Agricultural production in the United States provides numerous economic contributions from the national scale to the local, providing farmworker and laborer jobs for hundreds of thousands of people . Unfortunately, conventional agricultural operations are often associated with pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, which can cause environmental degradation and health problems. Large-scale conventional agriculture is often using pesticide, herbicide, and fertilizer intensive, and these chemicals may contaminate natural environments, harming wildlife, and degrading water quality. When contamination incidents occur, government agencies and non-profit organizations respond in various ways, including environmental remediation. These efforts can be successful in restoring water quality and improving biodiversity. But, what happens when clean-up efforts are able to improve the physical environment but do not address human health? We use the case of Lake Apopka, Florida, to analyze a case of agricultural contamination that resulted in damage to the environment and the health of the farmworkers who were exposed to these harmful chemicals. Our analysis explores how government agencies and non-profit organizations were successful in their conservation efforts, but failed to help the farmworkers and other people who were sick as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals. We conclude with recommendations for policy makers and environmentalists to better address and include marginalized or vulnerable communities in environmental remediation projects.
Balancing Environmental Remediation, Environmental Justice, and Health Disparities: the Case of Lake Apopka, Florida
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Anne Saville, Alison Adams; Balancing Environmental Remediation, Environmental Justice, and Health Disparities: the Case of Lake Apopka, Florida. Case Studies in the Environment 31 December 2019; 3 (1): 1–7. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/cse.2018.001610
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