This Comment addresses the concept of environmental racism, the tools that have been used to fight it, and the proposed Environmental Justice Act of 1993. Part II begins with an examination of the evidence minority communities have relied on as proof that environmental racism exists. The evidence contained in numerous articles clearly shows inequalities in the amounts of environmental and health hazards minority communities bear, and this evidence validates the existence of pervasive environmental injustice in our society. Part III addresses the limited case law involving attempts by minority communities to challenge perceived environmental racism and assesses the effectiveness of the existing legal tools used in such cases. Part IV of this Comment examines the text of the proposed Environmental Justice Act of 1993. This Part analyzes the Act's potential as a solution to the problem of unequal environmental burdens and identifies the Act's weaknesses in methodology and overall tone. Part V suggests the need for a more effective legislative response to the problem, both by suggesting revisions in the provisions and goals of the Act and by suggesting areas for further consideration. Finally, Part VI concludes that the Act, though a step forward in recognizing the unequal environmental and health burdens nationwide, will not be effective in its present form. It will simply not provide minority communities with effective assistance in their fight against unequal environmental burdens.
Claire L. Hasler, The Proposed Environmental Justice Act: "I Have a (Green) Dream", 17 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 417 (1994).