Environmental Justice: Defending People's Right to a Healthy Environment

Summary
January 14, 2004

People of color and low-income families live next door to more polluters than anyone else in our country. Industrial facilities are frequently built in low-income neighborhoods, leaving children to play near power plants, garbage dumps and toxic waste sites. As a result, these communities often suffer from higher rates of illness in comparison with middle-class suburbs and affluent communities. Tired of watching industry make a profit at the expense of their families’ health, people of many races and cultures are joining together to fight back; their collective struggle has become known as the environmental justice movement.

NRDC has played a role in some of these battles. Our environmental justice work aims, among other things, to address the needs of the community groups that approach us. We team up with local organizations and work to achieve their objectives through litigation, general advocacy and scientific research.