Historically, African American and other people of color communities have borne a disproportionate burden of pollution from landfills, garbage dumps, incinerators, sewage treatment plants, chemical industries and a host of other polluting facilities. Many dirty industries have followed the “path of least resistance” allowing communities of color to become environmental "sacrifice zones" and the “dumping grounds” for all kinds of health-threatening operations.
Nine out of ten EPA regions have racial disparities in the location of hazardous waste facilities. People of color comprise 28.5 percent of Region 4. However, people of color comprise the majority of residents living within two miles of the 67 commercial hazardous waste facilities in Alabama (66.3%), Florida (52.7%), Georgia (55.6%), Kentucky (51.5%), Mississippi (50.6%), North Carolina (55.9%), South Carolina (43.9), and Tennessee (53.8%).
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After nearly four decades, all of the Region 4 administrators have been white. None of the Region 4 administrators, under Democrats and Republicans, have adequately addressed legacy issues such as environmental racism, unequal protection, and policies and decisions that adversely and disproportionately impact African Americans and other people of color in the region. (article)
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