University of Wisconsin–Madison

Local Policies for Environmental Justice: A National Scan

Type Policy Brief or Report
Year 2019
Level City or Town, County
State(s) All States
Policy Areas Environment & Natural Resources, Health
While local zoning codes and land use policies historically have been tools for segregating people and concentrating pollution in low-income communities and communities of color, community-based advocacy can transform these same tools into means for addressing cumulative burdens borne by environmental justice communities. Pollution-emitting facilities and toxic land uses are disproportionately located in communities of color and low-income communities. Municipalities often pit low-income communities and communities of color against polluting industries and the permit agencies. Recommended policies include bans of specific types of pollutants, creating environmental review processes, proactive planning for future development, and more.

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