Opinion: Changing the Climate for Environmental Racism

Environmental toxic exposure suffered in many minority neighborhoods is part of the systemic racism evident in society, and environmental justice belongs near the top of discussions to right those wrongs, writes Kevin McKie, an attorney at the Environmental Litigation Group P.C. Communities can take several steps, including passing legislation requiring industries to comply with stricter environmental regulations or pay additional fines, requiring that stringent environmental impact studies be performed before construction of new plants or the installation of toxic emission monitoring stations, and offering free medical monitoring.

Environmental Justice Becomes Part of California City Planning

More than 140 cities and counties in California intend to update their long-term plans over the next two years to include environmental justice, meaning air pollution, water quality, and other factors affecting disadvantaged communities would get a closer look.

Local governments across the country typically have general plans that spell out long-term visions for land use, open space, housing, safety, and other planning factors. Some local governments haven’t updated their overall general plans since the 1970s, said Erik de Kok, a program manager in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.