Councilmember McDuffie’s Years of Work on Environmental Justice Issues Earn a Win for Ward 5 Residents

This legal action by the Office of the Attorney General highlights Councilmember McDuffie’s legislative and constituent services work to address pollution, air and water quality and environmental justice for Ward 5 residents.

For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 14th, 2021

Contact: Jonathan McNair, 202-288-0714, jmcnair@dccouncil.us

Washington, DC – Tuesday, the Office of the Attorney General announced a $350,000 settlement with the owners of 2201 Channing St., LLC for years of violating DC environmental laws. The settlement comes from a lawsuit alleging that this company, and the businesses operated on the property, improperly stored hazardous waste and allowed used oil to spill and leak into District storm sewers and other public spaces. This ruling highlights years of legislative and constituent services work by Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie to better utilize industrial land in Ward 5, impose stricter penalties on polluters, and achieve environmental justice.

“This settlement is a victory for Ward 5 residents who have suffered serious health and environmental consequences resulting from industrial pollution,” said Councilmember McDuffie. “Since my first day in office, I have fought to address longstanding land use and planning policies and practices that have systematically been clustered in black communities. This settlement is encouraging, but we must continue to demand true environmental justice for all DC families and ensure every resident lives in a safe and healthy community.”

Councilmember McDuffie thanks Attorney General Racine and his team for their efforts in winning this settlement.

Councilmember McDuffie’s prior and ongoing work related to industrial land use and environmental justiceinclude:

• Creating the Industrial Land Transformation Task Force that produced Ward 5 Works, a strategy to transform 1,000 acres of industrial land in Ward 5and create a hub of green, food, tech and creative businesses that creates jobs, community amenities and better environmental performance for District residents.

• Introducing legislation that strengthened air pollution enforcement and imposed larger fines for violating air quality laws.

• Working closely with DOEE to cite violators of environmental laws brought forward by constituents.

• Seeking closure, through eminent domain, of the W St trash transfer station in Brentwood that reduces air quality and takes up space better used for other purposes.

• Championing racial equity legislation such as the REACH Act that seeks to ensure a resident’s race is no longer a predictor of their success.