1999 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Tony Chenhansa <tonyc@cpeo.org>
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1999 12:20:20 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: [Fwd: Congress Attacks EJ]
This is a message from IGC's Environmental Justice newsgroup regarding
House Bill 2684 and Title VI Civil Rights Act. 

The original author of this message is Monique Harden,
Attorney/Community Liaison Director of the Earthjustice Legal Defense
Fund (mharden@earthjustice.org)
Please respond directly to her if you have any comments.


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Congress Attacks EJ
Date: 17 Sep 1999 14:31:58
From: mharden@earthjustice.org
Newsgroups: env.justice

Dear Friends,

The House of Representatives has passed a rider on House Bill 2684 that
blocks EPA's enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Although
know that there are problems in the EPA's development of civil rights
guidelines, it is important that we work together to oppose this rider. 
rider is part of a host of provisions that take funds away from federal
housing, lead abatement, and environmental programs.  This rider is a
of last year's appropriations bill that took away EPA funds for
investigation new Title VI complaints. This means that regardless of 
rules, Title VI complaints will be effectively silenced.

Conservative members of Congress have taken a back-door approach to
legislation.  Riders are generally used as a weapon to defeat laws, in
case Title VI, by taking away the resources needed for enforcement. 
do not have public debate and are established by committees.

The time for action is now for raising public opposition to the rider! 
need to develop a coordinated strategy...  Currently, we are
reaching out to groups to raise awareness and encourage folks to get
involved in opposing the rider.

You can also contact Senators about opposing the rider.  Presently, the
Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Subcomittee on VA, HUD, &
Independent Agencies are working on the Senate appropriations proposal
federal agencies, including the EPA.  We are told by Senate staffers
the Senate version of House Bill 2684 does not include the rider.  The
is expected to be an issue when the Senate and House meet in conference
decide which version of House Bill 2684 to accept -- the one with the
or the one without the rider.

The Rider on House Bill 2684

silences people of color who suffer from environmental racism

takes funds away from the EPA's enforcement of Title VI of the Civil
Rights Act

maintains the status quo for state agencies that allow polluting
industries to locate in people of color communities

sets back the struggle of African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans,
and Asian Americans for a clean and healthy environment

is a sneaky attempt to gut federal civil rights laws -- one of the most
important legal protections in our country

Yours in the struggle,

Monique Harden
Attorney/Community Liaison Director
Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund
400 Magazine Street, Suite 401
New Orleans, LA 70130
504 522 1394 ph
504 566 7242 fax

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