In December 2019, Diane Wilson won a landmark case against Formosa Plastics, one of the world’s largest petrochemical companies, for the illegal dumping of toxic plastic waste on Texas’ Gulf Coast. The $50 million settlement is the largest award in a citizen suit against an industrial polluter in the history of the US Clean Water Act.
Nalleli Cobo led a coalition to permanently shut down a toxic oil-drilling site in her community at the age of 19. She and her community went on to push the city of Los Angeles to ban new oil exploration and phase out existing sites.
In September 2019, Sharon Lavigne, a special education teacher turned environmental justice advocate, successfully stopped the construction of a US$1.25 billion plastics manufacturing plant alongside the Mississippi River in St. James Parish, Louisiana.
Leydy Pech, an indigenous Mayan beekeeper, successfully halted Monsanto’s planting of genetically modified soybeans in southern Mexico.
Linda Garcia organized Fruit Valley residents to stop the construction of the Tesoro Savage oil export terminal in Vancouver, Washington, in February 2018. Her activism safeguarded residents from harmful air pollution and protected the environment of the Columbia River Gorge.
LeeAnne Walters led a citizens’ movement that tested the tap water in Flint, Michigan, and exposed the Flint water crisis.
Born and raised in a family of community activists, mark! Lopez pushed government officials to provide comprehensive lead testing and cleanup of East Los Angeles homes contaminated by a battery smelter that had been operating on temporary pollution permits for over three decades.
In a community whose environmental rights had long been sidelined to make room for heavy industry, Destiny Watford inspired residents of a Baltimore neighborhood to defeat plans to build the nation’s largest incinerator less than a mile away from her high school.
A former chief of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, Marilyn Baptiste led her community in defeating one of the largest proposed gold and copper mines in British Columbia that would have destroyed Fish Lake—a source of spiritual identity and livelihood for the Xeni Gwet’in.
Kimberly Wasserman led local residents in a successful campaign to shut down two of the country’s oldest and dirtiest coal plants—and is now transforming Chicago’s old industrial sites into parks and multiuse spaces.