History & Background

The Chester Environmental Partnership was formed by Reverend Horace Strand in 2005 and its work has been key to many recent environmental health improvements in Chester and surrounding communities. In the early 1990's Rev. Strand of the Faith Temple Holy Church founded Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living (CRCQL) and became a major figure in the suit Chester v. Seif that went to the US Supreme Court. Through such efforts it became clear that, although communities could make environmental gains through litigation, such gains were hard fought, and often occurred after the fact. In 2005, recognizing a greater potential to improve health and environment through cooperative action, Rev. Strand founded the CEP. The partnership is intended to include all necessary parties to identify the sources of toxics, set priorities, and develop solutions. The CEP meets twice monthly, usually at the Faith Temple church, but also at industrial facilities in Chester, including waste processing and incineration facilities.

CEP's accomplishments include creating and administering the 2006  Chester Environmental Partnership survey, which focused on an area in close proximity to many waste processing facilities. The survey identifies current health and safety issues and the wishes of the community in regard to those conditions. Of great local significance, the partnership has been able to ensure the relocation of families from a number of the worst homes identified in the survey area. CEP also organized the 2006 Chester Leadership Meeting between the mayor, city, state, and federal officials, and key businesses and organizations for broad discussions about how to achieve positive improvements in the city. More recently, the CEP has heard a series of presentations from successful programs in Maryland and Delaware where the community, local, and federal agencies have collaborated in planning new developments such as those anticipated in Chester. The last two 2008 meetings of CEP were attended by the Director and senior officials of the Community and Economic Development (PA DCED), after the State's decision to invest $47 million in the Rivertown at Chester Project ( to include a sports stadium, new stores and an exposition center). 

2011 - 2017

 

Chester Environmental Partnership was instrumental in support of the first City of Chester Host Municipalities Inspectors for the City.  Municipalities are train and certified by the State that host municipal waste landfills, resource recovery (waste to energy) facilities and commercial hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities.

 

Chester Environmental Partnership with support from Covanta Corporation, Chester City Health Department, Penn Perelman School of Medicine CEET, Crozer Keystone Health Systems, and Drexel University an “All Seniors Save Your Soles Day at Chester City Hall Community Room.  Dr. Ron Renzi, Podiatry: practice & community foot specialist, dedicated to preventing foot amputations will provide foot exams, treatment recommendations and/or consultations along with lunch and transportation was provided free to over 300 seniors.

 

Chester Environmental Partnership members attended DVRPC Connections 2040 Long-Range Plan public meetings and testified at several transportation hearings and meetings in support and consideration of the installation of sound barriers to be associated with upgrades to regional highways that bisect or abut the City of Chester and nearby communities.    sound barriers be included in the current and future bridge work along I-95 corridor .   CEP suggested further research on more effective means to incorporating design considerations such as the use and promotion of recycled content construction materials, along with trees and landscaping for stormwater infrastructure which ultimately benefit communities that are impacted by projects for which you are considering.

 

The Chester Environmental Partnership continues to meet with those industries that partner and attend the CEP bi-monthly meetings to discuss renewal and new permits, new and best management technology, job growth and economic development in the city county and state.

 

The Chester Environmental Partnership and Covanta Chester are supporting the City of Chester become, “Keep Chester Beautiful” affiliate.   Keep Chester Beautiful will become  a municipal affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, a nonprofit organization with a network of participating organizations in Southeastern PA working together to improve communities through litter prevention, waste reduction and beautification.  KAB combines education with hands-on stewardship to address the needs the Chester and the surrounding communities on a local level.

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