President Obama’s formal announcement Monday of his finalized Clean Power Plan puts the responsibility on states to come up with their own strategies for reducing climate pollution. But states are already charged with monitoring and mitigating air pollution flowing from their borders, which hasn’t always boded well for cities and the communities residing close to pollution-heavy facilities. Which is why it may be relieving for many families to know that a significant chunk of the Clean Power Plan focuses on “community involvement and environmental justice.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the federal principal custodian of the Clean Power Plan, has also pledged to conduct air quality evaluations in neighborhoods that have historically been saturated with both pollution and poverty. Still, it remains to be seen how much of a venue such neighborhoods—which are often predominantly African-American and Latino—will be granted to air out their problems with the state.
In the lead up to the plan’s unveiling, environmental and civil right advocates were already concerned with this issue. (The Atlantic CityLab)