Justin Timberlake is taking a stand on Earth Day (April 22) against the Byhalia Pipeline potentially being built in his Memphis, Tenn., hometown.
The pop star shared an informational video, made by digital creator Mikhaila Markham, on his Instagram that points out how the city of Memphis — known as the home of Elvis Presley and shaped by its influential blues, soul and rock ‘n’ roll music — is also on top of the Memphis Sand Aquifer, a water source near the Mississippi River that supplies trillions of gallons of the world’s finest drinking water to 1 million locals. Valero Energy Corporation and the Plains All American pipeline company’s latest proposal, the 49-mile Byhalia Pipeline, could put this groundwater at risk by connecting two pipelines to transport crude oil to the Gulf Coast.
The Byhalia Pipeline would run through predominantly Black neighborhoods in South Memphis, which have long suffered from air and ground pollution. On his Instagram Story, Timberlake shared African-American civil rights leader Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr.’s definition of “environmental racism”: “A form of systemic racism whereby communities of color are disproportionately burdened with health hazards through policies and practices that force them to live in proximity to sources of toxic waste such as sewage works, mines, landfills, power stations, major roads and emitters of airborne particulate matter.”