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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Environmental justice is topic of URI colloquium lecture
Sept. 19 event features Boston activist

PROVIDENCE -- September 7, 2001 -- Can the environment be protected without also helping the poor? That’s one question that will be addressed during a lecture by Penn Loh, executive director of Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE), as part of the University of Rhode Island’s fall honors colloquium, "A Just and Sustainable Future: Overcoming Barriers to Action."

The event will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. in Paff Auditorium at URI’s Providence Campus. It is free and open to the public.

Established in 1993 and based in Boston, ACE works in partnership with low income communities to achieve environmental justice. It provides legal and technical support, educational programs, and organizing assistance to community groups throughout New England to solve environmental problems and develop local environmental leadership.

"Low-income communities and communities of color are often the hardest hit by environmental and public health problems like lead contamination, air pollution and hazardous waste dumping. Penn Loh and ACE are playing a key role in helping affected neighborhoods confront these threats," said Deborah Grossman-Garber, co-coordinator of the URI honors colloquium.

Among its many achievements, ACE helped New Bedford’s Hands Across the River Coalition get a voice in decisions made about a local Superfund cleanup, and they helped a variety of groups fight plans to build polluting industrial facilities in their communities. They also convinced the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection of the need to install air monitoring equipment in Dudley Square, and they successfully organized to establish new regulations on solid-waste facilities in the state.

Before joining ACE in 1995, Loh was a research associate at the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security in Oakland, Cal. and a research analyst at the Tellus Institute for Resource and Environmental Strategies in Boston.

In 1996 he was selected to serve on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council’s Health and Research Subcommittee. He currently serves on the boards of the Environmental Support Center and the Environmental Leadership program.

Loh received a master’s degree in environmental science and policy from the University of California at Berkley.

For more information about the many other events of the URI Honors Colloquium, visit, or call the Honors Program at 874-2303.

For Information:Todd McLeish 874-7892

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