ACAT is a statewide environmental health and justice organization founded in 1997 in response to requests from individuals, tribes, and other communities seeking technical assistance because of concerns related to toxic contaminants. We work collaboratively with communities to achieve environmental justice by holding corporations, the military, and governments accountable for their environmental practices. We help communities put in place effective strategies to limit their exposure to toxic substances and to protect and restore the ecosystems that sustain them and their ways of life. We work to eliminate the production and release of harmful chemicals, ensure community right-to-know; and support the rights of Indigenous peoples.
By focusing on environmental contaminants and their health effects on women and children, we are contributing to ACAT’s overall mission which is to assure justice by advocating for environmental and community health. We believe everyone has the right to clean air, clean water, and toxic-free food.
ACAT works within five ongoing programs, each with a long-term goal that inspires all of the shorter-term projects that are assigned to it. The Programs are Alaska Rural Environmental Justice Program, Environmental Health Policy and Social Change Program, Environmental Health Education Program, Alaska Youth and Community Outreach Program and Alaska Wellness and Healing Program.
ACAT uses three consistent interdependent strategies that interact to result in sustainable change at the community and policy levels, which are to 1) Conduct community-based scientific investigations; 2) Educate and activate concerned individuals and organizations; and 3) Advocate for communities. We produce investigative reports and GIS maps, sponsor public educational events, organize with tribal villages and other communities, utilize the media, prompt policymakers, conduct democracy and diversity training sessions, and bring legal suits to achieve environmental social change. ACAT staff and board members organize on the local level while focusing on issues that can catalyze larger policy change.
In 1997, Pamela Miller founded ACAT to respond to people who were asking for technical assistance with environmental contaminants. Before coming to Alaska, she served as Ocean Issues Technical Coordinator for the State of Washington Department of Ecology. Pam came to Alaska in 1990 to work for Greenpeace as a research biologist where she established the Community Toxics Investigative and Advocacy Project, but in 1997 when Greenpeace leaders switched their focus to climate change, Pam chose to leave the organization in order to keep commitments she had made to people throughout the state who had asked for help with toxics.
Below is just a few of the major accomplishments for ACAT’s first twelve years, 1997-2009. Please see the ACAT Accomplishments attachment for more information.
UNITED NATIONS TREATY. Prompted the U.S. State Department to sign the Stockholm Convention, a legally-binding treaty that eliminates some of the most deadly persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from production and use worldwide (1999-2001). POPs disproportionately affect Indigenous peoples in the Arctic. ACAT actively participates in the biennial Conference of Parties to the Stockholm Convention (2005-2009), and in annual meetings with scientists for the POPs Review Committee in Geneva (2005-2010) to assure strong implementation of the treaty. We work nationally to foster ratification and strong implementation of the treaty in the United States.
CONFERENCES, PUBLIC EVENTS, INSTITUTES, SEMINARS. Sponsored three successful statewide environmental health and justice conferences for leaders of affected Native villages and other communities throughout Alaska, hosting speakers and offering training workshops (1998, 2003, and 2005). Brought noted scientists to Alaska to speak publicly about environmental health issues in a variety of venues (at least yearly since 1997). Conduct annual Community-Based Field Institute, with college credit, for remote tribal villages (since 2007). Sponsor the Collaborative on Health and Environment (CHE) in Alaska by conducting monthly teleconference seminars addressing environmental health, environmental justice, and reproductive justice (since 2006).
RAILROAD & HERBICIDES. In collaboration with leaders in rail belt communities, blocked multiple attempts by the Railroad to apply herbicides to railways that would harm salmon and human health, using grassroots organizing methods (1999, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009-2010).
SCHOOLS & PESTICIDES. Prompted the Anchorage School Board (ASB) to adopt a policy to keep pesticides out of the schools (2000); obtained stronger pesticide right-to-know regulations from the State administration for schools and other State facilities throughout Alaska (2001). ASB requested ACAT to monitor and advise school program (2009-2010).
ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES IN HOMES, LAWNS, GARDENS. Planted/maintained demonstration pesticide-free garden in yard of ACAT office (2000-2001), in community gardens (2007, 2008, 2010) and, in collaboration with students at Steller Secondary School, on school grounds each summer (2002-2006 & 2009-2010). Conducted yearly gardening workshops, public events, and a stand at the Anchorage Farmers Market to promote alternatives to harmful chemicals (2000-2009) by selling organic compost tea and providing fact sheets about pesticide-free gardening and lawn care.
- Year established:1997
- Organization type:Grantseeker
- Country of registration:United States
- Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
- IRS Section:501(c)(3)
- IRS Subsection:None
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Types of funding being sought (i.e. funding type)
Program areas of focus and activity (i.e. funding cause)
- Arts, Culture, Humanities:Low
- Disaster Relief:Medium
- Human Services:High
- International or Foreign Affairs:High
- Public Benefit, Society Benefit:High
- Science, Technology:High
- Social Science, Public Policy:High
Geographic areas of focus and activity (i.e. geographic area)
Organization tax information is not viewable for this organization.