The move hearkens back to a Clinton-era executive order that required federal agencies to consider the effect of their policies on disadvantaged communities. Although the Bush administration largely ignored the mandate, Obama-appointed EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson has promised to analyze those effects.
Hundreds of hazardous waste recycling facilities in the United States, including 29 in California, have been classified as “damage cases” based on factors such as soil and water contamination that cause lasting health and environmental effects on the areas that surround them.
Earthjustice said the federal agency’s decision to consider race and class in relation to hazardous waste plant locations marks a “sea change” for the EPA. But some environmental justice advocates point out that the inequality continues.
‘Shipping toxic waste to communities of color is not green,” Bullard said. “It’s mean and it’s unjust and some of us think it should be illegal.'”