Regulatory rollbacks are "environmental racism in action"

Federal rollbacks of environmental protections, and an inept COVID-19 response, disproportionately impact communities of color.

Editor's note: Environmental insults and police violence aimed at communities of color are interconnected issues. As the nation grieves over the killing of George Floyd, we are revisiting stories from our newsroom over the past couple years that examine environmental racism in Black communities.


In March, Derrick Jackson wrote about how The Trump Administration's plans to gut the National Environmental Policy Act will impact frontline communities.

"The loss of public input in the administration's proposed changes to NEPA has environmental justice leaders up in arms. For them, the silencing amounts to regulatory racism."

See Jackson's op-ed below which details how these changes promise "particular devastation" for communities long polluted by industry, which are disproportionately poor and of color.

Derrick Z. Jackson: Environmental racism in action

"Don't lessen the regulation. Don't silence our voices," Hilton Kelley, 2011 Goldman Environmental Prize winner, told White House officials last month. (Credit: tcu.edu)

 "The beginning of a retreat back to a social distance all too familiar along racial lines" 

Jackson also detailed last month how the quick re-opening of the U.S. in during the COVID-19 pandemic exposes age-old racial wounds.

"African American and Latinx workers, who keep America humming, from the farm fields to the meat packing plants, have died from coronavirus at vastly disproportionate rates, yet their families, fresh from burying and cremating their loved ones, are now being told they must get back to work."

See the full op-ed below.

The push to relax COVID-19 protections exposes age-old racial wounds: Derrick Z. Jackson

Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen collect samples for COVID-19 testing. (Credit: The National Guard)

Editor's note: Jackson is the advisory board of Environmental Health Sciences, publisher of Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate.

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