Cultivando - News Conference on Suncor
Cultivando monitored the air near Suncor for more than a year. They found elevated levels of pollution and radioactive particles. Click the link to watch the video as they share their findings.
Cultivando and environmental justice partners, including members of the community, present findings from the year-long air monitoring project titled AIRE, Air Quality Investigation and Research for Equity, centered around the Suncor Refinery in Commerce City, Colorado.
The community-based research project designed to bring awareness, education, unity, and action around poor air quality in the neighborhood included a mobile monitor routed through different locations every two weeks. Locations were determined by community input and its focus included measuring VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). A stationary monitor was placed near the Suncor refinery and 25 home-based Purple Monitors were placed in Commerce City, Globeville, Elyria and Swansea households, engaging local residents with critical information regarding toxic exposure and impacts to individual and community health and to take action, advocate and demand change.
Cultivando’s Executive Director, Olga Gonzalez stated, “The Suncor oil refinery has been polluting our community for nearly 100 years, even with expired permits. Regulations around acceptable toxic levels must be updated now to prevent further damage to the health and well-being of people who live in proximity to the refinery. The biggest concern of the residents here in Commerce City has been the air quality.”
Those most impacted by toxic exposure absolutely need timely information in culturally congruent ways to take mitigating measures during pollution events such as keeping windows and doors closed and not exercising outside.
The health and wellbeing of local residents demand that the Refinary’s role in polluting the air and the water needs to be addressed. When health is impaired by chronic or life-threatening illness, such as asthma or even cancer, people can not function well at jobs or in school. It is imperative to prioritize people’s health and wellbeing when dealing with toxic chemical exposure.
Gonzalez added, “We’ve had community members who’ve lived here for decades, and we are concerned about the cumulative effect of living under these conditions every single day of their lives.”