IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE

Author: 

Professor Jerome Balter

Minority and low-income communities are unable to protect their neighborhoods from disproportionate pollution and industrial sitting under the present environmental justice system based upon the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) civil rights regulations. Strict adherence to the EPA’s civil rights guidelines has resulted in a backlog of complaints that are either uninvestigated or never corrected. Even when the EPA finds environmental civil rights violations, it is relatively powerless to prevent continued violations because its only recourse is to threaten to cut-off financial assistance to the violating state. These cut-offs, however, rarely take place because they require both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate to concur in the action. Despite its investigations and purported action, the EPA has never requested a financial assistance cut-off for any state. View More