All people have the right to live and work in a healthy environment. Yet significant racial and socioeconomic disparities persist in the siting of commercial hazardous waste facilities. Of the more than 9 million people living near a hazardous waste facility, more than 5.1 million are people of color. Moreover, poverty rates are 1.5 times higher in these neighborhoods.
Members of Congress can address these disparities through legislation that strengthens the rules governing how and where waste facilities are sited and hazardous materials are stored and transported. Low-income communities and communities of color should be protected from disproportionately high exposure to environmental pollutants that pose significant health risks.
H. 518—Gutting environmental review: Enacting this legislation in both houses of Congress would have gutted the efficacy of the evaluation process for the environmental impact of major federal projects. These projects disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color.
S. 8—Protecting low-income communities from petcoke: Adoption of this amendment would have implemented measures to protect the public health of low-income communities from petroleum coke, a potentially dangerous co-product of heavy crude oil distillation.