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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/22/10

Government Allows BP to Dump Oil-Spill Waste on Black Communities

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Although African Americans make up about 32 percent of Louisiana's population, three of the four approved landfills (75%) in the statethat have received BP oil-spill waste are located in mostly black communities. African American communities in Louisiana's Gulf Coast were hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina and have experienced the toughest challenge to rebuild and recover after five years. Now they are targets for BP garbage. Dumping more disaster waste on them is not a pathway to recovery and long-term sustainability.

Clearly, Environmental Justice Executive Order 12898, "Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations," signed by President William J. Clinton in 1994, requires the EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard to do a better job monitoring where BP oil-spill waste ends up to ensure that minority and low-income populations do not bear an adverse and disproportionate share of the burdens and negative impacts associated with the disastrous BP oil spill. Allowing the BP, Gulf Coast states, and the private disposal industry to select where the oil-spill waste is dumped only adds to the legacy of environmental racism and unequal protection.

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Following video was added by OpEdNews Multi-Media Editor Kevin Gosztola. It shows an independent video crew trying to figure out where waste from the spill is going; the crew is stopped by police, who are guarding a waste management facility.



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Robert D. Bullard is Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University in Houston. His most recent book is entitled "The Wrong Complexion (more...)
 

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