skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Sunday, July 21, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

EPA Struggles to Deliver Environmental Justice

play audio
Play

Tuesday, June 7, 2016   

SEATTLE - The Environmental Protection Agency rarely investigates complaints from minority communities that allege local environmental regulations are discriminatory.

According to the Center for Public Integrity, only one of seven cases in Washington state has been accepted for investigation since 1996.

Sarah Tory, who wrote a recent article for High Country News about the EPA's failure to enforce the Civil Rights Act, says there's a disconnect between the agency's civil rights office and its regulatory wing.

"It seems to be the case that the EPA is chiefly concerned with making sure industries, power plants, et cetera, are complying with the laws," says Tory. "And if they are, the EPA is reticent to then turn around and say, 'Actually while you may be in compliance with our regulations, you're violating the Civil Rights Act.'"

Since the EPA established its Office for Civil Rights in the early 1990s, it has received more than 300 complaints, yet never made a formal finding of environmental discrimination.

The Center for Public Integrity says it takes the agency 350 days on average to decide whether to investigate a case.

Tory says in one case, the pesticide methyl bromide was being used near a California high school.

In 1999, seven parents filed a complaint with the EPA against the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.

Twelve years later, the agency released preliminary findings of discrimination, for the first time ever and in response, set up one air-quality monitor near the school.

Tory says by then, another pesticide was in much wider use.

"During the time the EPA took to investigate the impacts of methyl bromide, the pesticide had been phased out, and it had been replaced by a new pesticide called methyl iodide," she says. "Methyl iodide is also linked to numerous health problems, and the EPA knew this but didn't account for it in their investigation."

The EPA has released a draft action plan called EJ 2020 to ensure the agency can better respond to allegations of environmental discrimination in the future.

EJ 2020 is open to public comment through July 7.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Vice President Kamala Harris spoke at a political event in Grand Rapids, Mich., in early 2024. (The White House/Wikimedia Commons)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Vice President Kamala Harris focused on reproductive rights at a campaign event in Michigan Wednesday. Her remarks come as President Joe Biden has …


Environment

play sound

Construction could begin in Minnesota later this year in the final phase of one of the nation's largest solar energy developments, after state …

Social Issues

play sound

Thousands of educators from across the nation will be in Houston starting this weekend for the American Federation of Teachers annual convention…


The Illinois State Board of Education report card said O'Fallon Township High School HSD #203 is currently only funded at 64%. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

By Kristy Alpert for Arts Midwest.Broadcast version by Terri Dee for Illinois News Connection reporting for the Arts Midwest-Public News Service Colla…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Counterfeit medicine sales are on the rise, in Connecticut and nationwide. The state faced trouble with growing sales of counterfeit Xanax pills …

"Arizonans understand that it is insane to risk Phoenix or Tempe for Odesa or some corn field in Ukraine. It is not in our national interest to get involved," said U.S. Rep. Alexander Kolodin, R-Ariz. (Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

Social Issues

play sound

More than 2,400 delegates gathered in Milwaukee this week for the Republican National Convention and delegates from around the country, including …

Environment

play sound

So far, states like Wisconsin have largely escaped the worst of the summer heat affecting much of the nation but a group of scientists wants regional …

Social Issues

play sound

Postsecondary enrollment data for 2023 shows community college enrollment increased nationwide by more than 100,000 students, and a large percentage …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021