Environmental racism

Regarding the article "Combating Environmental Racism," March 17: Richard Kleiner, director of public affairs for the Louisiana Chemical Association, correctly says whites didn't intentionally put polluting plants in black neighborhoods. However, when speaking of reaching out to the minority community, he says that we need to talk more and build up some trust. This is a disappointing understatement.

Simply talking with each other is no longer enough. The petrochemical companies need to take more responsibility and make decisions that will solve the pollution problems that have been around for so many years.

I served as a missionary in the St. Louis area for two years and spent most of my time along the Mississippi River in minority neighborhoods. Many justifiable lawsuits against polluting companies are occurring in St. Louis and Louisiana because of the high incidences of health problems.

The trust between minority communities and chemical companies can be built only with meaningful communication and immediate positive reaction. Austin Weyand, Idaho Falls, Idaho

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please fax letters to (617) 450-2317 or address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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