|CRSP became involved directly at the area affected on 16th Street and Roeser. This sits approximately 13 minutes by car from downtown Phoenix (photo by Elenia Sotelo).|
|Newspaper clippings (retrieved from www.dontwastearizona.org)|
6205 S. 12th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Concerned Residents of South Phoenix (CRSP) is a community based group that was organized as a result of a toxic chemical fire in south Phoenix. On August 1992, a large facility named Quality Printing Circuit became engulfed in flames on the corner of 16th street and Roeser in south Phoenix, (Brittle, 2008). After the incident, nothing was immediately done to inform residents of the dangers of the event that had occurred. Soon after, illness spread through the community in the forms of rashes, hair loss, heart complications, and respiratory difficulties, among other health concerns. The residents of this area were predominantly African-American and Hispanic and of low-income socioeconomic status (Brittle, 2008). Not being able to individually get answers, community members joined together to form CRSP.
Environmental racism was their primary agenda item. CRSP quickly organized to demand medical assistance in their path of wanting their health restored. As a member of CRSP and a resident of the area, Angel Torrez knew first-hand the issues that the toxic fire posed on his community and decided to become involved. He and many other community residents began protests at the state capital and held community group meetings in order to gain attention from local and statewide representatives (Torrez, 2010).
The United States Environmental Protection Agency granted federal funding to assist the south Phoenix residents that were affected by the chemicals. They were granted federal monies to produce and distribute community newsletters and hold community meetings to keep residents informed on any updated information (Chin, 1997). The funding also assisted with properly decontaminating homes in the area that had been affected by the chemicals. This included checking homes for toxic particles and various types of molds growing that caused health issues. In 2000, the residents of south Phoenix were on a successful path on gaining the environmental justice they fought for.
- Elenia Sotelo, Susie Haslett, and Tomas Robles
Chin, Willard. 1997. Don't Waste Arizona/Concerned Residents of South Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ.
Environmental Justice Small Grants Program. Purdue Research Foundation.
Brittle, Stephen M. 2008. Victims of 1992 Toxic Fire STILL Need Medical Help and a Decontamination of Their Homes. Don’t Waste Arizona, Inc.www.dontwastearizona.org
Torrez, Angel. 2010. Biography/About Angel Torres. Angel Torres: Green Party candidate for State Representative--Legislative District 16. www.angeltorrez.org.