March 12, 2021
Periodically, the EPA Office of Environmental Justice will share information of interest to you. The new article, “Confronting Disproportionate Impacts and Systemic Racism in Environmental Policy” (Environmental Law Reporter, vol. 51, no. 3, March 2021), is now available. Published by the Environmental Law Institute, the Environmental Law Reporter graciously arranged to make this article publicly available free-of-charge.
The article focuses on how understanding and operationalizing the concept of disproportionate impacts are critical to the next generation of environmental justice (EJ) practice. It charts a pathway to better define, articulate, and analyze disproportionate impacts in a manner that is empirically based, analytically rigorous, and has an evidentiary link to systemic racism and the roots of the inequitable distribution of environmental burdens and benefits.
It also offers a framework for integrating these concepts into environmental decision-making, which can help overcome the decades old stagnation in EJ practice.
Finally, the article links future EJ practice to the national conversation about systemic racism, and discusses how conditions for making progress have never been better since the EPA began working on an issue that did not even have a name some 40 years ago. You can read it here: