Environmental justice


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  • Concluded that communities populated by low-income groups and people of color are exposed to higher levels of pollution than the rest of the nation, and that these same populations experience certain diseases in greater numbers than more affluent white communities” (Bullard, R.D, 2005, p. 4).
    600,000 students at nearly 1,200 public schools located within a half mile of federal Superfund or state-identified contaminated sites in MA, NY, NJ, MI, and CA.
  • Cited in Bullard, R.D., (
  • Cited in Bullard, R.D., (
  • First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit
  • EPA Office of Environmental Justice produced Environmental Equity: Reducing the Risks for All Communities, one of the first comprehensive government reports to examine environmental hazards and social equity.
    Ex Order 12898 mandated federal agencies to incorporate environmental justice into all their works and programs. Environmental and civil rights statutes provide many opportunities to address environmental hazards in minority communities and low-income communities.
  • Bean v. Southwestern Waste Management Corp. was the first lawsuit to challenge environmental racism using civil rights law.
  • Environmental justice

    1. 1. Environmental Justice Critical Urbanism Montgomery Norton May 11, 2009
    2. 2. Poisoned Communities • Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (1999) - Toward Environmental Justice: Research, Education, and Health Policy Needs • Center for Health, Environment, and Justice (2001) - Poisoned Schools: Invisible threats, visible action
    3. 3. Environmental Justice • “No group of people, including racial,ethnic, or socioeconomic groups, should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal, and commercial operations or the execution of federal, state, local, and tribal programs and policies” - EPA
    4. 4. Environmental Justice • “Environmental Racism: denial of human rights, environmental protection, and economic opportunities” to communities of color (p.1). • “Environmental justice is a civil rights and a human rights issue” (p. 2). • Health is the main focus of the environmental justice movement in the U.S.
    5. 5. Principles of Environmental Justice-Oct 27,1991 • Preamble: “We... Fight the destruction and taking of our lands and communities, do hereby re-establish our spiritual interdependence to the sacredness of our Mother Earth; to respect and celebrate each of our cultures, languages and beliefs about the natural world and our roles in healing ourselves...”
    6. 6. Environmental Justice • U.S. EPA (1992) - Office of Environmental Equity (renamed Office of Env. Justice) • Executive Order 12898 (1994) - Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations • CA Office of Planning and Research: – General Plan Guidelines (2003) - Sustainable Development and Environmental Justice – Env Just in CA State Government (2003) • Cal/EPA (2004) - Environmental Justice Action Plan; Inter-Agency Environmental Justice Strategy
    7. 7. Why? • CEQA/NEPA - enforced through litigation • No other comparable state environmental regulations
    8. 8. Where? • Cancer Alley - Louisiana’s petrochemical corridor • Texas’ Gulf Coast Communities • North Richmond, CA • Los Angeles/Long Beach Ports, CA • West Dallas, TX • South Bronx, NY • South Central LA, CA
    9. 9. Solutions • Environmental Justice framework seeks to prevent environmental threats before they occur - “Precautionary Principle” • Bean v. Southwestern Waste Management Corp. (1979) • Activation & mobilization of the disenfranchised (impoverished, indigenous, minorities, women, and children) • Join forces: Environmental & Social Justice activists into the Environmental Justice Movement (Sustainability)
    10. 10. Green Collar Jobs • Green-collar jobs address two crucial concerns facing our survival—restoring the environment and making a living. • Green-collar jobs consist of work within the growing industries that are helping us kick the oil habit, curb greenhouse-gas emissions, eliminate toxins, and protect natural systems. • These green jobs connect a person’s commitment to their work with a commitment to the planet, while building a vibrant, restorative economy. • A job that does something for the planet, and little to nothing for the people or the economy, however, does not qualify.