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Call for Recompense for Victims of Environmental Racism

WHEREAS, the NAACP has long been an advocate against environmental racism; and

WHEREAS, the effects of environmental racism are normally found in areas inhabited by the poor; minority, and disenfranchised people who are disproportionately harmed by the elements associated with the pollutants that are germane to the chemical causing elements; and

WHEREAS, the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Since 1970, has been and is to protect human health and the environment; and to work for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people; and

WHEREAS, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states: No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance; and

WHEREAS, findings from the 2007 Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty report show African Americans and other people of color make up the majority (56%) of those living in neighborhoods within 1.8 miles of the nation's commercial hazardous waste facilities, nearly double the percentage in areas beyond 1.8 miles (30%): people of color make up more than two thirds (69%) in neighborhoods with clustered facilities; percentages of African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and Asians/Pacific Islanders in host neighborhoods are 1.7, 2,3, and 1.8 times greater in host neighborhoods than nonhost areas (20% vs. 12%, 27% vs. 12%, and 6.7% vs. 3.6%), respectively; and

WHEREAS, our communities are impacted by. the discharge of Tri Chloro Ethylene (TCE) and other toxic wastes which decrease the health and increase the incidence of harm to individuals in our communities.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP reaffirms its 1993 policy on environmental justice; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP strongly advocates before federal, state, and local policy-making bodies as well as those government agencies charged with enforcement and protection under these laws to secure economic and environmental justice for African American families and communities of color adversely impacted by the discharge of Tri Chloro Ethylene (TCE) and other toxic waste including nuclear waste; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP demands that the Congress of the United States of America enact laws that will hold government agencies at all levels totally accountable for the harm caused to citizens whether through omission or commission; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP hereby demands that the Congress of the United States of America with cooperation from other legislative bodies move expeditiously to identify solutions, enact laws, appropriate funds, and set policies that will eradicate the blight of environmental racism across the nation.