A CRA To Meet the Challenge of Climate Change
Advancing the Fight Against Environmental Racism
Environmental racism and climate change
Environmental racism consists of “the institutional rules, regulations, policies or government and/or corporate decisions that deliberately target certain communities for locally undesirable land uses and lax enforcement of zoning and environmental laws, resulting in communities being disproportionately exposed to toxic and hazardous waste based upon race.”8 For decades, legal forms of discrimination, racially biased housing policies, and racist lending practices have played a critical role in segregating people of color, particularly African Americans, into neighborhoods that face chronic disinvestment and higher levels of lead exposure, poorer air quality, and exposure to toxic chemicals due to their close proximity to landfills, hazardous waste sites, and other industrial facilities.9 Race represents the main determinant of the placement of toxic facilities in the United States.10 Black and brown communities represent the majority of nearly 2 million Americans who reside within a mile of sites that are vulnerable to flooding.11 African Americans and Latinos are more exposed to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution, the largest environmental health risk factor in the United States.
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