Environment Subcommittee Examined Environmental Justice Issues in Michigan

Sep 17, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Sept.17, 2019)— Rep. Harley Rouda, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Environment, held a field hearing on “Environmental Injustice: Exploring Inequities in Air and Water Quality in Michigan.”

TAKEAWAYS

  • Dr. Paul Mohai testified that corporate polluters are disproportionately located in low-income earning communities and communities of color.
     
  • Community members and advocates Dr. Dolores Leonard, Nayyirah Shariff, and Emma Lockridge shared how this pollution has had long-term, and sometimes fatal, health effects on themselves, their families, and their neighbors.
     
  • Chairman Rouda and Vice Chair Tlaib agreed that Congress must do more to hold the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accountable and work to stop corporate polluters and to address environmental justice issues. For example, Vice Chair Tlaib discussed how she would continue to push for the passage of measures that would prevent the closure of local EPA offices that house emergency response units and offices that are in SO2 non-attainment areas. Such measures have been approved by the House and await action in the Senate.
     
  • Environmental attorney Nicholas Leonard testified that legislative fixes to environmental protection laws and the Civil Rights Act, including requiring cumulative impact analyses and allowing disparate impact civil rights claims, are vital to ensuring communities can hold corporations and government accountable for pollution.   

WITNESSES

Dr. Dolores Leonard
Advocate

Nayyirah Shariff
Director
Flint Rising

Dr. Paul Mohai
School for Environment and Sustainability
University of Michigan

Nick Leonard
Executive Director
Great Lakes Environmental Law Center

Emma Lockridge
Climate and Environmental Justice Organizer
Michigan United 

VIDEOS

Click here to watch Chairman Rouda’s opening statements.

Click here to watch Vice Chair Tlaib’s opening statements.

Click here to watch Nayyirah Shariff’s opening statements.

116th Congress