1997 – Present
Since 1997, ACAT has successfully advanced local, state, national, and international actions to protect people from harmful chemical exposures and to safeguard our air, water, and food.
Organizing & Advocacy
- Engage thousands of Alaskans through our organizing and Integrated Voter Engagement programs, including canvasses, get-out-the-vote activities, public events (lectures, films, arts events), workshops, leadership, and volunteer training.
- Serve as host to high school, undergraduate, and graduate student interns.
- Conduct leadership trainings, including Indigenous Women and Girls Leadership Trainings and Gatherings.
- Created an organic gardening program and Yarducopia, including educational workshops, and creation of shared and community gardens.
- Play key role in coalitions including Just Transition Collective, Environmental Justice and Health Alliance, Environmental Justice Leadership Forum, Coming Clean, Safer States, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, Mind the Store, and IPEN (International Pollutants Elimination Network).
- Conduct human rights trainings for youth and adults.
- Train and coordinate the Global Indigenous Women’s Caucus for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
- Organize community environmental health fairs.
- Organize lecture series on Children’s Environmental Health, Reproductive Justice/Health, and Breast Cancer Prevention.
- Earn state, national, and international media coverage including New York Times, Guardian, Democracy Now, National Geographic, statewide public radio, newspapers, and television.
Science & Community-Based Participatory Research
- Conduct community-based research to investigate threats to environmental and public health and hold military and industrial polluters accountable.
- Publish papers in the scientific peer-reviewed literature, GIS maps, fact sheets, and investigative reports.
- Serve as a resource for communities and workers—respond to hundreds of requests each year for assistance, work to achieve systemic change and transform our broken system of environmental and public health laws.
- Organize the Alaska Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE-AK)—from 2005 to present, we host educational webinars with eminent scientists, community and policy experts, and journalists.
- Organize college-credited community-based Environmental Health Research Institute.
- Conduct Community Air Monitoring Training.
- Achieved passage of a precedent-setting policy by the Anchorage School District requiring least-toxic approach to pest management (2000).
- Won passage of pesticide-right-to-know ordinance in Anchorage (2005).
- Achieved statewide pesticide right-to-know law for schools (2001) and statewide right-to-law for public parks and facilities (2005).
- Successfully prevented the aerial spraying of herbicides in southeast Alaska and along transportation rights of way. Prevented uncontrolled herbicide applications by the Alaska Railroad.
- Achieved passage of the Pesticide-Free Anchorage ordinance (2017)
- Worked with Municipality and Healthy Babies Bright Futures to establish Anchorage as a Bright City with the purpose of reducing children’s exposures to neurodevelopmental toxicants. Trained hundreds of childcare providers and exchanged toxic nap mats.
- With labor union UNITE HERE Local 878, achieved passage of an ordinance in Anchorage to protect workers and the public from exposure to toxic mold (2017).
- Contributed significantly to passage of an ordinance in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough to prevent the use of toxic sewage sludge on agricultural lands (2017).
- Played a key role in passage of an ordinance in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough to prevent dumping of toxic construction waste in landfills (2017)
- Helped support the rights of transgender people in defeating Proposition 1 in Anchorage (2018).
- Achieved passage of a landmark ordinance banning four classes of toxic flame-retardant chemicals from children’s products, furniture, and mattresses in Anchorage (2019).
- Support Citizens for Clean Air, community-based air quality monitoring, and legal challenges for clean air in Fairbanks.
- Achieved introduction of the Toxic-Free Children’s Act, hearings, passage through the Senate, House Bill 27 (2019-2020).
- Achieved introduction of and hearings on PFAS legislation to protect drinking water and public health, House Bill 171 and Senate Bill 121 (2021-2022).
- Actively work to prevent destructive coal and metals mines, oil and gas development, and minimize harm from existing extractive industries.
- Conduct on going work to ensure reform and implementation of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act to protect vulnerable populations.
- Initiate litigation to uphold environmental and public health laws including the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund law), Toxic Substances Control Act, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
- Address the vulnerability of the north and Arctic to the interconnected harms associated with climate change, chemicals, and plastics to prompt leadership and meaningful action from elected officials.
- Instrumental in achieving global bans on chemicals that are ubiquitous and harming Arctic ecosystems and Indigenous Peoples through work on the negotiation and implementation of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Pollutants.
Publication of Investigative Reports
- Nuclear Flashback: radiation leakage from the world’s largest underground nuclear test site at Amchitka and its effects on the workers—garnered national media attention and helped achieve a medical surveillance and compensation program for the Amchitka workers (1996).
- Nuclear Reactor at Fort Greely: exposed the radioactive leakage and use of the reactor to make weapons grade plutonium and effects on workers (2000).
- Contaminants in Wildlife and People of St. Lawrence Island (2002).
- Community Right-to-Know Report (2002).
- Incineration and Dioxins in Alaska (2002).
- Military Superfund Sites in Alaska (2003).
- Investigation and advocacy for the oil spill cleanup workers harmed by the Exxon Valdez oil spill (2003).
- Red Dog and Subsistence: Analysis of Reports on Elevated Levels of Heavy Metals in Plants Used for Subsistence Near Red Dog Mine, Alaska (2004).
- Formerly Used Defense Sites in the Norton Sound Region (2006).
- Lindane: Pharmaceutical and Agricultural Alternatives—A Report to the United Nations (2009).
- Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Arctic—Report to the United Nations (2009).
- Coal Combustion Waste in Alaska (2011).
- Coal Dust in Alaska: Hazards to Public Health (2014).
- Environmental Health Bulletins on Reproductive Health and Environment (2012); Diabetes (2008); Breast Cancer and the Environment (2017).
- Children’s Environmental Health in Alaska and the Circumpolar North (2017).
- Threats to Drinking Water and Public Health in Alaska - The Scope of the PFAS Problem, Consequences of Regulatory Inaction, and Recommendations (2019).
- Alaska Community Water Quality Report: PFAS Contamination of Municipality of Anchorage and Fairbanks North Star Borough Waters (2023)