reimagining relationships
Home   Store   Free GIS   Education   Free Shapefiles   Census   Weather   Energy   Climate Change   News   Maps   TOPO   Aerial   GPS   Learn GIS

DOWNLOAD SHAPEFILES: Canada FSA Postal - Zip Code - U.S. Waterbodies & Wetlands - Geographic Names - School Districts - Indian Federal Lands
Zip Code/Demographics - Climate Change - U.S. Streams, Rivers & Waterways - Tornadoes - Nuclear Facilities - Dams & Risk - 2013 Toxic Release Inventory TRI

ANWR Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; What is at stake; removed USFWS website; photos, maps, descriptions

tools for survival plans Maps Food Water Health Gardening Energy Housing Security Communications Livelihood

Money Making Tips Work from Home Make Money Used Lumber & Building Materal Beginner's Guide Buy/Sell Gold Electronics & Computer

GIS Shapefile Store - for Beginners & Experienced GIS Users Alike. Geographic Names Information System, Nuclear Facilities, Zip Code Boundaries, School Districts, Indian & Federal Lands, Climate Change, Tornadoes, Dams - Create digital GIS maps in minutes.

Toxic Release Inventory TRI Shapefiles

Canada FSA Postal Code Shapefile

GNIS Shapefiles 2,000,000+ Points

Nuclear Energy Facilities in the U.S.

Download Zip Code with Demographics Shapefiles

Download U.S. Streams & Rivers Shapefiles

Download Water Body & Wetland Shapefiles

Download Zip Code Boundary Shapefiles

Download School District Shapefiles

Download Indian & Federal Land Shapefiles

Download Climate Change Shapefiles

Download Tornado Shapefiles

Download Dams & Risks Shapefiles

Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Didn't find what you are looking for? Email me and I'll find it for you.

Progressive Links

Federation of American Scientists

Physicians for Social Responsibility

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility

Union of Concerned Scientists


Reader Supported News

Common Dreams


Huffington Post

Media Matters

Think Progress

Grist Environmental News

Climate Shift Blog

MapCruzin Consulting
Data Research and GIS Specialists.

GIS Tutorials

GIS Basics

GIS Terminology

Of Interest

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Maps

Climate Shift - The effects of climate shift on the future of planet earth and its inhabitants.

Right to Know or Left to Wonder?

Hazardscapes - Toxic and Nuclear Risks in your backyard.

War & Environment

Worst Case Scenarios: Terrorism & industrial chemicals.

Tempers Flare at Environmental Justice Conference
Fair Use Statement


Source: ENS


Tempers Flare at Environmental Justice Conference

By Brian Hansen

ARLINGTON, Virginia, December 12, 2000 (ENS) - Members of a federal government advisory panel today lambasted President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to aggressively combat the scourge of "environmental racism" that they maintain is afflicting many poor communities and communities of color.


The charges were leveled by members of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), a stakeholder group established to advise the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on strategies to curtail the disproportionately high numbers of polluting industries and toxic waste sites often found in minority and low income communities.


The charges came as the 26 member NEJAC board met with EPA officials in Arlington, Virginia, this week to discuss the agency's soon to be released environmental justice guidance document.

Luke Cole, a civil rights and environmental law attorney with the California based Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, was one of many NEJAC board members to criticize the EPA for the way the agency went about drafting its forthcoming environmental justice guidance document. Cole complained that the still secret document was drafted by high ranking EPA officials who "completely ignored" the recommendations of the NEJAC panel, which was established through an executive order signed by President Clinton in 1994.

Cole and other NEJAC members did not hesitate in voicing their frustrations over the process to Barry Hill, director of the EPA's environmental justice division. Cole lashed out at Hill and other EPA officials for "meeting behind closed doors" to draft the environmental justice document, and for treating the 26 member NEJAC board like "window dressing" to a problem that the agency is paying only "lip service" to.

"It only reinforces the idea that EPA is not responsive to the concept of environmental justice," an agitated Cole said to Hill.

Hill, who appeared to be visibly shaken by the allegation, attempted to reply to Cole's charge. But Cole shouted down the EPA official, saying, "I do not want to hear your response."

But Hill, who had grown noticably angry during the exchange, would not be silenced. He sternly poked his index finger at Cole, saying, "I'm going to give you my response."

Hill emphasized that the EPA's forthcoming environmental justice guidance document was not intended to be an "environmental decision," which he said would have required the input of the NEJAC board and other relevant stakeholders. The guidance document, Hill said, was only intended to provide a broad framework for dealing with environmental justice issues.

But Hill's explanation was not good enough for other members of the NEJAC board, including Vernice Miller-Travis, who coordinates a Ford Foundation environmental justice program in the state of New York.


"I represent my community, and I don't want my name on [an EPA document] if it's going to be working against my community," Miller-Travis said to Hill. "There's a profound contradiction between what you say to the country and what you say to us" on the subject of environmental justice.

NEJAC board member Rosa Hilda Ramos was also quick to criticize Hill for ignoring the input of the environmental justice advisory board. Ramos represents the 36,000 people living in the Puerto Rican town of Catano, an economically disadvantaged community saddled with a disproportionately high concentration of industrial wastes and hazardous substances.

"Commenting at the end of the process is not real community participation," Ramos said. Hill and other EPA officials tried to move beyond the testy exchange with the NEJAC board members by yielding the floor to Tony Guadagno, an attorney with the EPA's Office of General Counsel. Guadagno unveiled a 14 page memorandum that the EPA drafted in order to highlight the various statutory and regulatory remedies available for redressing matters pertaining to environmental justice.

But the memo only drew more catcalls from the NEJAC board. Cole, in a sarcastic tone, said that he was "very excited that in the waning hours of the Clinton administration that [EPA] finally managed" to compile a list of strategies to combat matters of environmental racism. Cole's remark evoked a series of audible groans from the audience, which was comprised of EPA officials, environmental activists and industry representatives from throughout the country.

But Cole's point was echoed by a host of others on the NEJAC board, including Miller-Travis, who noted that the EPA's environmental justice enforcement document had been reduced from 54 to only 14 pages.

"There's a lot that's not in there," Miller-Travis said of the EPA's memo. Miller-Travis was also upset that the EPA incorporated a type of "disclaimer" into the document, which she said gave federal agencies an "out" from actually having to use the nation's civil rights and environmental laws to prosecute environmental justice cases.

That segued nicely into the meeting's keynote address, which was entitled, "Missed Opportunities in Environmental Laws." The address was delivered by Barbara Arnwine, executive director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Arnwine's remarks revolved around Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits recipients of federal monies from discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin in their programs or activities. Title VI has long been used by environmental justice advocates as a tool to address specific instances of environmental racism in federally funded programs.

Arnwine applauded the EPA for creating an office of environmental justice, saying that its mere existence shows that the issue is important to the agency.

But Arnwine told ENS that the EPA has "not been as proactive as it could have been in using existing laws to protect minority communities from environmental racism." Nor has the agency effectively used the courts to promote a better understanding of the concept of environmental justice, Arnwine added.

"EPA has failed miserably in that regard," Arnwine said, adding that the same can be said for the Department of Defense, the Energy Department, and a host of other federal agencies.

Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization) Arnwine said that the EPA's failure to prosecute environmental justice cases is an "imbalance that you don't find anywhere else in the federal sector." She noted that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is frequently a plaintiff in the nation's court system, filing suits to enforce fair housing laws. The opposite is true for the EPA she said, noting that the agency is frequently a defendant accused of violating the nation's environmental laws.

"That's very telling," she said. "It shows a real lack of a proactive, affirmative analysis of how to use environmental justice concepts in the courts."

Arnwine's point was echoed by Cole, who called the EPA's performance on environmental justice issues "disastrous."

"There are many smart, well intentioned EPA staffers focused on this issue, but the agency is really just paying lip service to the idea, and not actually making it happen on the ground," Cole said.

Cole noted that of the more than 100 Title VI environmental justice complaints that have been filed since 1993, only one has been decided on the merits. The plaintiff lost that case, Cole noted.

"But the vast majority of cases are plaintiffs versus the EPA, not EPA versus the bad guys," Cole added. "That's very instructive instructive."

Asked about how the outcome of the still undecided presidential election would effect the enforcement of the prosecution of environmental justice cases, Cole said, "We've had eight years of disaster under Clinton. It's going to be a worse disaster under [Texas Governor George W.] Bush, but it certainly wouldn't be rosy under [Vice President Al] Gore."

The impetus for environmental justice comes from the 'EJ movement,' not the federal government," Cole said. "The EPA has been dragged kicking and screaming into this every step of the way, so on one level, it doesn't matter who's in charge."

For more information on the EPA's office of environmental justice, log on to:

Didn't find what you are looking for? We've been online since 1996 and have created 1000's of pages. Search below and you may find just what you are looking for.

Michael R. Meuser
Data Research & GIS Specialist is an independent firm specializing in GIS project development and data research. We created the first U.S. based interactive toxic chemical facility maps on the internet in 1996 and we have been online ever since. Learn more about us and our services.

Have a project in mind? If you have data, GIS project or custom shapefile needs contact Mike.

Contact Us

Report Broken Links

Subscribe for Updates

Follow on Facebook
News & Updates

Find: Maps, Shapefiles, GIS Software & More

MapCruzin Blog for updates, questions and answers
Blog Updates

More Blog Updates


Google Earth Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Maps
Lester Brown's Plan B 3.0
State GIS Shapefiles, Maps & Resources
GIS Shapefiles & Maps
GIS Programs, Tools & Resources
Free World Country & Regional Maps
GIS / GPS Careers and Job Positions
Disease Outbreak Maps
Extreme Weather & Disaster Maps
Free World Maps from the CIA Factbook
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge ANWR Maps
Oil and Gas Maps
Africanized Honey Bees
Renewable Energy Potential Maps of the United States
Terrorism Maps
War Maps
Google Maps
Weather Maps
GPS Resources
Historical Maps of the World
Google Earth
Library of Congress American Memory Map Downloads
Toxic Chemical Pollution Maps
Climate Change Maps
Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Maps
Census Shapefiles
World Maps


Environmental Justice
Data Sources
Greenwash & JunkScience
Statistical Resources
Wireless Dangers
Surviving Climate Change
Global Right-To-Know
Creating Living Economies
Books of Note
Toxic Klamath River
Federal Lands Maps
TRI Analysis
TRI Webmaps
EnviroRisk Map Network
Community-Based Research
Right-To-Know or Left to Wonder?
Chemical Industry Archives
21st Century Warfare
National Parks and Public Lands
Trade Secrets/Toxic Deception
GIS Books
Our Projects
Other Projects
1999 Archive Environews
Environmental Books
Environmental Links
Redwood Coast Information
Recycle, Salvage, Reuse

Shapefile Store
Free GIS Software
Free Map Downloads
Free Shapefiles
Free Remote Sensing
Free Topo Maps
Free GIS Tutorial
Free GPS

About MapCruzin - Cookies, Privacy, Fair Use and Disclaimer - Advertise on

Copyright © 1996 - 2019 Michael Meuser, All Rights Reserved
MapCruzin is a Pop-Up Free Website -- Best Viewed With ANY Browser