Monday, March 21, 2005
On this day:

"Environmental Justice" Measure in Alabama Legislature

Most everyone can understand people's concern over having polluting industries located next door. However, should this be turned into a racial issue? Some legislators think so.

A Senate committee unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that would require the state to measure pollution affecting minority populations before considering permits for industries...

It would require the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to identify the subpopulation exposed to pollutants from any plant applying for a new, renewed or modified pollution permit.

Considering the populations within half a mile, one mile and three miles of the facility, ADEM would be required to add all the pollutants from all sources that contribute to exposure for people in the area. If there were more pollution on a minority or poor population than on another in the same county, the industry would be required to reduce its pollution or would be denied its permit.

- From the Birmingham News