EPA chief vows to ‘do better’ to protect poor communities

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Michael S. Regan, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, traveled to Jackson, Miss., in November to discuss the city’s poor water quality at an elementary school where children have to drink bottled water and use portable restrooms outside the building.

The day he arrived, the halls were largely empty. Students had been sent home because the water pressure at the school was so low that even the portable toilets couldn’t flush.

That scene and others he witnessed as he traveled to low-income communities in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and elsewhere have prompted him to make some changes, he said.

On Wednesday the E.P.A. announced that it will step up monitoring and enforcement of federal rules regarding air and water quality, particularly in communities of color, which are disproportionately burdened by pollution.

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