Garden State, Meet the Cement State
Bad news on the environmental justice front: Poor and minority residents of Camden, N.J., aren’t having much luck with efforts to sue the state for allowing a cement factory to spew pollution in their neighborhood. The residents successfully convinced U.S. District Judge Stephen Orlofsky that the siting of the plant was discriminatory, but Orlofsky’s decision was undermined by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in another case that individuals suing states for discrimination must prove that there was intent to discriminate. Now the residents are trying to get the courts to hear their case on other grounds, but so far they haven’t had much luck; last month, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeal denied the request, and on Wednesday, the court ruled against a petition for the full court to reconsider the issue.
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