Green Living: Green Living Guides

You Can Beat City Hall
Determine a Goal

  Know What's Happening
  Get Organized
  Do Your Research
» Determine a Goal
  Build a Coalition
  Target the Decision-Makers
  Get Involved in the Process
  Build Support
  Further Resources

Make sure your efforts are focused. Decide as a neighborhood or community the specific outcome you'd like and work toward that goal. You might decide to:

  • Block a proposed new facility. If you feel that a proposed project will be detrimental to your community, you may want to categorically oppose it.

  • Increase the amount of pollution controls. You might not oppose the location of a new facility in your neighborhood outright, but you might want to make sure it has certain equipment to control pollution. You might insist that an existing facility add pollution control equipment if it is allowed to expand.

  • Stop a proposed expansion. Perhaps an existing industrial site -- for instance a sewage treatment plant or diesel bus depot -- wants to expand its operations. You might feel that, based on its present negative effect, an expansion is not in the community's best interest.

  • Complete a health assessment. You and your neighbors might have concerns about the health effects of the pollution produced by a factory, an incinerator or other type of facility in your neighborhood. You might push for a study to determine whether there are clusters of certain diseases such as cancer or asthma in your community and whether they can be linked to any of the sources of pollution there.

  • Shut down an existing facility. In some cases, you might feel that an existing facility is causing such harm to the health and environment of your neighborhood that it should no longer operate there.

  • Alter zoning to prohibit additional harmful development. Some areas already bear a heavy environmental burden. This type of action can stop more polluters from setting up shop in these areas, and can gradually shift land use from, for example, industrial to residential.

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