JANUARY 13, 2011
A few months after launching a multi million-dollar campaign to help minorities get green, the Obama Administration is dedicating an additional $7 million to study how pollution, stress and social factors affect “poor and underserved communities.”It’s all part of the administration’s effort to bring environmental justice to low-income populations by helping them obtain the same degree of protection from health and environmental hazards as wealthy communities. Here’s how it works; the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gives money to leftwing groups—including some dedicated to helping illegal immigrants—that teach black, Latino and indigenous folks how to recycle, reduce carbon emissions through “weatherization” and participate in “green jobs” training.To carry out that phase of the environmental justice crusade, some 80 community organizations have received about $2 million. Among the recipients is a New Jersey group (Lazos America Unida) that advocates on behalf of the “Mexican immigrant community” and a Missouri farm workers’ group that will use the money to increase awareness about the dangers of sun and heat exposure in migrant populations.As if that weren’t bad enough, this week the EPA announced that it’s giving scientists at several universities $7 million to study how pollution, combined with stress and other social factors, affects people in “poor and underserved communities.” The agency refers to it as cumulative human health risk assessment research and the goal is to rid underserved communities of extensive pollution-based problems.“This ground-breaking research will focus on environments where people are exposed to multiple stressors such as chemicals, anxiety, and poor nutrition,” according to the EPA announcement. “When these stressors are combined, they can lead to a much higher risk of health issues.” The agency is committed to addressing these sorts of contributors to “disproportionate environmental health impacts,” according to a top official.EPA Chief Lisa Jackson launched her agency’s costly justice campaign because she claims poor and minority communities have little voice in environmental decisions while they suffer living in the shadow of the worst pollution.
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