EJ outside CJ

A vast array of EJ issues are multiplied and made more extreme by climate change, so we ask:  which EJ subtopics seem distant or unrelated to CJ?


#1  On Superfund sites we recommend starting with

CERCLA, 1980 refers to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act [aka Superfund], which established federal policy on closed and abandoned hazardous waste sites, liability of responsible persons, and a trust fund to provide for cleanup.    

For details see:  https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-cercla-overview

For a discussion of racial disparities in the Trump administration's retrenchment from maintaining and funding cleanup of Superfund sites, check out "Polluters Pay So Children Can Play"  Authors: Lois Gibbs, Maddelene Karlsson and Kenia French;  Contributions: Stephen Lester, Lauren Maranto, Elizabeth Goodiel; published by The Center for Health, Environment and Justice, P.O. Box 6806,  Falls Church, VA 22040        707-237-2249   


On page 14 the authors' analysis of the Trump policy went on to explain:  "Overall, he’s largely ignored orphan sites. Orphan sites are in many ways the most vulnerable of Superfund sites, because without federal allocations to the Superfund program, there is no money to clean up these sites. These findings convey a focus on sites that have a clear cleanup plan lined up, and a departure from the innate purpose of Superfund, which is to clean up the most toxic hazardous sites, not just the ones that have an easy source of funding to pay for the cleanup."

On page 15 the authors went on to explain:  "What’s perhaps even more striking is that the large majority of sites targeted by the Trump administration are in predominantly white areas. 61.1% of Superfund sites Trump is working on are in zip codes where the population is mostly white. This is particularly significant because environmental pollution disproportionately affects people of color. A recent study, financed in part by the EPA, found that people of color disproportionately live near polluted facilities and breathe in polluted air, and thus suffer disproportionately from diseases caused by living in an unhealthy environment. According to EPA’s own data, 1/5 of all minorities in the US live within 3 miles of a Superfund site.50 The population within 1 mile of all Superfund sites in the US is composed 49.3% of minorities, and within 3 miles the population is 49.7% minority (if minority is defined as anyone who is not white, excluding white people who also identify as Hispanic or Latino).51 When looking at zip codes Trump’s Superfund sites are located in, the population is 41.7% minority, which is significantly less than the overall population makeup of who lives near Superfund sites. It’s important to keep in mind that analyzing zip codes vs. analyzing population within one to three miles is a different measurement, because zip codes can vary in size, but knowing that Superfund sites disproportionately affect people of color, it’s significant that Trump’s Superfund policy is mostly serving white people."


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