No matter who’s been president, low-income communities and communities of color have always been disproportionately impacted by pollution. But during Donald Trump’s presidency, the scale of attack will be bigger and the few backstops we’ve had will be gone. Environmental justice or “EJ” communities are likely to be hit first and worst by rollbacks under the Trump administration — but they will also be at the forefront of the fight for environmental and climate justice.
Under President Obama, the needs of EJ communities were on the policy agenda, through initiatives like the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice. While those efforts had mixed success in improving health and environmental outcomes, they helped to institutionalize an understanding of race, class, and pollution in federal agencies and created important points of leverage for communities. In this way, they fed into a set of political and social conditions that allowed our movements to grow.
These points of leverage will most likely be eviscerated under a Trump administration. Trump and his cabinet nominees have promised to weaken environmental regulations under the... Read more