Giving Compass' Take:
- Olivia Rosane reports on a legal agreement with the potential to reduce emissions in the area in the South dubbed “Cancer Alley.”
- Why do these toxic emissions disproportionately harm Black communities? What can you do about environmental racism in your area?
- Learn more about environmental racism and climate change.
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A legal settlement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the town containing the census tract with the worst air pollution in the country could significantly reduce harmful emissions in the area known as “Cancer Alley.”
The proposed agreement was posted on the Federal Register Tuesday and would settle two lawsuits brought by members of the majority-Black town of Reserve, Louisiana in St. John the Baptist parish against the nation’s top environmental agency, The Guardian reported.
“This is an example of Biden’s EPA starting to chart a new course on environmental justice, and clean air, after years of EPA ignoring fenceline communities’ daily reality of being overwhelmed by cancer-causing pollution,” two of the groups behind one of the lawsuits – Concerned Citizens of St. John and the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) – said in a statement reported by NOLA.com.
The lawsuit was initiated by the two groups along with the Sierra Club in November, 2021 to compel the EPA to update its regulations of toxic chemicals used to make plastic.
“While EPA has failed and continues to fail to act, community members suffer the consequences of exposure to toxic air pollution from polymers and resins facilities,” the lawsuit said. “These facilities emit highly hazardous air pollutants, including carcinogens like chloroprene, ethylene oxide, formaldehyde, and 1,3-butadiene. These hazardous air pollutants contribute to high cancer risk in Louisiana, Texas, and other states."
Read the full article about toxic emissions by Olivia Rosane at EcoWatch.