April 23, 2015
Foundations of Environmental Health
Written Report: Environmental Justice
America is a great country, which is known as the land of the free. But who is really free if majority of Americans live in malnourished and deprived environments? The stereotype is that minorities and less fortunate people live in lacking neighborhoods. It is a statistical reality: Those who are poor and of color are more likely to live in the most polluted neighborhoods. Less fortunate neighborhoods have always been the target of poorly kept up facilities with pessimistic environmental aspects (landfills, dirty factories, etc). For decades, a community-based movement known as Environmental Justice has been battling this injustice and trying to improve the quality of such neighborhoods.
According to The United States Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Justice is the “fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income” (www.epa.gov). The EPA has this goal for every low income community and people across the nation. It will be successfully be achieved when everyone enjoys the environment in their place of work and where they live.
To begin, I want to start with a brief history of the Environmental Justice movement. It is thought to have been originated in Warren County, North Carolina. In 1982, the state government thought this place would make a great home for 6,000 truckloads of soil laced with toxic PCB’s, it became national attention. Many frustrated residents charged at the trucks containing pernicious waste landfill. To prevent trucks from coming through, they laid on the roads leading up to the landfill. Six weeks of nonviolent prot...
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...ly growing their political voice and power, demanding to be heard as California takes strides toward environmental health” (SacBee, 2015). With the right environmental approach, California and other states could actually be in compliance with environmental justice. In order for this to happen, legislators would have to recognize that this problem actually exists. Then, the right action can happen.
In conclusion, I believe environmental justice is the right approach in solving urban pollution dilemmas. However, its significance has dropped since its origin years ago. A lot of people still practice poor environmental habits, which does not make things better in the long run. I completely agree with Cervas’ point of view. There needs to be more legislative action in the name of environmental justice. This will enforce laws and will ultimately make a better environment.
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