ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE emerged as a concept in the United States in the early 1980s. The term has two distinct uses: the first, and more common usage, describes a social movement that focuses on the fair distribution of environmental benefits and burdens, while the other is an interdisciplinary body of social science literature that includes theories of the environment and justice, environmental laws and their implementations, environmental policy and planning and governance for development and sustainability, and political ecology.
* 1 Definition
* 2 Environmental discrimination
* 2.1 Litigation
* 3 Initial barriers to minority participation
* 3.1 Cost barriers
* 4 Contributions of the
Civil Rights Movement
* 4.1 Similar goals and tactics * 4.2 Existing organizations and leaders * 4.3 Litigation
* 5 Affected groups
* 6 Government agencies
* 6.1.1 Background
* 6.1.2 2012 Environmental
* 6.1.3 Environmental
* 18.104.22.168 Transparency, accountability, accessibility and community participation * 22.214.171.124 Internal evaluation and training * 126.96.36.199 Establishment of performance metrics
* 188.8.131.52 Other EJ initiatives
* 184.108.40.206.1 Tribal outreach * 220.127.116.11.2 Technical and financial assistance to farmers * 18.104.22.168.3 Green jobs and capacity building * 22.214.171.124.4 Mapping * 126.96.36.199.5 Rural outreach
* 6.1.4 Regulations or Formalized EJ Guidelines * 6.1.5 Enforcement * 6.1.6 NEPA * 6.1.7 Permitting * 6.1.8 Title VI
* 6.2 Right-to-know movement
* 6.2.1 Emergency Planning and Right to Know Act of 1986 * 6.2.2 Corporate Toxics Information Report
* 7 Around the world
* 7.1 In Europe
* 7.1.1 In Sweden * 7.1.2 In the United Kingdom * 7.1.3 Building of alternatives to climate change
* 7.2 In South Africa
* 7.3 In Australia
* 7.4 In Ecuador
* 7.5 In
* 8 See also * 9 References * 10 Further reading * 11 External links
The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines environmental justice as follows:
Other definitions include: equitable distribution of environmental risks and benefits; fair and meaningful participation in environmental decision-making; recognition of community ways of life, local knowledge, and cultural difference; and the capability of communities and individuals to function and flourish in society. An alternative meaning, used in social sciences, of the term "justice" is "the distribution of social goods".
Environmental discrimination is one issue that environmental justice
seeks to address.
Environmental discrimination has historically been evident in the process of selecting and building environmentally hazardous sites, including waste disposal , manufacturing , and energy production facilities. The location of transportation infrastructures, including highways, ports, and airports, has also been viewed as a source of environmental injustice. Among the earliest documentation of environmental racism was a study of the distribution of toxic waste sites across the United States. Due to the results of that study, waste dumps and waste incinerators have been the target of environmental justice lawsuits and protests.
Some environmental justice lawsuits are based on violations of civil rights laws.
Title VI of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment , which was used many times to defend minority rights during the 1960s, has also been used in numerous environmental justice cases.
INITIAL BARRIERS TO MINORITY PARTICIPATION
When environmentalism first became popular during the early 20th century, the focus was wilderness protection and wildlife preservation. These goals reflected the interests of the movement's initial supporters. The actions of many mainstream environmental organizations still reflect these early principles.
Numerous low-income minorities felt isolated or negatively impacted by the movement, exemplified by the Southwest Organizing Project's (SWOP) Letter to the Group of 10, a letter sent to major environmental organizations by several local environmental justice activists. The letter argued that the environmental movement was so concerned about cleaning up and preserving nature that it ignored the negative side-effects that doing so caused communities nearby, namely less job growth. In addition, the NIMBY movement has transferred locally unwanted land uses (LULUs) from middle-class neighborhoods to poor communities with large minority populations. Therefore, vulnerable communities with fewer political opportunities are more often exposed to hazardous waste and toxins. This has resulted in the PIBBY principle, or at least the PIMBY (Place-in-minorities'-backyard), as supported by the United Church of Christ's study in 1987.
As a result, some minorities have viewed the environmental movement as elitist. Environmental elitism manifested itself in three different forms:
* Compositional – Environmentalists are from the middle and upper class. * Ideological – The reforms benefit the movement's supporters but impose costs on nonparticipants. * Impact – The reforms have "regressive social impacts". They disproportionately benefit environmentalists and harm underrepresented populations.
Supporters of economic growth have taken advantage of environmentalists' neglect of minorities. They have convinced minority leaders looking to improve their communities that the economic benefits of industrial facility and the increase in the number of jobs are worth the health risks. In fact, both politicians and businesses have even threatened imminent job loss if communities do not accept hazardous industries and facilities. Although in many cases local residents do not actually receive these benefits, the argument is used to decrease resistance in the communities as well as avoid expenditures used to clean up pollutants and create safer workplace environments.
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One of the prominent barriers to minority participation in environmental justice is the initial costs of trying to change the system and prevent companies from dumping their toxic waste and other pollutants in areas with high numbers of minorities living in them. There are massive legal fees involved in fighting for environmental justice and trying to shed environmental racism. For example, in the United Kingdom, there is a rule that the claimant may have to cover the fees of their opponents, which further exacerbates any cost issues, especially with lower income minority groups; also, the only way for environmental justice groups to hold companies accountable for their pollution and breaking any licensing issues over waste disposal would be to sue the government for not enforcing rules. This would lead to the forbidding legal fees that most could not afford. This can be seen by the fact that out of 210 judicial review cases between 2005 and 2009, 56% did not proceed due to costs.
CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
Civil Rights Movement
SIMILAR GOALS AND TACTICS
EXISTING ORGANIZATIONS AND LEADERS
Just as the civil rights movement of the 1960s began in the South,
the fight for environmental equity has been largely based in the
South, where environmental discrimination is most prominent. In these
southern communities, black churches and other voluntary associations
are used to organize resistance efforts, including research and
demonstrations, such as the protest in Warren County, North Carolina.
As a result of the existing community structure, many church leaders
and civil rights activists, such as Reverend Benjamin Chavis Muhammad
, have spearheaded the Environmental
The Bronx , in New York city, has become a recent example of
Several of the most successful Environmental
In 1979, Northeast Community Action Group, or NECAG, was formed by
African American homeowners in a suburban, middle income neighborhood
in order to keep a landfill out of their home town. This group was the
first organization that found the connection between race and
pollution. The group, alongside their attorney Linda McKeever Bullard
started the lawsuit Bean v. Southwestern Waste Management, Inc., which
was the first of its kind to challenge the sitting of a waste facility
under civil rights law. The
Equal Protection Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment , which was used many times to defend minority
rights during the 1960s, has also been used in numerous Environmental
Title VI of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Among the affected groups of Environmental Justice, those in high-poverty and racial minority groups have the most propensity to receive the harm of environmental injustice. Poor people account for more than 20% of the human health impacts from industrial toxic air releases, compared to 12.9% of the population nationwide. This does not account for the inequity found among individual minority groups. Some studies that test statistically for effects of race and ethnicity, while controlling for income and other factors, suggest racial gaps in exposure that persist across all bands of income.
African-Americans are affected by a variety of Environmental Justice issues. One notorious example is the " Cancer Alley " region of Louisiana. This 85-mile stretch of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans is home to 125 companies that produce one quarter of the petrochemical products manufactured in the United States. The United States Commission on Civil Rights has concluded that the African-American community has been disproportionately affected by Cancer Alley as a result of Louisiana's current state and local permit system for hazardous facilities, as well as their low socio-economic status and limited political influence. Another incidence of long-term environmental injustice occurred in the "West Grove" community of Miami, Florida. From 1925 to 1970, the predominately poor, African American residents of the "West Grove" endured the negative effects of exposure to carcinogenic emissions and toxic waste discharge from a large trash incinerator called Old Smokey. Despite official acknowledgement as a public nuisance, the incinerator project was expanded in 1961. It was not until the surrounding, predominantly white neighborhoods began to experience the negative impacts from Old Smokey that the legal battle began to close the incinerator.
Indigenous groups are often the victims of environmental injustices. Native Americans have suffered abuses related to uranium mining in the American West. Churchrock, New Mexico, in Navajo territory was home to the longest continuous uranium mining in any Navajo land. From 1954 until 1968, the tribe leased land to mining companies who did not obtain consent from Navajo families or report any consequences of their activities. Not only did the miners significantly deplete the limited water supply, but they also contaminated what was left of the Navajo water supply with uranium. Kerr-McGee and United Nuclear Corporation, the two largest mining companies, argued that the Federal Water Pollution Control Act did not apply to them, and maintained that Native American land is not subject to environmental protections. The courts did not force them to comply with US clean water regulations until 1980.
The most common example of environmental injustice among Latinos is the exposure to pesticides faced by farmworkers. After DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides were banned in the United States in 1972, farmers began using more acutely toxic organophosphate pesticides such as parathion . A large portion of farmworkers in the US are working as undocumented immigrants, and as a result of their political disadvantage, are not able to protest against regular exposure to pesticides or benefit from the protections of Federal laws. Exposure to chemical pesticides in the cotton industry also affects farmers in India and Uzbekistan. Banned throughout much of the rest of the world because of the potential threat to human health and the natural environment, Endosulfan is a highly toxic chemical, the safe use of which cannot be guaranteed in the many developing countries it is used in. Endosulfan , like DDT, is an organochlorine and persists in the environment long after it has killed the target pests, leaving a deadly legacy for people and wildlife.
Residents of cities along the US-Mexico border are also affected.
Maquiladoras are assembly plants operated by American, Japanese, and
other foreign countries, located along the US-Mexico border. The
maquiladoras use cheap Mexican labor to assemble imported components
and raw material, and then transport finished products back to the
United States. Much of the waste ends up being illegally dumped in
sewers, ditches, or in the desert. Along the Lower
Rio Grande Valley
States may also see placing toxic facilities near poor neighborhoods as preferential from a Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) perspective. A CBA may favor placing a toxic facility near a city of 20,000 poor people than near a city of 5,000 wealthy people. Terry Bossert of Range Resources reportedly has said that it deliberately locates its operations in poor neighbourhoods instead of wealthy areas where residents have more money to challenge its practices. Northern California\'s East Bay Refinery Corridor is an example of the disparities associated with race and income and proximity to toxic facilities.
It has been argued that environmental justice issues generally tend to affect women in communities more so than they affect men. This is due to the way that women typically interact more closely with their environments at home, such as through handling food preparation and childcare. Women also tend to be the leaders in environmental justice activist movements. Despite this, it tends not to be considered a mainstream feminist issue.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
In its 2012 environmental justice strategy documents, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) stated an ongoing desire to integrate environmental justice into its core mission, internal operations and programming. It identified ambitious timeframes for action and promised improved efforts to highlight, track and coordinate EJ activities among its many sub-agencies. Agency-wide the USDA expanded its perspective on EJ, so that in addition to preventing disproportionate environmental impacts on EJ communities, USDA voiced a commitment to improve public participation processes and use its technical and financial assistance programs to improve the quality of life in all communities. In 2011, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack emphasized the USDA's focus on EJ in rural communities around the United States. USDA funds or implements many creative programs with social and environmental equity goals, however it has no staff dedicated solely to EJ, and faces the challenges of limited budgets and coordinating the efforts of a highly diverse agency.
The USDA is the executive agency responsible for federal policy on food, agriculture, natural resources, and quality of life in rural America. The USDA has more than 100,000 employees and delivers over $96.5 billion in public services to programs worldwide. To fulfill its general mandate, USDA's departments are organized into seven mission areas:1) Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services; 2) Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services; 3) Food Safety; 4) Marketing and Regulatory Programs; 5) Natural Resources and Environment; 6) Research, Education and Economics and; 7) Rural Development.
In 1994, President Clinton issued Executive Order 12898, "Federal
Actions to Address Environmental
* promoting enforcement of all health and environmental statutes in areas with minority and low-income populations; * ensuring greater public participation; * improving research and data collection relating to the health and environment of minority and low-income populations; and * identifying differential patterns of consumption of natural resources among minority and low-income populations.
Title VI of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Following E.O. 12898 and USDA's initial EJ strategic plan, USDA
issued its internal Environmental
* To incorporate environmental justice considerations into USDA's programs and activities and to address environmental justice across mission areas; * To identify, prevent, and/or mitigate, to the greatest extent practicable, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of USDA programs and activities on minority and low-income populations; and * To provide, to the greatest extent practicable, the opportunity for minority and low-income populations to participate in planning, analysis, and decisionmaking that affects their health or environment, including identification of program needs and designs.
DR 5600-002 is "intended only to improve the internal management of USDA," and although it described concrete, mandatory actions by the agency, it did not establish new rights or benefits enforceable in court. In April 2011, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has stated a more concrete priority to fulfill its mission of environmental justice in rural areas.
In compliance with the August 2011 Memorandum of Understanding on
Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) Under Secretary Harris
Sherman is the political appointee generally responsible for USDA's EJ
strategy, with Patrick Holmes, a senior staffer to the Under
Secretary, playing a coordinating role. Although USDA has no staff
dedicated solely to EJ, its sub-agencies have many offices dedicated
to civil rights compliance, outreach and communication and
environmental review whose responsibilities incorporate EJ issues.
The Strategic Plan was developed with the input of an Environmental
* Ensure USDA programs provide opportunities for EJ communities. * Provide targeted training and capacity-building to EJ communities. * Expand public participation in agency activities, to enhance the "credibility and public trust" of the USDA. * Ensure USDA's activities do not have disproportionately high and adverse human health impacts, and resolve environmental justice issues and complaints. * Increase the awareness of EJ issues among USDA employees. * Update and/or Develop Departmental and Agency Regulations on EJ.
The Strategic Plan also lists existing programs that either currently support the goal, or are expected to in the future. According to Holmes, some of the challenges of the Strategic Plan process have stemmed from the diverse programs and missions that the agency serves, limitations on staff time, and budgets.
The Strategic Plan requires that EJ must be integrated into the strategies and evaluations for sub-agencies' technical and financial assistance programs. It also emphasizes public participation, community capacity-building, EJ awareness and training within the USDA.
Transparency, Accountability, Accessibility And Community Participation
A stated goal of USDA's Strategic Plan is to expand public participation in agency activities, to enhance the "credibility and public trust" of the USDA. Specifically, the agency will update its public participation guidelines to include EJ, beginning this process by April 15, 2012. The Strategic Plan emphasizes capacity-building in EJ communities, and includes objectives that emphasize communication between USDA and environmental justice communities, including Tribal consultation. Sub-agencies must announce schedules for training programs in EJ communities and to develop new, preliminary outreach materials on USDA programs by April 15, 2012. An additional performance standard is to encourage EJ communities to participate in the NEPA process, an effort the Strategic Plan requires on or before February 29, 2012, although the Strategic Plan does not articulate a standard by which this could be measured. The Strategic Plan also reiterates compliance with the Executive Orders on Tribal consultation and outreach to non-proficient English speakers, and seeks more diverse representation on regional forest advisory committees.
Generally, the USDA's process for developing the Strategic Plan demonstrates a commitment to public involvement. The USDA EJ documents are currently housed obscurely within the Departmental Management section of the USDA website, under the Hazardous Materials Management Division, although the agency plans to update its entire site in 2012 and create a more robust EJ page. The Strategic Plan was released in draft form in December 2011 for a 30-day public comment period, and responses to general types of comments received are in the Progress Report, although the comments themselves are not online. The Secretary's message accompanying the Strategic Plan requests that organizations and individuals to continue to contact USDA with comments on the Strategic Plan and to identify USDA programs that have been the most beneficial to their communities. The agency has a dedicated email address for this purpose. Agency leadership has asked its sub-agencies to prepare responses to additional comments that have been received, and the agency will release an interim progress report, prior to winter 2013.
Internal Evaluation And Training
The Strategic Plan also seeks to increase the awareness of environmental justice issues among USDA employees. The Strategic Plan does not list any existing programs in this area, but does list a series of performance measures going forward, most of which must be met by April 15, 2012. The measures include environmental justice trainings, new web pages, and potential revisions to staff manuals and handbooks. Sub-agencies began reviewing their existing training in 2012 and in their April 9, 2012 reports to the USDA EJ steering committee, sub-agencies were asked to describe their goals for enhanced EJ training. This internal, educational undertaking appears to be new in the 2012 Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan targets Responsible Officials, meaning office and program managers, for the trainings, as well as the SES-level points of contact required by the Secretary's message.
The EJ Strategy tasked each sub-agency with developing its own EJ strategy document by spring 2012, although as of May 2012 the sub-agencies were still in an evaluation stage and had not issued final documents. For many sub-agencies, the 2012 process has been their first focused assessment of their EJ impact and opportunities. Going forward, sub-agencies will submit twice-yearly reports to NRE about their implementation of the Strategic Plan's goals; the first of these was due April 9, 2012, and as of May 2012, the USDA's EJ steering committee was evaluating the first reports.
Establishment Of Performance Metrics
As part of its effort to ensure that EJ communities have the opportunity to participate in USDA programs, the Strategic Plan requires each sub-agency to set measurements through which it can track increased EJ community participation in USDA technical and financial assistance programs. This must be done by April 15, 2012. As of late April 2012, the sub-agencies were still in the process of describing a baseline of current activities and determining the metrics to evaluate improvement, such as staff time, grant funding or increased programming. The ultimate metrics are likely to be somewhat subjective, and must be flexible given the broad range of undertakings by the sub-agencies. Also related to evaluation, the Strategic Plan requires the sub-agencies to determine an effective methodology with which they can evaluate whether USDA programs have disproportionate impacts.
Other EJ Initiatives
USDA has had a role in implementing Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign in Tribal Areas, by increasing participation by Bureau of Indian Education schools in Federal nutrition programs, in the development of community gardens on Tribal lands, and in the development of Tribal food policy councils. This is combined with measures to provide Rural Development funding for community infrastructure in Indian Country. .
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is working to update its policy on protection and management of Native American Sacred Sites, an effort that has included listening sessions and government-to-government consultation. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has also consulted with Tribes regarding management of reintroduced of species, where Tribes may have a history of subsistence-level hunting of those species. Meanwhile, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is exploring a program to use meat from bisons raised on Tribal land to supply AMS food distribution programs to Tribes.
The Intertribal Technical Assistance Network works to improve access of Tribal governments, communities and individuals to USDA technical assistance programs.
Technical And Financial Assistance To Farmers
The Progress Report highlights the NRCS Strike Force Initiative, which has identified impoverished counties in Mississippi, Georgia and Arkansas to receive increased outreach and training regarding USDA assistance programs. USDA credits this increased outreach with generating a 196 percent increase in contracts, representing more than 250,000 acres of farmland, in its Environmental Quality Incentives Program. NRCS works with "private landowners protect their natural resources" through conservation planning and assistance with the goal of maintaining "productive lands and healthy ecosystems." NRCS has its own civil rights compliance guidance document, and in 2001 NRCS funded and published a study, "Environmental Justice: Perceptions of Issues, Awareness and Assistance," focused on rural, Southern "Black Belt" counties and analyzing how the NRCS workforce could more effectively integrate environmental justice into impacted communities.
The Farm Services Agency in 2011 devoted $100,000 of its Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers program budget to improving its outreach to counties with persistent poverty, including improving its materials and building relationships with local universities and community groups.
In addition, USDA's Risk Management Agency has initiated education and outreach to low-income farmers regarding use of biological controls, rather than pesticides, for pest control, efforts that the agency believes are valuable in the face of climate change.
Green Jobs And Capacity Building
A 2011 MOU between a USDA sub-agency, the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society that aims to increase the number of Native Americans entering the FSIS career path;
A partnership between APHIS and the Rural Coalition (Coalicion)--an alliance of regionally and culturally diverse organizations working to build a more just and sustainable food system. The partnership focuses on outreach, fair returns to minority and other small farmers and rural communities, farmworker working conditions, environmental protection and food safety.
USFS is also funding pilot initiatives, such as its Urban Water Ambassadors, summer internship positions for youth who coordinate and implement urban tree planting projects. In 2011, USFS provided a grant to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources that funded 14 summer jobs for youth in Baltimore to work on urban watershed restoration programs.
USFS has established several Urban Field Stations, to research urban natural resources' structure, function, stewardship, and benefits. By mapping urban tree coverage, the agency hopes to identify and prioritize EJ communities for urban forest projects.
Another initiative highlighted by the agency is the Food and Nutrition Service and Economic Research Service's Food Desert Locator. The Locator provides a spatial view of food deserts, defined as a low-income census tract where a substantial number or share of residents has low access to a supermarket or large grocery store. It also shows, by census tract, the number and percentage of certain populations, such as children, seniors, or households without a vehicle, with low access to grocery stores. The mapped deserts can be used to direct agency resources to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables and other food assistance programs, according to Blake Velde, an agency scientist and spokesperson on EJ issues.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has placed a clear emphasis on supporting EJ in rural areas. Although "often the highest profile battles on issue are waged in at-risk neighborhoods in major cities or at Superfund sites located near populated urban and suburban areas" Vilsack highlighted the often overlooked rural areas where environmental justice is largely ignored.
Through its Rural Utilities Service, the USDA supports a number of Water and Environmental Programs. These programs work to administer water and wastewater loans or grants to rural areas and cities to support water and wastewater, stormwater and solid waste disposal systems, including SEARCH grants that are targeted to financially distressed, small rural communities and other opportunities specifically for Alaskan Native villages and designated Colonias.; In his speech, Secretary Vilsack said that the USDA funded 2,575 clean water projects in rural areas during a two-year period to address problems ranging from wastewater treatment to sewage treatment.
The USDA also supports the Rural Energy for America Grant Program. This program provides grants and loans to farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to finance renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements.
Regulations Or Formalized EJ Guidelines
In 1997 the USDA promulgated a departmental regulation providing "direction to agencies for integrating environmental justice considerations into USDA programs and activities" (DR 5600-002). Issuance of this regulation was a primary goal of USDA's 1995 EJ strategy document. DR 5600-002 includes guidelines for consideration of EJ in the NEPA process, but also stated that "efforts to address environmental justice are not limited to NEPA compliance." It requires evaluation of activities for potential disproportionate EJ impacts, outreach, and performance-metric based evaluation and reporting on sub-agencies' implementation of EJ goals. DR 5600-002 is a forward-looking, permanent directive that applies to all USDA programs and activities. However, it was not published in the Federal Register as a formal rulemaking and does not create a private right of action or enforcement tool. A Strategic Plan goal is to update this regulation, as well as other departmental regulations and policies on EJ. According to USDA, the EJ definition in DR 5600-002 will be modified in 2012—EJ to include measures to avoid disproportionate negative impacts as well as quality-of-life improvements that the agency believes can benefit impacted communities.
The Strategic Plan also has established a performance standard requiring that existing and new USDA regulations are evaluated for EJ impacts or benefits. Sub-agencies are required to develop a process for this evaluation by April 15, 2012. This performance standard reflects a requirement in DR 5600-002 that required the USDA departmental regulation on rulemaking, DR 1521-1, to be revised to require an EJ evaluation in the rulemaking process. As of 2012, DR 1521-1 requires that a cost-benefit analysis of major human health, safety and environmental regulations include analysis of risks to "persons who are disproportionately exposed or particularly sensitive," although DR 1521-1 does not mention EJ or impacts to minority or low-income communities explicitly.
The Strategic Plan sets an enforcement-specific goal, which includes objectives to "effectively resolve or adjudicate all environmental justice-related Title VI complaints" and to include environmental justice as a key component of civil rights compliance reviews. Agencies are also required to identify an assessment methodology by April 15, 2012, which can be used to determine whether programs have disproportionately high and adverse environmental and human health impacts. The NRCS has published and updated a Civil Rights Compliance Review Guide, which guides the NRCS Civil Rights Division's review of the compliance with Title VI and 12898 in the agency's state offices, field offices and other facilities. The guide was updated in November 2011 and it does not mention EJ explicitly. However, the Strategic Plan identifies the NRCS compliance review and other outreach and research programs as supporting its EJ enforcement goals.
The 1997 Regulation, DR 5600-2 required USDA sub-agencies to develop their own NEPA environmental justice guidance documents. The sub-agencies have done so, with some additional details, such as a reminder that the EJ community should be involved in identifying the alternatives, suggested stakeholders and resources, and guidance to hold meetings at times when working people can get to them, and to translate notices. However, when DR 5600-02 is updated as required by the Strategic Plan, changes could be made to the NEPA section of the Regulation. The Strategic Plan sets a performance standard to encourage interested environmental justice communities to be involved in the public participation process for NEPA documents, although the Strategic Plan does not require updates to the NEPA portions of DR 5600-02.
Although the USDA has integrated EJ into each step of the NEPA process as required by Executive Order 12898, many of the NEPA documents completed by the USDA include only cursory analysis of environmental justice effects. This analysis most often includes a rote paragraph as to what Executive Order 12898 requires and a quick conclusion that the agency action does not affect minority and low-income populations. Some examples where the USDA included more in-depth analysis are:
* Descriptions of the minority and low-income populations that live in the study area; * Impacts relevant to socio-economic environment including changes in employment and income variations in the distribution of social welfare.
The USDA does not have any permitting initiatives specific to EJ.
The USDA has an Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights whose mission it is to provide leadership and direction "for the fair and equitable treatment of all USDA customers."
In 2003 the USDA revised DR 4300-4, internal regulations requiring a Civil Rights Impact Analysis of all "policies, actions or decisions" affecting the USDA's federally conducted and federally assisted programs or activities. The analysis is used to determine the "scope, intensity, direction, duration, and significance of the effects of an agency's proposed ... policies, actions or decisions." USDA's departmental regulation on EJ, DR 5600-002, required DR 4300-4 to be revised to "require that Civil Rights Impact Analyses include a finding as to whether proposed or new actions have or do not have a disproportionately high and adverse effect on the human health or the environment of minority populations, and whether such effects can be prevented or mitigated". Although DR 4300-4 was revised in 2003, the revised regulation does not explicitly require a finding on adverse environmental or health impacts.
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A new movement, bent on educating the people, was born after the Bhopal disaster , called the "right-to-know " movement. A series of laws and reports was created, all built to inform the people of the pollutants being dumped into our neighborhoods and atmosphere, and exactly how much of each chemical is being exposed and dumped. The theory behind "right-to-know" is that once people are informed on what is polluting their neighborhood, then they will begin to take action in both bringing down their own emissions, as well as begin to make the companies causing the most pollution, through means such as protests, to take into account their actions.
Emergency Planning And Right To Know Act Of 1986
After the Bhopal disaster , where a Union Carbide plant released forty tons of methyl isocyanate into the atmosphere in a village just south of Bhopal, India, the U.S. government passed the Emergency Planning and Right to Know Act of 1986 . Introduced by Henry Waxman, the act required all corporations to report their toxic chemical pollution annually, which was then gathered into a report known as the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). By collecting this data, the government was able to make sure that companies were no longer releasing excessive amounts of deadly toxins into populated areas, so to prevent another incident like that of the thousands of people killed and the tens of thousands of people injured in the Bhopal disaster.
Corporate Toxics Information Report
The Corporate Toxics Information Project (CTIP) was founded on the guidelines that they will " and information and analysis on corporate releases of pollutants and the consequences for communities". The overarching goal was to help take corporations into account for their pollution habits, by collecting information and putting it in databases so to make it available to the general public. The four goals of the project were to develop 1) corporate rankings, 2) regional reports, based on state, region, and metropolitan areas, 3) industry reports, based on industrial sectors, and 4) to create a web-based resource open to the entire population, that can depict all the collected data. The data collection would be done by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and then analyzed and disseminated by the PERI institute.
One of the biggest projects of CTIP was the Toxic 100. The Toxic 100 is an index of the top 100 air polluters around the United States in terms of the country's largest corporations. The list is based on the EPA's Risk Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI), which "assesses the chronic human health risk from industrial toxic releases", as well as the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), which is where the corporations must report their chemical releases to the US government. Since its original publishing date in 2004, the Toxic 100 has been updated four more times, with the latest publishing date being August 2013.
AROUND THE WORLD
Part of a series on
Bright green environmentalism
Asia Pacific Greens Federation
European Green Party
Climate change politics
* v * t * e
In recent years environmental justice campaigns have also emerged in
other parts of the world, such as India, South Africa, Israel,
Nigeria, Mexico, Hungary, Uganda, and the United Kingdom. In Europe
for example, there is evidence to suggest that the
For further information, see Environmental racism in Europe
In Europe, the Romani peoples are ethnic minorities and differ from
the rest of the European people by their culture, language, and
history. The environmental discrimination that they experience ranges
from the unequal distribution of environmental harms as well as the
unequal distribution of education, health services and employment. In
many countries Romani peoples are forced to live in the slums because
many of the laws to get residence permits are discriminatory against
them. This forces
The European Union is trying to strive towards environmental justice
by putting into effect declarations that state that all people have a
right to a healthy environment. The Stockholm Declaration, the 1987
Brundtland Commission 's Report – "
Our Common Future ", the Rio
Declaration , and Article 37 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of
the European Union , all are ways that the Europeans have put acts in
place to work toward environmental justice. Europe also funds
action-oriented projects that work on furthering Environmental Justice
throughout the world. For example, EJOLT (ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
ORGANISATIONS, LIABILITIES AND TRADE) is a large multinational project
supported through the FP7 Science in Society budget line from the
Sweden became the first country to ban DDT in 1969 due to the efforts of women protesting its usage in forests. In the 1980s, women activists organized around preparing jam made from pesticide-tainted berries, which they offered to the members of parliament. Parliament members refused, and this has often been cited as an example of direct action within ecofeminism .
In The United Kingdom
Whilst the predominant agenda of the Environmental
Building Of Alternatives To Climate Change
IN SOUTH AFRICA
Under colonial and apartheid governments in South Africa, thousands
of black South Africans were removed from their ancestral lands to
make way for game parks. Earthlife Africa was formed in 1988
(www.earthlife.org.za), making it Africa's first environmental justice
organisation. In 1992, the Environmental
With the election of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1994, the environmental justice movement gained an ally in government. The ANC noted "poverty and environmental degradation have been closely linked" in South Africa. The ANC made it clear that environmental inequalities and injustices would be addressed as part of the party's post-apartheid reconstruction and development mandate. The new South African Constitution, finalized in 1996, includes a Bill of Rights that grants South Africans the right to an "environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being" and "to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations through reasonable legislative and other measures that
* prevent pollution and ecological degradation; * promote conservation; and * secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development".
South Africa's mining industry is the largest single producer of solid waste , accounting for about two-thirds of the total waste stream. Tens of thousands of deaths have occurred among mine workers as a result of accidents over the last century. There have been several deaths and debilitating diseases from work-related illnesses like asbestosis . For those who live next to a mine, the quality of air and water is poor. Noise, dust, and dangerous equipment and vehicles can be threats to the safety of those who live next to a mine as well. These communities are often poor and black and have little choice over the placement of a mine near their homes. The National Party introduced a new Minerals Act that began to address environmental considerations by recognizing the health and safety concerns of workers and the need for land rehabilitation during and after mining operations. In 1993, the Act was amended to require each new mine to have an Environmental Management Program Report (EMPR) prepared before breaking ground. These EMPRs were intended to force mining companies to outline all the possible environmental impacts of the particular mining operation and to make provision for environmental management.
In October 1998, the Department of Minerals and Energy released a White Paper entitled A Minerals and Mining Policy for South Africa, which included a section on Environmental Management. The White Paper states "Government, in recognition of the responsibility of the State as custodian of the nation's natural resources, will ensure that the essential development of the country's mineral resources will take place within a framework of sustainable development and in accordance with national environmental policy, norms, and standards". It adds that any environmental policy "must ensure a cost-effective and competitive mining industry."
In Australia, the "Environmental
An example of the environmental injustices that indigenous groups
face can be seen in the Chevron-
IN SOUTH KOREA
Environmental movements in
The problems of environmental injustice have arisen by environment related organizations, but approaches to solve the problems were greatly supported by the government, which developed various policies and launched institution. These actions helped raise awareness of environmental justice in South Korea. Existing environment policies were modified to cover environmental justice issues.
Environmental injustice is still an ongoing problem. One example is
the construction of
The construction of Seoul-Incheon canal also raised environmental justice controversies. The construction took away the residential regions and farming areas of the local residents. Also, the environment worsened in the area because of the appearance of wet fogs which was caused by water deprivation and local climate changes caused by the construction of canal. The local residents, mostly people with weak economic basis, were severely affected by the construction and became the main victims of such environmental damages. While the socially and economically weak citizens suffered from the environmental changes, most of the benefits went to the industries and conglomerates with political power.
Construction of industrial complex was also criticized in the context
of environmental justice. The conflict in wicheon region is one
example. The region became the center of controversy when the
government decided to build industrial complex of dye houses, which
were formerly located in
BETWEEN NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN COUNTRIES
Environmental discrimination in a global perspective is also an
important factor when examining the Environmental
One prominent example of northern countries shipping their waste to
southern countries took place in
The reason that this transporting of waste from Northern countries to the Southern countries takes place is because it is cheaper to transport waste to another country and dump it there, than to pay to dump the waste in the producing country because the third world countries do not have the same strict industry regulations as the more developed countries. The countries that the waste is taken to are usually impoverished and the governments have little or no control over the happenings in the country or do not care about the people.
TRANSNATIONAL MOVEMENT NETWORKS
Many of the Environmental
* Basel Action Network – works to end toxic waste dumping in poor undeveloped countries from the rich developed countries. * GAIA (Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance) – works to find different ways to dispose of waste other than incineration. This company has people working in over 77 countries throughout the world. * GR (Global Response) – works to educate activists and the upper working class how to protect human rights and the ecosystem. * Greenpeace International – which was the first organization to become the global name of Environmental Justice. Greenpeace works to raise the global consciousness of transnational trade of toxic waste. * Health Care without Harm – works to improve the public health by reducing the environmental impacts of the health care industry. * International Campaign for Responsible Technology – works to promote corporate and government accountability with electronics and how the disposal of technology affect the environment. * International POPs Elimination Network – works to reduce and eventually end the use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) which are harmful to the environment. * PAN (Pesticide Action Network) – works to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with alternatives that are safe for the environment.
These global networks work together to achieve the shared goal of a cleaner environment.
Environmental Justice Foundation
Environmental racism in Europe
* ^ A B Schlosberg, David. (2007) Defining Environmental Justice:
Theories, Movements, and Nature. Oxford University Press.
* ^ Miller, Jr., G. Tyler (2003). Environmental Science: Working
With the Earth (9th ed.). Pacific Grove, California: Brooks/Cole. p.
G5. ISBN 0-534-42039-7 .
* ^ "Environmental Justice". U.S. EPA. Retrieved 2012-03-29.
* ^ Schlosberg, David (2002). Moral and Political Reasoning in
Environmental Practice. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. p.
79. ISBN 0262621649 .
* ^ "Environmental Racism". Retrieved 24 April 2011.
* ^ Skelton, Renee. "The Environmental
* Mohai, P.; Pellow, D.; Roberts, J. T. (2009). "Environmental
Justice". Annual Review of Environment and Resources 34: 405.
* Foster, John Bellamy, Brett Clark, and Richard York, The
Ecological Rift: Capitalism\'s War on the Earth, Monthly Review Press,
2011. Considers ecosystem collapse and its effects on populations.
* Shiva, Vandana, Soil Not Oil: Environmental
Library resources about