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The U.S. Department of Justice will investigate the City of Houston to determine if its response to illegal dumping reports discriminates against Black and Latino residents. The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division announced the environmental justice investigation on Friday.
The DOJ will look into Houston’s “operations, policies and practices” to decide if it has violated of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin. The City of Houston calls the investigation “baseless.”
The investigation was spurred by a complaint Lone Star Legal Aid filed in January on behalf of residents in a Northeast Houston neighborhood with predominantly Black and Latino residents who say the city ignored their frequent complaints of illegal dumping.