Environmental Justice

Authored by: Robert R. Kuehn

Routledge International Handbook of Social Justice

Print publication date:  April  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415620437
eBook ISBN: 9781315857534
Adobe ISBN: 9781317934011

10.4324/9781315857534.ch21

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Abstract

“Environmental justice” means many things to many people. To communities feeling overburdened by environmental hazards and left out of the decision-making process, it captures their sense of the unfairness of environmental laws and policies. To regulated entities facing allegations that they have created or contributed to injustices, environmental justice is an amorphous term that wrongly suggests racial, ethnic, or class-based animus or, at the very least, indifference to the public health and welfare problems of distressed communities. To government officials, often the target of a community’s anger over environmental conditions, the term may imply that they are executing their responsibilities in a biased or callous manner.

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