Read the full story at NPR.
Across the country, disproportionate exposure to pollution threatens the health of people of color, from Gulf Coast towns in the shadow of petrochemical plants to Indigenous communities in the West that are surrounded by oil and gas operations. Generations of systemic racism routinely put factories, refineries, landfills and factory farms in Black, brown and poor communities, exposing their residents to far greater health risks from pollution than those in whiter, more affluent places.
The federal government has known of environmental injustice for decades. Presidents have promised to address it. But a legacy of weak laws and spotty enforcement has left Black, brown and poor communities mired in pollution and health hazards.