Check out this article written by Alex Kuffner for the Providence Journal.
In the article, Kuffner writes about the effects of ongoing climate change and its impacts that disproportionately affect communities like Olneyville, which have much higher concentrations of former industrial properties than other neighborhoods in Providence.
“In the past, the chances of human exposure would have been minimal, but climate change is dialing up the possibility of contamination. As extreme rain storms become more common, these low-lying streets around the Woonasquatucket are more vulnerable to flooding, which could release chemicals, volatile organic compounds or heavy metals like lead or cadmium from the ground or the river bottom.”
Neighborhoods like Olneyville, the Jewelry District, and South Providence were previously the sites of industrial businesses in Rhode Island starting in the 1950s, when businesses became bunched around “urban cores” of the city, many placed by waterways such as the Woonasquatucket River for access to the flowing water for power and transportation. However, as climate change is changing our world and flooding is becoming more of a concern for Rhode Island, these neighborhoods are now at a much higher risk for climate-related weather disasters and residential exposure to pollution and contamination.
You can read the full story here.