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Regarding Environmental Racism

Re-affirming 2000 Policy on Environmental Justice

WHEREAS, the problems of environmental hazards stemming from the location of hazardous facilities in predominantly poor and minority communities remains unchanged; and

WHEREAS, the problem continues to increase as opposed to being reduced or eliminated due to the failure of public officials to enforce existing regulations, and the inequitable implementation or enforcement of local zoning regulations because of the Clean Air and Waters Acts; and

WHEREAS, locally elected officials and Board of Zoning have not been responsive to petitions by local citizens or to the presentation of documentation of hazardous conditions; and

WHEREAS, there is a recent trend and a growing national pattern to resolve the problem by changing the local neighborhood, encouraging local residents to relocate or declaring the areas as non-residential as opposed to removal or correction of the hazardous conditions and enforcing zoning laws, thus, denying these citizens the full enjoyment of the property rights and equitable protection of the law;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP reaffirms its 1996 policy on Environmental Racism; and

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP goes on record as calling upon local mayors and city and state officials, enforcement agencies, members of local zoning boards and state officials, as appropriate, to review and amend local and state zoning laws and regulations that govern the location of solid waste facilities and other hazardous uses of land in residentially zoned neighborhoods; and

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP call upon local city and state officials to cease the practice of resolving local residential hazardous conditions by declaring the neighborhood as non-residential rather than correcting the hazardous condition that negatively affects the health of residents; and

THEREFORE, BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP call upon locally elected officials to equitably enforce existing zoning and health ordinances and other laws related to environmental and other hazardous conditions.