This story was originally published by The Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
Houston’s city government is under federal investigation after accusations that it responds to calls from Black and Hispanic residents about illegal dumping more slowly than if the complaints are from white residents, U.S. justice department officials announced Friday.
The investigation into whether the Texas metropolis’ so-called quality of life officials are illegally discriminating against residents based on their race or national origin was prompted by a complaint filed earlier this year by the nonprofit Lone Star Legal Aid clinic, authorities added.
According to officials, residents of a predominantly Black and Hispanic neighborhood in north-east Houston have called the city’s 311 hotline to report the illegal discarding of a wide range of things near their homes, from the bodies of dead people to more mundane rubbish such as abandoned mattresses, automated teller machines, and various waste.
The 311 line is where residents can ask the city to retrieve those things and request that those doing... Read more