This Note proposes legislation that provides an avenue for protecting the right to a clean and healthy environment by requiring agencies to consider vulnerable communities before initiating large-scale federal projects. Part I lays out the emergence of environmental justice issues in the United States, including its turning point. Part II introduces both successful and failed attempts at federal environmental justice legislation and analyzes why federal environmental justice legislation continuously fails. Part III dis- cusses how executive environmental justice action becomes pointless to the overall progression of environmental justice and examines President Biden’s progress in the first year of his presidency. Finally, Part V proposes specific language Congress should include in the proposed legislation and asserts why congressional action is the correct avenue for substantive environmental justice legislation. Part V additionally compares three governing documents—the National Environmental Policy Act, Executive Order 12898, and the New Jersey Environmental Justice law—to the proposed legislation in this Note.
Recommended CitationSara Babcock, Death by Committee: Reviving Federal Environmental Justice Legislation to Mitigate Disproportionate Impacts on Vulnerable Communities, 40 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 254 (2023)
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