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We Graded the Feds on their Environmental Justice Programs — Here's How They Fared


We Graded the Feds on their Environmental Justice Programs — Here's How They Fared

Brentin Mock

As the winds settled from Hurricane Sandy, Shaun Donovan, then-head of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), vowed that his agency would give the communities that were most impacted by the superstorm the highest priority for revovery efforts. Donovan’s federal task force on post-Sandy rebuilding did adopt some of the ideas forwarded by the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, whose members were among those most devastated by the storm.


Thank-you, CommonDreams for publishing an article that examines the performance of individual agencies - some good, some awful - instead of the all too common sweeping condemnations of “the government”, whatever that is.

But I suspect that because it does delve into the complexity of the issues - and deals with things largely impacting Black Americans, I suspect that we will not be seeing many comments from the overwhelmingly white and bourgeois CD readership here.



This site mostly does agglomeration; take a gander at Grist to and you’ll see pretty much the same phenomena of participation. Sometimes it takes two sides to make commutation fail. Brentin Mock did a nice review of a book covering the subject of segregated beaches, and how whites took beaches from blacks; but he failed to note both races got their beaches from the native Americans.


No surprise that Sally Jewell’s outfit does the worst. Her appointment to Sec of the Interior was an open invitation to frack, frack, frack.


Have too often read environmental impact reports that state dismissively that environmental justice aspects have been considered and “do not apply,” even though they clearly do. I fear it is too often checked off and then forgotten as a concern, inasmuch as it is difficult and time consuming to evaluate long term consequences to vulnerable populations(and can frustrate efforts for resource development or exploitation). Federal agencies tasked with protecting the public good and ensuring that target populations’ rights and needs are considered too often go the route of laziness, incompetence, or flat-out corruption.