When Both Tribe and City Eye a River ; A Virginia Case May Be the First Test of How the Bush Team Interprets 'Environmental Justice.'

By Ron Scherer writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, August 7, 2001 | Go to article overview

When Both Tribe and City Eye a River ; A Virginia Case May Be the First Test of How the Bush Team Interprets 'Environmental Justice.'


Ron Scherer writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


The Mattaponi Indians - which include descendants of Pocahontas - have long considered sacred the river that runs through their reservation in Virginia. The annual shad run, in particular, is of great cultural significance.

"We still fish the waters the same way we taught the early settlers," says Linwood "Little Bear" Custalow, tribe historian. "It's the last part of our living culture that we really have."

Now, however, the city of Newport News, Va., wants to transfer water out of the Mattaponi River to support its growing population. The result is a clash of old and new - ancient religious values and modern water needs - that could set a precedent for how such disputes will be settled in the future.

Indeed, the case may mark the first major test of how the Bush administration interprets issues involving "environmental justice."

President Clinton signed a vague executive order in 1994 that requires consultations with low-income people before large projects can go forward that may effect them.

He made the move after investigators pinpointed what was termed a "cancer alley" in Louisiana, where permits were frequently given to refiners and industries in poor neighborhoods. Later, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission used the order to take a second look at a uranium enrichment plant proposed for the Bayou State. The company ultimately gave up.

But President Bush has made no public statement on whether he'll continue this policy. Now he might have to.

Starting this month, the federal government - in the form of the Army Corps of Engineers - will try to sort out the Mattaponi clash. A preliminary finding by the corps cited environmental justice as one of the reasons to deny Newport News the permit needed to begin the project.

Now, Gen. Stephen Rhoades of the corps in Brooklyn, N.Y., will review the decision, and a 60-day public-comment period will begin.

"The fact that there is a preliminary decision of this sort means there will be a lot of scrutiny of it," says Christopher Foreman, an expert on the issue and a professor at the University of Maryland at College Park. "Activists are looking hard for places where there is some traction and areas where they can generate favorable administrative precedent."

When the Army corps turned the city down, officials in Newport News were stunned. "We tried to work with the Mattaponi and be sensitive from Day 1," says Dave Morris, project manager for the reservoir. He ticks off the things the city has done, from hiring a local tribe member to identifying archaeological sites.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

When Both Tribe and City Eye a River ; A Virginia Case May Be the First Test of How the Bush Team Interprets 'Environmental Justice.'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.