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Environmental Racism in the U.S. Environmental racism is the social injustice represented by the disproportionately large number of health and environmental risks cast upon peoples of color in the communities in which they live. These minorities are the most common victims of toxic Environmental racism is now well documented in America's communities. From Baton Rouge's Cancer Alley to South Central Los Angeles millions of Americans live in housing and physical environments that are over burdened with environmental problems and d other pollution related illnesses. Grassroots multiracial organizations have sprung up to initiate lawsuits and fight the polluters. The Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) helps in this effort and has offered assistance in actions against th Certain statistical evidence exists to support the argument the environmental racism doses occur in certain locations throughout America. Consider a report called The Landmark Study in 1987, revealed the following: that three out of every five Black the national average. These statistics are staggering and make it difficult to understand why and how the government can permit this to occur to in our own backyards. There are characteristics that are apparent when considering the extent of environmental racism and may help explain why it occurs in the first place. For example, the greatest number of commercial hazardous facilities is located in communities with industries The effects of pollution and environmental hazards on people of color, the poor, and the working class have been overlooked by environmental policy makers because it is perceived that these communities are politically powerless and would not protest There is a very influential individual who brought attention to the term environmental racism. His name is Robert D. Bullard. He is a member of the Clinton Administration's Environmental Justice Transition team. He was one of the organizers of the With the knowledge that environmental racism exists there are some very influential laws in place to assist citizens in the fight against environmental racism. Fore example the EPA has made significant efforts to promote environmental justice. The However, in the 1990's the EPA has changed its view of Title VI (Dear 1992). For example, in Kettlman City supervisors were charged with running discriminatory public participation proceedings by holding public hearings thirty five miles from Kettlem One of the first steps toward addressing the problem of environmental racism was the establishment of the Conference on Race and the Incidence of Environmental Hazards in 1990 (Bullard 1993). It gave national visibility to the public debate on The mainstream movement, however, has been criticized for its lack of minority representation. Critics claim that these organizations fail to recruit minority memberships and have not addressed the daily environmental hazards in minority communitie Public outcry has prompted a response from the federal government on environmental racism. In 1994, on February 11, President Clinton signed an Executive Order on Environmental Justice addressing environmental racism. The executive order requires f The laws that are in place however, are not always successful in preventing environmental racism. That is why citizens who are tired of being subjected to the dangers of pollution in their communities have been confronting the power structures throu Watchdog groups are also effective in strategic planning to combat environmental racism. The group comprises workers, high school and college students, women, farm workers, and inner city residents who are victims of environmental racism. The Watchd It is a fact that there is a prominent problem of environmental racism throughout the U.S. More importantly is the fact that environmental racism that does occur is gaining recognition, publicity, and support from programs such as LEAN, individuals l Bibliography 1.Clavel, Pierre. 1994. "The Evolution of Advocacy Planning," Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 60, No. 2: 147. 2.Bullard, Robert D. 1993. "Anatomy of Environmental Racism and the Environmental Justice Movement," Confronting Environmental Racism: Voices from the Grassroots. R. Bullard, ed. Boston: South End Press 3.Dear, Michael. 1992. "Understanding and Overcoming the NIMBY Syndrome," Journal of the American Planning Association, Summer: 288 4.Kaufman, Jerome L. 1980. "Land Planning in an Ethical Perspective," Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, November-December: 258

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