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The Obama Administration’s Latest ‘Environmental [In]Justice’


As discussed here by the Washington Legal Foundation, the Obama administration has taken the already-wacky concept of “environmental justice” to even-wackier extremes.  The basic idea here is that whether pollution is illegal or not can depend on whether its possible victims reflect a politically correct racial balance.  That is, if a company locates a new industrial plant in a racially mixed neighborhood, that may be okay, but it might not be if the plant is located in a predominantly minority neighborhood.  Now EPA has made it “significantly easier for environmental groups to establish” a violation under this dubious approach to the law.  What’s more, it has done so without giving businesses and the general public the appropriate notice-and-comment opportunity.  And, what’s still more, the whole approach is inconsistent with the underlying statute involved, Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  All of this is yet more evidence that this administration has never met a disparate-impact claim it didn’t like.