June 21, 2014

Polluted Equality? The State of Environmental Justice

Sharmila L. Murthy

Suffolk University Law School
Begin: 0:00

Daria Neal

United States Department of Justice
Begin: 5:35

Shanna Cleveland

Conservation Law Foundation
Begin: 11:51

Patrice Lumumba Simms

Howard University School of Law
Begin: 18:03

Sue Briggum

Federal Public Affairs, Waste Management
Begin: 24:41

In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed an executive order to focus federal attention on the environmental and human health conditions of minority and low-income populations with the goal of achieving environmental protection for all communities, thus solidifying a legal framework for the growing environmental justice movement. Two decades later, in view of reports of many American urban centers facing depleted access to sources of clean water, stories of densely populated minority areas grappling with significant and disproportionately high air pollution, and evidence of fossil fuel mining changing the health of low income communities, has the environmental justice movement progressed? How is the environmental justice legal framework informed by equality principles guaranteed by the Constitution? And what are the true impediments to the success of the environmental justice movement?


Sue Briggum, Vice President, Federal Public Affairs, Waste Management
Shanna Cleveland, Senior Attorney, Conservation Law Foundation
Sharmila L. Murthy, Assistant Professor, Suffolk University Law School; Visiting Scholar, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Daria Neal, Deputy Chief, Federal Coordination and Compliance Section, Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice
Patrice Lumumba Simms, Associate Professor, Howard University School of Law