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Texan wins 'Green Nobel' for cleaning up hometown

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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-11 09:57 AM
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Texan wins 'Green Nobel' for cleaning up hometown

(04-11) 04:00 PDT Port Arthur, Texas -- The public housing project where Hilton Kelley was born and raised sits in the shadows of two refineries that belch toxic chemicals into the air.

His mother moved him away from Carver Terrace long ago, but he is still here, waging what seems to be a one-man crusade in one of the nation's most polluted places. With many of this Gulf Coast town's poorest residents suffering from asthma, skin irritations and cancer, he has neither forgotten nor forgiven.

So for the past decade he has pushed and prodded, with a bit of shouting, for more restrictions on industrial construction and stricter monitoring of plant emissions.

And now, what once seemed like a quixotic pursuit - greater environmental and public health protections in a refinery town - no longer seems so quixotic.

"Port Arthur has been a dumping ground for years because this was the area of least resistance," Kelley says. "But this is a new day."

Winning 'Green Nobel'
For his work, Kelley is one of the 2011 winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize, sometimes called the Green Nobel as the highest honor of its kind for grassroots environmentalists.

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