Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice

American Bar Association
Standing Committee on Environmental Law
Commission on Homelessness and Poverty
Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities
National Bar Association
Hispanic National Bar Association

R ESOLVED , that the American Bar Association

a. supports actions by federal, state, territorial and local governments, private entities and academic institutions to achieve implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies so that a disproportionate share of the burden of environmental harm does not fall on minority and/or low-income individuals, communities or populations;
b. urges federal, state, territorial and local administrative agencies to give priority attention to this problem by, among other things, improving agency procedures governing access to information about environmental impacts and applicable laws, by adopting regulations and policies to mitigate or eliminate those impacts, and assessing and managing environmental risks so that they better take account of the need to eliminate such inequities; and
c. urges Congress, state and territorial legislatures and local governments to enact legislation, as appropriate, and to take other appropriate measures to redress and eliminate situations in which minority and/or low-income people have borne a disproportionate share of harm to the environment,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED , that the American Bar Association urges:

a. Further documentation of the causes and consequences of the inequitable distribution of environmental burdens;
b. The delivery of legal services in the area of environmental law to eligible persons in minority and/or low-income communities;
c. Additional training of environmental lawyers to recognize, address and redress incidences of environmental inequity;
d. Law schools top consider the expansion of curricula and clinica.l programs to educate students to deal with these problems; and
e. state and local bar associations to adopt resolutions similar to this ABA resolution.

Adopted by the ABA House of Delegates, August 11, 1993, New York, NY.

For a copy of the complete report, contact Carrie Coleman at scel@staff.abanet.org .