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A bad economy can be responsible for a slew of financial problems and hardships.

Courtesy of thekitchencabinet.us

Maybe you’re struggling to find a job, trying to get by with furlough days or unable to put any money aside as savings; ultimately, we are all forced to do more with less.

But what does a bad economy mean for fenceline communities?  Probably many of the above, but residents in West Oakland, CA are facing an extraordinary challenge as a result of the City’s economic hardships: a clean air solution pulled out from under their feet.

For all of you habitual Airhugger readers out there, you remember the story behind the relocation of the industrial metal recyclers in West Oakland, right?  It’s a win-win solution.  The community, the business and the City all want the recyclers to relocate.  And the City would actually generate revenue by selling this land to the business!

The catch here: the City doesn’t have the money for the upfront costs of infrastructure at this particular industrial site – the former Oakland Army Base.  In other words, the City can no longer afford to build roads, plumbing, electric wiring, etc. at the site, making it not ready for sale, according to the current contract.

Photo taken by STEPHEN LOEWINSOHN

While the City of Oakland struggles to balance its budget, residents in West Oakland are still being exposed to increased air pollution from the same heavy industry that the City promised to relocate over a year ago.

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