Environmental Racism in Chester

The Law Center first got involved in fighting the environmental injustice in Chester in 1993, when we partnered with the community activist group Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living (CRCQL) to stop the proliferation of waste facilities in the city and to begin to reduce toxic emissions poisoning the community. Our first of many actions in Chester was a 1993 lawsuit to stop the opening of the Thermal Pure infectious waste processing facility, which planned to process almost 300 tons of waste per day. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (DER) granted the permit even though the plans exceeded DER’s own limits by a factor of ten. In 1995, we convinced the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to finally revoke Thermal Pure’s permit, forcing the plant to close.