Environmental Injustice in the United States: Myths and Realities

By James P. Lester; David W. Allen et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Preface and Acknowledgments

The expression "environmental racism" is defined as "race-based discrimination in environmental policymaking; race-based differential enforcement of environmental rules and regulations; the intentional targeting of minority communities for toxic waste disposal and transfer and for the siting of polluting industries; and the exclusion of people of color from public and private boards and commissions, regulatory bodies, and environmental nonprofit organizations" ( Collin, 1993).

Although the issue of environmental racism has existed at least as long as the environmental movement itself, it received serious attention only in the 1990s. Indeed, African Americans in Louisiana and Mississippi contend that state decisions involving hazardous waste treatment plants have had the effect of unfairly exposing them to more toxic pollutants than is the case for white citizens. They assert that the state's permit procedures, which are supported by federal money, are partly to blame. These claims caused Bill Clinton's administration to agree to investigate complaints that Louisiana and Mississippi were violating the civil rights of African Americans by permitting industrial pollution in their neighborhoods at a rate far greater than is the case for white neighborhoods. Specifically, the federal Office of Civil Rights, located within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), notified the two states in question in October 1993 that it had opened an investigation under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination in federally funded programs.

In contrast to the argument that prompted an investigation under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, others argue that state officials are not deliberately steering pollution toward black communities. Rather, factors other than racism--such as the cost of land, population density, and geological conditions--have dictated the location of such noxious facilities. At any rate, in 1992 EPA established the new Office of Environmental Equity to address issues associated with environmental racism, and on February 11, 1994, President Clinton issued Executive Order No. 12898, requiring federal

-xiii-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Environmental Injustice in the United States: Myths and Realities
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 216

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?