Monday, December 18, 2006

Current EJ Program Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act

Current environmental justice programs under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, existing civil rights laws, regulations and former President Clinton's Executive Order On Environmental Justice do not provide any relief for victims of environmental injustice.
The criteria for defining environmental racism are so different in nature from the criteria used to define individualized racial discrimination that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is not really applicable for resolving environmental racism problems.

Current provisions:

1) Victims of civil rights discrimination may file a complaint with the EPA. (40 C.F.R. 7.120)
2) The EPA will accept environmental civil rights complaints but only after a State has granted an operating permit.
3) The EPA does not investigate whether State departments of environment are complying with its civil rights obligation. (40 C.F.R. 7.80)
4) The EPA cannot provide any effective relief to a civil rights complainant under its own regulations.
5) The sole relief available for victims of environmental civil rights violations is through a private action against a state if the community can prove intentional discrimination. To date, no such action has been successful. [Examples]

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