EPA Drops More Civil Rights Investigations

A lawsuit that halted an investigation in Louisiana’s ‘Cancer Alley’ is having a chilling impact on other environmental justice cases.

1 minute read

February 2, 2024, 6:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Close-up of sign on chain link fence "City of Flint Water Plant" with hours.

An inquiry into Flint, Michigan's water crisis is one of several investigations recently dropped by the EPA. | lindaparton / Adobe Stock

After a lawsuit killed an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigation into civil rights violations in an area of Louisiana known as ‘Cancer Alley,’ environmental justice activists point out that the lawsuit is having a ‘chilling effect’ on other civil rights investigations, “effectively hamstringing what had been a historic aggressive approach from the agency on environmental justice issues under President Biden.”

As Willy Blackmore explains in Word In Black, “the very foundation of the EPA’s ability to investigate and act on” civil rights violations may be at risk, even as the agency had just begun to consider serious enforcement.

According to attorney Lisa Jordan, the lawsuit “challenges the entire regulatory program.” If it reaches the Supreme Court, it could have a major impact on the EPA’s power to investigate environmental justice claims. The agency recently also dropped an investigation in Flint, Michigan. “The investigation was dropped just days after the EPA abandoned the Cancer Alley one.”

Tuesday, January 30, 2024 in Word In Black

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