Center for Health, Environment, and Justice Records, 1942 -- 2016


Overview

Title: Center for Health, Environment, and Justice Records
Dates: 1942 -- 2016
Bulk Dates: 1985 -- 2010
Creator: Gibbs, Lois
Call Number: MS001
Size: 802.67 Cubic Feet, 1011 Digital Object(s), Of the 1011 digital objects in the collection, 915 represent computer disks from which 43,284 files were extracted, comprising 65.4 GBs of data.
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10427/48172
Location:
    Digital Collections and Archives, Tufts University
    archives@tufts.edu
    http://sites.tufts.edu/dca/

Description

This collection consists of records from the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ), previously called the Citizen's Clearinghouse for Hazardous Wastes, Inc (CCHW). It contains newspaper clippings; government publications; scientific reports; grant applications; publications; administrative documents including financial, personnel, event and project development files; reports; meeting notes and minutes; event agendas; subject files; congressional and legal testimony; speeches; handbooks; media training kits and correspondence concerning environmental, health and public safety issues from 1945 to 2016. The bulk dates for the collection are 1985-2010. The material was created or used in the day to day functions of CHEJ and includes mainly paper records but also some photographs; film and slides; oversize maps and charts; electronic files; grey literature; and government publications. The collection also contains copies of CHEJ's quarterly publication, Everyone's Backyard.

The records relate to CHEJ's work as a grassroots organization promoting the health and well-being of communities faced with environmental threats. The organization was founded by Lois Marie Gibbs in 1981 after her success leading the Love Canal Homeowners Association in the fight to be relocated from a toxic waste site in the Love Canal neighborhood of Niagara Falls, New York. Gibbs' work at Love Canal was instrumental in the passing of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), more commonly known as Superfund. Many of the records relate to Superfund sites and include copies of the National Priorities List and reports from the CERCLA database (CERCLIS).Other major records creators are Stephen Lester, Science Director; and Barbara Sullivan, Ron Davis, Renee Blanchard, Cynthia Smith and Pam Stone, who performed administrative and project management duties.

The collection covers the organization's work from its origins as a clearinghouse for information on environmental issues and follows its growth as a facilitator of change. It also documents CHEJ's role as an educator for other activists and the public on environmental health concerns, leadership, fundraising, and environmental laws and legislation. Some of the major projects represented in the records are the Landfill Moratorium Campaign in 1984, Toxic Merry-Go-Round Campaign in 1985, McToxics Campaign in 1987, Kick Ash Campaign in 1988, Stop Dioxin Campaign in 1995, Child Proofing our Communities in 2000, BE SAFE Campaign in 2002, and the PVC Campaign in 2004.

Arrangement

This collection is organized in twenty-three series: Community newsletters; Main issue files; Library materials; General correspondence; Corporate files; Mini-grant files; Accounting files; Publications; Office files; Convention files; Lois Gibbs files; Board files; Stephen Lester files; Community files; Community reports; Hazardous waste site files; Newsclips; Video and audiotapes; Photographs, graphics, cartoons, and CCHW seal; Development; Special project files; Posters and promotional materials; and Digital records.

Biography/History

The Center for Health, Environment and Justice was founded in 1981 by Lois Marie Gibbs under the name Citizen's Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste, Inc. (CCHW). The organization grew out of Gibbs' experience organizing her community in Love Canal, New York. The Love Canal experience taught her to fight for information and support after discovering her son's elementary school was built on a toxic waste site. Gibbs' experience as a community activist led her to create CCHW to help other citizens in similar situations through grassroots organizing. The early efforts of the organization helped people obtain information and access to tools that would allow them to organize and motivate their communities, resolve their problems, receive compensation and government aid, and understand scientific data in layman's terms.

In their first two years, CCHW performed site visits and developed publicity programs. These programs included films, the Everyone's Backyard newsletter, and direct mail campaigns. In order to understand the issues facing unique communities, they developed a Community Health Profile survey that was circulated to communities exposed to toxic wastes. Membership campaigns and fundraising efforts financed the growth of their organization and led to the creation of leadership development conferences. CCHW hosted these conferences in several states around the country to promote activism and leadership skills around environmental issues.

As CCHW continued to establish itself, it operated as an information clearinghouse for hazardous waste issues. Through their main office in Virginia, they focused on providing topical information on environmental hazards, fundraising practices, and grassroots organizing. They distributed this information through Everyone's Backyard, Action Line and Fact Packs. In 1986, they set up field offices in Texas, Georgia, and Virginia. These field offices coordinated site visits, reviewed Community Leadership Development Grant applications, and kept in contact with local organizers as they worked on projects affecting their community. In these site visits, CCHW staff attended local meetings and offered information, training, scientific analyses, and support. These field offices closed in the early-1990s and the main office absorbed these functions.

In 1997, CCHW changed their name to Citizen's Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste: Center for Health, Environment, and Justice. In 1998, they shortened the name to Center for Health, Environment and Justice. The organization consists of a Board of Directors, an executive director, a science director, and staff for daily administration and project management. The Board of Directors has overseen CHEJ since 1984 and is comprised of community leaders and professionals. They provide supervision of the executive director and review financial and large project efforts. Lois Gibbs is the founder and served as the Executive Director from 1981-2015. Laura Barrett became Executive Director in August 2015. As of 2015, Stephen Lester is the Science Director and he oversees the analysis of test results and research. The science department under his prevue distributes relevant hazardous waste information and CHEJ's interpretation of the research to communities through their informational network. Administrative staff supports the grassroots network through grants, leadership training, communications and correspondence, and conventions like those held in 1989, 1993, and 1997.

CHEJ has led several national campaigns to inform citizens about hazardous waste threats, to put pressure on governmental agencies to affect change, and to increase community involvement in environmental issues. These nationally led campaigns support already established grassroots efforts by raising common issues to a national audience. These campaigns include Landfill Moratorium Campaign in 1984, Toxic Merry-Go-Round Campaign in 1985, McToxics Campaign in 1987, Kick Ash Campaign in 1988, Stop Dioxin Campaign in 1995, Child Proofing our Communities in 2000, BE SAFE Campaign in 2002, and the PVC Campaign in 2004. CHEJ also established partnerships in the environmental activist community that helped create new organizations including Health Care Without Harm.

Following Gibbs' success with the 1980 Superfund legislation, CHEJ continues to influence federal policy regarding environmental health, justice and safety issues. Their McToxics Campaign led to McDonalds ceasing the use of Styrofoam packaging. The Stop Dioxin Campaign raised awareness about dioxin in a national public forum which resulted in increased political pressure for federal change. CHEJ continues to support grassroots activism and networking to promote citizen involvement in improving the health and environment of their communities.

Access and Use

Access Restrictions

This collection contains some restricted material. Specific restrictions are noted in the Detailed Contents List in each series.

Use Restrictions

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see "Reproductions and Use" on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish.

Any intellectual property rights which the donor posseses have not been transferred to Tufts University.

Collection History

Processing Notes

Records on digital media have been stabilized and made available via Box. Note that files were not converted for access and all may not be viewable in Box. Please contact DCA for further details.

Two boxes of Love Canal material from accession 2015.013 were moved to MS063 Lois Gibbs Love Canal papers in November 2015.

In MS001.001: Community newsletters, materials from accession 2015.013 were processed in spring 2015 by Dan Bullman (Archives and Research Assistant), under the supervision of Liz Francis (Records Archivist). Additional community newsletters were found in other series and separated into this series. Newsletters separated from MS001.003 Library materials and MS001.013 Stephen Lester files were arranged and described at the end of the series (boxes 068 and 069) by work-study students under the supervision of Adrienne Pruitt (Collections Management Archivist) in fall 2015.

In MS001.002: Main issue files, a few folders of "to be filed" are included at the end of this series. These were originally found in the final drawer of the filing cabinets. We filed those articles that were already labeled but maintained articles that had been arbitrarily grouped in folders. These folders have been recycled and their titles do not pertain to their contents.

In MS001.003: Library materials, published books that could be easily found in a library were separated from the collection. However, books published by CHEJ or that included mention of or writing by the organization were kept. Second copies are noted when grouped together and triplicate copies were weeded. Publications were placed in folders when they were small and could be easily overlooked among the larger sized publications.

In MS001.004: General correspondence, boxes arrived with two runs of correspondence organized by state, which were interfiled. Additional contact sheets can be found within folders in series 9, Office files. Two boxes (040 and 047a) from accession 2015.013 were separated from MS001.013 Stephen Lester files and integrated into this series in October 2015..

In MS001.005: Corporate files, additional material was found in other series and added to the end of this series.

In MS001.006: Mini-grant files, select files contain personal financial information and should be reviewed before access is granted. One grant application was found in series 13, Stephen Lester files. It is outside the bulk date of the series and may be connected to future accessions.

In MS001.008: Publications, the DCA holds multiple copies of all regular publications, including all holdings of their three primary publications. If slides and photo negatives were attached to proof paper, the originals were photocopied to maintain their arrangement and originals were placed in archival sleeves within folders

In MS001.009: Office files came to the DCA in two accessions. Some boxes contain material from a single creator which is noted in the box title. DCA staff arranged materials by office of origin. The decision was made not to arrange at the folder level because any imposed order would have destroyed contextual information.

In MS001:010: Convention files, banners, and flip chart pages are housed in map cases and the contents of the electronic files were removed from portable media and migrated to more stable file formats. Some files were not readable and these are noted in the item records.

In MS001.011: Lois Gibbs files, records relating to her Love Canal efforts and her activities as a board member on the Environmental Support Center, Love Canal Medical Fund Trust, and LEAF were moved to the Lois Gibbs' Love Canal papers (MS063), also held by the DCA. Lois Gibbs legacy files, acquired in 1995 and originally part of the CHEJ collection, were also moved to MS063.

In MS001.012: Board files, the DCA staff imposed chronological arrangement at the folder level. In accession 2015.013, meeting minutes were retained and described at the box-level. Financial information and documents with personally identifiable information were separated for return to the donor.

In MS001.013: Stephen Lester files, the hazardous waste site files came in two separate state runs that, upon discussion with Lester, were compiled into one. Future accessions may contain further state runs. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) files are arranged alphabetically by committee topic and chronologically within topic. Any NAS subject folders discussed at the meeting are filed before the binder and notes of that meeting. In accession 2015.013, 3.5 cubic feet of decorative posters and maps from technical reports and reviews were separated for return to the donor. Additionally, 15 cubic feet of government publications, photocopies of declassified documents, unsuccessful grant applications, program reviews, travel receipts and itineraries, convention badges and programs, Japanese and Russian language publications, review drafts of publications, and a Thorium Action Group (T.A.G.) button were separated for return to the donor. In consultation with the National Institute of Medicine, embargoed publications and documents from that organization were sent for confidential destruction. 3.5" floppy disks, 5.25" floppy disks, CDs, and DVDs were stabilized by Dan Bullman, Stefana Breitwieser, Steven Gentry, Elizabeth McGorty, Rose Oliveira, Margaret Peachy, Sony Prosper, and Kike Weaver during 2015-2017. The extracted files were processed by Margaret Peachy, Digital Archivist, from Fall 2017-Spring 2018.

In MS001.015: Community reports were arranged in received order. Several duplicate publications were separated for return to the donor.

In MS001.016: Hazardous waste site files, printouts and documents were housed in appropriate folders for preservation.

In MS001.017: Newspaper clippings, this entire series was marked for separation for return to the donor in September-October 2015 because it contained articles from national and local news publications that are widely available in other repositories.

In MS001.018: Video and audiotapes, this series is minimally processed at the container level. 7 audiotapes were added to Box 8 and 6 videotapes were added to Box 9 during additional processing in August 2016.

In MS001.019: Photographs, graphics, cartoons, and CCHW seal, this series was processed in summer 2015 by Dan Bullman. Many of the photographs lacked any identifying information, so Bullman conducted research to identify and arrange. Additional metadata was provided by Stephen Lester and Lois Gibbs during processing. Photo albums and binders were photocopied to show original order, then disassembled for preservation purposes and arranged intellectually with the rest of the photographs during processing. Photographs on digital media have been stabilized.

In MS001.020: Development, grant application files were rehoused from filing cabinets into boxes and left in their received order, which was approximately alphabetical. Donor lists, mailings, and other development files were separated for return to the donor.

In MS001.021: Special project files, 3.5" floppy disks, 5.25" floppy disks, CDs, and DVDs were stabilized by Dan Bullman, Stefana Breitwieser, Steven Gentry, Elizabeth McGorty, Rose Oliveira, Margaret Peachy, Sony Prosper, and Kike Weaver during 2015-2017. The extracted files were processed by Margaret Peachy, Digital Archivist, from Fall 2017-Spring 2018.

In MS001.023: Digital records, 3.5" floppy disks, 5.25" floppy disks, CDs, and DVDs were stabilized by Dan Bullman, Stefana Breitwieser, Steven Gentry, Elizabeth McGorty, Rose Oliveira, Margaret Peachy, Sony Prosper, and Kike Weaver during 2015-2017. The extracted files were processed by Margaret Peachy, Digital Archivist, from Fall 2017-Spring 2018.

This collection was processed from Fall 2011-Summer 2012 by Sarah Gustafson and Erin Faulder, graduate assistants, and supervised by Veronica Martzahl, Records Archivist and Susanne Belovari, Archivist for Reference and Collections.

Materials from accession number 2015.013 were processed by Rose Oliveira, Tim Walsh, and Dan Bullman (Archives and Research Assistants), under the supervision of Liz Francis (Records Archivist) and Adrienne Pruitt (Collections Management Archivist), in 2015. Digital materials were processed by Margaret Peachy (Digital Archivist) Fall 2017-Spring 2018.

Subjects and Genre Terms
  • Cancer--Environmental aspects.
  • Center for Health, Environment and Justice (Falls Church, Va.)
  • Citizen's Clearinghouse for Hazardous Wastes (Arlington, Va.)
  • Dioxins.
  • Dioxins--Environmental aspects.
  • Dioxins--Toxicology.
  • East Liverpool (Ohio)
  • Environmental health.
  • Environmental policy.
  • Environmentalism.
  • Gibbs, Lois Marie
  • Hazardous wastes.
  • Hazardous wastes--Accidents.
  • Hazardous wastes--Accidents—Investigation.
  • Hooker Chemical Corporation.
  • Housing and health--New York (State)--Niagara Falls.
  • Hydraulic fracturing.
  • Lester, Stephen U
  • Love Canal Chemical Waste Landfill (Niagara Falls, N.Y.)
  • Medical wastes.
  • Pesticides--Environmental aspects.
  • Poisons.
  • Polyvinyl chloride.
  • Superfund Program (U.S.)
  • United States. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980.
  • United States. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • WTI Incinerator (East Liverpool, Ohio)
Related Material
  • MS063 Lois Gibbs Love Canal papers, DCA.
  • Vilma R. Hunt papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.
  • Records of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (Record Group 412), National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
  • Love Canal collections, University at Buffalo, State University of New York (SUNY).

Series Description

  1. Community newsletters, 1976 -- 2013

    This series contains newsletters of grassroots and community-based environmental groups. There are hundreds of different groups represented, covering the United States and southern Canada.

  2. Main issue files, 1945 -- 2016

    This series contains newspaper clippings, government publications, and articles on topical issues from 1969 to 2015. CHEJ collected these materials as part of their own research and also received items from concerned citizens. Staff organized materials alphabetically by subject in filing cabinets for use in fact packs and other publications as well as their own reference. Included at the beginning of the series is an index to the files that was not updated after its original creation and does not include everything found within the series.

    Four computer disks were found in this series, and the files have been made available for access via Box. Links to the contents of each disk are in the container list below. Please note that files were not converted for access and all may not be viewable in Box.

  3. Library materials, 1955 -- 2010

    This series contains government publications, environmental organization's publications, scientific reports, and other "gray" literature pertaining to environmental issues from 1968 to 2005. These materials were collected and maintained by CHEJ and used for reference and research in the course of business. Topics include air pollution, Superfund sites, hazardous waste cleanup techniques, nuclear waste, drinking water contamination, EPA oversight, solid waste disposal and incineration, pesticides, Clean Air Act, toxic chemicals, waste transportation safety, water pollution, mill waste, national toxicology reports on carcinogens, and OSHA cancer hearings.

  4. General correspondence, 1978 -- 2003

    This series contains contact sheets and general correspondence from 1978 to 1993. CHEJ used contact sheets from 1981 to 2001. These were forms used to track membership information and include names, dues paid, environmental interests, and any affiliation with other local environmental organizations. CHEJ staff used these forms to help organize their member resources. Also included is correspondence from 1978 to 1996 between concerned members of the public and CHEJ. Topics of correspondence include requests for information on specific issues, alerts to environmental issues in correspondent's area, letters from children expressing their thoughts on environmental problems, missives directed to Lois Gibbs regarding her experience at Love Canal, and thank you letters for events CHEJ funded and hosted.

  5. Corporate files, 1965 -- 2011

    This series contains informational files on corporate polluters of interest to CHEJ from 1968 to 2004, with the bulk of the material dated between 1980 and 1996. The first box contains general information on types of corporate polluters and topics within corporate pollution. The remaining boxes contain information on specific corporations and their impact on the environment and/or public health. Folders contain media clippings, company-sponsored promotional literature, and other information relating to each corporation. Records were used for reference questions received from community members and their own research.

  6. Mini-grant files, 1988 -- 1999

    This series contains grant applications from grassroots environmental organizations seeking funding from CHEJ and the grant committee's notes regarding the applications from 1989-1998. Select files contain personal financial information and should be reviewed before access is granted.

  7. Accounting files, circa 1981 -- 2008

    This series contains financial information relating to CHEJ as an organization and to its employees. Records include annual reports, expenses, budgets, income and payroll statements, financial forms, consulting and auditing materials, calendars and planning documents, bank statements, and other materials.

  8. Publications, 1979 -- 2013

    This series contains publications written and published by CHEJ, including Everyone's Backyard (EBY), Action Line, Environmental Health Monthly, copies of Fact Packs, and other specialized publications from 1982-2013. DCA holds multiple copies of all regular publications, including a complete run of their three primary publications available in the DCA reading room.

    Everyone's Backyard is CHEJ's quarterly newsletter to provide information about environmental organizing, highlight stories of successes and struggles of other environmental groups, promote large-scale events, and circulate information about CHEJ's activities. This series contains the production, editing, and draft files of EBY volumes 1-5 (1982-1987), 8 (1990), 10-31 (1992-2013). Currently missing from the series are the production, editing, and draft files of EBY volumes 6-7, (1988-1989) and 9 (1991). Volume 8 records were found in the newsclipping series, which was weeded. Not all issues are represented.

    The Action Line began as a newsletter, separate from EBY, in September 1983 and had 24 individual issues. It highlights local environmental calls-to-action and news releases around the United States with occasional international contributions. It became a component section within EBY in 1989. Action Line production files were interfiled chronologically with EBY production files. Records include newspaper clippings, letters from local environmental activists about their events, and production drafts of the newsletter.

    Environmental Health Monthly ran from 1988-1999 on a predominantly monthly basis. It abstracted and printed "interesting articles on environmental health in their entirety." The series contains almost a full run of the Environmental Health Monthly, but is missing Volume 6 no. 1 and Volume 6 no. 10.

    The series also contains Fact Packs from 1983 to 2013. These publications contain information on specific subjects related to environmental and health concerns, or company profiles. There are also Fact Packs on topics related to running a non-profit organization, including working with lawyers and fundraising. These publications were sold via mail-order to interested members. Also contained in this series are books written by CHEJ staff or containing information about CHEJ. Copies of many short-run publications like the Health Care without Harm series, the Childproofing Our Communities Campaign primer, Stop Dioxin Exposure Campaign materials, annual reports, and convention packets are also included in this series.

    Four computer disks were found in this series, and the files have been made available for access via Box. Links to the contents of each disk are in the container list below. Please note that files were not converted for access and all may not be viewable in Box.

    1. 8.1. Everyone's Backyard/Action Line, 1982 -- 2013

      This subseries includes published issues and production files of Everyone's Backyard and Action Line. Everyone's Backyard is CHEJ's quarterly newsletter to provide information about environmental organizing, highlight stories of successes and struggles of other environmental groups, promote large-scale events, and circulate information about CHEJ's activities. This series contains the production, editing, and draft files of EBY volumes 1-5 (1982-1987), 8 (1990), 10-31 (1992-2013). Currently missing from the series are the production, editing, and draft files of EBY volumes 6-7, (1988-1989) and 9 (1991). Volume 8 records were found in the newsclipping series, which was weeded. Not all issues are represented.

      The Action Line began as a newsletter, separate from EBY, in September 1983 and had 24 individual issues. It highlights local environmental calls-to-action and news releases around the United States with occasional international contributions. It became a component section within EBY in 1989. Action Line production files were interfiled chronologically with EBY production files. Records include newspaper clippings, letters from local environmental activists about their events, and production drafts of the newsletter.

    2. 8.2. Environmental Health Monthly, 1988 -- 1999

      This subseries contains issues of Environmental Health Monthly. Environmental Health Monthly ran from 1988-1999 on a predominantly monthly basis. It abstracted and printed "interesting articles on environmental health in their entirety." The series contains almost a full run of the Environmental Health Monthly, but is missing Volume 6 no. 1 and Volume 6 no. 10.

    3. 8.3. Fact Packs, 1981 -- 2012

      This subseries contains Fact Packs from 1983 to 2013. These publications contain information on specific subjects related to environmental and health concerns, or company profiles. There are also Fact Packs on topics related to running a non-profit organization, including working with lawyers and fundraising. These publications were sold via mail-order to interested members.

    4. 8.4. Annual reports, 1986 -- 2007

      This subseries contains annual reports created by CHEJ.

    5. 8.5. Other publications, 1979 -- 2010

      This subseries contains other publications written by CHEJ or containing information about CHEJ, including books, convention packets, and short-run publications from initiatives such as the Health Care without Harm Series, Childproofing our Communities Campaign, and Stop Dioxin Exposure Campaign.

  9. Office files, 1968 -- 2014

    This series contains the office files from CHEJ's main office and field offices in Virginia, Georgia, and Texas. It contains contact sheets, event planning materials, financial documents, personnel files, evaluation forms, reports, meeting notes and agendas, job announcements and resumes, subject/topic specific files, memorandums, and correspondence. Main office records documents CHEJ's administrative actions as an organization whereas field office files primarily document regional projects and activities. Some folders in this series are empty, as indicated in the notes field at the item level.

    Main office files also include the organizing records from the science department and specific environmental campaigns. The science department, headed by Stephen Lester, dealt with research of environmental issues. Specific campaigns include Childproofing Our Communities, which made schools and communities aware of environmental threats affecting children, and short-term campaigns like Forgotten Faces, Children and Family Stress Project, and BE SAFE. Another ongoing project was the Stop Dioxin Exposure Campaign and additional information about this project can be found in Series 21: Special project files.

    Field office files contain staff notes, reports, articles, newsletters, grant applications, subject files, and administrative records of that field office. When the field offices were closed in the early 1990s, records were boxed and shipped to the main CHEJ office, where they remained untouched until transfer to the DCA.

    Individual creators include Barbara Sullivan at the main office, Ron Davis and Renee Blanchard in the science department, Cynthia Smith at the Georgia field office (who later transferred to the main office), Pam Stone at the Texas field office, and Pete Cattelli at the Virginia field office (who later transferred to the main office). Additional individual record creators include C. Brody, Maryll Kleibrink, D. Asselin, M. Roberts, Monica Rohde, Larry Yates, M. Bullock, Luella Kenny and Crista Peterson.

    Seventeen computer disks were found in this series, and the files have been made available for access via Box. Links to the contents of each disk are in the container list below. Please note that files were not converted for access and all may not be viewable in Box.

  10. Convention files, 1981 -- 1997

    This series contains files pertaining to Grassroots Conventions held by CHEJ in 1989, 1993, and 1997. The files are organized by convention date and contain registration forms, correspondence, agendas, planning notes, and drafts of speeches and papers. Conventions were events planned and executed by CHEJ staff and attended by members and citizens interested in environmental organizing. Workshops were given based on topics and organizing strategies. This series also contains two banners, five flip-chart pages, and electronic files from the 1997 convention.

    Seven computer disks were found in this series, and the files have been made available for access via Box. Links to the contents of each disk are in the container list below. Please note that files were not converted for access and all may not be viewable in Box.

  11. Lois Gibbs files, 1978 -- 2015

    This series contains Lois Gibbs' files pertaining to her work as a member of CHEJ's Board of Directors and as the Executive Director from 1979 to 2013. Records include board meeting minutes, CHEJ memoranda, correspondence, technical research files, congressional testimonies, speeches, and budget information.

  12. Board files, 1981 -- 2012

    This series contains the Board of Directors meeting minutes, notes, and associated documentation from 1984 to 2008. Also included are yearly financial statements and audit reports from 1985 to 2007. Access is restricted for 20 years from date of creation. Specific folders may have additional restrictions. The minutes discuss planning and direction of the organization, including the decision to change their name from Citizens Clearinghouse for Hazardous Wastes to Center for Health, Environment and Justice (see MS001.012.006b).

  13. Stephen Lester files, 1953 -- 2016

    This series contains the files of Stephen Lester, Science Director at CHEJ. The files contain correspondence, articles, legal documents, scientific reports, analysis and notes on hazardous waste sites, and subject files from 1979 to 2001. It also contains notes from scientific advisory committees from 1989 to 2004, and materials from other organizations with which Lester was involved.

    The first group within the series contains technical reports and test results on hazardous waste sites, arranged alphabetically by state. These technical reports were predominantly sent to the science department, led by Lester, by citizens concerned with hazardous sites in their communities. CHEJ assessed reports, test results, and techniques in order to provide more information and clear explanations to community activists for their local efforts. Also included is a collection of local maps and technical drawings depicting the location of hazardous waste sites.

    Groups 002-005 within the series contain Lester's records documenting his service on scientific advisory and peer review committees with the Natural Resource Council of the National Academy of Sciences. These committees include: the Subcommittee on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels; the Subcommittee on Fluoride in Drinking Water; Committee on Intrinsic Remediation of Contaminants in Subsurface Environments; Committee on Assessment of Risk from Remediation of PCB-Contaminated Sediment; Committee on Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites; and the Subcommittee on Zinc-Cadmium Sulfide. Files include committee agendas and accompanying materials, Lester's notes and research files on chemical compounds, drafts of committee reports, and some memos and correspondence about meeting times and locations.

    Subject files, group 006, are related to a variety of projects and topics that were of interest to Lester, such as the National Toxicity Program and the Keystone Center conference.

    Correspondence, group 007, also includes some notebooks. Of particular note is Lester's correspondence with international activists in Germany.

    Groups 008-011 contain files related to Lester's consultation and involvement in the Science and Environmental Health Network (SEHN); the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers (OCAW); the National Institute of Environmental Health (NIEH); and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

    Group 012 contains files from the 98 computer disks that were found in this series, and the files have been made available for access via Box. Links to the contents of each disk are in the container list below. Please note that files were not converted for access and all may not be viewable in Box.

  14. Community Files

    This series contains publications, correspondence, reports, data, and other materials relating to CHEJ's work on various environmental safety issues by state.

  15. Community reports, 1976 -- 2010

    This series contains reports, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, and other publications written by organizations throughout the United States. These organizations include federal government units, such as the US Environmental Protection Agency, state and local governments, non-profit organizations, and other environmental interest groups. The publications in this series cover a broad spectrum of environmental issues, such as the disposition of hazardous wastes, pollution of rivers and streams, the negative impact of toxics on human health, and many other subjects.

  16. Hazardous waste site files, 1974 -- 2007

    This series contains information pertaining to Hazardous Waste Sites across territories monitored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The series begins with files relating to hazardous waste sites outlined by the EPA, alphabetized by state. These files date from 1974-2004 and include Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Information System (CERCLIS) print outs, National Priorities Lists (NPL), Title III documentation, Potential Responsible Parties (PRP) lists, as well as correspondence, general transactions, and site information. The last two boxes contain a printout of the EPA's Potential Responsible Parties National Priorities list from November 12, 1990, and a 1993 print out of the CERCLIS list alphabetized by state.

  17. News clips, circa 1980 -- 1997

    This series contains newsclippings from various publications relating to CCHHW's and CHEJ's activities, including Lois Gibbs's Stop Dioxin Exposure Tour.

  18. Video and audiotapes, 1985 -- 2005

    This series contains video and audiotapes in a variety of formats, including VHS, Beta, UMatic, CD, DVD, and audiocassette, that document a wide variety of environmental issues and events. Topics are wide-ranging and include labor movement issues, toxic chemicals and hazardous wastes, pollution, Superfund sites, town meetings, award ceremonies, PVC, dioxin, and the environmental disaster at Love Canal in Niagara Falls, NY. Materials also vary in origin and copyright status: some were produced or filmed by CCHW/CHEJ, while some were produced by other non-profit organizations, commercial entities, and news organizations. The audiocassettes mainly contain audio interviews about environmental issues.

    Unidentified slides found in this series were relocated to MS001.019.001.004.00004. CDs, DVDs and 5.25" floppy disks were relocated to MS001.023, Digital records.

  19. Photographs, graphics, cartoons and official seal, 1978 -- 2010

    This series contains print and digital photographs, contact sheets, negatives, color slides, and graphics and cartoons that visually document the activities of CCHW/CHEJ. It also includes the official CCHW seal.

    The bulk of the photographs in the series date from 1985-2000. CCHW was involved in a number of local and national environmental campaigns throughout the United States, Germany, Puerto Rico, and Canada throughout this time period. The photographs in this series represent such events as the Dumpbusters campaign against Waste Technologies Industries (WTI) in East Liverpool, Ohio; protests against the proposed resettlement of the toxic land in Love Canal, NY; protests against the proposed landfill in Eagle Mountain, CA; and many others. There are a number of photographs from the Love Canal environmental disaster of the late 1970s and early 1980s, as well as photographs of the abandoned neighborhood in the 1990s and 2000s. CHEJ organized against Governor Cuomo's efforts to resettle the Love Canal neighborhood in the early 2000s.

    Additionally, there are graphics and cartoons that were produced for publication in CHEJ's newsletter, Everyone's Backyard. Also included are drafts of graphics and cartoons that may not have been published.

    Two computer disks were found in this series, and the files have been made available for access via Box. Links to the contents of each disk are in the container list below. Please note that files were not converted for access and all may not be viewable in Box.

    1. 19.1. Photographs, 1978 -- 2010
    2. 19.2. Graphics, cartoons, and official seal, 1985 -- 2000
    3. 19.3. Digital photographs, 2004 -- 2005

      This sub-series contains digital photographs of events with which CHEJ staff were involved, such as a nuclear power protest near Lake Anna, and charity events at which Lois Gibbs spoke.

  20. Development, 1985 -- 2010

    This series contains grant applications and correspondence related to funding opportunities that CHEJ pursued, as well as some mixed material related to CHEJ's mini-grants programs (see also MS001.006, Mini-grant files). The majority of the records date from 1985-2000. The records are a mix of files relating to successful and unsuccessful grant opportunities. CHEJ pursued grant opportunities for a number of reasons, seeking to hire organizers, to upgrade outdated technology and computer systems, and to embark on new projects, among many other reasons; this is reflected in the records throughout the series.

  21. Special project files, 1942 -- 2015

    Special project files contain audiovisual materials, clippings, conference materials, correspondence, digital files, handbooks, media training kits, minutes, newsletters, notes, office files, photographs, program development plans, and technical reports, pertaining to CHEJ's special projects. The bulk of the series dates from 1970 to 2010 and contains materials created for national campaigns focused on preventing harm, promoting children's health, and protecting consumers from hazardous products. CHEJ spearheaded these campaigns and provided support to local organizations with technical and scientific assistance, training on organizing and leadership, and informational materials.

    Significant topics represented in these files include: research on toxic chemicals and its effects on the environment and people; the impacts of incineration, particularly in the healthcare industry; large national campaigns for children's environmental safety; health studies collected on communities affected by toxic waste; conference and roundtable materials on key environmental issues like dioxin and environmental justice; resources for grass roots organizing; and the development of environmental leadership training. The goals of the projects as well as the coordinators who helped organize these projects were often closely connected; therefore, overlap exists in these series. For example, after a 1996 conference on dioxin was held in Baton Rouge, thirty-five organizations formed Health Care without Harm, a coalition to transform the healthcare industry and eliminate its harmful emissions. Material related to Health Care without Harm can be found in the medical and hazardous waste (MS001.021.003), the dioxin group (MS001.021.013) and in some of the subject files.

    Sixty-one computer disks were found in this series, and the files have been made available for access via Box. Links to the contents of each disk are in the container list below. Please note that files were not converted for access and all may not be viewable in Box.

  22. Posters and promotional materials, 1980 -- 2016

    This series contains posters, fliers, awards, banners, and stickers documenting environmental activism, as well as oversize negatives from issues of Everybody's Backyard, drafts and mockups of CHEJ posters and publications, a framed profile of Lois Gibbs in the Washington Post, a framed poster of the National Campaign Against Toxic Hazards People's Bill of Rights, and posters from CHEJ offices including portraits of politicians and scenes from Love Canal. The bulk of the materials in this series date from 1986-2001. Promotional materials created by CCHW and CHEJ, such as convention posters and stickers, are present alongside materials created by other organizations. Many of the posters promote events that were aimed at raising awareness about the health risks of dioxin. Also included are two aerial photographs of the largest toxic waste landfill in the United States; the landfill is owned by Chemical Waste Management and it is located in Emelle, Alabama.

  23. Digital records, 1979 -- 2008

    This series contains files extracted from 631 5.25" and 3.5" floppy disks, zip disks, CDs, DVDs, and two hard drives. The digital files contain news articles, fundraising lists, strategic documents, meeting minutes, progress reports, member lists, grant proposals, organizational histories, and other working documents that demonstrate the activities of CCHW/CHEJ.

    The files have been made available for access via Box. Links to the contents of each disk are in the container list below. Please note that files were not converted for access and all may not be viewable in Box.

  24. 2017 accession, 1989 -- 2003

    This series contains files extracted from 91 5.25" and 3.5" floppy disks. The digital files represent working documents that demonstrate the activities of CCHW/CHEJ.



View Online Materials

Some of the materials from this collection are available online. Not all materials have necessarily been digitized.