Is it just me, or are the blogs helping to drive the agenda when it comes to front-page news? A couple of months ago, we posted about the environmental justice movement in Rhode Island. Alex Moore has posted extensively about it at Rhode Island’s Future. Now it’s front-page news at the Projo. I guess this is what’s called being part of the wave of change. From the Projo’s environmental writer, Peter B. Lord:
New school on polluted site energizes environmental coalition
No matter which way you look from inside the city’s new Adelaide High School in the Reservoir Triangle neighborhood, the views aren’t good.
Out back, a tall chainlink fence encloses a huge pile of debris. Off to the side, several acres between the school and Mashapaug Pond are also fenced off and signs warn people to keep out.
The front of the school faces an empty Stop & Shop supermarket and parking lot. Inside the store, crews are drilling through the concrete floor so they can test for contaminants in the soils underneath.
Adelaide assistant principal John O. Craig, supervising students at the end of a recent school day, points to the ductwork designed to pull toxic gases from the soil and direct them away from classrooms. He thinks the school is safe, but barely adequate for his students.
“We’re doing the best we can with what we have,” says Craig. “But I’d just like to get a ball field and a running track for my students.”
The only other place in Rhode Island where a school has been built on contaminated land is just a short way up Route 10, also in Providence. The city built a middle school and an elementary school on a closed landfill off Springfield Street. The School Department continually vents harmful gases and fills places where soils and walks have caved in. [full text]