Our federal government is denying responsibility for the environment. The worst-polluting areas in the largest countries have sped climate change, and it's those areas where we need changes the most.
In Virginia, 4/10 worst-polluted zip codes are in my district or next door; Hopewell and Chesterfield are #2 and #3. Ammonia, Hydrochloric Acid, Sulfuric Acid, Methanol, Zinc, and Freon fill our air, and "the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America ranks Richmond as the #1 asthma capital of the United States".
We also live at the edge of the 'plant hardiness zone' with healthy agriculture and stable temperatures. Varina sits on the fault line between different ecosystems. Henrico's 'vernal pools' have 'brackish' water supporting unique animals and agriculture. Hopewell is home to some of the most sensitive and biologically diverse areas on the mid-East Coast.
Our district has agricultural industries that depend on adequate farming resources. We must address these issues because our children deserve to live with clean water, fresh air, and adequate green space.
As the climate continues to change, we risk losing the benefits of such a unique environment. I want the General Assembly to take seriously the link between local actions and our climate. We have the power to make meaningful changes, starting in our own communities.