Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2005

Publication Title

William and Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review


environmental racism, pollution, environmental law, environmental justice


People across the country have witnessed the quality of their local environment decline in the name of progress but Lewis argues that tow-income and minority persons have observed the disproportionate placement of environmental hazards in their communities. That disparity has partially resulted from environmental discrimination based upon class and race. Acknowledging unequal treatment of low-income and minority persons has led to the development of the concept of "environmental justice. "

The premise of this Article is that, in order to effectively combat environmental discrimination, people must have access to quality information. Information may be used as a remedial measure. This Article is divided into two main parts. Part I briefly discusses evidence of environmental discrimination. Part II addresses how low-income and minority persons can use the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA") as an information-gathering tool. The information obtained through the NEPA process can be used in two primary ways. First, the information can be used to educate community members so they can successfully oppose projects that have the potential to adversely impact the quality of the environment. Second, advocates can use the information to argue that a hazardous project should be removed from the community.