The Law of Environmental Justice (Updates)

The Law of Environmental Justice, Second Edition: Update Service

About the Book

The Law of Environmental Justice, 2nd Edition

Michael B. Gerrard and Sheila R. Foster, Editors
About the Editors

Environmental justice is the concept that minority and low-income individuals, communities and populations should not be disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards, and that they should share fully in making the decisions that affect their environment. This newly updated edition ofThe Law of Environmental Justicecomprehensively examines the sources of environmental justice law and how evolving regulations and important court decisions impact projects around the country.

The 21 individual chapters, written by many of the leading practitioners and scholars in the field, are divided into three categories: legal theories, legal procedures, and legal objectives.

Most Recent Updates Appear First

Updated: June 20, 2012

(To read each update, please click on appropriate title or click here to view all updates)

Michael B. Gerrard, Editor
J. Cullen Howe, Assistant Editor


EPA Released Draft Plan EJ 2014 Supplement

EPA Launched Environmental Justice in Action Blog

Federal Court Refused to Dismiss Lawsuit Concerning Permitting of Hazardous Waste Dumps in Low-Income and Latino Communities

District Court Held that Government Agency Must Take Steps to Ensure Complete Administrative Record in Case Concerning Bridge Located in EJ Community

Environmental Groups Seek to Intervene in Lawsuit, Alleging that EPA Failed to Enforce Consent Order at Wastewater Treatment Plant

Obama Administration Announced that Federal Agencies are Finalizing Strategies for Incorporating Environmental Justice into their Operations

EPA Released Draft Report on Developing a Model Civil Rights Program

DEC Proposed Draft Rules Regarding Power Plant Siting and Carbon Emissions

Alabama Residents Filed Administrative Complaint With EPA Alleging Violations of the Civil Rights Act Concerning Landfill that Accepted Coal-Combustion Ash

Department of Transportation Released Guidance Document on Process to Address EJ Issues During NEPA Process

GAO Released Report Criticizing Several Aspects of EPA’s Environmental Justice Policies

Environmental Justice Interagency Working Group Released Community Resource Guide and Interagency Directory

EPA Released Update on Ongoing and Future Actions Concerning Integration of EJ in Decision Making and Research

Federal Agencies Released Draft Environmental Justice Strategies

EPA Released Agency Roadmap to Help Integrate Environmental Justice Into the Agency’s Programs, Policies and Activities for the Next Three Years

EPA Announced Settlement with Department of the Interior to Resolve Violations at Schools in Indian Country

EPA Announced Settlement Concerning Alleged Methyl Bromide Contamination

17 Federal Agencies Signed Memorandum of Understanding Committing to Providing Annual Reports on Their Efforts to Address EJ Issues

Federal Agencies and Municipal Sewer Utility Entered into Consent Decree Whereby Utility Agreed to Improve Sewer Collection Infrastructure for Low-Income Housing


Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Agreed to Examine Environmental Racism Complaints

EPA Settled Environmental Justice Lawsuit Alleging a Failure to Investigate Discrimination in Washington State

EPA Released EJView Environmental Justice Mapping Tool

Federal Transportation Administration Held Up Funding for Oakland Project in Response to Allegations that Bay Area Transit Agency Failed to Comply with Civil Rights Laws

Federal Agencies Sued Under NEPA Over Rail Project

EPA Outlined Environmental Justice Review Planned for Hazardous Waste Recycling Rule

Radioactive Waste Processor Settled Race Bias Suit

Ninth Circuit Grants Preliminary Injunction In Case Concerning Challenge by Indian Tribes to Proposed Gold Mine Near Sacred Site

EPA Required Additional Environmental Justice Analyses in Petition to Import and Incinerate Polychlorinated Biphenyls

EPA Awarded Environmental Justice Grants to Five States

Power Company Reached Agreement with City and Environmental Groups Concerning Emissions at Power Plant

EPA Administrator Announced $1 Million Initiative to Address Environmental Justice in Ten Cities

Public Service Commission Approved Programs to Reduce Peak Energy Demand in New York City, Helping Environmental Justice Communities

Coalition Petitioned EPA for Environmental Justice As Part of Review of Mountaintop Mine Plans

Ninth Circuit Ordered District Court to Hear Lawsuit Against EPA Office of Civil Rights

Arlington County Filed Suit Against Federal Agencies Over Proposed Highway Project

EPA to Assess Environmental Justice Effect of Final RCRA Rule Redefining Solid Waste

Cincinnati, Ohio Passed Environmental Justice Ordinance

Environmental Justice Advocates Brought Suit Challenging California Air Resources Board's Plan to Implement AB 32

Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior Reaffirmed Agency's Commitment to Environmental Justice

2007 and Earlier:

Environmental Group’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction Regarding Disposal of Chemical Warfare Agent in Low-Income Area Denied

GAO Gives Testimony Stating that EPA’s Rule Change Regarding TRI Reporting Could Reduce Information Available to Assess Environmental Justice

Federal Court Finds Notice Required for Citizen Suit Alleging Violation of RCRA Public Participation Requirements

Federal Appeals Court Affirms Denial of Citizen Group’s Suit to Enjoin Operation of Nuclear Waste Repository in New Mexico

EPA Inspector General Finds that Agency Did Not Treat Low-Income and Minority Residents in Ringwood, New Jersey Unfairly

NRC Rejects Petitioners' Arguments that Proposed Nuclear Plant Would Disproportionately Impact Surrounding Minority and Low-Income Communities

Report Suggests that Environmental Justice Grant May Be Missing Mark

EPA's Comment that FEIS Failed to Adequately Address Whether Proposed Gas Terminal Would Disproportionately Affect Surrounding Low-Income and Minority Communities Rejected

EPA's Comment that FEIS Failed to Adequately Address Whether Proposed Gas Terminal Would Disproportionately Affect Surrounding Low-Income and Minority Communities Rejected

EPA Rejects Petition Requesting that It Object to Issuance of State Operating Permit Pursuant to Title V of the Clean Air Act Because of Impact on Surrounding Low-Income and Minority Communities

Federal Appellate Court Allows Suit Alleging Violation of Constitutional Rights Due to Zoning Board's Granting of Variance for Self-Storage Facility to Proceed

Inspector General Criticizes Lack of EJ Process in EPA Offices

EPA Seeking Grant Applications

Low-Income New York City Children Have Asthma at Three Times the National Rate

Emergency Dumping Permit Near Ethnic Community Was Authorized

New Jersey Title V Permit for Plant in EJ community Complied with Clean Air Act

EJ Issues Were Not Part of Illinois Title V Permit

California Emissions Statute Requires EJ Consideration

South Camden’s Nuisance Claim and Title VI Action Dismissed

EPA Issues Title VI Public Involvement Guidance for EPA Assistance Recipients

No Disproportionate Impacts of Nuclear Plant on EJ Communities

EJ Claim Not Raised During Comment Period Was Not Preserved for Review

EJ Claims Did Not Give Rise to Title V Permit Objection

NAFTA Group Connects Air Pollution to Asthma

New York City Waste Station Siting Rules Upheld

New Mexico Governor Issues EJ Executive Order

Pennsylvania’s Balancing Test for Social and Economic Harms/Benefits Upheld

EJ Grants Available from EPA

EPA Opens Hispanic Environmental Health Page on Spanish-Language Website

Imminent Danger Order Issued for Los Angeles Plating Company

Freight Depot to Perform EJ Project as Part of Settlement

Public Hearings Satisfied Mississippi Environmental Justice Review

Class Certification Fails Against Olin Corporation in Alabama

Maine Foundation Offers Environmental Justice Grants

Environmental Justice Issues to Be Part of California Local Planning

Rhode Island Agency Violated Environmental Equity Requirements

Water Treatment Plant in the Bronx Did Not Offend Environmental Justice

Power Plant Did Not Disproportionally Impact Native Alaskans

Environmental Justice Issues Were Not Part of Title V Permitting Review

New Mexico’s Highest Court Finds Environmental Department Failed to Consider Landfill’s Effect on Community

Incinerator Ash Suit in Jacksonville Settles for $75 Million

EPA Continues Environmental Justice Advisory Council

Lawmakers Criticize EJ Strategic Plan for Ignoring Race

GAO Report: Not Enough Attention on EJ When Developing Clean Air Rules

EJ Advisory Council's Term Extended

Court Refused to Review EJ Study Voluntarily Included in Document for Bronx Water Treatment Plant

EPA Prepared Draft EJ Strategic Plan Documents

Siting Public Housing in White Neighborhood Was Not Racially-Motivated

Draft Policy for Administering Title VI Complaints Issued

Environmental Justice Challenge to New York City Water Filtration Plant Rejected

New York Issues Draft Reports on Disproportionate Adverse Impacts, Health Outcome Data

City's Inability to End Illegal Dumping Did Not Show Intent to Discriminate

Dispute Over Detroit School on Industrial Site Settled

Reversal in South Camden Did Not Upset § 1983 Ruling

Law Requires California Agencies to Help Disadvantaged Communities Apply for Grants

FMCSA Procedures Address Environmental Justice Issues

Government Contractors Had No Ongoing Duty to Correct Past Discrimination at Oak Ridge

Landfill Permit Complied with State Environmental Justice Policies

Public Outreach for Landfill Satisfied State EJ Policy

NRC Announces Final EJ Policy

EPA Policy Addresses Help by Federal Aid Recipients to Non-English Speaking Persons

Supplemental EIS Passed Judicial Muster

Airstrip Project Enjoined; Environmental Justice Issues Not Reviewed

Adverse Affects on Minority Employment Were Minimal

Environmental Justice Was Not Legal Basis for Rejecting License in Ohio

Court Finds Racial Discrimination Could Have Motivated Landfill

Investigation Finds EPA Environmental Justice Program Falls Short

No Attorneys' Fees for Citizen Group Where Agency Acted Without Judicial Prodding

EJ Plaintiffs Survive Standing Challenge in RCRA Suit to Enjoin Dredging

Financial Dispute was Not an Environmental Justice Issue

New Jersey Governor Signs Environmental Justice Executive Order

Boston Loses EJ Challenge to Airport Expansion

Massachusetts Court Rejects Claim that Aggregating Communities Skewed EJ Evaluation

EPA Involves Local Police in EJ Effort

EJ Group Survives Summary Judgment Motion Concerning Lead in Plumbing Parts

EPA Has Rejected Every Civil Rights Claim It Has Decided

NRC Seeks Comments on Draft Policy That Defines EJ in NEPA Context

EPA Offers Draft Toolkit for Assessing Environment Injustice

EPA Study: Businesses Avoid Using Term Environmental Justice

Eighth Circuit Accepts 1990 Census Data for Proposed Rail Line

No Private Right of Action Under DOT "Disparate Impacts" Regulation

EPA Website Has New Mapping Tool Showing Environmental Hazards

Statute Authorizes Maryland Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities

Report Promotes Pollution Prevention to Aid Environmental Justice

Harvard Report Says Transportation Funding Is Inequitable

Environmental Justice Community Grant Program

HUD Adequately Considered Environmental Justice Issues Under NEPA

Claims Alleging Intentional Discrimination Allowed

EPA Announces Nationwide Environmental Justice Revitalization Projects

New York Requires Environmental Justice Review for Permits

Re-Opened NEPA Review was Unripe for Judicial Review

Environmental Justice a Factor in Sentence Enhancements

Congress is Asked to Fund Research Program About Highways and Environmental Justice

Action Challenging Cleanup of Superfund Site Barred by CERCLA

NC Environmental Justice Case Reinstated by 4th Circuit

FERC Denies Coverage by EO 12898

Environmental Justice Complaints Backlog an EPA "Priority"

Massachusetts Policy Makes Environmental Justice "An Integral Consideration" in Implementation of Environmental Programs

NRC Reverses Licensing Board's Denial of Summary Disposition Motion on Intervenor's Environmental Justice Contention on Nuclear Waste Facility

New York Department of Environmental Conservation Issues Draft Environmental Justice Policy

U. S. Supreme Court Declines to Review Third Circuit's South CamdenDecision

New Jersey to Withdraw Proposed Environmental Equity Rules

EPA Inspector General Will Examine Potential Environmental Justice Impacts of Emissions Trading

Federal Court Denies Class Certification in Action Arising From Diesel Fuel Spill in Mississippi River That Affected Drinking Water of Minority Community

Statue of Limitations Barred Toxic Tort and Environmental Justice Claims Against Drum Recycling Plant

Federal District Court Allows Residents of Minority Neighborhood in Dallas to Proceed to Trial on Claims That City Provides Services in Discriminatory Manner

EPA Administrator Rejects Environmental Justice Challenge to Clean Air Act Operating Permit Issued by New York for Recycling and Ethanol Production Facility

Court Rejects Environmental Justice Challenge to New York DEC's PSD Permit Proceeding for Power Plant

District Court Improperly Dismissed Disparate Treatment and Retaliation Claims Against City That Denied Special Use Permits for Halfway Houses for Recovering Alcoholics

New Jersey DEP Proposes Rules to Implement Environmental Equity Policy

FERC Finds No Adverse Environmental Justice Impacts for Water Withdrawal Project in Georgia

New York Advisory Group Issues Environmental Justice Recommendations

FERC Rejects Challenge to Pipeline in New York

NRC Rejects Claim That It Erred by Modifying Its Environmental Justice Analysis for a South Carolina Facility

Surface Transportation Board Rules That EIS Not Required for Abandonment of Railroad Line That Runs Through Minority Community

Third Circuit Rules That Plaintiffs in Environmental Justice Action Cannot Enforce EPA's Disparate Impact Title VI Regulations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983

California Air Resources Board Adopts Environmental Justice Initiative

California Enacts Four Pieces of Environmental Justice Legislation

EPA Region VII Releases Draft Environmental Justice Guidelines

State Court Rejects Environmental Justice Challenge to Air Permit for Polypropylene Plant in Louisiana

Court Refuses to Enjoin Opening of New School on Contaminated Site; Title VI Claim Available to Private Plaintiffs Via 1983 buy Unlikely to Succeed on Merits

Court Allows Civil Rights Claims to Proceed Against Park Trustees for Ejecting School Children From Gramercy Park in New York City

EPA Launches Environmental Justice Mapper

Administrator Whitman Issues Memo on EPA's Commitment to Environmental Justice

Federal District Court Dismisses Challenge by Public Housing Residents to EPA Cleanup Plan for Nearby Superfund Site

EPA Establishes Task Force to Clear Backlog of Environmental Justice Complaints

Company Will Fund Environmental Justice Project Under Settlement of Clean Air Act Enforcement Action

Third Circuit Lifts Injunction That Barred Operation of Cement Plant In Minority Community in Camden, New Jersey

Federal District Court Dismisses Environmental Racism Charges Brought by Chicago Resident

Federal District Court Rules That Plaintiffs Can Proceed With Title VI Disparate Impact Claims Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; Issues Preliminary Injunction to Prevent Construction of Cement Plant in Minority Community in Camden, New Jersey

New York Siting Board Refuses to Include Environmental Justice in List of Issues for Evidentiary Hearing on Application for New Generating Units at Manhattan Power Plant

Residents Charged With Criminal Trespass and Obstruction for Trying to Prevent New York City From Bulldozing Community Garden Not Entitled to Raise Justification Defense

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That There Is No Private Right of Action Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to Enforce Disparate-Impact Regulations

Maryland Creates Commission on Environmental Justice

Environmental Defense Expands Its “Scorecard” Web Site to Include Additional Environmental Justice Data

EPA Barred From Spending Funds to Implement Interim Title VI Guidance

EPA Web Site Lists Environmental Justice Complaints

EPA Issues Report on Subpopulations That May Be More Sensitive to Drinking Water Contaminants

Recycling Company's Defamation Claim Barred by Rhode Island's Anti-SLAPP Statute

California Legislation Creates Environmental Justice Working Group

Title VI Complaint Challenges New York City's Practice of Putting Most Diesel Bus Facilities in Minority Neighborhoods

EPA Memo Addresses Statutory Authority Under Which Environmental Justice Issues May be Addressed

New York Court Refuses to Dismiss Civil Rights Challenge to Lead Poisoning Screening Program

Department of Transportation Adds Web Site for Environmental Justice Case Studies

Federal Court Allows Environmental Suit to Proceed Under Americans With Disabilities Act

EPA Streamlines Requirements for Superfund Technical Assistance Grants

New York Administrative Law Judge Rules on Challenges to Bronx Solid Waste Transfer Station

Court Dismisses Challenge to EPA’s Superfund Cleanup Efforts in West Dallas

Federal Court Upholds Environmental Justice Analysis for Government Consolidation Project

Second Circuit Denies Preliminary Injunction to Prevent Destruction of Community Gardens

Court Rejects Environmental Justice Challenge to Lock Expansion Project on Louisiana Canal

Third Circuit Holds That Philadelphia’s Application for HUD Grant Complied With NEPA and the National Historic Preservation Act

Advisory Committee Submits Recommendations to EPA on Siting of Waste Transfer Stations

California Agency Adequately Addressed Environmental Justice in Issuing Clean Air Act PSD Permit for Fiberglass Manufacturing Facility

Residents of Public Housing Project to be Relocated Under Proposed CERCLA Consent Decree

First Circuit Rejects Puerto Rico Community Group’s Challenge to PSD Permit for Power Plant

EPA Environmental Justice Policy Could Hinder Job Creation for Minorities, According to Economic Consulting Firm

Second Circuit Denies Group’s Motion to Intervene in Safe Drinking Water Act Enforcement Action Against New York City

Eleventh Circuit Overturns Alabama’s English-Only Policy for Driver’s License Tests, Rules That Title VI Created Private Cause of Action

Court Reduces Punitive Damage Award in Louisiana Rail Explosion Case From $2.5 Billion to $850 Million

Settlement Reached in Case Alleging Racism by Mall Owners Who Restricted Access by City Buses

EPA’s Title VI Policy Does Not Hinder Brownfields Redevelopment, According to EPA Study

New York DEC Creates Environmental Justice Program

California Legislature Passes Environmental Justice Bills

Federal Court Rejects Challenge to Department of Transportation's ADA Regulations for Bus Accessibility

EPA Draft Guidance on Innovative Air Pollution Reduction Programs Urges Consideration of Environmental Justice Issues

EPA Proposes to Require New or Expanding Facilities That Discharge into Impaired Waters to Offset Discharges

Plaintiffs Not Entitled to Preliminary Injunction in Environmental Justice Challenge to New York City’s Sale of Community Garden Parcels

EPA Proposes Streamlined Process for Communities to Apply for Superfund Technical Assistance Grants

New Study Finds No Evidence of Discrimination in EPA Enforcement Actions

West Virginia Court Allows Medical Monitoring Claims in Absence of Present Physical Injuries

Civil Rights Claim Dismissed in Lead Paint Suit Against Chicago Housing Authority

Law Firm Sanctioned for Maintaining Toxic Tort Case

Court Upholds Louisiana Restrictions on Law School Clinics

EPA Adequately Addressed Environmental Justice in Issuing Clean Air Act PSD Permit for Puerto Rico Power Plant

Citizen Group Challenging Transfer of Navy Jets Not Entitled to Judicial Review of Environmental Justice Portion of EIS

Community Groups File Civil Rights Complaint Concerning Activities at Kelly Air Force Base in Texas

Steel Company Will Build Mill in Different Location After Environmental Justice Complaint

Fourth Circuit Rejects Challenge to Siting of North Carolina Wastewater Treatment Facility

Title VI Claims Against Federal Agencies Barred by Sovereign Immunity in Residents’ Challenge to Maryland Highway Bypass

EPA to Examine New York City’s Siting of Solid Waste Transfer Stations

Tentative $8 Million Settlement in Contamination of Predominantly Black Subdivision Near Houston

Court Rejects Indian Tribe’s Challenge to FAA’s Approval of Revised Flight Patterns at Los Angeles Airport