Green Cleaning Workshop in Kalskag, Alaska
Working together at the community level is one of the most effective ways that we can reduce our exposure to harmful chemicals and protect Alaska’s fish and wildlife.
Alaska Community Action on Toxics works with communities to conduct research, hold polluters accountable, and prompt local policies that prevent chemical exposures. We also work to support healthy workplaces and to develop and implement least-toxic best practices in schools, hospitals and other public facilities.
ACAT supports community action to:
- Prevent industry and the military from conducting polluting activities and hold polluters accountable for hazardous waste left behind;
- Encourage local governments, state government, and the federal government to adopt protective policies that reduce and eliminate exposures to toxic chemicals;
- Work with school boards to pass policies that will protect children and workers from toxic exposures at school;
- Work with health care facilities to reduce the use of harmful chemicals in the healthcare setting to make clinics and hospitals safer for healthcare workers and patients; and
- Conduct health surveys, environmental sampling, biomonitoring studies, and other community-based participatory research to better understand sources of contamination and determine priority actions.
How Can ACAT Help Your Community?
ACAT assists communities that are facing chemical pollution from mining and military activities, landfills, open dumpsites, and other sources. We also offer technical assistance to people who are concerned about harmful chemical exposure in the workplace.
If you suspect that exposure to chemicals from a nearby source is affecting the health of people in your community, or harming fish, wildlife, or waterways, we want to hear from you. We may be able to help.
Please contact us to discuss your community’s needs and how we can help.
Everyone has the right to know about chemicals that we are exposed to in our air, water, foods, and in the products that we use. Alaska Community Action on Toxics asserts community right-to-know as a basic right of all people. We work to ensure full disclosure and access to information because this provides a vital tool for participatory democracy. Knowing about the chemicals we are exposed to can enlighten decisions to protect public health and the environment.
Examples of ACAT’s Community Right-To-Know work:
- Supported amendments to the Municipality of Anchorage pesticide ordinance to improve public notification of pesticide sprayings in public parks, playing fields, and buildings. Amendments to the ordinance increased time of notification from at least 24 hours before application to “at least 48 hours before application” and enlarged the area to be notified to include residential and commercial properties within 150 feet of the property to be treated.
- Worked with Alaska Youth for Environmental Action to raise awareness about the use of pesticides in the Anchorage School District (ASD), resulting in the establishment of a least toxic pest management policy. The ASD policy requires the district to use non-chemical pest prevention and control measures first, with pesticides used only as a last resort and it requires notification to students, parents/ guardians and staff if a facility is to receive pesticide treatment.
- Compelled the State of Alaska to implement pesticide right-to-know regulations requiring public notification for pesticide applications in all of Alaska’s public schools.
- Supported an EPA Proposed Rule to increase public availability of the identities of the “inert” ingredients in pesticide products.
- Worked to raise awareness about pollution from Red Dog Mine, the world’s largest zinc mine. Red Dog Mine, located in northwest Alaska is the single largest polluter in the nation, releasing four times more pollution than any other U.S. facility according to the annual Toxics Release Inventory. Mine workers and people living downstream have the right to know about the chemicals that are released into the air, water, and land as a result of Red Dog Mine’s activities.