The EPA's Lackluster Environmental Justice Record

The Center for Public Integrity has released a report criticizing the EPA's environmental justice competence. In only 12 cases has the agency taken official action on behalf of communities affected disproportionately by polluters.

1 minute read

August 20, 2015, 1:00 PM PDT

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc


Environmental Justice

California Air Resources Board / Flickr

While the EPA's most vocal detractors usually come from the industry lobby, the agency has recently received a fair bit of criticism from environmentalists and the left. This month, the EPA bungled an investigation in Colorado, releasing large quantities of wastewater into a river. And environmental justice advocates haven't been pleased with the agency either.

In a recent report, "the Center for Public Integrity outlines a decidedly lackluster response from the EPA Office of Civil Rights (which was created solely to make sure that agencies receiving EPA funding don't discriminate) when it comes to environmental discrimination complaints."

A quote from the report reveals that "the EPA has closed only 12 cases alleging such discrimination with official action on behalf of minority communities. [...] At least 17 communities are still waiting in limbo — more than half for over a decade — as the EPA reviews their civil rights claims." 

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