Frank J. Cavaliere, Esq., is a Professor of Business Law and former Chair of the Department of Administrative Services in the College of Business at Lamar University, in Beaumont, Texas. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
His Web site is www.webwiselawyer.com by Professor Frank J. Cavaliere, Esq. E NVIRONMENTAL R ACISM O R J UST AP ROBLEM O F P ERSPECTIVE ?
A SK R USH L IMBAUGH Arecent edition of CNN 9s cJudy Woodruff 9s Inside Politics d program put its finger on some of the Republican Party 9s sorest points. One ana- lyst pointed out that in the last presidential elec- tion, African Americans voted for Al Gore 10 to one over George Bush. Another reported that former Green Party candidate and consumer activist Ralph Nader was weighing the possibil- ity of running against President Bush for the Republican Party 9s presidential nomination.
(A transcript is available at www.cnn.com/TRAN- SCRIPTS/0306/19/ip.00.html ). It is no secret that the Republican Party has long had problems appealing to minority voters (particularly African Americans) and environ- mental interest groups. The same antipathy may fairly be said to exist toward big business.
The resentments of these two groups converge in the area of environmental justice ( cEJ d), ... more. less.
alterna- tively known as environmental racism. Proponents routinely point to many situa- tions that they believe are proof of environmen- tal racism. Consider a governmental commis- sion cstacked d with well-to-do political donors, who just happen to be English-speaking Cau- casian business executives.<br><br> What are the impli- cations of rich communities that generate tons of waste materials, shipping them off to waste-dis- posal facilities in poorer communities? Finally, what explains dirty industries being allowed to expand in poorer (often minority) communities, while similar industries are kept out of wealthier communities? Reasonable minds can differ about the conclusions to be drawn, but there are many adherents to the EJ point of view, and the Web is a major focal point and clearinghouse of EJ information.<br><br> Environmental Justice: The Beginnings According to the Sierra Club 9s EJ Web page: cWhat Warren County [North Carolina] resi- dents and their allies did from 1978-1982 trans- formed their community into the symbolic cen- ter and birthplace of the environmental justice movement. d The story is compelling and dis- turbing: cIn the summer of 1978, PCB-contaminated transformer oil was illegally dumped on the shoulder of 210 miles of North Carolina state roads in 14 counties. & That winter, the state proposed 142 acres of land in Warren County to become the site of the landfill. In 1979, the fed- eral Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claimed the site could be made safe with engi- neering.<br><br> & Since Warren County did not think their environment was the most ecologically sound choice, they began to question the politi- cal reasons for why their community was cho- 9 the WEB-WISE LAWYER