release of polluting substances, (3) to
prevent any exposure plants, animals or humans to polluting substance, and
(4) to remediate the effects of such exposure. 

IV. We Support the Precautionary Principle. We believe that if an activity
potentially threatens human health or the environment, the proponent of
that activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof as
to the harmlessness of the activity. q 

For more information contact: 
Kirstin Replogle, Chair 
#715 South Broadway Avenue 
Urbana, Illinois 61801 

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