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Enviro-Health Links - Environmental Justice

Overview

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) defines environmental justice as the "fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies." Environmental justice is also perceived as an imminent national health issue and is viewed as a critical need to ensure that communities comprised predominantly of people of color or low income populations receive equal protection under environmental laws.

Historically, low income and/or minority communities have been dumping grounds for hazardous waste. Disproportional treatment of this nature, along with other social determinants, has propelled the environmental justice movement to the forefront of national health concerns. Pioneering efforts stemming from community advocates to staunch environmentalists have been instrumental in bringing to light the interconnections between the environment, racial/ethnic differences, income inequities, and human health disparities. Significant factors in what is known as environmental racism include any environmental policy, practice, or directive that differentially affects or disadvantages (whether intended or unintended) individuals, groups, or communities based on race or color.

Over the years, the environmental justice movement has been the primary impetus behind policy development targeting unfair, unjust, and illegal practices. However, despite these achievements, environmental contamination continues and remains a major health and social issue.

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Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice

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Symposium

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Specific Aspects

Housing

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Kids

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Tribal Resources

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Environmental Research Tools

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Federal Statutes, Regulations, and Reports

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Brownfields

According to the Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields are abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.

Brownfields lie abandoned and often contaminated from past uses. Unused or under-utilized, they are impediments to economic development in rural and urban communities across the United States. Brownfields can potentially cause harm to human health and the environment, reduce employment opportunities and tax revenue, contribute to neighborhood crime such as theft, dumping or other illegal activities, reduce surrounding property value and contribute to neighborhood blight, limit economic growth and development and contribute to urban sprawl.

Definition taken from the Community Environmental Resource Program (CERP), St. Louis, MO.

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Overview

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Federal Statutes, Regulations, and Reports

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Other Brownfields Resources

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Topic-related Searches of National Library of Medicine Resources

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TOXLINE - Special journal literature, technical reports and archival collections

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NLM Catalog - Access to information about books and other materials in NLM's catalog

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Organizations

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Blogs, News, Podcasts, and Videos

Blogs

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News (RSS)

Learn about RSS feeds at USA.gov

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Videos

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Información en Español

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Disclaimer

Reference to an external Internet resource on this server does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement by the National Library of Medicine of the services or views described in that resource.

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