"Now is the Time: Environmental Injustice in the U.S. and Recommendations for Eliminating Disparities"
The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, in collaboration with numerous environmental justice advocates, has released its report, "Now is the Time: Environmental Injustice in the U.S. and Recommendations for Eliminating Disparities." The purpose of the report is to outline recommendations on how the Administration can effectively utilize existing law to eliminate disparities in environmental protection and the agencies can fulfill their responsibilities under Executive Order 12898, "Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice In Minority Populations And Low-Income Populations."
Key recommendations include:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should emphatically and resolutely embrace a strong definition of environmental justice grounded in the central tenet that environmental justice is the prevention, reduction and elimination of the known disproportionate environmental burdens primarily on people of color, indigenous, and low-income communities.Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
EPA should make full use of existing legal authority to address environmental assaults on people of color, indigenous, and low-income communities.
DOJ should develop guidelines for Title VI compliance in the context of emergency preparedness and emergency response for recipients of federal funding.
Reinstatement of the superfund tax on chemical and petrochemical manufacturers through congressional reauthorization of the Superfund tax.
The Administration should ensure that any carbon trading market is properly regulated to address and redress co-pollutant issues that are known to co-exist with the establishment of carbon markets and should prepare climate change disaster mitigation programs specifically for residents of urban, indigenous, low-income and environmental justice communities.
EPA should set federal guidelines for state and local schools agencies on indoor air quality in schools, integrated pest management, school chemical cleanouts, drinking water, school design, asbestos, PCBs in caulking, molds, comprehensive building inspections, and how pediatric environmental health specialty units (PEHSUs) can work with state health agencies on on-site investigations.
The Department of Education should endorse the EPA Model School Siting Guidelines and require all recipients of federal assistance to comply with it.
Eighty percent of the funding from the Surface Transportation Authorization Act should be committed to public transit, 20 percent to highway and road maintenance rather than new road construction. Under the Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009/10, a minimum of 50 percent of the entire Act's allocation for transit should be dedicated to operating purposes, with at least half of that restricted to bus operations.
Strengthen regulation of emissions from concentrated animal feeding operations, such as ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and volatile organic compounds emissions. The Administration should ensure that rural areas are provided with adequate water and sewer services by working with local agencies and ensuring vigorous enforcement of the Safe Drinking Water Act in rural and semi-urban communities.
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