Every single American should have access to clean air, clean water, and healthy outdoor spaces. But environmental racism and a long history of disproportionate pollution impacts in low-income communities and communities of color have meant decades of injustice when it comes to access to these basic necessities.
Landfills, hazardous waste sites, and other industrial facilities are more often located in or near communities of color, and they are also more likely to be exposed to pollution from major highways and ports.
Cases of lead poisoning are more highly concentrated in low-income communities and communities of color – and their children disproportionately suffer the related consequences. Low-income communities also often lack public green space and face barriers to accessing our natural resources.
The problem is clear, and yet the Trump administration is cutting the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget for environmental justice and enforcement programs. The administration is also rolling back the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which is a vital tool for impacted communities to weigh in on major projects that will have environmental and health consequences in their communities.
As the impacts of climate change worsen, we must ensure that all communities have the resources they need to adapt and be resilient. This is not the time to cut environmental justice and enforcement budgets.